Majority of submissions support Christchurch cycleway but division over design details

The design for the Nor'West Arc cycleway at the Aorangi and Wairakei Rd intersection. Image:...
The design for the Nor'West Arc cycleway at the Aorangi and Wairakei Rd intersection. Image: Christchurch City Council
A majority of the 424 submissions support the third and final section of the Nor’west Arc Cycleway, a Christchurch City Council analysis has revealed.

Just 12 per cent of submissions opposed the construction of the cycleway, which would link Canterbury University to Jellie Park and Harewood Rd, and a further 23 per cent were neutral.

However, design details divided the submitters on the project, which has received $10.5 million in funding as part of the Government's 'shovel ready' projects.

Safety and parking were frequent concerns. Submitters were split on the two proposed designs for Ilam Rd.

A one-way cycleway on each side of the road was favoured by 55 per cent of submitters who selected an option, while 45 per cent preferred a two-way cycleway on the west side of the road.

Of those who supported the first option, safety was a common reason, cited by 32 submitters.

Ilam Rd residents W and PJ Gilroy said it was obviously the safer option: “We will only have to look one way for approaching cyclists as we exit our drive and we will have a clear view of vehicles approaching from the right. At present, our view is obstructed by vehicles parked close to the exit from our garage and drive.”

University lecturer Mads Thomsen, who said he cycles to Canterbury University every day, called the first option “1000 times better, safer, and more efficient” as it would reduce the need for cyclists to cross the road.

The need to retain parking spaces was a popular reason among people who favoured the second option. car parking was cited by 25 submitters.

Public submissions showed 55 per cent of submitters prefer a cycleway on each side of Ilam Rd,...
Public submissions showed 55 per cent of submitters prefer a cycleway on each side of Ilam Rd, while 45 per cent prefer a two-way cycleway on the west side of the road. Images: CCC
Mortlocks Lawyers partner Guy Mortlock favoured a two-way cycleway, stating there was already a shortage of parking in the area, especially with high demand from students.

“It is important to retain as much parking as possible, while still making cycling safer than it currently is,” he said.

Safety was also cited as a factor by 12 submitters who preferred the second option.

Bellbird Hearing Clinic manager Sam Sloane stated he was afraid a cycleway in front of the clinic, located on the east side of Ilam Rd would create an increased risk of car accidents with his elderly clients and supported a two-way cycleway instead.

Submitters were split on the proposed design options for Aorangi Rd from the intersection of Ilam Rd to the intersection of Brookside Tce.

A two-way cycleway on the west side of the road was preferred by 62 per cent of submitters who selected an option, while 38 per cent preferred a shared path on the west side of the road.

Safety was a top concern by those who preferred the first option, cited by 40 submitters.

For example, submitter Paul Ainsworth said a shared path would be disastrous: “Having scooters, cycles etc travelling at 30km/h in the same area as pedestrians will only lead to serious accidents,” he said.

Fourteen submitters who chose this option also wanted to avoid poor user behaviour they believed would be an issue with a shared path.

A two-way cycleway on the west side of Aorangi Rd was preferred by 62 per cent of submitters who...
A two-way cycleway on the west side of Aorangi Rd was preferred by 62 per cent of submitters who selected an option. Images: CCC
Submitter Richard Ibbitt said his experience with shared pathways had not been good: “The pedestrian usually has to give way to cyclists, not all of whom seem to appreciate that a shared space means that all parties using the pathways have to be equally considerate.”

Although the second option of a shared path was less popular overall, people who lived along this section of the route and made a choice between the two designs selected this option.

Maintaining on-road car parking was the reason cited by 30 submitters who chose this option.

Final decision expected next year
Aorangi Rd resident Emma King stated loss of car parking was a concern.

However, safety was also cited by five submitters who prefer this option, including student Aestival Britten, who travelled on Aorangi Rd most days.

“Shared paths provide a good option as there’s enough space for cyclists to pass slower scooter users and scooter users to pass slower pedestrians without jostling for space,” Britten said.

The planned design for the intersection of Aorangi and Wairakei Rds also caused a divide among the 53 submitters who shared their opinions.

The design put to the public would stop through traffic and right turns for cars travelling in either direction along Aorangi Rd.

Twenty-one submitters supported the design, citing safety benefits.

Kathy Beswick said she liked to cycle but that the current intersection was horrendous and she avoided using it

“I fully support this aspect of the plan,” Beswick said.

However, more submitters opposed the design, with 25 people objecting due to access issues and predicting traffic on side roads would increase.

Submitter Alastair Christie said strongly opposed the blocking off through traffic and traffic turning right.

“This intersection as this will make it much more difficult for me to access a large part of my city,” Christie said.

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

The cycleway hearing panel is set to make its recommendation to the urban development and transport committee early next year, with the committee to make the final decision.

A report included in the agenda of the hearings panel by city council senior engagement adviser Tessa Zant requested the panel recommend a one-way cycleway is installed on each side of Ilam Rd, varying between 1.8m and 2m wide.

It also requested a 4m shared path from the corner of Jellie Park up to Truman Rd, and from there a 3m two-way cycleway along Aorangi Rd to the intersection with Wairakei Rd.

The report recommended the intersection remain closed to through traffic and right-turning traffic.

If the project is approved, work is expected to begin in mid to late 2022.

 

 

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