Regenerate Chch email@example.com and 03 353 9600
“The square has to be a destination, not just a place to pass through.” ‘Regenerate Christchurch chief executive Ivan Iafeta’
“The plan included improving links to the square by upgrading surrounding lanes and streets. Traffic, except perhaps for public transport like the tram, would go. New forms of transport such as light rail, electric shuttles or an aerial gondola were other possibilities.”
“Special powers under the Greater Christchurch Regeneration Act could be used to make the changed needed”
Links to consultation web pages https://engage.regeneratechristchurch.nz/
Pdf of concept plan and key moves https://engage.regeneratechristchurch.nz/28887/documents/60060
Pdf transport file:///C:/Users/Dirk/Documents/Submission%20Source%20docs/CCC%20Cathedral%20Sq%20transp%202017.pdf
Spokes looks forward to the Square being rebuilt in alignment with the clear desire for a pedestrian and cycle friendly city expressed in Share an Idea.
Regenerate/Otakaro as successor to CERA is tasked with implementing the Accessible City Plan including the Transport Chapter. That chapter shows both Worcester and Colombo Streets as major cycle routes. This was a grievous mistake.
Pedestrian friendly areas are best when not in competition with through roads for cars, buses, bikes. Good cycle infrastructure does not direct bicycle routes into heavily congested public spaces. Sharing is important for all users of public spaces, whether roads or gathering areas. Good planning acknowledges that sometimes sharing is not an option, Spokes notes that the plans recognize this fact by excluding motorized vehicles from the Square.
Spokes submitted to the Accessible City Transport Chapter our concerns with designated cycle routes going through the Square and the lack of routes for commuter cyclists. Spokes asked that the plans be revisited including people who cycle to help select workable routes. It is clear that cycling and cycle parking in the Square are a necessary part of city life. Providing alternate cycle routes to minimize conflicts with pedestrians and events are equally necessary.
Ivan Iafeta, CEO Regenerate Christchurch recognizes the need to provide effective alternative routes as quoted in a 31 July Press article. “The plan included improving links to the square by upgrading surrounding lanes and streets.” No doubt this will require significant infrastructure. That there are funds and the power to do this is made clear by Mr Iafeta’s further comment “New forms of transport such as light rail, electric shuttles or an aerial gondola were other possibilities…. Special powers under the Greater Christchurch Regeneration Act could be used to make the changed needed” https://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/95268876/dramatic-changes-unveiled-will-reshape-christchurchs-cathedral-square
Spokes appreciates that the design suggestions offered are merely to start the conversation. Our concern based on what has been released is that cycling routes and cycle parking are clearly prioritized as tasks to be completed once all other improvements have been consulted and agreed upon. Bitter experience is that this business as usual approach disadvantages people who would like to cycle and results in unsatisfactory outcomes for all involved.
Spokes urges Otakaro and Regenerate to include cycling infrastructure as required by the Accessible City Plan and looks forward to working closely with Otakaro and Regenerate to plan and design this infrastructure. Making Colombo and Worcester Streets through north/south and east/west routes as shown will require immediate attention and funding. Designating Cathedral Square Street which circumnavigates Cathedral Square as a slow cycle street with limited vehicle access is one solution.
The Christchurch Central Recovery Plan promised “A growing number of high-quality cycle parking facilities will be provided. These will be secure, covered where possible and located at a range of key destinations.”
The Accessible City Plan Transport chapter promised “Cycling will be encouraged in the central city. Routes for both commuter and recreational cyclists will offer good connections from the wider city into the central city and the Core.”
Spokes further noted that over 3,000 car parks are promised within a 2-5 minute walk from the Square. With Share an Idea asking for parking on the periphery with shuttles to the central city the emphasis on car parking and the lack of detail for cycle parking undermines confidence in the effectiveness of consultations past and current.
Without complete plans people who use bicycles are inherently disadvantaged in this consultation process. Spokes calls for plentiful, convenient, secure and easily expandable bicycle parking in and adjacent to the Square. Spokes stresses the need for a full review of how to make Colombo and Worcester cycle routes connect without going through the Square and seeks to be an active participant in this process.
Development of the Square with major cycle routes going through it is clearly counter to the design goals stated for a family friendly, event friendly community space and for the priority of cycle routes indicated but not delivered by the Accessible City Transport Chapter.
Spokes requests that the opportunity for real consultation, denied in the Accessible City Transport chapter process, now be taken up to allow for successful development of the Square. Building community will require inclusion and empowerment for all stakeholders, including people who cycle for commuting and pleasure. Genuine community involvment in making Christchurch the pedestrian and cycle friendly city envisioned by the public in Share and Idea alluded to in the Accessible City Plan and promoted by Christchurch City Council’s policies is long past due.