Commentary: The planned Wheels to Wings cycleway isn’t a priority for the Waimāero/Fendalton-Waimairi-Harewood Community Board. Speaking to Council last week in support of the Board’s Annual Plan submission, Chairman Sam MacDonald asked for this major cycle route to be deferred, “…should that be the community’s preference”.
I’m surprised that a Community Board would frame a proposed cycleway so negatively, while at the same time acknowledging that the community is yet to be consulted on the project. “…the [informal] feedback we get at the moment is that with the pressing needs of the city, that isn’t seen as a priority”.
The likely route for this cycleway (one of thirteen built or planned across the city) is along the length of Harewood Road, from the Papanui / Main North Rd intersection right through to Christchurch Airport.
A complication here is that Fendalton-Waimairi-Harewood is only one of two Community Board areas that this cycleway would pass through. The Waipapa/Papanui-Innes Community Board doesn’t appear to share the same reservations, making no comments on cycleways in this year’s annual planning process. Last year in a submission on the Council’s Long Term Plan, the Papanui-Innes Community Board expressed support: “The Community Board has a number of cycleways in its area and does not support the deferral of the completion of these cycleways. The Board is concerned that slowing the delivery of the programme will cost Council more in the long term.”
Where does this leave the Council? With one Community Board saying ‘stick to the programme’ and the other asking for the money to instead be spent on traffic lights that Council staff don’t favour.
Question for readers
What do you make of the Fendalton-Waimairi-Harewood Community Board’s advocacy in opposition to this proposed cycleway project?