Ward St – Matt’s idea

This post focuses on the Ward St part of Matt Stark’s submission to the 10-Year Plan 2018-2028. A link to the full submission can be found here and Matt’s verbal presentation is at 10 Year Plan Submissions 11 May 2018 Part 1: Start at 1 hour mark. 

“Improve the cycling and pedestrian connection on Ward Street … The Western Rail Trail has provided a great start to this heavily used route into the CBD. Unfortunately at the moment when you cross Tristram St you are greeted with a rather industrial and bleak welcome to the CBD … it is a prime opportunity to improve the streetscape, to make it safer and feel more welcoming. The concept would see a narrowed street with lower traffic speeds, increasing safety for cyclists and pedestrians. Stark Property have engaged Edwards White to come up with an initial concept design that has support from local stakeholders … This will benefit the business community and commuters who use the western rail trail or park in the surrounding streets. It will provide a more appealing and safer link to the Hamilton West Green Belt and connection to the city stadiums. Ward Street is also heavily used by Wintec and Hamilton Girls’ High School students … This concept has not been priced, as it is only a concept design and requires further development … With the Waikato Regional Council moving to Ward Street in 2020, and the redevelopment of the Wintec campus on Ward Street, there are plenty of opportunities to partner on this project”

There’s not much I can add to Mr Spark’s submission. Ward St as a car parking place does have the look and feel of ‘dead space’. Please, get on with safer speed signs and plant some trees. Get rid of the existing white-line marking, paint Mr Spark’s concept on the ground, benchmark actual desire lines (map) and measure the length of time people stay. Count people before and after implementing the concept. Make kerbs flush as shown in the concept: this means that as the number of people increases, change can easily happen without disrupting the flow of people who are already spending time in Ward St. Look to include a better link between Girls’ High and Ward Park, but still focus on Ward St as a place.


Category: News

2 comments on “Ward St – Matt’s idea

  1. Are there to be dedicated cycle lanes? If not, then I’m very dubious about narrowing the street while retaining angle parking, as that’s going to make the risk of a cyclist being hit by a car reversing out of a park much higher.

  2. With the demolition of the buildings on Ward street that happened recently (Wintec owns them I assume) this street has lost much of its appeal.

    Without strong definition and activation of the street edge from new buildings, it is going to struggle to be a place that people want to spend any time. Matt’s idea would work if this was a well used public space with high volumes of pedestrians and cyclists to balance out the vehicles, but I think that this is not the case currently nor will be in the foreseeable future.

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