Return to Chch: We cross Live now to our Papanui/St Albans correspondent

Here’s another guest report from northern local Robert, regarding the Papanui Parallel Cycleway:

So, as outlined in Lennyboy’s blogpost, there is certainly activity in the City Centre and west to the University for our long promised cycleway infrastructure already providing a morale boost to those enthusiastically waiting for the benefits. If you can tolerate a bit of confusion and chaos, parts of Tuam Street and Colombo Street are even now providing a good separated experience.

Cycleway works in the suburbs too

Cycleway works in the suburbs too

Further out northwards in St Albans/Papanui, the wait too is almost over for the completion of the first stage of the Papanui Parallel Cycleway, which will eventually link the city to Northlands and connect to the Northern Line Cycleway along the railway line to give separated cycleway access from Casebrook and Redwood to the city.

Looks like a good width shared path

Looks like a good width shared path

This first section of the route went out for consultation in April 2014 and was approved in June 2014.  Objections raised included privacy, security and vandalism issues in the vicinity of the path and these were addressed. An urban myth circulating at one point was that some residents would only give their consent on the condition that a proposed road be built through the Rutland Reserve, feeding traffic into the city via Rutland Street as an alternative to Cranford Street being built.  Hopefully this pathway will prove to be more acceptable.

These neighbours are going to have a great facility on their backdoor

These neighbours are going to have a great facility on their backdoor

What makes this 550 metre section of the shared pathway pretty special is that the current route from Rutland Street to Grassmere Street/Grants Road by bike involves a 5 minute journey of 1.7km requiring three right hand turns at T-intersections, one left turn at a T-intersection, an intersection crossing (Stop sign) and passing 7 side roads. Travel time will be reduced to a third and not a single car to interact with. The route is a ‘rat run’ by traffic trying to avoid Papanui Road congestion so, although the streets are pleasant and residential, free of motivated traffic they are not!!

In bicycle speak, perhaps the benefits could be compared to the Western Bypass Motorway project. Construction recently started on this $122 million project estimated to save approximately 5 minutes of travel time between the Northern Motorway and the Airport. It will however bring some relief to Belfast residents by reducing traffic flows along the Main North Road.  By comparison however, the Rutland Reserve shared path is costing a mere $0.75 million.  Will it eventually take some pressure off Papanui Road traffic and benefit the residents of Papanui??

Signs of progress

Signs of progress

The shared pathway is expected to be adequately lit and, like the shared path of South Hagley Park, signage painted onto the surface will indicate the etiquette of sharing.  Completion is due at the end of July but, as the photos show, it will evidently be later than that.

Are you looking forward to the Grassmere-Rutland link being completed?


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  • Meerkat
    30 July 2015, 6:17 pm

    Excellent update, thanks.

  • Joy
    3 August 2015, 10:48 am

    I don’t know the area at all well but can you verify that the large area the excavator is on is to be landscaped as in the second photo. It seems like there is enough space for non-shared paths to have been put in otherwise.

  • rob5chch6
    3 August 2015, 11:28 am

    Hi Joy . The land to the left of the excavator I would expect to be privately owned. The strip of land purchased by CCC for this route was several years prior to the Major Cycleway project evolving at a time when high spec requiremants other than ‘ a path ‘ of some description would have been considered. There may well be areas of the 550m section wide enough for a dual pathway but I guess for consistency and budgeting the shared path option was favoured. The land to the east route will eventually become part of the Crandford Basin water run off management plan for the area , as part of the Northern Arterial Extension on the east side of Cranford Street.

    • LennyBoy@rob5chch6
      3 August 2015, 11:43 am

      If you look at the CCC construction plans, there is an unsealed driveway running parallel to the pathway at the north end that provides access to a couple of properties (actually technically it’s still part of Grassmere St there). I suppose if pathway demand really got high you might see some path users taking advantage of the extra capacity there; formal improvement by Council would be another matter again I guess.



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