Simon quoted in St Albans News

In the news: My 12 February article explained the timeline and consultation processes relating to the Council’s work to manage traffic downstream of the Christchurch Northern Corridor (CNC). This has formed the basis for an article in the current issue of the St Albans News. See below for the article, or head to stalbans.gen.nz for the full digital edition.

Collaboration with council paying off for residents

by Belinda Carter

The relationship between the Christchurch City Council and St Albans groups and individuals pushing back over the road plans has at times been tense. While some still think the council has not done enough, significant changes have been made, through the consultation process, to the initial plans which were to simply mitigate the impact of additional traffic coming off the motorway and down Cranford St.

Simon Britten, who is now deputy chair of the Waipapa/Papanui-Innes Community Board, followed the progress of the road plan through his Think Papanui blog. He spent time diving into the hundreds of pages of council documents and appendices, produced for multiple meetings, to compare plans as they were in 2018 to how they have ended up. He published the results online on his blog Simonbritten.com on February 12.

For example, there were few speed changes planned for St Albans streets in the first draft. By the time the council made its final decision, there was one 30 kph zone around Edgeware Village and numerous 40 kph zones covering most of St Albans Streets east of Springfield Rd. This was the result of feedback from residents and was one item in the toolbox to tackle rat running.

More cycling routes have been added. More streets will now have traffic calming applied before the CNC opens, with increased involvement of residents as to what form they will take. Traffic calming measures include things like turning restrictions at intersections, narrowing, landscaping, raised platforms as well as safer cycling routes/greenway.

Plans for funnelling traffic down Barbadoes and Madras Streets appear to have fallen by the wayside with a renewed emphasis on Cranford/Sherborne St which already bears the brunt of current traffic. Traffic can still flow down those streets although not from the northern end of Forfar St, which has been converted into a cul de sac. There is now a wait-and-see policy for what will happen to the proposed clearways on Cranford St, with the community favouring a High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane restricted to buses and vehicles with multiple passengers.

The biggest change was probably from just mitigating the impact increased traffic would have to the city council actively working with other authorities on a package of traffic management measures such as park and ride, park pricing mechanisms and peak-time public transport lanes on Cranford/Sherborne.