New plan for ChCh's inner city streets

Last updated 15:02 15/11/2012
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Speed limits will be lowered and one-way streets altered in new proposals for Christchurch's inner city.

See our interactive city map

The draft plan, out for consultation today, was a priority for the Christchurch Central Development Unit (CCDU) in its second 100 days, after the release of the central city blueprint in July.

The public has until February 1 to have its say before the final plan is delivered to Cabinet in March, when its cost will be considered.

The bill will be shared between the parties that worked on the plan: central government, the NZ Transport Agency, Environment Canterbury and the Christchurch City Council.

Key proposals include:

● Kilmore and Salisbury streets will become two-way. Tuam St will replace Lichfield St on the west to east one-way system.

● A ''slow core'' around Cathedral Square with a 30kmh speed limit. Cars will not be permitted in the Square or the retail precinct around Cashel St.

● The new central bus interchange in Tuam St will be supported by two "super stops" at Christchurch Hospital and Manchester St. Tuam and Manchester streets will be widened.

● Bus routes into the central city will be cut from more than 40 to just seven. They will be more frequent and only run on a few arterial streets.

● More, smaller car-parking buildings.

● Streetscapes with walking and cycling lanes, cycle-friendly streets in and out of the city centre and cycle paths running through it.


CCDU director Warwick Isaacs said the plan was the result of ''a lot of discussion, a lot of argy-bargy about what's important and what's not".

The aim was to provide good links for all users whether they were walking, cycling, driving or on the bus.

''All this is about making the central city a great place to live, work, use and shop."

He said the plan could take ''a couple of decades'' to be fully realised but residents would notice big changes in three to five years.

The one-way pairs around the central city were largely retained after computer modelling showing unacceptable congestion if they were converted into two-way streets.

However, Salisbury and Kilmore streets carried ''significantly less'' traffic than the other one-way pairs, so would become two-way.

The decision to turn Tuam St into a one-way, replacing Lichfield St as the thoroughfare, was because of the placing of two blueprint anchor projects - the Avon River precinct in the east and the new sports stadium in the west - blocking Lichfield St in places.

A 30kmh speed limit for the inner city would make it more cycle and pedestrian-friendly and was in line with the reality of what speeds drivers were travelling, Isaacs said.

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One-way streets and the new ''main streets'' - key 30kmh entry and exit points to the city - would look also different, Isaacs said.

Streets would be redesigned to give motorists, cyclists and pedestrians their own space.

All buses would pass through a new central interchange on the block bound by Tuam, Colombo, Manchester and Lichfield streets. This would also act as a transit point for inter-coaches, airport shuttles and taxis.

Buses would be routed around the perimeter of the slow core and would, as much as possible, use two-way roads so that inbound and outbound stops could be kept close together.

Light rail was never considered for the plan, Isaacs said, but the widening of Tuam and Manchester streets would allow it to be considered in the future.

Christchurch's historic tram would be reinstated but damage to some destinations on its old course could see its route changed.

New walkways and cycleways would be created through the Avon River precinct and the southern and eastern frames.

Walking and cycling in other areas of the CBD would be made safer with slower traffic, wider footpaths, and, in some places, separate cycle lanes.

New technology and comprehensive signage - in English and Maori - would be used to help people find their way around the city centre.

- The Press


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