'I have seen so many close calls': Chch intersection proposal cops criticism

A city council proposal would see traffic unable to turn right onto Wairakei Rd from Aorangi Rd....
A city council proposal would see traffic unable to turn right onto Wairakei Rd from Aorangi Rd. Photo: Geoff Sloan ​
A plan to stop through-traffic and right turns at a Bryndwr intersection has sparked a backlash from road users.

The proposed change will impact motorists on Aorangi Rd, who will find their options at the Wairakei Rd intersection limited if it goes ahead.

The plan is being considered as part of Christchurch City Council’s third and final section of the Nor’West Arc cycleway, linking Papanui to Canterbury University.

A post on the Bishopdale Community Group Facebook page shows how divisive the proposal is.

One of the 107 comments was from Julian Allom who said the plan was "moronic" and raised the issue of accessibility for emergency vehicles.

"I guess the fire department, ambulance and police will need to order some push bikes," he said.

Another who criticised the plan was Linda McMeeking. She said the change would badly impact her daily work commute.

The new design for the Aorangi and Wairakei Rds intersection. Photo: CCC
The new design for the Aorangi and Wairakei Rds intersection. Photo: CCC
Ernie Bowden said the intersection was not dangerous in its current form, but rather it's the drivers who speed that cause problems.

Others were supportive of the proposal, such as Andrew Munro who said it made sense to him.

"I have seen so many close calls here, especially with those who are really impatient,” he said.

Nathan Macgregor agreed, saying he had also witnessed close calls.

"I do drive past at least three times per day and have witnessed far too many near misses of both cyclists and cars as people attempt to run the gauntlet of that intersection."

Amy Mayes approved of the design, saying the road needed to benefit everyone, not just motorists.

"This is a dangerous road to try to cross if you’re on a bike, where cars can easily find another route."

City council acting head of transport Lynette Ellis said the plan had been reviewed by Fire and Emergency NZ.

"They noted the change will have little impact."

The design is intended to make the intersection safer, she said.

Feedback to council stated the current intersection design was considered dangerous, while the proposed new design was well received.

"We have not received any feedback that the proposed intersection is considered dangerous. A Design Safety and Network Functionality audit was carried out on the proposed scheme design."

The cycleway section has received $10.5 million in funding as part of the Government ‘shovel ready’ projects.

The city council is still seeking feedback on the design, with the public able to have their say until October 12.

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