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”

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?

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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”

No solution in sight for traffic pressures on Langdons Road?

Analysis: the recent announcement that Kmart was moving to Papanui raised some questions about safety and traffic volumes, especially at the intersection of Langdons Road and Greers Road. I’m having trouble reconciling advice given to the Waipapa/Papanui-Innes Community Board with what I’ve been reading in the retail development’s Resource Consent.Northlink sign.jpg Continue reading “No solution in sight for traffic pressures on Langdons Road?”

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.

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Consultation documents on display at the Papanui Library

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

Commentary: Kmart moving to Papanui

Kmart no plans in Papanui redactedI’ve seen a massive public response to recent news that Kmart Shirley will be relocating to the new Northlink shopping precinct on Langdons Road in Papanui. Rumours of Kmart opening a store in the Papanui area have been circulating for a while. I’ve asked Kmart’s corporate office about this several times, and as recently as two months ago, the response was “We do not have plans in Papanui at this stage.” I’ve passed on these responses to Think Papanui readers in good faith. Decisions to close and open major retail stores aren’t made overnight, so I’m left wondering if the person I was communicating with was not aware of the plans being made at higher levels in the organisation, or was simply being economical with the truth? Continue reading “Commentary: Kmart moving to Papanui”