Christchurch City Council to consult on St Asaph St layout changes

The Christchurch City Council will seek public opinion on two options to resolve problems with St Asaph St.
IAIN MCGREGOR/STUFF

The Christchurch City Council will seek public opinion on two options to resolve problems with St Asaph St.

Residents will get to have a say on two options proposed to resolve problems with a newly-revamped central Christchurch street.

A $3.5 million project to rejig St Asaph St added a separate cycle lane and replaced sections of kerbs and footpaths in 2016. 

The work has been widely criticised by business owners who said they found the new layout frustrating because the lanes were narrow, the car parks were difficult to get into and the number of parks had been cut.

A safety audit completed earlier this year recommended reducing the speed limit to 30 kilometres per hour and improving access to on-street parking spaces.

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The Christchurch City Council has held 16 meetings with the Central City Business Group. A number of design options had been discussed, but the parties were unable to agree on a suitable option that addressed safety concerns.

Council staff had put forward two options and the Infrastructure, Transport and Environment Committee decided on Wednesday to consider public feedback on them between September 14 and October 6, before making a recommendation to the council on a preferred option.

Option one involved minor changes, including installing two loading zones, modifying the parking bays to make access easier and installing more cycle parking. It would cost $210,000.

The second option involved reinstating 53 car parks and reducing the width of the northern footpath from 3 metres to 2m. This option would cost $1.2m, but would require the council to fully consult the public again before making a final decision.

Cr Sara Templeton wanted the council to also get public feedback on the original option it consulted on in 2015, which she said was a better design for cyclists.

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She was concerned if the council only engaged with one side, it could open itself up to a judicial review. 

But committee chairwoman Pauline Cotter said she was not keen to go back to square one and put the original design back in the report.

She said everyone would have an opportunity to tell the committee what it thought about the two options.

The committee would hear from people who wanted to express their views on October 30.

In the meantime the council was making minor safety improvements to the road affecting line markings and reflective markers.

 - Stuff

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