Harewood/Gardiners/Breens traffic signals get the green light from Council

Recap: The Christchurch City Council gave in-principle approval for traffic lights at a Harewood Road intersection on Thursday. Earlier in 2019 Council staff consulted on safety improvements for the Harewood/Gardiners/Breens intersection, seeking feedback on two options. The response from the community was clear, with 77% of 1,085 submissions preferring traffic lights to either the alternative left-in/left-out proposal, or the status quo. The community’s feedback and this week’s Council’s decision prioritises connectivity for the community, with an independent safety assessment finding lights to be less safe than both the alternative option and also the current configuration.

Harewood for email.jpg

As a resident in the wider area, I travel through this intersection on at least a weekly basis, and I also have a strong interest in both urban design and community engagement. I’ve been following the debate around this intersection since Cr Aaron Keown campaigned on a ‘this intersection needs lights’ platform in the 2016 local election. (My own submission to the Council was in favour of one-laning Harewood Road as an affordable initial step that would allow for lights later if still needed – at the time I wasn’t aware that the Council had in fact approved one-laning back in 2010, but that the decision had never been implemented.) Continue reading “Harewood/Gardiners/Breens traffic signals get the green light from Council”

Board rejects safety assessment, favours lights for Harewood Rd intersection

Opinion: Less than 2 months out from the election, a Christchurch Community Board has disregarded expert advice on safety, instead recommending traffic signals for the intersection of Harewood, Gardiners, and Breens Roads. This decision appears to have popular support from local residents, but if implemented will increase the expected number of injury crashes at the intersection, increase the likelihood of serious injury outcomes, and there is a high probability of increased traffic volumes*.
*refer to the independent Safety Assessment included in the agenda for the Board’s meeting

Harewood-Gardiners-Breens 4

On the 17th of August 2019 I made one of seven deputations to the Waimāero/Fendalton-Waimairi-Harewood Community Board’s meeting in relation to the Harewood/Gardiner/Breens Road intersection. Continue reading “Board rejects safety assessment, favours lights for Harewood Rd intersection”

Council settles on solution for CNC traffic south of Berwick Street

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.

DEMP stage 1 cover.jpg
Detail from the cover of the Council’s consultation document, July 2019

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. Continue reading “Council settles on solution for CNC traffic south of Berwick Street”

Why the low public response to Water Strategy consultation?

Opinion: Consultation closed yesterday on the Christchurch City Council’s draft Integrated Water Strategy. This Strategy is described as setting a framework to help the Council manage water supply, wastewater, & stormwater, and also water infrastructure, waterways, and coastal waters. It’s a Strategy that relates to $10 billion in Council spending and a 100-year view.

Simon IWS comment in Tuesday Club
Coverage of the Water Strategy in the Tuesday Club newsletter

Sounds important, right? Especially when water is something that impacts every member of the community, and people will march in the street over issues like water bottling? I attended two of the Council’s drop-in information sessions on the draft Strategy (and viewed the sign-in sheet for the others), and am sad to say there was a near-zero attendance by members of the public. Most sessions have had one or two people sign in. Why are so few people turning out? Continue reading “Why the low public response to Water Strategy consultation?”

Submission on Harewood/Gardiners/Breens intersection

I recently submitted feedback to Council on the proposed options for addressing and improving the safety of the Harewood/Gardiners/Breens Road intersection.

Harewood-Gardiners-Breens 4

In the interests of transparency in light of my Papanui Ward candidacy in the 2019 local government elections, my submission follows: Continue reading “Submission on Harewood/Gardiners/Breens intersection”

Adding up the benefits of the Christchurch Northern Corridor

Analysis: It’s fair to say that the Christchurch Northern Corridor (CNC) is a contentious project. There are significant costs involved (both financial – more on that in a future article – and in terms of community impact, especially on those living downstream). Given these costs, surely there must be significant benefits on the other side of the ledger?

CNC benefit icons
CNC benefits from the project website

In a previous career in the technology sector, I’ve been involved in big-ticket product development decisions. These might have been an order of magnitude smaller than a Road of National Significance, but they still required a comprehensive business case. Continue reading “Adding up the benefits of the Christchurch Northern Corridor”

What will Harewood traffic lights campaign deliver?

Opinion: Years of campaigning for traffic lights at the Harewood/Gardiners/Breens intersection might be about to pay off for Harewood Councillor Aaron Keown. The Christchurch City Council is currently consulting on options to improve safety at the intersection. Will a focus on this one intersection however deliver the best result for residents?Harewood-Gardiners-Breens 1

I was interested to read former Mayor Garry Moore’s recent editorial on the Council’s Annual Planning process. Garry sees many projects and issues pitched to Council during the budgeting exercise, but bemoans a lack of big-picture thinking about Council’s overall priorities and trade-offs to balance the budget and constrain rates rises. Likewise, I’m concerned that a single-minded focus on the Harewood/Gardiners/Breens intersection in isolation might not serve the community well.

Harewood-Gardiners-Breens 5
Consultation documents on display at the Papanui Library

Continue reading “What will Harewood traffic lights campaign deliver?”