Rangiora’s Heart: What Needs to Happen

The Rangiora Central Business District needs a thorough re-look.  The health of the town depends on the health of its business centre: the main function of the town has been and still is a rural service centre and unless people can shop in comfort and unless people are attracted into the centre, the town itself won’t work.

The Problems Include:

  1. The Ashley-Ivory corner is having a negative effect on the whole town centre.  Designed to get traffic between north and south, it isolates the eastern end from the main part because it is too difficult for pedestrians to cross.
  2. There are only two directions that retailing can move: east and north.  The western end and the area south of High Street are largely occupied by commercial functions now.  The eastern end is too, but has potential for retail growth.  The north still has a lot of land not occupied by commercial uses.
  3. Visitors (and locals?) find the one-way system as it exits High Street confusing.
  4. Despite the makeover that it is currently undergoing, the street looks cluttered.  The dominant feature is the cars.

What’s Good?

  1. People have spaces to meet and talk.  This is waht helps to bind the town together – meeting people you know in shared spaces, whether it is in High Street or in a supermarket aisle.
  2. Traffic is going slower in High Street than it has ever done.
  3. For traffic wanting to get around the town east-west, the Ashley Street roundabout and the Albert Street route are working well.
  4. The curent makeover – the new seats, etc. – are giving the town centre a long-needed spruce-up.  (It’s a pity the Council cut the funding so the job couldn’t be completed.)

What do We Need To Look At?

  1. Re-assess the way north-south traffic is to be encouraged to move through the town to lessen the pressure on the Ashley-Ivory route.
  2. Redesign the High-Ashley-Ivory intersection so that the east-west connection of High Street becomes the priority.
  3. Look at how we can coordinate retail growth north of High Street.  Make it so that landowners cannot ignore the opportunities.  This should start with the area between High Street and Blake Street, but also consider the areas north of Blake Street.
  4. Design the town centre so that the focus is on the High Street, e.g. businesses to the north should look south wherever possible – we don’t want shops facing on to Blackett Street.
  5. Look at creative ways we can use the spaces in behind the shops.  This is the way Alfred Street should have been looked at – not piece-meal, but as part of a much bigger plan.
  6. Look creatively at parking – on rooftops or underground – so that the town centre does not end up fringed by acres of asphalt.
  7. Look at how the commercial developments already north and south of High Street, e.g. the New World Supermarket, can be better integrated into the Town Centre.

The list could go on.  A good place to start would be the Isthmus report that was done a few years ago.

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One Response to “Rangiora’s Heart: What Needs to Happen”

  1. Helen Walker Says:

    Great info in your August 7 report.
    Is the Access group looking at how difficult the town centre is becoming for the elderly to negotiate, and we do have a lot of older people here
    The High Street seats and “stools” are bright and cute, but for elderly and disabled I think seats with backs are better.
    Was there a need to replace the other seats or could they just have been repainted ?
    There are too many stools at the Farmers corner!It needs some seats with backs.And maybe seats with straight backs are easier to negotiate than the ones with sloping backs,ie,for the elderly.
    Just a thought.
    I would like to have seen Alfred street reopened. People cut through by the liquor place instead.
    Greetings from Helen

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