Traffic problems to remain at Burnside intersection

CONGESTION: No changes will be made at the intersection outside Burnside High and Christ the Kings schools, which becomes gridlocked at peak hours with cyclists, vehicles and the Orbiter bus.

There appears to be no solution in sight to traffic congestion at the Greers Rd and Memorial Ave intersection.

The Fendalton-Waimairi-Harewood Community Board has voted not to recommend to the city council that changes be made at the intersection outside Burnside High and Christ the King schools.

Greers Rd is used by about 9000 vehicles in an average 12-hour week day, half of which travel southbound using the intersection.

The city council’s

$280,000 plan would have widened Greers Rd to create a shared left turn or “sharrow lane” for cyclists, vehicles and the Orbiter bus to ease congestion during peak traffic.

The community board was given two options ata meeting last Monday.

Option one was to remove the cycle lane and narrow the footpath fronting Christ the King School and option two was to do nothing.

A report showed that there were three further options considered but were ruled out because they were not feasible.

The 7-2 vote in favour of not doing anything has been met with frustration from board member Aaron Campbell, who voted for option one.

Mr Campbell said more work needed to happen before the decision was made by the board.

He attended a site visit with traffic engineers and Environment Canterbury before the decision and said if the rest of the board had done the same they would have had a better understanding of the issue.

Submissions were made by four stakeholders, three opposed the plan were made by Burnside High School, Christ the King School and former Labour MP Margaret Austin, who, as a resident, was unsatisfied with the proposal.

The other submission was by Environment Canterbury public transport manager Edward Wright, who was in support of the plan as it would improve reliability of the Orbiter bus service.

Board chairman Sam MacDonald, among others who voted for option two, was concerned that option one would put the safety of children who use the footpath and intersection at risk.

In response to the decision, Mr Wright said without changes, unreliability and additional travel time will remain for the Orbiter.

“[Changes] would have resulted in a time saving of around five minutes for each anti-clockwise Orbiter trip at peak hours,” said Mr Wright.

Mr Campbell sent a letter outlining his concern to Mayor Lianne Dalziel, city council chief executive Karleen Edwards and city councillor Pauline Cotter on Thursday.

“This is the first time I have written to [the Mayor], that’s how strongly I feel about it,” said Mr Campbell.

“I’ve asked if there is another avenue that this issue can be considered,” he said.

Cr Cotter, who is the chairwoman of the infrastructure, transport and environment committee received Mr Campbell’s letter. Ms Dalziel and Dr Edwards were not able to respond.

“There might be another way forward if we pick up some stronger engagement from the people concerned,” said Cr Cotter.

But board chairman Sam MacDonald said that the decision would not have come before the board if it was not ready.

He said in spite of not attending the site visit, most board members had been out to observe the intersection at different times.

“If [the decision] has been put on our table it means it’s

been reviewed by all the necessary staff,” said Mr MacDonald.

Cr Raf Manji was in support of the intersection changes as he believed creating more space at the intersection would improve safety but acknowledged the outcome.

“It’s such a busy road and with two schools [at the site] it’s almost impossible to try and work out a solution that suits everyone,” he said.


  1. If you check the street view for Google Maps of that intersection, you will see the Google car, as well as two others, in the middle of the intersection while all lights are red. The problem is that there are no right-turn filter lights, and that going east into the city, Memorial Avenue at that point changes to 1 lane, so the southbound traffic from Greers road turning left into the city hits the backed up traffic from where 2 lanes merge into one. I can only think that members of the Community Board don’t travel through that intersection on a daily basis, or they would not sit on their hands and choose to do nothing.

  2. Many traffic congestion problems would be solved with a simple right hand turning light phase but councillor Clearwater is extremely anti this simple solution.
    Lincoln Road turning right to get onto the motorway is a prime example. The right turning light is there but hasn’t functioned for years and you are lucky if one car can legally turn right during the green or amber light phase.
    Decent traffic flow whether it is two wheel or four wheel is needed.

  3. If a simple right turning light can solve the problem, where can the councillors waste more of our rate money and pocket some?