Some businesses in St Asaph Street have approached the CCC asking for more parking (53 more parks) to go onto the street beside the cycleway. The CCC are asking for comment from the public on two options:
A few small changes to increase safety (and not parking)
A million dollars worth of work to put in the extra parks at ratepayers cost.
An independent audit of the existing facility notes that St Asaph St doesn’t need changes, however there have been a number of reports of cyclists using the cycleway being injured (some quite badly) by cars turning across the cycle lane to get into off road car parks.
We think this arises because:
• Parked cars near an entrance can make cyclists invisible to car drivers, and this is likely to even worse if the cyclists are children.
• Drivers are not yet used to looking out for cyclists when they turn
• If a bus is stopped, the problem of invisibility is even greater
Spokes therefore would like the CCC to consider leaving the cycleway as it is or even better to take out car parks so that the facility meets best practice standards, and is safer and easier to use for both car drivers and cyclists.
What we really need is for people to write submissions and to tell their own stories - why are you keen to have a safe cycleway? What difference will it, or is it making, for you and or your family and their transport options?
Follow the link below to have your say. We have also listed a few recommendations to add to your submission. Please use your own words.
• This is likely to be a cycleway used by a lot of children who are going to Hagley High School and eventually Discovery school, and the Metro sports facility as well as by Ara students and staff. Isn’t it important that the cycleway is safe for all these users and that it encourages less confident cyclists to get out and give cycling a go (and save us money building expensive car parking buildings)? How will the city cope if these groups DON’T choose to use the cycleway because it is unsafe and get into cars instead?
• Please could we do a trial to remove parking beside the cycleway for a block and keep an eye on how businesses there do and how road users fare without it, rather than leaping in and spending a LOT Of ratepayers money to make the cycleway less safe.
• Share an idea sent a strong message that people want our city to be cycling and walking friendly. Cyclists clearly ARE using the cycleways in Christchurch and recent counts indicate that already the number of cyclists using the cycleways is having a significant effect on the number of parks needed in the City.
• The CCC has the goal of making Christchurch City Carbon neutral Isn’t making a cycleway less safe and less enticing for new cyclists an own goal?
• People with money and lawyers representing their own interests are being treated very differently to those volunteers acting on behalf of the wider community – volunteers who are getting sick of having to defend the need for a high priority on safety time and time again as each cycleway is treated as a separate entity.
• How many businesses are actually involved in saying there is a problem? How many cyclists are likely to be injured? How much will new cyclists be discouraged from using an unsafe cycleway? Why do people assume that cyclists will not be customers for businesses?
• The current design already breaks from best practice guidelines and represents a compromise. The best practice design was not even offered in the consultation process in deference to business owners worried about the removal of parking. Cyclists are already being injured in accidents because of this design and putting in more parking with hides cyclists only makes the potential safety risks worse.
• Cost of changing and adding 53 parks is over $1 million – or 18,000 per park which is effectively a ratepayer subsidy for private businesses where there are already adequate parking spaces.
• Parking surveys show that the current parking spaces are not full much of the time and there is a new 800 park parking building opening in Lichfield Street soon which is very close, so why do we need more parks? (with luck we will also have some figures about the number of parks available in the vicinity of St Asaph St. soon – watch this space)
• Why is it ok to remove carparks to add extra lanes for cars (as has been the case in Fendalton Rd)? There was a problem at the time but the CCC pushed it through and now everything seems fine.
• Removing car parks rather than putting them in (ie going back to the best practice design) would mean the lanes could be wider for cars using the street, it allows more space for parking on the other side and increases the safety of cyclists. St Asaph St is not yet a 30km/hour street but it would be good if it were – it would also make things safer for all users.
• Why are businesses only now protesting this issue. The cycleway has been on the books for a long time. Many businesses have moved in after the cycleway was built.
People are quite capable of walking and often show a preference for parking and walking (or indeed for cycling. Re:Start, Cashel Mall, New Regent St don’t have ANY parking outside their premises but the businesses there seem to survive ok. Cars generally only have one person in them and with a 60min turnover, that is 8-10 people for each car park that’s not a large number of customers, particularly as many people do walk from their park and may not be coming into businesses on St Asaph Street.
• We need to keep in mind that this is not about individual businesses or even streets – it is about making our city more cycle and pedestrian friendly. It is extremely annoying if cycle groups have to keep writing submissions and contacting the council every time a few businesses in a section of cycleway trying to move the CCC away from putting in cycleways. Congested streets are not conducive to attracting customers into the central city. Too much congestion and people will go to the malls where they can park in a parking building and get away from the cars as they wander around the shops.