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Drones to help with design of one-way road on Titirangi

Aerial drones will this week be flying over Titirangi/Kaiti Hill to help design a new one-way road.

The use of drones was confirmed at a meeting of Gisborne District Council’s assets and infrastructure committee.

“The technology is there and because it’s such an iconic site, we can see what it will actually look like and be able to make a decision,” said GDC Journeys infrastructure manager Dave Hadfield.

Larry Foster said he totally understood the reasons for a one-way system but suggested the impacts on residents at Endcliffe Road should be taken into account.

GDC lifelines director David Wilson said the project had been signed off by the council and Ngati Oneone.

Costings of the project were still to be finalised but the use of drones would ensure people could see what was planned.

“There will always be vehicle access to the top of the maunga but this is about making sure that it is safe for pedestrians and cyclists who are using it.”

Mr Wilson said use of the maunga was increasing year on year.

Brian Wilson said it did not seem ideal for motorists to drive up Titirangi and then have to go all the way on to Kaiti.

It was also likely to be “an expensive undertaking” to get the other side of the maunga up to scratch.

“There’s a lot of work here.”

However, he said the council was quite right to plan for the future, with use of Titirangi only expected to increase.

Committee chairman Graeme Thomson also pointed out the best view of the city was from a vehicle as it came back down Queen’s Drive.

A report to the committee pointed out the scope of the project would look at designs to turn Queen’s Drive (from the intersection with Ranfurly Street to Cook’s Plaza) into a one-way system that would connect to the existing one-way road from the summit to Endcliffe Road.

It was proposed the one-way system would run uphill, starting at the church on Queens Drive, and would prevent traffic from returning to the start by the marae.

A permanent 30kmh speed limit would be established and speed humps installed.

The report, from Opus, recommended two options for road layouts.

One would use a single uphill shared traffic and cycle lane with a formal pedestrian lane. The second proposed a single uphill traffic lane with the left side shoulder for uphill cyclists and a right side shoulder for pedestrians.

A third option of a single shared lane for uphill cyclists and traffic with a left side “sealed” shoulder for pedestrian use was not recommended.

The meeting finished with GDC chief executive Nedine Thatcher Swann thanking retiring councillor Mr Thomson for his work as a councillor since 2001 and committee chairman from 2007.