Due 9 March
Wairakei Grahams Intersection Submission
Spokes supports the Councils efforts to make this intersection safer. The current plans fail to accomplish that goal. This is yet another project which needed input from people who cycle early on. Instead we have a project which leaves cyclists disadvantaged and at risk. Interested but concerned cyclists will not find the new intersection safe and will be discouraged.
50+ years of car focused infrastructure funding have left Christchurch with seriously deficient and unsafe roading infrastructure. The funds which were not spent on meeting the needs of people on bikes and foot are long overdue. We can’t build our way out of car congestion and Council needs to stop trying to do so.
Spokes offer two sets of suggested changes. The first is a step towards what actually needs to be done. The second offers a compromise which somewhat ameliorates the worst aspects of the project. Either will accomplish a safer outcome, the first will even support Council’s commitment to providing roads safe for all from “8 to 80” and meeting zero carbon by 2045 initiative.
Provide cycle lanes left of the main roadway and left of any turning lanes, separator posts to prevent vehicle encroachment, and raised tables for the slip lanes. Where there is a slip lane, the cycle lane should then be going over the slip lane’s raised table in a close to 90° angle. Too many drivers will only see people on bikes if they stop and make a shoulder check. It would be better to have the potential conflict point in the slip lane on the raised shoulder to ensure eye contact between people driving and people riding a bike.
An example from Auckland is here: (https://at.govt.nz/…/western-springs-shared-path…).
Look at the map. A cyclist riding a bike west on Great North Road can enter the shared path before the intersection and before the slip lane commences, having a safe crossing over the slip lane on the raised table section. This ensures maximum visibility, and is much better than just a sign “Give way to cyclists”.
At Wairakei/Grahams a short bit of separation that transitions from the on-road cycle lane (with vertical separators against encroachment) to the bit where the cycle path would go over the slip lane/raised table.
Much of what is suggested here can be done cheaply and Spokes is left wondering why it was not included. In the staff report on consultation Spokes would appreciate detailed explanations as to why basic safety features were not included, and which, if any, have. Spokes further makes a LGOIA request that any and all Safety audits and traffic studies related to this project be provided to Spokes via Dirk De Lu, details above.
Please include cycle infrastructure on Wairakei Road headed south east. The lack of provision of this infrastructure indicates one or all of short sightedness, false economy, a lack of awareness or acceptance of marginally better but still deficient road safety and equity. People who ride bikes are discouraged and put in danger when Council continues to pursue projects which blatantly do not achieve safety or transport mode equity.
While paint is not protection and more should be done please add green paint, cycle symbols, lane striping and bollards to include the full length of all no stopping areas. This may dissuade drivers from using this area as a de facto left turn queueing lane while reinforcing the right of people on bicycles to go to the head of the que. Please include green bicycle advanced stop boxes on all lanes. Including 10 seconds of advanced start for bicycles can also see them safely out of the way of left turning traffic prior to the green for cars/trucks.
Share the lane markings prior to the bus stop on Wairakei Road north of the intersection may also provide safety for cyclists seeking to “take the lane” when passing a stopped bus. Moving the stop further north to where the road is wider would be even better.
The left turn lanes on Grahams Road cross the cycle lanes. Please indicate that cars must give way to bicycles when crossing the cycle lane. Adding raised tables as suggested in Spoke’s option one is needed. These lanes are likely to create hazards by blocking the cycle lane with cars queuing to access this turn lane. This should be monitored and a remedy found should it be so.
Christchurch has done a lot to improve cycling infrastructure and this is greatly appreciated. That projects are still being floated that don’t actually address current needs, future proofing, equity or achieve required road safety is undermining Council’s efforts.
Spoke’s understands that funds are limited. Building marginally better infrastructure which will need replacing to be done right is not economizing; it is wasteful and very expensive.
With the additions in option 1 or 2 suggested Spokes can support this project.