Neighbourhood improvements, footpath markings encouraging people to keep appropriate separation, and cycleway connections could soon be rolled out in Christchurch to support the city’s response to Covid-19
Christchurch City Council is applying for extra Government funding aimed at helping councils around the country create more people-friendly spaces to assist people with physical distancing in the wake of the coronavirus lockdown, and make it safer to travel around the city on foot or by bike. The Innovating Streets for People pilot fund is a programme that supports pop-up and interim measures that make it safer and easier for people to get around.
There are two rounds of funding applications to the Waka Kotahi / NZ Transport Agency – which could cover up to 90 per cent of the cost of rolling out the temporary changes. The first round closes today.
Applications are expected to be submitted to NZ Transport Agency from councils around the country with funding available up to a total of $7m.
Councillor Mike Davidson, Urban Development and Transport Committee Chair, says the Council is keen to provide space for distancing along with other improvements that have been suggested by residents.
“It’s really important that people feel safe coming back to work, shop or visit in the central city, and further afield. We’ve come up with some relatively minor changes and improvements that will make a big difference to how pedestrians and cyclists get around Christchurch.”
Council Transport Operations Manager Steffan Thomas says 75 project ideas have been put forward by the community, Council staff and Councillors. From the 75 ideas, 9 projects that best meet the funding criteria are being submitted by Council in the first round.
“The projects that we are submitting to NZ Transport Agency today are neighbourhood improvements, school access improvements and cycleway routes. We are also including a package of minor works that are specific to our COVID-19 response.
“These include temporary widening of the Coastal Pathway at Moncks Bay, footpath marking to encourage social distancing in busy pedestrian areas of the central city, such as The Terrace and Riverside Market, and changing traffic light phasing so there’s a regular, timed pedestrian signal and people don’t need to push a button to cross.”
The projects being submitted are: