Archive for the ‘Road Safety’ Category

Changes to Speed Limits around Southbrook

17 January 2017

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Waimakariri Approves Budget for Upgrade of Rangiora’s Red Lion Corner and High Street

24 May 2013

The Waimakariri District Council has approved budget for the major upgrade of the Red Lion Corner and Central High Street.

This has been on the books for three years, before the earthquake, after major community consultation at that time.Red Lion Corner The closure of several premises because of the earthquakes has meant that the programme has been brought forward several years to help in the revitalisation of the town centre.

The problems with the current layout are legion.

  • It is terrible for pedestrians (as is the associated High-Albert Streets corner)
  • The turn from Ivory St east into High St is difficult
  • Driving cross Albert Street from west to east can be perilous
  • Access to the main shopping area from the east is essentially blocked
  • If you want to drive south from High Street you have to first drive north

Really, the only manoeuvres that really work are north-south movement and the left turn past the Red Lion.

The new layout will line up Ivory and Ashley Streets to make a conventional cross-roads controlled by traffic lights.

The Council already owns the the former Westpac building but will need to purchase more property.

Associated with this will be the returning of High Street to two-way traffic with parallel parking. This will oimporve the business environment for retailers at the east end in the area of the BNZ and ANZ banks, make it easier for pedestrians to move around the town and make it possible to come in from the east. At the same time, the Council will be working on improving parking availability in adjacent areas.

Discussions with the RSA about relocation of the Cenotaph will begin soon. The Cenotaph itself is not actually affected, but the new road will pass very close to it.

Assuming property purchase and other issues go reasonably smoothly, wotk could start towards the end of 2014.

Lots Happening in Waimakariri – a Community in Good Heart!

17 December 2012
121031 Kaiapoi Light Party 3 (300x225)

Kaiapoi Light Party

121026 Tree Planting at RHS (300x225)

Tree Planting at Rangiora High

121027 Plunket Stalls in Victoria Park (300x225)

Plunket Stalls in Rangiora

121028 Morris Dancers at Ashley School Fete 1 (300x225)

Morris Dancers at Ashley School Fete

121028 Sovereign Palms Family Fun Day (300x225)

Sovereign Palms Family Fun Day, Kaiapoi

121030 Historic Rangiora pictures 1 (300x200)

Murals on Rangiora “Pop-Up” Shops

121101 Kaiapoi HS Opening of Library Space 1 (300x225)

Opening of Kaiapoi High’s Library Space

121030 W-A Lifeboat 3 (300x200)

Driving Waimakariri-Ashley Lifeboat, near Kairaki

121101 Kaiapoi HS Road Crash (300x225) (300x225)

Road Crash Day at Kaiapoi High

121102 Kaiapoi Garden Club 90th 2 (300x225)

Kaiapoi Garden Club’s 90th Birthday

121102 WACT Exhibition in Chamber 1 (300x225)

Waimakariri Art Collection Trust Exhibition in Rangiora

121103 Oxford Fete 4 (300x225)

Oxford Garden Fete

121111 West Eyreton Garden Tour 2 (300x225)

West Eyreton School Garden Tour

121201 Maahunui II Opening, Tuahiwi Marae - Copy (216x300)

Opening of Maahunui II at Tuahiwi

121209 Oxford Gym Opening 1 (300x225)

Oening of Oxford Health & Fitness Centre

121209 Rangiora Christmas Parade 13 (300x225)

Rangiora Christms Parade

121216 Oxford Christmas Parade 1 (300x225)

Oxford Christmas Parade

 

Road Crash in Rangiora

18 March 2012

Rangiora High School Year 11 students took part in their annual Road Crash programme on Friday. It starts with a simulated road crash with the rest of the day’s road safety programme following on. Kaiapoi High School and Oxford Area School have also had Road Crash days recently.

Waimakariri Gorge Bridge Deck Renewal to Start 29 February

16 February 2012

The long-awaited replacement of the deck on the Waimakariri Gorge bridge is planned to start on 29 February.  Most of the work will be done at night-time, so the bridge will be open during the day. At night, there will be certain times that traffic will be able to pass.  It will be at the same times every night and these will be well-advertised.

This is a joint project of the Waimakariri and Selwyn District Councils.

What’s Happening About the Woodend Bypass?

9 January 2012
What NZTA think the Main North Road / Woodend Road intersection might look like with trafffic lights

The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) are still considering the results of the consultation that was carried out last year.  At that point, they asked for comment on three bypass options and three widening options for Main North Road.  I gather their next move will be to come back to the community with a final two design options: one for a bypass and and one for a Main North Road widening.

One issue of concern that emerged from last year’s consultation was concern from Pineacres residents over the size and impact of changes in hteir neighbourhood where a newly-extended Christchurch Northern Motorway (i.e. the Woodend Bypass) would link with the existing Main North Road.

Update on Bridges

8 January 2012

I’m often asked about some of our bridges.

Williams Street Bridge, Kaiapoi

This came out of the earthquakes quite well – it’s the approach on the nothern side that is now rubbish, and getting worse. As for the bridge itself, the Kaiapoi Town Centre Plan proposes that parking be removed and the footpaths made wider to allow people to linger and look up and down the river.  There will be seating on it as well.

Ashley River Bridge at Cones Road, Rangiora

The Council is endeavouring to get a replacement put on to the Canterbury Regional Transport Plan and the chances are very good.  It is intended that this will be wide enough for cyclists and pedestrians to cross it in safety.   The total cost is likely to be in the area of $10m, but it will attract a 60% subsidy from the NZ Transport Agency if the project it approved.

Old Waimakariri Cycle & Pedestrian Clipons

Not much joy here, I’m afraid. The bridge is jointly owned by Waimakariri and Christchurch and neither Council is very keen on doing the work without NZTA subsidy.  To get this will require a change in Government policy direction towards pedestrian and cycle facilities.

Waimakariri Gorge Bridge

This bridge, jointly owned by Waimakariri and Selwyn, is to get a new deck very soon.  Both councils have budgeted for it.  The common claim that the two councils have been arguing over it is urban myth.

The Waimakariri Gorge Bridge with a train about to cross it, ca.1921

What’s Going On in Flaxton Road?

17 May 2011

There’s a lot of earth being moved around at the corner of Flaxton and Fernside Roads, Southbrook.  What’s it all about?

Two things are happening. 

A stormwater retention system is being built to take stormwater from the recently-zoned business area bounded by Flaxton, Fernside and Todds Roads.  An increase in the coverage of hard flat surfaces – mainly roofs and concrete – will mean that will be much more run-off.  The Faxton Road Drain will not be able to handle all that water, so it will have to be held back and released slowly.

The second thing that is happening is that the Fernside Road intersection is being made safer. That horrible little bridge by the car-wash ford will go, and Fernside Road will meet Flaxton Road at a right-angle with much better visibilty.

Nearly Three Months On …

1 January 2011

I said I would keep this blog going.  This might have been a foolish promise, but my New Year’s resolution is … you’ve guessed it.

Obviously life has been busy, but since Christmas we have been able to get a bit of a breather.  Earthquake recovery has, of course dominated, and I’ll report on that in another post.  But also what has happened in the last three months has brought home the richness of community life in the Waimakariri District.

Richard and Dawn Spark and Phil and Jo Seal (Gulliver & Tyler Funeral Directors) have built a chapel at Rossburn Receptions that was opened in October by Hon Kate Wilkinson MP.

As well as funerals, the chapel will be used for weddings etc – in conjunction with the reception business the Sparks run.

On the same day, a concert was held to say to the people of Kaiapoi – hey! we’ve been hit by an earthquake but we can still have a good time.

One of the main organisers was Ben Brennan, newly-elected to the Kaiapoi Community Board.

Yes, a chain comes with the job!

The Rangiora A&P Show is always a highlight of the year and numbers weren’t too badly suppressed by the Earthquake Concert in Christchurch at the same time – although teenagers were noticeably absent in Rangiora.

The Kaiapoi Light Party, an annual event put on by local churches, drew a large crowd – especially of kids who were able to try everything out for free.

The Chamber Gallery in Rangiora staged an exhibition by Veronique Moginot who, although she is of French background, put on a show that had a strong Eastern Orthodox flavour.

This proved an ideal setting for Musica Balkanica who performed their Balkan repertoir in the Chamber Gallery in November.

Kaiapoi was the starting point for a group of peeny-farthings which headed for Oamaru via Oxford.  I presume they made it!

Both Kaiapoi and Rangiora High Schools had Road Crash days put on by the Police and Waimakariri Road Safety, with the help of many others, including the Kaiapoi and Rangiora Volunteer Fire Brigades, St Johns Ambulance and Gulliver and Tyler.

The Kaiapoi Christmas Parade seemed to be bigger than ever and drew large crowds – as did the preceding market in Williams Street. A sunny day with everyone in good spirits!

Congratulations to the Kaiapoi Promotion Association.

I’ve been to North Loburn School twice, for an Enviroschools day and for the inauguration  of active warning signs.  They get a lot of trucks going past the school from the Mount Grey forest and from the Whiterock quarry – and while the trucking companies and drivers are working well with the school, safety is always a concern. Pictured is the principal, Simon Green.

Cust is seeing if a market can work for their community – those in places like Oxford, Ohoka, Woodend and Kaiapoi are going well.

Like Kaiapoi, the Rangiora Christmas Parade had a great day.  Here is the crowd in Victoria Park afterwards.

Our Town Rangiora did well.

Oxford, on the other hand, struck a wet day for their Christmas Parade.  Here the the Union Parish take shelter waiting for it to start – fortunately the rain did stop for the parade itself and all went well.

The Oxford Lions again put on a good community day for Oxford.

It was good to have a temporary library open in Kaiapoi – and the Aquatic Centre too.

The launch of the book Our Soldiers at the Rangiora RSA helped further the growing ties between the Waimakariri District and Passchendaele in Belgium.

I’m with the the author Paul O’Connor, Belgian Consul Lieve Bierque and Bill Whitehead, President of the Rangiora RSA. (Photo from the Northern Outlook).

Josh Smith of Kaiapoi received a Young Totara leadership award from the Rotary Club of Rangiora for the leadership and responsibility he showed working in the welfare centre in Kaiapoi after the earthquake.

More on the Woodend Bypass

20 September 2010

At tonight’s Woodend candidates meeting, the Mayor said that he supported a State Highway Bypass of Woodend.  For the record, this is the crucial motion that the Mayor voted against on 2 September 2008:

That the Council adopts the modified Short Eastern bypass alignment as generally indicated by the Transit NZ consultation process as its preferred option, subject to NZTA acknowledging that the existing designation on the current alignment will not be used for four laning of the state highway and subject to a route being adopted that, (i) avoids New Zealand Historic Places Trust registered buildings and sites, and (ii) minimises the destruction of existing houses.

If this motion had not passed, it would have meant that the Council would have been tacitly supporting the four-laning of the Main North Road through Woodend.

There have been no other resolutions on this subject since then.

The Woodend Bypass: My Position

20 September 2010

I strongly support a State Highway 1 bypass around the town.  I always have – and I voted for it when it last came up at the Council.  I regard the current route through the middle of the town as totally unacceptable.

Note that the Mayor and Cr Cole both voted against the bypass.

See also https://davidayers.wordpress.com/2008/09/02/council-decision-on-state-highway-1-route-in-woodend and https://davidayers.wordpress.com/2010/01/05/woodend-bypass-update/

The First Pier Fixed Under the Ashley Bridge

15 September 2010

With everything else, it is easy to forget that work continued on this!  For the record, the earthquake did not do any damage to the bridge.

This is just to fix the immediate problem. We still have to work toward a new bridge – and soon.

The Ashley Bridge – What’s Happening – and what of the Future?

6 August 2010

The current situation is that when the Ashley is in flood the bridge is at a high risk from a public safety perspective – 5 to 7 of the peirs may need to be strengthened in the short term.  The piles are embedded only 2-3m on average and only 1-2m in the main channel.

Compare these two photos:

The Cones Road bridge over the Ashley - unknown date. (Te Papa)

Note the difference in the bed levels.  Note also that some repair work appears to have been done on the nearest pier in the recent photo.  The pier causing the biggest problem is the second one from the camera.  Daniel Smith contractors are lined up to start work soon.

Even with strengthening, the bridge will have to be closed on occasions – perhaps up to 10 times per year. There may be weight restrictions in the future – at present, the bridge is just OK for Class 1.

The cost of annual maintenance and a programme of pier strengthening may cost something in the order of $2 million over the next 20 years – which may be all the life that is left in the bridge.

We all know that the bridge isn’t wide enough and that the southern approach has poor visibility.

So how much will a new bridge cost if it were to be built in the next two years or so?  A preliminary guesstimate for a standard-width bridge is $6 million to $10 million – with a bit more if a cycle and pedestrian lane (or lanes) is added – and that has to happen.  If the benefit/cost ratio meets NZ Transport Agency requirements, which is likely, that cost would be 59% subsidised by them.

Watch this space!  I emphasise that all of the above figures are ball-park estimates that were reported to the Council this week.

Urban Traffic Speeds

29 May 2010

The UK Independent has put an article on its website about what happened to a doctor over there who hit a child who ran out in front of his car.  The child survived  – see my David Ayers for Mayor Facebook page by clicking the link at the right (under “Blogroll”).

The Ashley Bridge

28 May 2010

Cones Road Bridge over the Ashley / Rakahuri, north of Rangiora

A friend’s Facebook “wall’ is featuring a bit of conversation on the Ashley Bridge north of Rangiora.  Its width has been a long-standing issue for communities on both sides of the river.  There is not enough space for cyclists – in other words, cars can’t pass them without crossing the centre line, so cyclists cross at their peril.

Some impatient motorists are very unwilling to drive behind cyclists until they get off the bridge.

And then there are pedestrians.

Even for motor traffic, there isn’t much space.  Car drivers can feel intimidated by trucks coming towards them and sometimes trucks have to be very careful passing each other on the bridge.

Another issue is that ECan has long talked about building a new stopbank to the south of the river. Their concern is that the river north of Rangiora is narrower than west or east of the town, which in floods puts pressure on the stopbanks.  If a new southern stopbank were to be build further to the south, and the current one removed, the bridge would not be long enough.  (It is possible that a new stopbank could be a secondary one, in which case the current bank would stay.)

Leaving aside the length question, there are two matters: (1) cyclist and pedestrian safety, which could be improved with a clip-on, and (2) the general width of the bridge.  People also ask about the expected life of the bridge.

The bridge is nearly 100 years old and was designed to be wide enought for two traction engines to pass.  It seems to be structurally sound, so we have to assume that if we wanted it to, it could last for quite along time.

Most of the roading and bridging work carried out by the Council is Government-subsidised through fuel taxes. In Waimakariri, that subsidy is about 50%. Even with those subsidies, roading (including bridges) takes up the biggest chunk of the ratepayer dollar in the Waimakariri District.  To get the subsidy for a specific project, however, depends on the project competing successfully with other projects in the Canterbury Region.

Note that for the old Waimakariri Bridge, the cost of a clip-on would be shared amongst three sources: Government subsidy, Waimakariri District and Christchurch City.

A clip-on for the Ashley is on the Waimakariri District Council programme, but it has lost its Government subsidy.  This is because the current Government, when it came into office, cut the funding for cyclist and pedestrian facilities.  The same thing happened to the proposed Waimakariri Bridge clip-on, which was due to have been done in the next 12 months.

Hint! Hint! For those of you north of the Ashley, you live in the Kaikoura Electorate which is held by National’s Colin King.

That leaves the council with a difficult question: does it fund a clip-on without subsidy, or does it wait for the subsidy to be restored some time in the future?  The cost of a clip-on is significant and to forgo a future subsidy would be a big call.

Building a new bridge would be a major project for a District of this size, and probably would not attract subsidy for quite a few years.

None of this is good news, I’m afraid.

In the meantime, the Council is to investigate the installation of lights which flash when a cyclist is in the bridge.  I presume the cyclist pushes a button as they come on to it and it flashes for a pre-determined length of time. Apparently such a system is in place in Marlborough, so we’ll be looking at the success of that.

Inattention Kills!

14 April 2010

Today I was chairing a meeting of the Waimakariri Road Safety Committee.

One surprising statistic that has emerged is that Waimakariri is in the top group of districts for road crashes caused by driver inattention or distraction.

I don’t know why, but we seem to think we can drive without keeping our eyes on the road and other road users.  So turn off the cell-phone, let the CD start over again and try to ignore the kids squabbling in the back seat!

Traffic Lights for Southbrook?

7 April 2010

The possibility of traffic lights in Southbrook has, as I predicted in an earlier blog posting, got passions raised.

First of all, some related, but not necessarily connected, points.

  • When or if the traffic lights come, they may not be the first traffic lights in the District.  The NZ Transport Agency is considering putting lights on the Lineside Road/Smith Street bridge over the Motorway because of the bad accident record there.
  • Southbrook Road is easily the busiest road in Rangiora/Southbrook – about 17 000 vehicles a day.  Getting on to this road is considerably more difficult than, say, getting out of The Warehouse carpark.
  • The customers, and carpark-users, of the Pak’n Save will be ratepayers and residents, just like you and me.

People have long suggested a round-about for that corner.  Question: if you were on Flaxton Road trying to enter the roundabout at 5.00pm, would that be easy?  Roundabouts work best when there are reasonably even flows of traffic from all directions.  I often look at the one at High/King Streets – it works well for that reason.

The Southbrook and Rangiora New Life Schools and people trying to get out of Coronation and Torlesse Streets will probably appreciate the breaks in the traffic caused by the lights.

On the other hand, I will join those not appreciating being held up by the new lights! – especially when leaving the town when there is never any hold-up now, except at the railway crossing.

As regards the process and the alleged lack of consultation, it needs to be remembered that the supermarket was applying for a Resource Consent under the Resource Management Act.  The hearing was conducted by a commissioner appointed by the Council and that commissioner would have heard expert opinion from traffic engineers plus evidence from other submitters before making the decision. The only access the person-in-the-street has to that process that  is to make a submission.

In other words, it wasn’t a “yes we want it” or “no we don’t” process. It was a formal judicial process conducted under strict rules.  Someone could, for instance, have organised a petition and presented it as evidence, but the commissioner would have been weighing up the strength and validity of the arguments, not counting numbers.

Now that the commisioner has made a decision, the decision is now “owned” by the Council. The only way that the consent can be defeated or changed is by appeal to the Environment Court – and you can usually only do that if you were an original submitter.

 

Supermarket Wars in Rangiora

7 February 2010

As I think everyone in the town knows, Countdown and Pak n Save are “coming” to Rangiora.

Well, are they?  Not yet – and key decisions have yet to be made. 

Applications for Resource Consent have been made by Woolworths for a Countdown on the Rangiora Fruit and Vege site in Ivory Street, and by Foodstuffs for a Pak n Save on the Rangiora Mazda site in Southbrook Road.

Note that these are applications only.  No decisions have been made.  Resource consent applications can be dealt with in a number of ways and these will be heard in the open at a Council hearing.  Hearings can be heard by councillors or by outside commissioners, or a combination.  These hearings are likely to be heard by commissioners because of the size and complexity of the proposals. A commissioner’s decision becomes the Council’s decision.

Under the Resource Management Act, anyone can make a submission.

In both applications, two of the matters that will have to be considered are traffic and zoning.

  1. Traffic. They are both on the same north-south route.  The Pak n Save site is on Rangiora’s busiest road (up to 15 000 vehicles a day, I believe), with a busy intersection nearby and Mitre 10 Mega over the road.  For the Countdown site, Ivory Street is also very busy, and is narrow.  There is a kohanga reo over the road.
  2. Zoning. The Pak n Save site is zoned Business 2, which does not permit that kind of retailing.  The Countdown site is zoned Residential 2 (like most of Rangiora and Kaiapoi) and has residential properties on both sides.

Those are just two of the issues that will inevitably come up in the hearings.

River Road Footpath Popular

14 January 2010

One of the stranger letters to the Northern Outlook  recently was one suggesting that the new footpath in River Road, Rangiora, was a waste of money.  A couple of subsequent letters have refuted this, as do I.

Those of us who walk along here reasonably frequently know that this is a popular route for walkers, with and without push-chairs or dogs.  The footpath provides an even surface and safety from motor traffic.

The credit for deciding this goes to the Rangiora Ward Advisory Board who decided to prioritise this footpath.  The reason it is not sealed, yet, was to finish the job with the money available.  There was enough there to seal Ashley Street and Enverton Drive – River Road and West Belt will have to come later.

The Board is mindful, however, that there are other areas in the town that need footpaths.  Note that I am talking about new footpaths here, not replacements.  The latter are done in another, on-going, programme.

32km/h Speed Limits? – or Narrow Streets?

12 January 2010

There is a growing trend in Britain to limit speeds in residential areas to 20mph – that’s 32km/h in our language.  They are imposing these without any accompanying traffic “calming” measures.

One way of slowing traffic down that traffic engineers like is to build narrower streets.  Some people don’t like them – but it does seem to work, if slowing speeds is on your agenda.

Sharing Spaces – Pedestrians, Cyclists and Vehicles

2 January 2010

One idea that is gaining around the world is the idea of spaces being shared between pedestrians and wheeled vehicles.

If we are going to have a decent look at the Rangiora town centre (and Kaiapoi’s for that matter) we need to at least put this thinking into the mix.

I put a TIME article on this blog on 24 February 2008 (dig for it! or try clicking https://davidayers.wordpress.com/category/urban-design/page/2/)  and there is a Wikipedia piece in the page labelled Sharing Spaces in Our Towns on the right of your screen.

You can also go to www.youtube.com and type Dr Rodney Tolley into the search or go straight there at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yy3KcC0jY-I and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MN7xWBZ9Vc0 . They take about 10 minutes to listen to (it’s just him talking) – and to get the full import of what he is talking about, the second part is when he gets to the specific point about shared spaces in towns.  Rodney Tolley is from England and recently spoke in Christchurch.

Shared Space in New Road, Brighton, England

December in Waimakariri

30 December 2009

One-day cricket at MainPower Oval. Unfortunately, Canterbury lost to Central Districts - but isn't the venue a great place to watch cricket?

 

 

Rangiora Christmas Parade

Kaiapoi River Carnival. Great day, great atmosphere. But how do you get a winning duck?

 

Police and yours truely conducting random breath checks pre-Christmas. In an hour, we found no-one who had transgressed. Great! Further away, however, a patrol caught someone who did a u-turn when they saw the checkpoint ahead.

 

Road Crash

30 December 2009

At the end of the school year, the Police and the Community Team at the Council, in conjunction with such community organisations as the Fire Brigade, St Johns, Gulliver and Tyler, Victim Support and ACC, ran the annual Road Crash day for Year 10 students at Rangiora High School.  The Baptist Church site was used and the feedback from the students has been very positive.  A great example of the community working together.

Waimakariri – there’s a lot happening! – November 2009

29 December 2009

Another month of happenings in Waimakariri.  

Ohoka School Fair - run in conjunction with the famous Garden Tour.

   

  

Rangiora Early Records Society visits Stratford Grove on the Rangiora-Woodend Road, one of the many grand old homes in our District.

Rangiora Early Records Society visits Stratford Grove on the Rangiora-Woodend Road, one of the many grand old homes in our District.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

  

 
 
 

Southbrook School Fair

7 October 2009

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Accident Blackspots in Waimakariri

12 August 2009

Where are they?

  1. Pineacres Corner.  This is the most dangerous interesection in the District.  The problem is not the merging on the west side, as many think, but the failure of traffic exiting from Williams Street (i.e. coming from Kaiapoi) to give way as it turns right towarsds Woodend.  The police have been giving out a lot of tickets recently to people failing to observe the STOP sign – and many of those drivers are older people.
  2. Percival Street – Queen Street intersection, Rangiora.
  3. Williams Street – Smith Street – Beach Road intersection, Kaiapoi.
  4. West Belt – Oxford Road intersection, Rangiora.
  5. Lehmans Road – Plasketts Road – Oxford Road intersection, Fernside.
  6. Plasketts Road – Johns Road intersection, Fernside.
  7. Rangiora-Woodend Road – Tuahiwi Road – Boys Road – Harris Road intersection, Tuahiwi.

Alfred Street Remains Closed – Council Decision

7 August 2009

This week, the Waimakariri District Council decided to keep Alfred Street closed.  They decided:

Lets the closure of Alfred Street stand in the meantime and develop a long term plan for Rangiora and from that decide the future form and function of Alfred Street.

Requests staff to bring back to Council a wider strategy report on the Rangiora Town Centre before any enhancement takes place in Alfred Street.

There are a number of problems with this approach.

  1. Those councillors who voted for this ignored a petition of about 4000 people.
  2. They passed up the opportunity to follow the same legal process to reopen the street that was taken to pedestrianise that portion of Alfred Street.
  3. The “long-term plan” consultation process will be muddied by strong community feelings over Alfred Street – in other words, Alfred Street will be a diversion from more important matters (click on Rangiora’s Heart: What Needs to Happen?  in the page list on the right of your screen).
  4. They have implicitly told the people of this District that in developing a long-term plan for central Rangiora, they won’t necessarily listen to those people.
  5. They are going to do nothing until the plan is complete.  This will take at least a year and in my view is unlikely to be complete before the next local body elections in October 2010.  In the meantime, we can all look at those yellow bollards.

To me, it was better to get this issue out of the way by going back to the way Alfred Street was.  That is why I tried to persaude the Council to reopen the street.

I strongly believe that we need a long hard look at Central Rangiora – its structure, the appearance, the parking, the traffic, etc. because a strong retail centre is vital to Rangiora as a town.  See the following blog post.

But this week’s decision has made progress towards that harder.

Calming the Traffic

15 July 2009

If you go to http://podcast.radionz.co.nz/sat/sat-20090711-0905-David_Engwicht_traffic_calming-048.mp3 you can listen to a really interesting interview with Australian traffic-calming advocate, David Engwicht.  It’s from the Radio New Zealand Saturday programme – usually Kim Hill but not that day!  It takes over half an hour, so set aside some time.

Why Does the Old Waimakariri Bridge Keep Getting Closed? – and is there something positive we can take from it?

19 May 2009

The old Waimakariri bridge on the Main North Road is a shared responsibility of the Christchurch City Council and the Waimakariri District Council.

It is currently closing whenever the river is high because of a fear that strong river flows are scouring out under the piles.

In the coming financial year (July 2009 to June 2010), remedial work will be undertaken to fix the problem.

And the bright side?  Because there will have to be a crane in the river, the two councils are taking the opportunity to bring forward a planned pedestrian/cycle clip-on, to be done at the same time as the work on the piles.

The long-requested clip-on is not far away!

The old Waimakariri River road bridge viewed from under the railway bridge

The old Waimakariri River road bridge viewed from under the railway bridge

Funding Our Transport

16 February 2009
Roads Aren't Always as Empty as This!

Roads Aren't Always as Empty as This!

The Canterbury Regional Transport Committee (for composition, see below) is currently considering an important issue.  Significant government funding is due to come over the next ten years to assist with roads, passenger transport provision, cycle and pedestrian ways, etc. over the whole Region.  This funding comes with a catch – the Canterbury Region has to fund its share.

The are basically three options: rates, a regional fuel tax or tolls on new roads. A regional fuel tax could be up to 5c per litre and the only roads for which a toll could be applicable are the proposed Christchurch Southern Motorway extension and the proposed Christchurch Northern Arterial, to the east of Belfast.

Projects being considered in Waimakariri include pedestrian and cycle clip-ons for the Main North Road bridge over the Waimakariri and the Ashley bridge north of Rangiora.

Councils throughout the region will be considering the options over the next couple of months.

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The Canterbury Regional Transport Committee has representatives from every Council from Kaikoura in the north to Waimate in the south, Environment Canterbury, the NZ Transport Agency, and various community sectors.


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