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In the coming weeks we'll start work on improving Bay Road in Kilbirnie.
The Council's Built Environment Portfolio Leader, Councillor Iona Pannett, says the changes to Bay Road will be the first in a long-term project to rejuvenate the area.
"It's already a great place to live and visit, but in the future we'd like it to be even better - we want it to be more attractive, vibrant and accessible - so in the coming weeks we'll be starting work to reach those goals."
The focus is on improving the main shopping street, Bay Road, so more people will want to visit, shop and do business here. Town centres work best when focused on people and we want it to be a place where people enjoy the shopping experience.
We also want Kilbirnie to have more of a coastal feel.
There are several areas we plan to improve including the central section of Bay Road, as well as its two main crossing points, which are near the big pohutukawa tree and next to the community centre. We want pedestrians to be able to cross safely and more easily at these points so we will raise the crossings and narrow the road to slow traffic.
We will also widen the footpath between the crossings and improve it by landscaping, with new trees and native grasses.
The Coutts Street and Bay Road corner will also be getting a 'make-over'.
"This corner is the southern gateway to Kilbirnie's shopping centre.
"At the moment, this space is being used as a car park. We plan to convert it into a shared space, which will accommodate some parking but also provide an attractive public space with better footpaths. This space will be a distinctive 'southern gateway' to the town centre where markets and other events could happen."
Cabbage trees, coastal plants, lighting and seating will all help improve the appearance of this area and make it a space that people will enjoy using.
As part of the $1.5 million upgrade, we'll also make changes to car parking layouts and time limits along Bay Road to help support businesses and customers in the town centre.
We have had feedback that the existing 30-minute parking restrictions aren't long enough so we are changing this to a mix of 30- and 60-minute parking to allow people more time to do their shopping.
The construction timetable is still being finalised but it is looking likely work will begin at the end of June. Future possible options for Kilbirnie include a walkway / cycleway and improvements to Onepu and Rongotai roads.
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