Christchurch City Council (CCC) today released their Northern Arterial downstream effects consultation. The document “transport projects in the Cranford Street area” proposes projects that are “planned to mitigate the effects of the Christchurch Northern Corridor opening”. Our group has reviewed the consultation and our submission has already been drafted:
No! Totally unacceptable. Can the plan.Axel Wilke, Emma Twaddell, and Mark Wilson
Emma Twaddell, chair of the St Albans Residents’ Association (SARA), says that the first statement in the consultation document is spot-on where it says: “People, not cars.” But beyond that, what the consultation document proposes is mostly about cars, and not people.
Axel Wilke, who has assisted the group since earlier this year and who developed a counterproposal, states that the approach for the Northern Arterial needs to reduce the capacity for increased car travel so that St Albans doesn’t get split into two by a wall of cars. People need to be able to travel and that needs to be accommodated by frequent buses that can run on their own lanes.
A high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane, as previously considered as a compromise, is no longer part of council’s proposal, apparently over an inability to enforce such a lane. Mark Wilson, who has organised much of the protest of the St Albans community, recommends to council staff to talk to their colleagues at Auckland Transport where such enforcement has been carried out for years.
We see the issues here as indicative of a council where leadership is lacking; the St Albans community and Greater Christchurch shouldn’t have to be dealing with poor outcomes from outdated plans accepted by the current elected members. Mark and Emma have thus decided to run for city council and community board, respectively, in the Innes ward to provide the necessary leadership. They want to achieve meaningful project engagement with the community before plans get drawn rather than token-consultations. What our group wants to see happen, compared to the current project status, is summarised in the table below.