University to City Link – Wairere to Peachgrove

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There is a lot on offer in the neighbourhood from the Wairere Drive greenbelt to Peachgrove Rd. This post will start with the Peachgrove shopping centre on the corner of Clyde St, end with a comment on the Ruakura 4-laning and along the way highlight Peachgrove Rd as a destination, which includes the East Street Shops; Countdown supermarket (and Mitre 10 MEGA on Ruakura Rd); Early learning centres, Intermediate and high Schools; and the Shopping Centre on the corner of Clyde St and Peachgrove Rd. The ‘City Centre to University business case April 2021’ also amplifies this on the map on page 16, Figure 2.2.

The business case benefit cost ratios (BCR) are calculated using a transport benefits spreadsheet (page 457). In the business case I found no comment on the new homes along Old Farm Rd and the subsequent benefit to local shops within walking distance of this new population. We also know people will bike to shops along the same route used by pedestrians: this is fine along Old Farm Rd, but without wide paths or separated cycle lanes along Clyde Street there will be conflict with other road users travelling to the Peachgrove shopping centre.

 ‘The Plan serves to increase high densities around high frequency transit corridors’ (p14). This could mean multi-storey buildings replacing stand-alone housing along Clyde Street, which is needed as part of the solution to Hamilton’s housing crisis. Clyde Street nicely links to large employment and education destinations.

Rotterdam Mathenesserweg

Making assumptions on the demand for future shopping centre size or the  cultural feel of the shops along Clyde St is like predicting the next fashion that “occupies the dividing-line between the past and the future” (George Simmel). The image above is of a 1920s development, where for a century the ground floor usage has regularly changed from shops to homes to offices. Based on demand, Clyde Street’s future development should allow what Jane Jacobs called “mixed uses” – housing, restaurants, stores – at street level.

Now to Ruakura road: In 2009 the Ruakura Rd (Peachgrove to Wairere) 4-laning began as a project to improve ‘safety and better cater for current and future traffic as well as buses, cyclists and pedestrians in the area’. By the time it was finished in 2013 the cycle lane had been removed, buses did not get priority, and motor vehicle lanes were widened. The image above shows how, with narrower motor vehicle lanes, cycle lanes can be added to Ruakura Rd.

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Peachgrove neighbourhood Land use

Hamilton East Neighbourhood – Boundaries and Density

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