More than 400 submissions have been received on proposed options for dealing with the increased traffic expected on Cranford Street when the Christchurch Northern Corridor (CNC) opens.
The CNC extends the Northern Motorway through to QEII Drive and Cranford Street and will make travel times in and out of Christchurch shorter when it opens in 2020.
However, traffic modelling indicates traffic volumes are likely to increase on Cranford Street, south of Innes Road, and on some of the surrounding streets.
Papanui-Innes Community Board Chair Ali Jones says not only is the Council required to address the increase in traffic as part of the resource consent, but it has also heard from many in the community concerned with the prospect of more vehicles in the area, particularly through side streets and around schools.
"We went out to the community with what I guess you could call a few 'conversation starters' for people to consider as ways to mitigate the problem,'' she says.
Some of the options presented include:
Council Head of Transport Richard Osborne says a number of drop-in sessions and meetings with stakeholders were held last month to gather feedback on the options. As a consequence 407 submissions have been received from local businesses, residents, schools and community groups.
“Around two-thirds of the submissions support the option of clearways and a similar amount support upgrading the intersections at Forfar/Warrington Street and Barbadoes/Warrington Street,’’ Mr Osborne says.
“Fifty-one per cent support three-laning sections of Madras and Barbadoes streets.
“The loss of on-street parking as a result of some of these options is a concern for local businesses. Some submitters have also expressed concern about the potential loss of a sense of community. The safety of pedestrians, particularly school children, is another common concern raised by submitters,'' Mr Osborne says.
Ms Jones says: “This is extremely challenging for everyone and the Board is really pleased so many people have contributed with their feedback. We are never going to please everyone but we are working as hard as we can to do the best with what we have to work with. We look forward to working through the community’s concerns as we move forward.”
Mr Osborne says it is important the Council is prepared to minimise the impact on the community prior to the completion of the CNC.
“All submitters will be receiving an email in the next few weeks offering them the opportunity to speak to the Papanui-Innes Community Board at a meeting later this year. I know the Board is very keen to hear people and encourages submitters to register to speak,” he says.
Feedback has been passed onto an independent traffic expert who will prepare a Downstream Effects Management Plan that addresses the impacts of the CNC. The plan will then be considered by the Community Board and subsequently by Council.
“There will be further consultation on each of the individual projects included in the Downstream Effects Management Plan before any work gets under way,’’ Mr Osborne says.