Intersection upgrade brings in feedback

DEDICATED: City councillor Aaron Keown has been putting up posters around Bishopdale to inform residents of the current consultation out for intersection of Breens, Harewood and Gardiners Rds.

Submissions have come crashing in on a proposal to upgrade a contentious Bishopdale intersection.

The city council received 261 public submissions by 9am on Friday on two options to improve safety at the Breens, Harewood and Gardiners Rds junction.

The feedback arrived within the first four days of the consultation opening date. The closing date for submissions is set for June 10.

To compare, the city council received 247 submissions on its draft Annual Plan over a month.

Harewood Ward city councillor Aaron Keown said the quick influx of submissions was “a pretty clear indication from the public that they were well and truly ready for this consultation.”

Option one, which is the city council’s preferred option, is to make Gardiners and Breens Rds a left-turn in and left-turn out only by closing the median on Harewood Rd.

This option has an estimated cost of $400,000 to implement and the city council has stated it will likely be eligible for funding subsidy from the Government.

Option two is to install traffic lights at the intersection.

The predicted cost of installing traffic signals is $1.2 million and would unlikely be eligible for Government subsidies.

But city councillor Aaron Keown said the budget is “not really comparable.”

Cr Keown has been campaigning to have traffic lights installed at the intersection for three years.

He said the preferred option would introduce major issues by cutting off Harewood Rd and forcing people to drive around the block or make dangerous U-turns.

“The city council is putting 13 sets of brand new traffic lights on one cycleway,” Cr Keown said.

“You can’t say we can’t afford it when they are more than happy to put that many traffic lights on a cycleway.”

City councillor Phil Clearwater said he had a view that there were “far more” unsafe intersections in Christchurch which should be taken into account when considering traffic light installation.

“It’s extremely important that in council we do our job to fix [higher priority] ones first,” said Cr Clearwater.

“However, I think it’s important that I keep an open mind when that consultation comes to council,” he said.

Fendalton-Waimairi-Harewood Community Board chairman Sam MacDonald said the board has “continually advocated for the city council to address the dangers at the intersection.”

“We’re pleased to see traffic lights as one of the options, but we will wait to hear the views of the community,” Mr MacDonald said.

The city council will hold two public information sessions which will start with a 20min presentation, followed by the opportunity to speak to the project team.

The first session will be held at Breens Intermediate School Hall at 85 Breens Rd, Bishopdale, on May 21 from 5.30 until 7pm.

The second session will be held at the Bishopdale Community Centre, 13 Bishopdale Court on May 23 from 10.30am until noon.

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