City councillors are in a battle over which intersection on Harewood Rd needs to be upgraded first.
The clash took place when the Harewood Rd Corridor Study was presented to the city council on Thursday.
Councillors Aaron Keown and Mike Davidson sparred over the report’s contents. Cr Keown said the paper was not credible as it downplayed the danger of the Harewood, Breens and Gardiners Rds intersection.
“I have a lot of problems with the report, because I feel this report has been put together to get a particular outcome for a particular intersection.”
Cr Keown has been battling to get lights installed at the intersection since the issue saw him re-elected to the city council in 2016.
He says there are several discrepancies within the findings in terms of crashes at the Harewood, Gardiners and Breens Rds junction that made it seem like the intersection did not need an upgrade. But city councillors Mike Davidson and Pauline Cotter said the report actually highlights a more dangerous intersection along the corridor – Greers and Harewood Rds.
Said Cr Davidson “You can read through reports and try and pick out little bits that you have issues with, but when you read the report in its entirety, it’s very clear that actually the intersection that is creating the most risk down there is the Greers Rd/Harewood Rd intersection.”
The city council needed to be “careful” about moving capital forward to pay for upgrades at the Breens, Gardiners and Harewood Rds intersection, Cr Davidson said.
He said that intersection would likely not get a New Zealand Transport Agency subsidy.
“We need to look at what actually needs to be done first. We need to be mindful where the risk is down that corridor.”
However, Cr Keown said you cannot compare the two as the Greers and Harewood Rds intersection already has traffic lights. “The problems are not because it has traffic lights, it’s a number of other reasons. This is about getting people across that intersection.”
Mayor Lianne Dalziel said it is important to look at the entire corridor as Harewood Rd has changed.
“It is no longer the major thoroughfare that it used to be. As a result, the four lanes encourage people to speed because there isn’t a lot of traffic to slow it down and so it creates a dangerous corridor.”
“There are significant issues in this report that need to be worked shopped.”
She called for a workshop involving the Papanui-Innes and Fendalton-Waimairi-Harewood community boards.
But she said there were a number of upgrades needed along the route, including at the Greers Rd and the Bishopdale roundabout.