Transport options  |  13 Jul 2023

There aren’t many people who know what it’s like getting to and from Whītau School better than its pupils.

That’s why Christchurch City Council is taking a slightly different approach to gathering feedback on proposals to upgrade the pedestrian crossing on Woodham Road and install safety measures on nearby Ngarimu and Holland Streets.

“Before we started designing, we knew we needed to get some intel straight from the kids who use the streets around the school every single weekday,” Head of Transport Lynette Ellis said.

“The pupils told us a lot of different stories about vehicles not stopping for them when trying to cross at the pedestrian crossing outside the school, because drivers were not paying attention and were on their phone or driving too fast so we’ve taken that feedback and incorporated it into our designs.”

On Monday 29 May, Council staff met with students and parents at Whītau school to workshop issues and situations that made them feel unsafe travelling to school, and ideas for making the area safer when travelling to school.

Staff then presented the proposed road safety designs back to the children for the first time earlier this month and asked them if they had any further feedback.

Their feedback was gathered on post-it notes and which said things like:

  • This gate is not accessible or safe.
  • They speed and hurt people.
  • They don’t stop at this crossing.
  • Hard to get out of side street.
  • I almost got run over because the person wasn’t looking.

“It’s been a really valuable process and the team will now take that away and incorporate any changes in the final design,” Ms Ellis said.  

Work to upgrade the crossing, install new kerbing, no-stopping restrictions and speed cushions is part of the Council’s Way Safer Streets programme of works.

The projects in the programme are for a range of improvements to make it safer to walk, drive, scooter, cycle and bus around Christchurch which will help reduce congestion, lower emissions as well as making it easier to get around.

Find out more and let us know what you think about the proposed projects including those around Whītau School here