There are more than 40 locations where projects are proposed – the majority of these will be delivered in Linwood and Bromley, areas currently lacking in real travel choice.
For some of these projects, we’re proposing intersection safety improvements using a range of safe speed features to slow people down. When everyone travels a bit slower, people feel safer walking, scooting or biking to get around.
Here, we answer some of the questions you may have about why we’re focusing on safe speed options.
Why are you focusing on travel choice – don’t we have enough choice already?
Not everyone has access to a car. It is important that everyone, including elderly and children, have access to safe and convenient means of travel. We have to provide transport choices for walking, cycling and public transport, designed in a way that is safe and easy-to-use for everyone, and located where there is the greatest need, like outside schools.
Our projects are focused in areas where investment is most needed. For example, in Linwood, we’re making it safer and easier for tamariki to get to and from school with pedestrian improvements at several locations. We’re also proposing a cycle-friendly environment along Smith Street so people can safely cycle to the Te Pou Toetoe: Linwood Pool and Te Waka Unua School on Ferry Road.
Why are you trying to slow cars down at intersections?
Whether driving, walking or cycling, you are more likely to have a crash at an intersection than any other part of the road network. Christchurch has one of the highest intersection risk ratings of any city in New Zealand. Slowing traffic through intersections using features like safe speed platforms reduces both the number and severity of potential crashes.
What kind of safety features are you installing?
We’re using a range of features. In some locations we’re proposing safe speed platforms, safe speed cushions, speed humps, narrowing intersections and widening footpaths.
Why use safe speed platforms? What the difference between these and speed humps?
Safe speed platforms are used to improve safety through intersections and crossings by encouraging safer speeds. They are different from conventional speed humps as they have a much gentler ramp specifically designed to achieve the desired speed reduction.
We recognise there is the potential for everyone to make mistakes. Speed platforms are like insurance against people getting seriously hurt. Our bodies can only tolerate so much force in a collision. Slowing people down at the places where people are most likely to get hurt is the most important thing that Council can do to help keep everyone safe on their daily travels.
Why are you lowering speed limits?
As part of the Safe Speed Neighbourhood Programme, we’re lowering speeds around schools and neighbourhoods. The Safe Speed Neighbourhood Programme is how Council is complying with legislation introduced last year that sets out how and when speed limits are set. Whether you’re visiting whanau and friends, letting tamariki walk, scooter or bike to school, or driving to work or home again, you going to be able to do it safely.
Why are you installing raised zebra crossings? Or raised central islands?
Raised pedestrian crossings act as a safe speed measure that allows people to cross the road at the same level as the footpath. This makes it safer and easier for everyone, especially those with disabilities and the elderly.
We’re also proposing to install raised central islands (refuge islands). These are elongated, raised platforms in the centre of the road where pedestrians can safely wait until the road is clear to cross. We generally install these in multi-lane roads and in areas where there’s a high demand for pedestrians to cross.
What are sharrow markings used for?
Shared lane markings, often referred to as cycle sharrow markings, indicate the likely presence of cyclists to motorists. They also help position cyclists on the street clear of car doors, kerb build outs and stormwater grates.
Find out more
People can check out an interactive map to find out what’s proposed and make a submission. Consultation closes on Sunday 16 July 2023. The Council will make its decision on these projects in September 2023.
For more information, visit ccc.govt.nz/waysaferstreets