Ban the Box (Planter Boxes - Mapua 'Streets for People' Project

2024-02-05_14.35_.34_1.jpg2024-02-05_14.34_.40_.2_.jpgThis petition calls for the removal of the recently placed planter boxes from the streets of Mapua.

TDC recently installed a number of planter boxes along Aranui Road as part of the NZTA-funded Streets-for-People project being rolled out nationally.  When asked what their purpose is, they have responded as follows:

They serve three purposes:

  1. On the roadside encourage slower vehicle speeds (improving safety) as it makes the road feel narrower. 
  2. Protect sight lines at vehicle crossings and pedestrian crossings. Planter boxes are lower than a parked car, so this ensures drivers will always be able to see a safe distance up the footpath when turning into driveways. 
  3. Add to the visual amenity on the road by adding some greenery.

Since their installation, the planter boxes have been the focus of a lot of community frustration.  Frequently voiced opposition includes:

  • Not visually appealling;
  • Will require frequent maintenance and watering in summer months;
  • Increased hazard in several key areas - i.e. outside the Mapua Hall, outside the Garage, outside the pre-school - where they reduce visibility to motorists coming onto Aranui Road;
  • They block access for road sweeping machines which used to collect the leaves that regularly block the drains outside the playground, resulting in increased frequency of flooding;
  • They make access to the roadside parking much trickier, resulting in fewer cars being able to park;
  • When cycling, they create extra obstacle to be negotiated, often with reduced visibility of what's on the far side;
  • As they are located where cars are usually parked, they have no effect on narrowing the road and no impact on vehicle safety;
  • If needed to define parking zones, there are much better ways to do this - use of yellow lines or white painted parking bays, both of which have been used successfully in Mapua previously.