Late last year we presented details about the consultations for the Papanui Parallel and Rapanui / Shag Rock cycleway projects. The good news is that Council’s Infrastructure Committee has now approved them for final design and construction, albeit with a few concessions to concerned locals. However one section is being reviewed again, and your feedback is needed.
One of the biggest concerns with the original Rapanui Cycleway route was with the removal of car parking along Cashel St; a number of flats along there have very little off-street parking. So an alternative possible route was identified along adjacent streets that avoids this problem (and actually saves 80m in distance too). Public consultation is currently being sought on this option.
Starting at England St, the new route now crosses over Cashel St and connects to Buccleugh St via an off-road cycle path. Along the new route, two options for the street layouts are being considered: (1) full street reconstruction with narrowed kerbs and indented parking, or (2) using the existing kerb lines, with regular traffic calming devices installed. Not surprisingly, the former option is more expensive (and currently unbudgeted for), but would produce a nicer result (and is probably more effective).
The alternate route is a bit less obvious, veering from Buccleugh St to Olliviers Rd and onto Wellington St. To help people navigate the route more easily, the intersection kerbs are being realigned to follow the cycleway route. This seems like a good idea that could be applied elsewhere (e.g. the Uni-Cycle neighbourhood greenway route), although I hope that they are also going to provide good destination signage along the route too.
The traffic calming devices being proposed in the “untreated kerbs” option are the same as the ones being used elsewhere along the route, such as Worcester St, with cycle bypasses around the central narrow point. It still leaves fairly long straight road sections, and I wonder whether some occasional planted central islands would help to break up the sight lines and slow down traffic further.
Alternatively, the “reconstructed kerbs” option uses a narrower carriageway to reinforce sharing of the traffic lanes, with regular textured sections to also slow traffic down (a bit more “wiggle” in the alignments would help to break up sight lines too). Either way, I hope that they are also proposing to include a 30km/h speed limit along the greenway route to help reinforce that lower speed expectation.
This is a fairly short consultation period, and you’ve only got until 5pm this Thursday 25th February to have your say. Either of the proposed options seem to be an improvement over the original Cashel St route, with only a few more design tweaks needed. So it will probably come down to pragmatics as to whether they can afford to fully reconstruct the kerbs now or will just do it some time in the future, with an interim layout for now.
What do you think of the alternate route proposal?