Monday, July 15, 2024

New streets plan for Canterbury arena

A Hearings Panel has recommended Christchurch City Council proceed with a raft of changes to better manage the expected influx of pedestrians in streets surrounding Te Kaha, Canterbury’s Multi-Use Arena on event days.

The recommendation includes support for a revised version of Lichfield St between Manchester St and the arena. The new version retains Lichfield St’s current dual-direction state, while a 10km speed limit will ensure the street remains safe for pedestrians. Flexible outdoor dining spaces, and loading and parking allowances have been added, Council said today.

The new option includes traffic-calming measures, retractable bollards and electronic signs to help with traffic management in larger events. The Manchester-Lichfield St intersection will be changed to allow for greater pedestrian movements on event days.

Hearings Panel Chair, Dr Melanie Coker says the new option for Lichfield St strikes a balance that takes the feedback and concerns from local businesses and residents into account, while still ensuring the street remains people-friendly and safe for all users.

“The new design can easily be adapted to accommodate foot traffic for larger events without incurring significant additional event traffic management costs,” says Dr Coker.

“While staff have advised us that the new option will have an increased initial cost, it’s expected this will be offset by reduced ongoing costs compared to the current street layout, to manage the flow of people to and from events at Te Kaha.”

The Hearings Panel also recommended the Council consider a slightly revised version of Option 1 (which would transform Lichfield St to a one-way street and make it more pedestrian-friendly) if it wasn’t prepared to pay the additional $1.2 million required to implement Option 3.

Revisions to Option 1 will add two mobility parks by moving some cycle parking and removing one loading zone. include moving some cycle parking, and adding more mobility parks.

Sweeping changes – including widening footpaths, slower speed limits, landscaping, pedestrian crossings and changing the travel direction of some streets – have been recommended for Lichfield, Madras, Tuam and Barbadoes streets.

More than 1,214 residents and businesses had their say during the seven-week consultation on the Te Kaha Streets proposal.

The entire project is expected to cost about $34 million, with $11.4 million ear-marked to upgrade the water supply, wastewater and stormwater pipes.

The Council says it will make a decision on the Hearings Panel recommendation in the coming months.

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