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A Blow for Commonsense and Safety

Wednesday 12 July 2023, 8:06PM

By RedPR

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Ali  Jones
Ali Jones Credit: Supplied
Victoria Henstock
Victoria Henstock Credit: Supplied

CHRISTCHURCH

The decision by the Waipapa Papanui Innes Central Community Board to recommend to city councillors that the Park Terrace roading changes be retained for five years is hugely disappointing.

That from Ali Jones (Board member for Innes) and Victoria Henstock (Councillor for Papanui)

Clr Henstock says what she has found most frustrating about the Park Terrace roading changes is the complete absence of commonsense.

“Part of our job as elected members is to make decisions that have outcomes which will work for as many people as possible. A viable alternative raised by many submitters was to widen the path that is already along Park Terrace however this option, in my opinion, has not been given the full and proper consideration it deserved,” she says.

Both Jones and Henstock say they fully support the intent of the CCC Accessible City document which aims to ensure our spaces and streets are safe, accessible and people friendly.

“The changes to Park Terrace whilst bringing some safety benefits are not the only means to help achieve a safe and accessible city,” says Jones. “Using Park Terrace since the changes have been implemented is anxiety inducing.”

Victoria Henstock says she believes opportunities have been lost with this decision today.

“We all want more people to cycle, to walk, to be active but if you want to create sustainable change for good you have to take people with you. I am not convinced the decision made today does that,” she says.

Both Jones and Henstock believe that significant safety issues raised by submitters, particularly around the Armagh Street bridge, require further urgent attention.

“This is not a new thing. The council has been aware of the issues created by cyclists, pedestrians, scooters, runner and cars all converging at bridge entrance to Hagley Park, at the same time and yet it still remains an issue despite the extensive roading changes. It was pleasing to hear council officers today say they intend to investigate this,” says Jones.

Henstock and Jones are also pleased that the council officers’ recommendation to indent the bus stop that currently sits in the middle of the traffic lane on Park Terrace, was approved by the board today.

The recommendations will now go to the city councillors for their final decision, at a meeting next month.