The new road layout for Ngatai Road in Otumoetai will be completed this week, showcasing Council’s goal of creating better urban connections that are safer, smarter and easier for all road users.
The project includes Tauranga’s first two-way protected cycleway and was co-funded by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, steered by the local community and completed by Tauranga City Council.
Tauranga City Council general manager: Infrastructure Nic Johansson says as the city grows, we need to start planning for its future now.
“This project is one piece of the puzzle in minimising future congestion issues and supporting liveable, healthy and sustainable communities.
"We want to make it easier for more people to travel by bus, on bike, on foot and on mobility devices.”
Ngatai Road was chosen for the project as it is a key connection between Bellevue, Matua, Otumoetai, Pillans Point and the central city.
With three schools in the area, it is also a road where concerns have been raised about speed and safety.
The new layout addresses these concerns with a two-way cycleway, shared paths, various safe crossing points and several bus stop locations between the Otumoetai Road roundabout and the Matua saltmarsh.
Parking on the eastern Carlton Reserve side of the road is also retained.
Although new to Tauranga, two-way cycle lanes are common in other NZ cities and around the world. This type of cycleway is safer for people on bikes and minimises the reduction in carparks, says Nic.
"We anticipate a transition period as everyone adjusts to the new layout. We have rolled out an educational campaign and will continue to work with the community to minimise disruption."
What you need to know about Ngatai Road:
The cycleway is 3m wide so there’s plenty of room. Please keep to the left.
Getting on and off the cycleway
There are breaks in the cycleway opposite side roads (like Western Road) so that confident riders can get on or off the cycleway.
There are other places for less confident riders to cross the road safely.
You’ll see shared paths near some of the crossings. These are for everyone, so please keep to the left whether you’re walking, scootering or biking.
New crossing facilities
The green section of the crossing is for cyclists. You’re allowed to ride your bike across it. People in vehicles must give way to people on bikes just as they do for pedestrians. Always slow down, stop and look for traffic first before crossing safely.
If you’re backing out of a driveway onto the cycleway, please remember to look both ways and give way to people who are on the cycleway and footpath.
No parking on the cycleway
Please remember not to park in the cycleway. There is substantial parking on the Carlton Reserve side of Ngatai Road as well as off street parking.
Rubbish bins blocking the cycleway are a safety hazard for people on bikes. On rubbish day, please place bins on the grass berm between your footpath and the cycleway.
Rubbish trucks will drive slowly on the cycleway to empty the bins. People riding on the cycleway when this happens will need to switch to the footpath to get past the trucks.
How will the buses stop?
Two of the city-bound bus stops are right next to the cycleway. Everyone needs to cooperate to share with care.
If you’re catching the bus:
Wait for the bus on the footpath, not on the cycleway. Cross the cycleway carefully when the bus has arrived.
If you’re riding on the cycleway:
You must give way to anyone who is crossing at the bus stop.
If you’re driving behind the bus:
Buses will stop in the traffic lane to let passengers on and off. Please wait behind the bus. Stops typically last less than 30 seconds.