From March 12 traffic around the inner city is going to slow down quite considerably because of new speed limits that are being brought in and this could impact on St Albans as drivers search for faster routes to their workplace.
Roads affected include the Avon River precinct i.e.: Oxford Tce, which has been slowed right down to 10kmh and the inner city (excluding Restart Mall which is a pedestrian zone) will be 30kmh. This takes in streets bounded by Kilmore St (but does not include Kilmore St itself), Rolleston Avenue, St Asaph St (but not including St Asaph St) and east of Madras St. In addition to this, Colombo St out to Moorhouse Ave and Victoria St out to Bealey Ave are also part of the 30kmh zone.
It is interesting to note that schools have 40kmh zones around their main entrances and not 30 kmh. Is this amount of the CBD speed restriction too much?
We will have to wait and see if this adds to the inner-city congestion at peak times rather than clearing it but it should make it safer for pedestrians and cyclists, who if hit will have a greater chance at survival if vehicles are travelling at slower speeds.
Drivers using the Papanui Rd Victoria St route to and from their town workplace might be tempted to drive through St Albans instead, perhaps via St Albans St and Springfield Rd to Durham St. Routes such as Colombo St and Durham St are not slowed down till the intersection with Kilmore St.
No doubt it will take a while for these speeds to sink in but sooner or later drivers will start collecting tickets for daring to travel at more than 30kmh in certain areas.
In a Christchurch City Council media release Transport Operations Manager Steffan Thomas says the change will help balance the requirements of all road users. “The 30km/h speed limit will provide a safer transport network, along with more accessible central city streets for everyone to travel, work and shop,” he says.
“The change is part of a number of transport projects under the An Accessible City programme of works and was influenced by the ‘Share an Idea’ campaign, which identified residents wanted the Central City to be safer for all forms of travel.”
An Accessible City, the transport chapter of the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan, is being delivered by the Council and Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority and has been developed in partnership with the New Zealand Transport Agency and Environment Canterbury.
The 30km/h speed limit is a permanent amendment to the Christchurch City Council Speed Limits Bylaw 2010 under the CER Act.
For more information about the change visit: ccc.govt.nz/AACtransportprojects.
Source and a disclaimer: The second half of this article has been sourced from a city council media release. The first six paragraphs, which raise some questions about the changes, is not part of that.