Saturday, 25 May 2013

Bollards

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: mhurrell@xtra.co.nz)

4 comments:

  1. Hello, thank you for the opportunity to comment.

    I received a letter from the CCC which confirmed overwhelmingly that residents did not want the bollards and cars having to park out on the avenue.

    · The avenue would become too narrow for 2 way traffic and very restrictive for residents trying to turn in and out of their properties.

    · Poor visibility was the other objection, as cars backing out of their properties would not be able to see traffic until well out onto the avenue. Dangerous.

    I certainly do not want bollards outside my property.

    If one observes, the ground under the trees for a good way in off the Harewood Road entrance is fully paved vs grassed. The trees in this area seem no worse off for this. I am not sure how bollards will help further down.

    My neighbours at the back and front of me are firmly of the same opinion on these points.

    I certainly do not want St James Ave to be a one way street. This is simply not practical. I use the Blighs Road end to enter and exit St James Ave all the time. I do not use the Harewood Road enter and exit. Papanui Road is invariably congested to travel down and it is not the route I use to drive to work each day.

    I am more concerned about cars using St James Ave for all day parking. There is nowhere for visitors to park. I would like to see some short term parking spaces.

    My other concern is the lack of upkeep of the trees. They are not very attractive in their current condition. Many have large dead branches and pose a danger.

    Regards,

    Madeleine Price

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your comment Madeleine. I would like to point out that the CCC did not formally survey the residents. True, the overwhelming number of responses was against bollards, but they had only a small number of responses. Most residents did not comment, either because they agreed with the concept, or they did not feel strongly enough to contact the CCC about this.

      Delete
  2. Hi Mike,

    Thanks for access to your blog. As you will have noticed that for over a year we have put a row of blocks outside 101 to mainly keep cars off our grass, this has worked 90% of the time and cars have parked beside them and we have found that getting in/out of our driveway is no problem at all, in fact it may be easier as there is a visual gap that enables you to see down the road that you don't get with cars parked on the grass, mind you I am a very good driver. I have not been in touch with the council regards getting bollards but would be happy to have them just to see if it would keep the dick heads in 4wds off the grass at weekends with the sports on Sat mornings.

    The other thing with cars parking along side the trees is that three cars can park outside most properties, as usually one car parks between the trees.

    One way, great idea. I have noticed that in the morning there is very little traffic from Harewood Rd apart from those crawling along trying to find a park in the morning, guess it is the getting out at the other end, but with the pm rush hour there is an endless stream of traffic, try backing out with a trailer, I guess the one way would go only as far as Dalriada St. To say that the road is too narrow with cars parked out is no different to the far end of St James Ave/ Windermere Rd at school times, or Watford Street, Normans Rd when two hundred jumbo taxis turn up to pick up their precious little darlings. The trouble is half the drivers these days have no idea how wide their vehicles are and have very poor vehicle judgement skills. Had my say,

    Cheers Pat and Doug

    ReplyDelete

Feel free to add your own comments below:

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.