Controversial Riccarton Rd plan revised

IMPROVEMENT: Infrastructure work is under way on Riccarton Rd.

A planned tree-planted median strip along Riccarton Rd will be shortened and feature fewer trees than initially planned to ensure there are no barriers to emergency services.

The median island along the city’s second busiest road will run between Clarence and Matipo Sts. It is part of a project to replace and upgrade outdated underground pipes and rebuild Riccarton Rd to accommodate bus priority measures between Harakeke and Matipo Sts.

The initial median plan, which included 27 columnar hornbeam trees, was criticised by central Riccarton residents during the consultation phase.

They were concerned the proposal was “extremely dangerous” and the road was not wide enough to be turned into a boulevard.

City council transport planning and delivery manager Lynette Ellis said the adjustments will ensure the median island is easier to negotiate for emergency services. However, there will be 10 fewer trees than originally planned at the outer edges of the project and around intersections.

Work on the median strip is expected to start in April 2020.