No solution in sight for traffic pressures on Langdons Road?

Analysis: the recent announcement that Kmart was moving to Papanui raised some questions about safety and traffic volumes, especially at the intersection of Langdons Road and Greers Road. I’m having trouble reconciling advice given to the Waipapa/Papanui-Innes Community Board with what I’ve been reading in the retail development’s Resource Consent.Northlink sign.jpg

  1. On 10 May, Council staff advised the Community Board that an increase in traffic in Langdons Rd due to Kmart opening “would be addressed as part of Stage Two of the retail precinct development”. (Section 15.2 of the minutes of the 10 May 2019 meeting of the Waipapa/Papanui-Innes Community Board.)
  2. Stage 2 of the retail development includes blocks A, B, and C. Blocks A & B include the space Kmart is expected to use, and are across the car park opposite the already-opened Briscoes, Rebel Sport etc. Block C is to be constructed at the back of the development, furthest from the road.Northlink plan
  3. Resource Consent documents show that the developer “…has agreed to a condition that Block C cannot be occupied until there is a contract let for an intersection upgrade to traffic lights at the intersection of Langdons Road and Greers Road.” It would appear however that Kmart and other tenants will be free to open in Blocks A & B of the next stage without any works to address increased traffic at the Langdons/Greers intersection. There also do not appear to be any other works planned to address or respond to increases in traffic elsewhere in the vicinity of the new development.
  4. The Resource Consent paperwork notes that “…Council does not have an annual or long term plan programme to fund an intersection upgrade at this intersection [Langdons/Greers]”
  5. (As a side note, the developer expects an additional 300 vehicle movements per day in Morrison Avenue once Blocks A & B open – this will have an amenity effect on Morrison Ave residents that is considered to be “less than minor”.)
  6. Ultimately when the development is fully completed it is expected to generate peak-hour traffic of close to 600 vehicle trips per hour.
  7. So in summary from reading the documents: the only action to address traffic that is mentioned in the Resource Consent is an intersection upgrade to traffic lights at Langdons/Greers Road, which Council does not have the budget for, and which will not be required prior to Kmart and other tenants moving in.

(Images in this article come from a Council information release of the approved Resource Consent for the project.)

Question for readers:

Should more be done to manage safety for pedestrians and all road users, prior to Kmart and other tenants moving into Langdons Road? Should this be the responsibility of the developer or the Council?