Katikati trail users to share a new path
Katikati will soon have a new shared path to enjoy.
The 1.2km path from Yeoman Bridge to Park Road Reserve will be a fantastic new addition to the trail network around Katikati, allowing people to travel from Park Road Reserve to the town centre without using roads.
Western Bay of Plenty District Council has now approved the plans, following the community having their say on the path’s finishing touches – including opting to use a tinted concrete colour, either green or grey, to help the path blend into the environment.
Council’s Reserves and Facilities Manager Peter Watson says the new path will enable more people to get out and about and enjoy the Esplanade Reserve.
“Our latest round of engagement with the community showed that majority of people (67.5 percent) supported a tinted concrete pathway. Some people voiced concerns over the surface, and its visual impact, which was why we provided the community with the choice to use a tint to lessen the visual impact and address those concerns.
“Ultimately, the final path design will provide more equitable access for mobility impaired reserve users, the elderly and children and that’s very important to us.
“Paths like this one are an important part of helping people to feel like they belong in their communities. This path, and others like it, provide the facilities to connect people and help them stay active.
Peter says this path will provide another link in the trail network for the Katikati community and beyond, to enjoy the Esplanade Reserve, whose purpose under the Reserves Act is to secure access for the public. And by making sure the path is a hard surface, we’re ensuring it suits as many people as possible, no matter their level of accessibility.
At present the proposed route is well used by the community, but its mostly grass surface tends to get soggy in winter and is not well suited to wheelchairs and mobility scooters.
The Western Bay of Plenty District is following national and regional trends to encourage more shared paths like this, as a safe, and affordable way to get around while also providing health benefits to users.
“We know that cycling is hard to beat and can often be the quickest form of transport for journeys of less than 5 km. And of course, walking is ideal for people of all ages and fitness levels. It can be as easy or as hard as you want it to be, making it accessible to all.
“This route already has a lot of users, including the likes of escooters, so we know there’s a demand for this path and it will get a lot of good use,” says Peter.
The finished track will be a green or grey tinted concrete, which will provide a hard finish that is a safer off-road route, with better longevity and maintenance costs. It also provides a more suitable surface for mobility scooters, wheelchair users, prams and the like.
The new shared path has been planned since 2018 when it was included in the adopted Kaitkati-Waihī Beach Reserve Management Plan. Funding has been allocated through the Long-Term Plan 2021-31 process.
Construction of the new path will begin in 2022.