Papeete, on the island of Tahiti, is the small capital city of French Polynesia.
Five years ago when we first arrived in Tahiti on board our yacht Shiraz, our first port of call was to the Papeete harbour. We took one look at the rickety pontoons, noted the road noise, general scruffiness and lack of greenery and moved on. We sailed out of town to the Marina Taina.
Since then the Papeete seafront named “Boulevard Pomare” has under gone a transformation.
The smart Papeete marina with a landscaped promenade was built three years ago.
However, the shopping area across the road from the marina was still a dusty, noisy and unpleasant place to be. This was mainly due to the heavy volume of traffic using the Boulevard Pomare, the main road into Papeete.
The inside lane was used for busses, taxis and as a general drop off area for cars.
In January 2018 a long stretch of the bus lane was fenced off. Then the diggers and construction workers arrived and started to rip up the road.
Slowly areas were developed into an urban garden.
Palm trees were erected and held in place with ropes.
Decorative paving was laid down.
Thatched rest huts were built.
Areas were landscaped using plants rocks and wood features.
The construction work continues but a large stretch of the walkway was unveiled at the weekend, eight months from the start.
It might not have reduced the traffic flow but I think creating this garden boulevard has made a huge improvement. It’s attractive, green and absorbs much of the traffic noise.
Many more projects are proposed at the port and Marina area. I look forward to seeing them materialise.