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West End School Pupils Redesign New Plymouth Street to Make Getting to School Safer 21/05/2012

Posted by Gill Evans in Articles.
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West End School pupils Roan Upson, Nadia Coward and Toby Larsen, all 10 are thrilled their design ideas for the street leading to their school are happening.

West End School pupils are about to see their plans for its Davies Lane entrance come to life.

The street was to get a makeover as part of the New Plymouth District Council’s Let’s Go project and the children have been feeding in ideas from the outset, principal Mike Clarke said.

To get their creative juices flowing, a group of senior pupils, teacher Leonie Sole, residents and council staff attended a day-long workshop with landscape architect Richard Bain, Mr Clarke said.

“Richard and his team were very receptive, the kids were really excited about the day and came away feeling they had real ownership of the project.”

Toby Larsen, 10, was excited the final design, now on display at the school, included many of the pupils’ ideas

“It was really cool ‘cos you got to tell them your ideas and see everyone else’s ideas  … and if you didn’t like something you could try and change it.”

Suggestions for an extra wide footpath, a narrower single lane road, fewer car parks and the inclusion of trees all came from pupils.

“Hopefully there will be much less cars because they will get annoyed by having it one lane and then it will be much safer for the kids,” Toby said.

Nadia Coward, 10, was also thrilled with the design. “It had all our ideas in it and is pretty much what we wanted . . . we’ll be able to scooter and bike up Davies Lane.”

Let’s Go project manager Angela Sefton said work on the $130, 000 project was expected to start in May and be completed by the end of July.

West End School plan to hold a market day to celebrate the new-look Davies Lane on completion of the project.

The Davies Lane makeover is one of two street modification projects going ahead as part of Let’s Go, the other is a Pendarves St upgrade which is also expected to start in May.

All Let’s Go projects are funded by the New Zealand Transport Agency as part of its walking and cycling model community scheme.

Gill Evans is a Witt Journalism Student
This article appeared in the North Taranaki Midweek on 4 April 2012 

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