'Annihilate our business': Owner shocked by Christchurch cycleway plan

A planned major cycleway in the Papanui area, which includes upgrading a controversial intersection and reducing the number of lanes on Harewood Rd from four to two, has been described as a "farce" by a Christchurch city councillor.

The Wheels to Wings – Papanui ki Waiwhetū cycleway will provide a connection for local cycling trips in Harewood, Bishopdale and Papanui. Included in the plan is a reduction in the number of lanes on Harewood Rd from four to two.

"This will also encourage lower speeds and make the road safer for turning drivers and pedestrians to cross. There will be additional lanes at some intersections to maintain the traffic capacity along Harewood Road," a council spokesperson said.

A local bakery fears business will drop after the narrowing of the road.

Street parking will be reduced to three parks outside Copenhagen Bakery on Harewood Rd.

Owner Donna Thomsen told Chris Lynch elderly customers and tradies rely on street parking when the 12 on-site parks are full.

"Of course the kids need to be safe and I do love to see bums on bikes but the democracy of the process is very disingenuous. We only got approached last week.

"This will annihilate our business."

The removal of on-street parking is also a key part of the plan. 

Councillor Aaron Keown told Newstalk ZB's Chris Lynch the exact number of parks expected to be removed is not known - but it is 'most'.

The view of Harewood Rd from the Copenhagen Bakery where it is proposed four lanes be reduced to...
The view of Harewood Rd from the Copenhagen Bakery where it is proposed four lanes be reduced to two. Photo: Supplied
Keown said the entire Fendalton-Waimairi-Harewood Community Board, of which he is a member, opposed the plan.

"When you hold up traffic and keep it on the road for longer, it uses more carbon so it's a bit of a farse when we claim climate change and say we're going to save the planet.

"A big chunk of the population isn't going to use the cycleways so they're [council] going to try and force them out of cars and I think the public is smart enough to know that that's the agenda that seems to be going on."

Keown said the cost of the plan, an estimated $20 million, is far beyond what the community board was expecting.

"It makes no sense."

The intersection of Harwood, Breens and Gardiners Rds. Photo: Supplied
The intersection of Harwood, Breens and Gardiners Rds. Photo: Supplied
The plan includes a number of intersection upgrades such as the installation of traffic lights at the Harewood, Gardiners and Breens Rds junction. For years residents, including Keown, have been fighting for it to be upgraded.

In 2017, he promised to give $100 to anyone who could identify a worse intersection.

At the western end, the cycleway will connect with the Johns Rd cycle and pedestrian underpass.

At its eastern end, it will connect directly to the Northern Line cycle route and the future Nor'West Arc cycleway which is currently planned along Matsons Ave.

One-way separated cycleways on each side will be installed along Harewood Rd from Nunweek Boulevard to the Bishopdale roundabout.

"This will require the removal of one traffic lane in each direction along the four-lane section of Harewood Road and the removal of some on- street parking," a council spokesperson said.

The existing narrow path on the south side of Harewood Rd will be widened to create a 3m wide shared path.

Residents can have their say on the plans here with public consultation open until February 2022.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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