It’s a busy time for Christchurch City Council as they roll out various projects across the city, both in terms of planning/design and implementation. At the moment there are three very interesting ones out for consultation that have some good cycling-related elements to them:
(1) Let’s start on the western side of the city, where improvements are being made to the Wigram and Hayton Rd intersection in the Sockburn/Wigram industrial area. This (currently priority-controlled) intersection also has an access leg to the A&P Showgrounds and plans are to also make this another access point to the Ngā Puna Wai sports hub. So the whole thing is going to be signalised (including a raised platform for speed management), with pedestrian and cycle crossings around the edges.
Users of the Little River Link cycleway will know that the cycling route from town runs along Wigram Rd here and then nips off the road to run alongside the Southern Motorway out of town. There’s a slight improvement now with the cycleway crossing the Ngā Puna Wai access leg on a raised platform.
Another long overdue improvement is to close the gap between the Wigram Skies pathways 200m further west and the Major Cycle Route; until now there has just been an exposed road shoulder to go along. Now a sealed pathway will connect to the new intersection and its crossings – great! Consultation on this project closes next Sun 27th Aug, so have your say now!
(2) Next we head right across to the eastern side of the city to New Brighton where improvements to the main road and bridge towards this suburb are being planned. Since the 2010/11 earthquakes, the 90-year old Pages Rd bridge has been limping along but in need of replacement. So that is now planned, but in conjunction with a raft of other surrounding improvements too.
The new bridge will actually be aligned just north of the existing one, allowing traffic to feed directly onto Hawke St, which is the major route towards the foreshore anyway. Mindful of potential evacuation issues in case of a tsunami alert, the Pages Rd corridor will also feature two westbound lanes away from the beach. The previously messy five-leg roundabout just east of the river will also be replaced with a simpler three-leg signalised intersection and adjacent “pocket park”. Some surrounding streets will also be realigned and closed off in places.
What’s in it for cycling? This corridor will be the main way for the planned City to Sea pathway to make its way into New Brighton, so there’s connections to that and pathways (and cycle lanes) across the new bridge. The new signalised intersection will also make it easier for people walking and cycling to cross here. A new shared path along Seaview Rd will also link riders to New Brighton Mall. And the closing off of some local streets will provide traffic-free (or low-traffic) connections for active modes as well.
All up, there seems to be a lot of nice features for all road users in this design (no doubt there will be a few little details if I look a bit closer, particularly in terms of their use of shared pathways). Consultation on this project closes next Mon 28th Aug, so have your say now!
(3) Finally, we go back over to Fendalton, where some improvements to Glandovey and Idris Rds are planned. At the moment, there are no cycle facilities along these roads except as you approach the main intersections. The new proposals will introduce painted cycle lanes to both routes.
There will also be various crossing improvements for pedestrians along the roads, as well as raised platforms and speed cushions for speed management (Glandovey Rd will also have a 40km/h speed limit).
While on-road cycle lanes are always just a halfway house to fully protected cycleways, they still have good safety benefits (especially with speed reduction measures too). Hopefully they might also consider some flexi-post+kerb protection on some of the inside curves along the routes as well… Consultation on this project closes on Tue 5th Sep, so again have your say!
It’s nice to see some great projects being proposed around the city that have improvements for cycling. So it’s important that you register your support for these with Council.
What do you think of these proposed projects?