Christchurch City Council's $6 million plan for Victoria St could 'ruin business'
The Christchurch City Council has released its major proposed changes to Victoria St designed to create an inner-city "destination area".
On Tuesday, Victoria St business owner Rosie Austin said a council plan to cut off traffic on Victoria St, between the casino and the clock tower would kill business in the area.
As part of the Accessible City chapter of the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan, the council wants to restrict traffic in some parts of the street, remove 50 on-street parking spaces and add about 55 new trees.
Councillor Phil Clearwater, chairman of the transport, infrastructure and environment committee, said the proposal, released on Wednesday, would best support the travel network for the new central city.
"Victoria St is part of a wider plan to restore the quality of our streets and to create a more user-friendly transport network, so that motorists, cyclists, pedestrians and public-transport users can all travel through the city safely and efficiently.
"The proposed changes reflect the contemporary style of Victoria St's new buildings and would provide residents, visitors and local businesses with a high-quality, well-landscaped public space," he said.
Prioritising access for pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users would help create a "destination area", Clearwater said.
He said early conversations with local businesses had been "generally positive".
WHAT'S BEING PROPOSED?
- Preventing vehicles from entering and exiting Victoria St (north) at the Salisbury Montreal streets intersection.
- Access would be from a new T-intersection on Montreal St and full access would remain at the Bealey Ave and Papanui Rd intersection.
- Preventing vehicles from entering and exiting Victoria St (south) from both the Salisbury and Montreal streets intersection and the Durham and Kilmore streets intersection.
- Prioritising movements along Victoria St for people travelling by foot, bicycle or bus.
- Prioritising vehicle movements on Montreal St and Bealey Ave by changing road markings and modifying kerbs.
- Adding about 55 new trees.
- Removing 50 on-street parking spaces over the project area, including 32 spaces from Victoria St.
- Making changes to the pedestrian crossings on Bealey Ave at the Durham St intersection.
'ONE FIGHT TOO MANY' SINCE QUAKES
Rosie Austin, who owns homeware store Frogmore, said if the plan went her business "would be ruined".
She had decided to relocate to Papanui Rd in Merivale, after more than 20 years in Victoria St.
There had been "one fight too many" since the earthquakes, she said, and she didn't want another one.
The southern end of Victoria St had struggled with roadworks and construction since the earthquakes and relied on passing traffic.
"We pay big rent for a roadside window to advertise our businesses and without that daily traffic, honestly it would be quite hopeless."
The minutes of a meeting between the council and the Victoria Streetscape Group from March 30 said the council had allocated $800,000 for landscaping works in Victoria St this financial year.
The money had not been spent but would be carried over and added to the $6m earmarked for the 2016-17 financial year, the minutes said.
Feedback on the proposal is being sought until 2 June.
Further information about the specific changes proposed for Victoria Street is available on the Council's website at ccc.govt.nz/HaveYourSay