Today’s Nor’West News includes a column I’ve written reflecting on traffic and safety issues in the Langdons Road area, which is soon to be impacted by the opening of the Kmart in the Northlink development. As I say in the column, all members of the public are welcome to raise issues with the Community Board, and we start every meeting with a public forum if you wish to come speak to us – contact details can be found on the Council website.
Waipapa/Papanui-Innes Community Board deputy chair Simon Britten writes about the concerns raised over the new Northlink shopping complex.
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.
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
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?
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?
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.
I’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”