12 August 2017
RE: Otakaro Ltd. Hospital Corner Submission
SUBMISSION FROM SPOKES CANTERBURY
Spokes Canterbury is a local cycling advocacy group with approximately 1,200 members that is affiliated with the national Cycling Advocates Network (CAN). All submissions are developed online and include member’s input. Spokes is dedicated to including cycling as an everyday form of transport in the greater Christchurch area.
We would like the opportunity to appear at any public hearing that is held to consider submissions on these projects. Should there be an officer’s report or similar document(s) we would appreciate a copy(s).
If you require further information or there are matters requiring clarification, please contact our Submissions Convenor Dirk De Lu in the first instance. His contact details are:
4 Tisbury Lane
Cracroft, Christchurch 8022
Phone: 338 3270
Chairperson, Spokes Canterbury
What may not be obvious at first glance is that the bicycle infrastructure proposed here is virtually no bicycle infrastructure whatsoever. Adding some signs and paint so cyclists can share a congested 4 meter wide two way path with pedestrians and a busy roundabout with cars is either irresponsible or planning for failure.
This is piece meal planning and development at its worst. Spokes strongly urges Otakaro, CCC, CDHB and all stakeholder groups be brought together for an “Inquiry by Design” process to work out a plan which enables this project to best serve the hospital, central city cycle routes and larger cycle network.
Spokes is frustrated that effective consultation is undermined by the lack of street widths, intended lane widths, hospital traffic flows and plans, parking and likely user numbers. All are required to achieve a successful outcome for the hospital, patients and road users.
The Promises Made
CERA’s Accessible City Plan, Transport Chapter designated Tuam and St Asaph Streets as direct east/west cycle routes through the central city. Submissions from Spokes and others questioning this choice and how it would work resulted in verbal assurances that the rights and needs of people who choose to cycle commute would be met. This plan does not achieve that. This is counter to the promises made by CERA at the time, to CCC’s policy to make Christchurch cycle friendly and to the CDHB’s efforts to support healthy active transport modes.
That plans have been progressed to the point where fair, safe, inviting infrastructure may now be declined as ‘too hard or too late’ is not acceptable. The problems were identified years ago and assurances made that cyclists would not be disadvantaged. The current proposal disadvantages hospital functioning, motorists, patients, pedestrians and people on bicycles.
- The main hospital expansion and the new Outpatient Services building will create far in excess of 4,000 visits per day.
- The bus super stops on Tuam will have many visitors crossing Oxford Tce to access the hospital.
- Vehicles dropping off patients will add to congestion and street crossings. Patients in wheel chairs, walkers and on crutches will be a part of this mix.
- With both ends of Oxford Tce and the hospital driveway dumping into the proposed Antigua roundabout this main north/south cycle route is congested and will discourage cycling.
- The tailbacks already occurring on Antigua south bound will add to road user’s frustration and compromise safety.
- The hospital driveway at Antigua/Oxford Terrace is designated for cars and pedestrians but not for people who cycle. Hundreds of bikes use this unofficial counter flow exit way every day. Having it exit to Antigua compounds congestion issues.
- The proposed roundabout at Antigua Oxford Tce will be congested and unsafe.
Specific Concerns with the Proposal
Riccarton east bound to Oxford Tce (Tuam)
Cyclists coming from the west along Riccarton Avenue at the hospital must choose to negotiate their way through a congested block of six bus super stops with no cycle infrastructure on Tuam Street or go up Oxford Tce along a congested proposed 4 meter wide bi directional shared path and then negotiate a busy roundabout on Antigua Street to access Tuam Street.
Rolleston to Antigua
The north south cycle route would need to negotiate its way through the proposed Antigua roundabout with one way traffic from both sides of Oxford Tce and the hospital all forced to travel south on Antigua. Cycling will be discouraged.
Working within the Limits
Given the hospitals expansion and addition of Outpatient Services and the effective loss of Tuam Street as a complete cycle route from Riccarton Avenue, vehicle and pedestrian congestion makes the Oxford Tce route no longer suitable as a cycle route. Good cycle infrastructure does not direct designated bicycle through routes into heavily congested spaces. To encourage people on bicycles an alternate, inviting, safe, prioritised route is required.
Giving cyclists a way around reduces congestion for everyone
Cyclists heading east on Riccarton Avenue would enter the park and go behind the hospital using cycle paths already shown in the Christchurch Botanic Gardens Spatial Plan. See page 20 https://ccc.govt.nz/assets/Documents/Parks-Gardens/Christchurch-Botanic-Gardens/170410-IGL-3651-Spatial-Plan-Final-Revised-LQ.pdf Nb: A shared bidirectional path in the park does not have the cross traffic or congestion found on Oxford Tce. This plan includes a new pedestrian/cycle bridge to Rolleston Avenue. Spokes suggests that the cycle path be located nearer to the hospital grounds border to reduce cycle/pedestrian interaction and shorten the distance travelled. These plans must be advanced and supported as part of Otakaro’s commitment to carry out the intent of the Accessible City plan.
Antigua, Rolleston, Oxford Tce Bottlenecks
Oxford Tce between Montreal and Antigua to become two way and blocked at Antigua. Provide a drop off and turnaround at Antigua end. Hospital parking cruisers will enter from and exit to Montreal where they can go on to search CCC lots after dropping passengers.
This gives motorists an alternative hospital drop off point and relieves congestion at the Antigua intersection and from Antigua southbound. Cyclists coming from either the hospital or from Rolleston can more safely access Antigua.
Hospital Entrance at Antigua to be entrance only. Cars entering from Oxford Tce directed to Riccarton Avenue and on to Hagley Avenue to access Tuam Street or Moorhouse Avenue. This removes exiting vehicles reducing traffic from Antigua southbound. A potential drawback is that motorists will re-enter Oxford Tce to seek a drop off. Recommend that CDHB utilize secondary patient drop offs within hospital grounds to mitigate this.
Oxford Tce between Riccarton Avenue and Antigua
Remain east bound only as proposed. Cycle numbers should be greatly reduced thanks to the alternate route through the park there by reducing congestion and conflict on Oxford Tce. Some cycle infrastructure will still be required. The cycle infrastructure provided must at least meet the CCC Cycle Design Guidelines minimums. Physical separation from motorists is required given the short term on street parking and unloading. Physical separation from pedestrians is required given their likely to be high numbers and likely use of wheel chairs and other mobility devices. Spokes invites discussion to determine how pedestrian cross traffic might be best managed.
Hagley Avenue to the Hospital and the Avon River Project
Cyclists on Hagley Avenue heading north will have the option to use St Asaph to Antigua or the in park path along Hagley Avenue to Oxford Tce to access the hospital and the Avon River Project area.
Hagley to St Asaph to Antigua
The proposed bidirectional cycle lane on St Asaph between Hagley and Antigua offers much needed relief. CERA was unprepared to discuss Hospital Corner at the time of that consultation. This infrastructure may inadequate or congested with Metro Sports Centre traffic. Otakaro and successors will need to be prepared to review and add to this infrastructure if demand requires it.
Spokes appreciates that Otakaro Ltd. staff made the effort to meet with us. We were dismayed that the CDHB had not been invited to the meeting despite our written request that they be included. We were very disappointed to be told that the ‘concept’ plan was actually the only option which would be considered. We were shocked to be told that traffic counts for pedestrians, cyclists, even motor cars had not been collected nor had hospital and outpatient facility user numbers been used to inform the plan. Imagine our surprise when we were told that submitters should provide statistics and studies in support of recommendations we might make. Spokes reminds Otakaro that they have paid professional staff to make plans and institutional power to include all stakeholders to produce plans which identify and include alternatives options.
To that end Spokes took the unprecedented step of sending a version of this submission to the CEO’s of CCC and CDHB with copies to Otakaro Ltd. This step was taken out of desperation with a process well advanced to delivering unworkable transport bottlenecks while also failing to meet the public’s need for easy access to CDHB facilities.