The Main North Road bus priority project in Papanui: an overview

Analysis: In late 2017 the Christchurch City Council consulted the public on a proposal for roading changes in the Papanui area, with the objective of improving public transport reliability and travel times along Main North Road. This article gives an overview of the changes being made, the anticipated benefits, and the status of the project at the time of writing.

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I curate the Think Papanui community engagement initiative, and have reported on the progress of the bus priority project for several years now, observing a high level of public interest through that time. Continue reading “The Main North Road bus priority project in Papanui: an overview”

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.

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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

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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.

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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”

Consultation on transport projects in the Cranford St area – August 2019

Consultation is open until 19 August on a package of transport projects in the Cranford St area, downstream of the Christchurch Northern Corridor. Here’s an overview of the Council’s consultation document.

A new PAK’nSAVE for Main North Road?

Analysis: This week the Christchurch City Council publicly notified a resource consent application from Foodstuffs for a new supermarket and self-service fuel station at 171 Main North Road. What’s being proposed, and what does the community think about it?

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Foodstuffs’ resource consent application is open for public feedback until 16 August 2019. I was alerted to this through a Facebook post from Papanui Councillor Mike Davidson, and I put up a post on Think Papanui with some images and a brief description.

A number of questions and issues were raised in comments on Think Papanui’s post, including: Continue reading “A new PAK’nSAVE for Main North Road?”

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.

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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?”