Saturday, 25 May 2013


With the CCC about to put in bollards for those of us that have requested them, I thought it would be useful to discuss the pros and cons of having bollards placed outside our residences. The first round of bollard installation will appear in July, but if you miss out this time and change your mind, you will still be able to request these in the future by calling the CCC at 941-8999.

The St James Avenue oak trees are an important part of our identity and we need to preserve them if possible. They are not as healthy as they might be, and part of this seems very likely to be due to the road surface smothering and compressing their roots. This is worsened by the many cars that park close to the trees throughout the week.

If we stopped cars parking between the trees and had them park alongside instead, this would very likely help the trees because there would be a zone over some of their roots where cars could never park and which would be away from the traffic as well. What many of us didn't realise is, it would also add to the available parking spots because trees would no longer take up parking space.

But there will be disadvantages too. Some driveways may be harder to reverse out of because cars on the street will be able to park outside the trees near to driveways, so we will need to take extra care when driving out onto the street. In some places visibility will be reduced, but in some places it will be better, as the line of parked cars will be further out from the property entrance.  Alleyways create a similar issue and are not uncommon in cities throughout NZ (although in downtown Christchurch we seem to have lost a few to the earthquake!) so we know that this is not impossible to cope with.

Then there is the issue of street narrowing which is significant. Cars parked on either side of the road will undoubtedly narrow the street and potentially make 2-way traffic difficult for wide vehicles. However, the CCC have had advice from the experts that says such road narrowing still leaves adequate space for 2-way traffic. Bear in mind that a useful benefit will be the slowing of traffic that often speeds down St James Ave.

Another option I would like you to think about is making St James Ave one way. If there was only one stream of traffic, this would allow a safer pedestrian crossing point at the Harewood Rd end, and cars would no longer cut the corner. Personally I wouldn't mind which direction the traffic flowed in. Possibly, if the Harewood Rd end was the entry point this would stop the burst of 5pm traffic that shoots down the avenue to Harewood Rd each day, but there may be good reasons to go the other way. Perhaps independent traffic flow data should inform this decision.

Any thoughts?

(If you cannot comment here directly, email your comment to me and I'll post it here for you:

Local licensed premises -- Community Board meeting deputation

On Wednesday last week Margaret and I attended the Shirley-Papanui Community Board meeting to present our case opposing any further bars or nightclubs opening in our immediate area. The Board was chaired by Chris Mene who many of you will remember from his support of us during the Club 22 hearing. Also present around the table were Anna Button, Pauline Cotter, Peter Croucher, Kathy Condon, and Ngaire Button, familiar faces to many of us.

After I talked for 5 minutes on what we want out of the new CCC local alcohol policy, Margaret talked for another 5 minutes about our local community concerns about licensed premises, including how the Resource Management Act is applied (or misapplied) to companies like Club 22.

We were one of several deputations there that day, but I was impressed by the attentiveness of our Community Board representatives and their awareness of many of the issues facing us.

They will take our concerns back to the Council.

Agenda and Minutes (when they become available) can be viewed here  -  see 22 May in the table.