Te Papa Ōtākaro/Avon River Shared Path

Te Papa AvON-Ōtākaro River Precinct is the first anchor project of the rebuild to commence. It is the “showcase” project and an indication of where we are going for the next 100 years.

The project is managed by CCC’s CityCare under the branding of Watermark. At a CERA update meeting in mid-July the project director told central city residents that they have decided the river paths will be segregated – Cambridge Terrace (north bank) is for people on bikes and Oxford Terrace (south bank) is for people on foot. As soon as he said it he admitted with a shrug that in reality these paths will be shared.

Work on the first section of the project has just been completed and the fence removed. This is the Cambridge Terrace side and goes from the Antigua Boatsheds to Montreal St, see photo. The surface is of fine-grained compacted gravel. A similar standard to the tracks one finds on the DoC Great Walks.

The first completed section of the new Te Papa AvON-Ōtākaro River Precinct
The first completed section of the new Te Papa Ōtākaro/Avon River shared path.

There has been no specific public consultation on it so it is what our remote Politicians and Lordships have decided they will build for us. It is the brave new visionary world for which we’ve been made to wait 2½ years.

If what we see here is what we are going to get then it is little better than what we had before – for a high-use shared path, the narrow width is unfit for purpose. Conflict is guaranteed.

To add insult to injury, now they have put up a tick-box survey for public comment but no real feedback can be made. Like the path itself it is pathetic. It is so bad I cannot put a link to it. Do we really pay these people money to produce such rubbish? If any professionals have been involved in this they should hang their heads in shame.

It is a failure and with it Chch’s transformation into a sustainable city that is the envy of the world will not be realised.

2 thoughts on “Te Papa Ōtākaro/Avon River Shared Path”

  1. Whilst I think that it is a beautiful space and promising for the whole project to “look” really great, for those on a bike this description is sadly true. It is a recipe for pedestrian/cycle angst. Unless a commuter style bike path can be built along Cambridge Terrace or a second ” high speed ” path adjacent it will seriously compromise any attempt to get decent access for those on bikes coming to the central city from the South .

  2. I went and measured the path widths along here today. The bit shown in the photo (towards Montreal St) is 2.5m; closer towards the boatsheds it’s 2.8-3.0m. This for what could be a very busy recreational and transport connection for walking and cycling in the near future – not even close to acceptable minimum widths for such a facility according to Austroads guidelines.

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