The Wheels to Wings – Papanui ki Waiwhetū major cycle route has featured in a number of my recent newsletters, and it will again today, but first let’s start with some good news on the Northern Line MCR.
Green light for Northern Line cycleway crossings and missing sections
This week the Council approved the detailed design of incomplete sections of the Northern Line major cycleway route. Staff emphasised that Council were being asked to approve the ‘lines and signs’ associated with an already-approved scheme design, and advised that construction of missing sections north of Northcote Road can start next month. Crossing upgrades at Harewood, Langdons, and Sawyers Arms Roads are due to commence in late 2023. For details, see page 5 onwards in the meeting agenda.
Last year I wrote to clarify that during the two rounds of public consultation on the Wheels to Wings, only a minority of submissions opposed the project. “How terrible it would be for the community to be denied the cycleway on the basis of this minority opposition?” I said at the time.
Is the Wheels to Wings – Papanui ki Waiwhetū major cycle route really ‘controversial’, or even ‘very controversial’, as some recent headlines* claimed, following the July decision of the council to approve the cycleway’s scheme design? The evidence suggests otherwise.
The Christchurch City Council’s 2021 representation review resulted in two significant changes to Papanui Ward from the 2022 election onwards: adjustments to the Ward’s boundaries; and also a change to the overall Community Board area.
I have previously written about the Papanui Ward – see my 2019 article for an exploration of the area that it covers, (noting that the boundaries are changing as described below). This current article focuses on what’s changing. From the 2022 election onwards the composition of the Community Board also changes – Papanui and Innes Wards are joined by Central Ward to form the Waipapa/Papanui-Innes-Central Community Board.
Commentary: On Friday 3 December 2021, the Waipapa/Papanui-Innes community Board is set to decide on a meeting schedule for 2022. Two options are proposed by staff: meet twice a month (as has been the case up until now); or meet only once a month. Would the latter option reduce public access and participation?
In addition to Ordinary Meetings, the Board also meets informally at least once a month for briefings from Council staff and other updates. With very limited exceptions, these briefings have not been open to the public. If the Board resolves to hold only one formal meeting a month, the agenda notes that the informal briefings could be held at ‘various community locations’ within the Community Board area, and that they include a 30 minute public forum to allow the local community to raise issues and update the Board on matters of interest.