Additional lane for Cranford St fails to get support from Christchurch community leaders

Cranford St. Photo: File
Cranford St. Photo: File
A plan to install an extra transport lane on Cranford St have not been supported by the Papanui-Innes Community Board.

 

The options considered by the board to further mitigate predicted traffic increases due to the Christchurch Northern Motorway included a clearway, a high occupancy vehicle lane, or a bus lane.

The board decided instead to endorse the current design between Innes Rd and Berwick St, which includes road widening and intersection improvements for pedestrians, cyclists and all road users.

Christchurch City Council will now take the board recommendation into account before making a final decision on the street’s operational layout within the next month.

It comes following calls from the community to prioritise the lane for public transport, with fears cars were being prioritised over the community leading up to the motorway opening.

St Albans resident Mark Wilson was satisfied with the board’s decision not to consider a clearway for any future changes to the road, but was still disappointed with the outcome.

"I’m disappointed that we’re still not making a commitment to investing in public transport.

"But at least what we’re doing by not opening a clearway is not facilitating more traffic,” he said.

“We’re appreciative that the clearway wasn’t approved, but it’s not an outright win for the community because we haven’t seen the traffic demand management solutions we were looking for.”

Even though a bus lane was no longer on the cards, which they preferred, Wilson said the community was looking forward to some certainty.

“The key thing is they need certainty, they’re getting pretty tired of this,” he said.

“They’re sick of consultations when everyone feels like there’s an ulterior motive, so that’s why we wanted the community board to provide some certainty and to make a decision.”

Supported by the board, periodic traffic monitoring will take place to measure the impact the new motorway was having on the community once completed.

A report by city council staff said there was a risk that the current design will fail to accommodate all traffic, resulting in more than 30 per cent traffic increases through local streets.

If traffic exceeds more than 30 per cent, then a clearway or managed lane option will be explored.

Board chairwoman Emma Norrish said the current design was endorsed because it offered flexibility to quickly make changes to the road layout in the future if it does not manage traffic sufficiently.

"For me, it made sense to wait and see what the traffic does when the motorway opens first.

"If changes do need to be made then the planning’s already been done and decisions can be made and implemented faster,” she said.

She believed community feedback was considered and the design was enough to manage traffic levels.

“If we were putting cars before the community then we would’ve put the clearway option in.”

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