27/08/2019 2:00:00 p.m.
Electric vehicle charger installation underway on Drews Avenue
27 August 2019
Whanganui’s sustainable transport infrastructure continues to grow with the addition of an electric vehicle charging station on Drews Avenue, bike racks in the central business district and signs on the St Hill Street shared pathway.
The charging station, supplied by Tesla free of charge, is located on Drews Avenue opposite the i-SITE Visitor Information Centre. Tesla owners and electric vehicle owners with an adapter will be able to use the charger.
Town Centre Regeneration Project Manager, Ellen Young, says the charger is marketed to electric vehicle owners nation-wide “and Whanganui will now be included on apps and online maps as a place to stop and recharge vehicles.
“This will bring out-of-town visitors with electric vehicles into Whanganui’s tourism hub, giving them an ideal opportunity to experience our riverside and explore retail and arts offerings in the vicinity.
“The charger also connects nicely with a developing theme for this location,” says Ms Young. “Whanganui’s historic tram is electrically powered and a fence soon to be installed around the tram shed will feature imbedded electrical glass insulators. Having an electric vehicle station in the area adds to this clean energy story”.
Bike racks with a durable black coating have also recently been installed throughout the central business district.
Ms Young says the Victoria Avenue bike racks “fit nicely with the town centre streetscape and bring cyclists from the shared pathways to businesses in the town centre”.
Whanganui District Council’s Senior Roading Engineer, Brent Holmes, says Whanganui’s network of shared pathways – footpaths designated for shared use by people who are cycling, scootering, skating or walking – is progressing well.
“People may have noticed green rectangles with bike symbols and arrows appear on busy vehicle crossings on the St Hill Street shared pathway recently.”
The markings are there to warn drivers of cyclists approaching, and cyclists of a busy crossing. Symbols and arrows advising people to keep left have also been applied along pathways from Dublin Street to Taupō Quay.
Mr Holmes says the St Hill Street shared pathway is almost complete and work is also underway on the link from Dublin Street through to London Street, along the rail corridor.
“This section will have a permanent counter to monitor pedestrians, cyclists and direction of travel.”
Mr Holmes says so far shared pathway use data – collected from a counter on the river pathway – has recorded “significant growth” in pedestrian and cycling traffic each year since construction.
Research from cycling facilities in New Zealand and overseas shows that 60% of the population want to cycle, and will let their children cycle, but need facilities separated from the road to feel safe, Mr Holmes says.
Mr Holmes says central government, via the New Zealand Transport Agency, has a charter to encourage more walking and cycling for recreation, easing traffic congestion, and combating climate change emissions.