Commentary: the plan to manage traffic downstream of the Christchurch Northern Corridor (CNC) included nine options to manage the motorway’s additional traffic south of Berwick Street through to Bealey Avenue. The Christchurch City Council requested staff to proceed with scoping the three highest-ranking options as part of the first stage of downstream works. One of those options has now been picked and is included in the current consultation on transport projects in the Cranford Street area.
I’ve been following the progress of the Christchurch Northern Corridor for a number of years, and have been covering the Downstream Effects Management Plan in some detail (see links below). It has been my view that the decision around traffic ‘south of Berwick’ was one of the most significant, but also one that hasn’t been clearly communicated.
Background: past articles on the CNC & the DEMP
- Recap: Council decision on the draft CNC Downstream Effects Mitigation Plan
- Residents voice views on downstream traffic plans
- Submission on Christchurch Northern Corridor traffic mitigation
- Adding up the benefits of the Christchurch Northern Corridor
- Calculating the cost of the Christchurch Northern Corridor
- Residents turn up and turn on the heat
- Boards reject Northern Corridor traffic management plan? Not really?
- Recap: Council’s DEMP decision – why not investigate delaying the CNC?
- Consultation on transport projects in the Cranford St area – August 2019
What were the options that were considered for traffic south of Berwick Street? Essentially, arterial upgrades to add capacity either to Cranford/Sherborne Streets, or to Madras/Forfar and Barbadoes Streets. The three highest-ranking options were:
- Increasing capacity on Barbadoes St and Madras/Forfar St using clearways (eg ‘three-laning’ of these streets), or
- Increasing capacity on Barbadoes St and Madras/Forfar St by extending the one-way system all the way up to Warrington St, or
- Increasing capacity on Cranford/Sherborne St using clearways.
In the Council’s consultation on transport projects in the Cranford Street area (launched in July 2019 and closing on 19 August 2019), there is no explicit mention of the three options or the process that’s been undertaken since the Council’s June decision for the Stage 1 works to proceed. One option, however, has been included in the document.
The ‘major road upgrades’ section on the web page / document shows substantial changes to Cranford/Sherborne Streets south of Berwick St. All on-street parking is proposed to be removed on the western (northbound) wide of the road, and there’s a peak-hour morning clearway on the eastern (southbound) side. This gives a morning configuration (7am-9am) of two lanes for traffic heading south into the city, and one for traffic heading north. For the rest of the day there’ll be one traffic lane in each direction.
So, are the three-laning or one-way upgrades to Madras/Forfar and Barbadoes Streets off the table? I queried this with Council staff. While not ‘off the table’ in the sense of being ruled out for all time, these options are definitely not being considered or planned. This might come as some relief for residents on those streets (and also those along Berwick & Warrington Streets). Council staff did note, however, that inevitably some additional traffic is likely, especially given that proposed intersection upgrades at Warrington/Forfar and Warrington/Barbadoes will make the area a little easier for through traffic.
Question for readers
How will you be impacted by the ‘south of Berwick’ route that Council has selected?