AN ACCESSIBLE CITY: FAQs

1. What is the vision for the central city?

The vision is for the central city to be vibrant and well-formed, and to attract people to live, work, play, learn, stay and invest. It will be safe, compact, accessible to everyone, sustainable and responsive to future changes.

Generally, the city will have a low-rise aspect, feel open with more greenery and will be a much more inviting place for people to inhabit. The central city will be made up of distinct Precincts, such as the Innovation Precinct and the Retail Precinct, where similar and compatible activities are located that add value, provide a clear direction for investment and strengthen people's associations within an area. Precincts help give a distinctive character and provide key destinations and public spaces for a variety of central city experiences. The central city core will be a dynamic place, with commercial, retail, hospitality, residential and other development attracted by public investment in key “anchor” projects. More information about Precincts can be viewed here.

Accessibility of new facilities, anchor projects, public spaces and transport networks will be a priority in the redevelopment of the central city. Lessons were taken from examples of prosperous and well-functioning cities overseas and these have helped inform the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan and the implementation plans that sit underneath it.

An Accessible City is the transport chapter of the Plan and has significantly re-shaped the transport and travel network to enable new land uses, and ensure activities and developments to be accessed by everyone. Its principles are grounded in providing improved travel choice – making it easier and safer for people to get to key destinations whether they are walking, cycling, using public transport or driving.

One of the key drivers of An Accessible City is to enhance the social, environmental and economic prosperity of the central city – by incorporating new ways of sharing the streets and public spaces. The new travel network will aim to be less congested, with improved traffic flow and well-connected walking, cycling and public transport facilities and routes.

In other words, An Accessible City aims to improve on pre-earthquake travel conditions for all modes of travel. This will help ensure that as the city grows, and gets busier, traffic congestion does not increase disproportionately.

It can, however, be difficult and inconvenient while work is underway, and it can also be hard to imagine the end result. The full benefits of An Accessible City will start to be realised as more transport projects are built and connected up – making it easier to see how they relate to each other – and as new developments and destinations come online.

With the completion of the first tranche of transport projects and others in the pipeline, now is an ideal time to reflect on what has worked and what design and/or implementation elements could be modified or changed. The Council and Ōtākaro Ltd are also looking at ways to minimise the impact, and practically speed up the delivery, of projects already underway.

More information on the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan can be viewed here

More information on An Accessible City can be viewed here and here

 

2. There is some confusion between the roles of Otakaro Ltd and the Council's role in the Accessible City Plan. Can you outline this?

From An Accessible City a number of transport projects have been identified. These form part of the Crown / Christchurch City Council cost-sharing agreement. The Council and Ōtākaro Ltd are responsible for delivering a range of projects within the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan. Once the projects are complete the upgraded public assets will be the Council’s responsibility to operate and maintain.  

Ōtākaro Ltd is delivering An Accessible City projects that are mostly close to other Crown-led anchor projects.  These are:

  • Manchester Street (close to the East Frame).
  • Durham Street and Oxford Terrace (part) (close to the Avon River Precinct and Justice Precinct).
  • Armagh and Colombo Streets (adjacent to Victoria Square), and
  • Tuam Street, from Durham Street to Hagley Avenue, with parts of St Asaph, Antigua and Montreal streets (close to the Metro Sports Facility and Health Precinct).

The Council has completed a number of Accessible City transport projects which were prioritised to coincide with the opening of key facilities around the central city. These are:

  • Hospital Corner included work on part of Oxford Terrace, Tuam Street, St Asaph Street, Hagley Avenue and Antigua Street.
  • Hagley/Moorhouse Corner.
  • Colombo Street from St Asaph Street to Hereford Street – to tie in with the new Bus Interchange. Lichfield Street from Durham Street to Manchester Street to also access the bus interchange as well as support the Retail Precinct.
  • Tuam Street between Durham and Barbadoes streets, including a small section of Manchester Street.

The Council approved changes to Victoria Street and its surrounding traffic routes in September 2016 following detailed engagement. Work is expected to start in the next few months.

 

3. What are the key timeframes for the delivery of components in the Accessible City Plan?

Ōtākaro Ltd anticipates the current work on Durham Street / Cambridge Terrace and Manchester Street will be complete around the end of the year, with work around Hospital Corner dependent on it fitting in with construction work led by Canterbury District Health Board. There are further An Accessible City projects to come, but some delivery dates will depend on 2017/2018 Annual Plan funding decisions. These projects are not likely to be as disruptive as the current work.

 

4. Where can we view the work plan? Is there one place we can go to view all the information relating to the Plan and its implementation?

Information on the completed work and the programme for the work currently underway is available on the Council’s website here. Information about Ōtākaro Ltd’s programme of work can be viewed here.

The Council and Ōtākaro Ltd are keen to discuss what further information would be useful to the Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce and its members, and whether information could be presented in a different way.

Both Council and Otakaro are exploring ways to improve communication and engagement with the businesses and property owners who are likely to be impacted by the works.  We are also exploring with the contractor’s implementation methods that minimise impacts of the works.  This could include night works, great intensity of resources and better segmentation of working areas. 

 

5. Where can we raise issues – who are the key contacts for Ōtākaro Ltd and the Council, and which issues should go where?

A joint group with representatives from the Council, Ōtākaro Ltd and the business community is being formed that will meet regularly to discuss An Accessible City projects' implementation –including ways to improve delivery and minimise disruption.  

The respective chief executives of Ōtākaro Ltd and the Council are the contacts for your organisations to direct questions to. However, once the joint group is meeting regularly, we'd hope that issues can be raised and indeed pre-empted there.

To contact the Council:

Aaron Haymes, Manager Transport Operations: aaron.haymes@ccc.govt.nz: 941 8075 or 027 280 6320

To contact Ōtākaro Ltd:

Annemarie Settle, GM Communications and Stakeholder Engagement: annemarie.settle@otakaroltd.co.nz; 357 6365 or 027 406 0639

 

6. How will upcoming consultation happen to ensure businesses are better engaged in future planning?

As we indicated at the recent Chamber Board meeting, the Council and Ōtākaro Ltd are very committed to improving liaison with The Chamber members over the programming and implementation of ongoing An Accessible City works. At the end of each project we review the engagement process and seek to continuously improve the way we engage. We are currently engaging with the businesses located on Victoria Street to collectively determine the best feasible approach to these works.

 

7. There is a lot of talk around St Asaph Street in particular. Why has St Asaph Street been designed the way it is with wide cycle lanes and narrow roads?

St Asaph Street has been designed to create a people friendly environment that caters to people on bikes, drivers, public transport users and pedestrians. The width of the cycle lanes allows for growth as the Major Cycle Routes are connected into the Central City and we expect these to get busier as time goes on. The narrower road space encourages lower driving speeds, which is consistent with the people-friendly approach to the central city.

 

8. Is it possible to make any modifications to the street design in St Asaph Street?

Yes, we are intending on making some changes to the St Asaph Street design as part of a recent post-construction safety audit. The alterations we intend to make are likely to feature changes to improve access to street front loading and servicing for some premises and make it easier to access the parallel parking bays, which we understand has caused problems for some users. We will work with businesses on St Asaph Street as we make the changes.

 

9. What were the lessons learned from some of the challenges with St Asaph Street and how will these learnings impact future areas?

We have recently received an independent review of the scheme design to see if it is as safe as it can be, and to investigate some of the concerns raised about it by business and property owners.  We will be looking closely at those findings to apply them to the design of future schemes.

 

Join The Chamber's email list to receive information on the Council's Accessible City Plan.

 

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