Got a bad street? Good news: it’s now easier to reshape it!

As of today it’s finally way easier to try out retrofits to our bad streets – you know, the ones that make it generally yuk to do anything except be in a car. Get onto your local council – they’ve now got all the tools!

Last year you raised your voices with “A Big Fat Yes Please!” to the government on the proposal to make it less stupidly hard to try out and adapt sensible improvements to our streets.

Now, finally, the Ministry of Transport has announced those small but powerful changes to the Land Transport Act and other bits of law that were ham-stringing councils’ and communities’ ability to try stuff out.


Enjoy this great writeup from Eloise Gibson and absolutely listen to the kids who might soon be able to bike to school on safer streets, reconfigured with some trials!

Reshape your street

If you’ve got a street or road in your community that needs to “turn the dial” away from cars a bit and towards people (including people in buses, on bikes, walking or scooting or wheeling, or just hanging out and having a chat), take a look at these (pretty modest) New Zealand examples and these others from the USA, Australia, and around the world, and be inspired!

Contact your local councillor (and the council’s contact address) and give them a nudge to do this in your neighbourhood. Ask around your community to get ideas for which streets to do a trial on.

Summer = streets alive!

Summer is the best time to try stuff out as people are more out in the street in person – to help build new installations (like big planter boxes, or seats), to personally experience new layouts, to give feedback on the spot, to come back and watch things be shifted around.

If your council says “no funding sorry”, that’s not the end of the story. Community-led initiatives can go a long way – locals doing the mahi so it isn’t paid by ratepayers – so keep digging and be cheerfully, constructively pushy!

Further reading / watching:

An amazing resource of “how to”s from around the world in Waka Kotahi’s “Streets For People” capability-building sessions

Banner image: Pt Chevalier kids (same suburb as in the video!) enjoying a temporary carfreed “play street” to help families try out differnet ways of doing the school and kindy dropoff . (Jolisa Gracewood)

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