Christchurch City Council Living Streets Aotearoa
PO Box 237 C/O PO Box 4490
This submission is prepared on behalf of Living Streets Aotearoa, and focuses on the walking aspects of draft Metropolitan Christchurch Transport Statement.
We think this council statement does little to improve the walking environment from the current day situation. The document has the right thrust for its vision and goals but does not follow through with actions and funding to implement the vision.
Investment must be targeted into innovative proposals that discourage private car use and encourages transportation by more sustainable transport modes. To improve the walking environment significantly requires a new philosophy on the purpose of roads and a new approach to planning.
All roads except motorways must be designed as places for people. We all need to accept that every street should be calm and restful. Our streets need to be places to meet and play. Movement of cars should be secondary.
Pedestrian planning is not just about engineers designing and building pedestrian footpaths when roads are built or upgraded. Many other factors need to be considered by staff from a non-engineering background and the general community. A broader ideas base will create innovation in our approach to transport and land use planning. A Walking Steering Group to work with Council and Community Boards to develop an ongoing five to ten year project plan would be a good starting point.
General comments on the strategies:
Pedestrian Budget Remains Constant
The MCTS plan proposes more money will be allocated to pedestrian issues over the next 20 years however in terms of the overall transport spending the pedestrian budget will remain constant at around 13% of total transport spending. Until both the cycling and walking budgets are increased to approximately 33% of total transport spending, reforms will have little impact on the overall pedestrian and cycling environment. Superior walking networks must be created to impact on peoples travel behaviour. The current spending plans will not generate this outcome. Walking routes will only be tinkered with on an ad hoc basis based on road maintenance cycles.
No Implementation plans
Whilst the City can be congratulated on having a pedestrian strategy, its direction does little to improve life for a pedestrian. No proper implementation plan has been produced, consequently the MCTS reflects this poor planning and consequently not one major project has been listed for expenditure in the draft document.
From the RLTS downwards, specific pedestrian improvements have never been articulated. Whilst all other modes have targets to achieve, pedestrian issues have none. The entire transport mode is one that is badly researched, poorly resourced, and poorly understood.
The funding for demand management is insignificant when taken in the context of $74.8m for the total transport budget. Funding must be much more in line with desired outcomes.
Money that you have allocated should be spent now and not many years into the future. You may find the perceived need of new roads is no longer a factor.
Money would be well spent on travel behaviour programs. These are proven to be effective based on overseas experience. In Perth 40% of a population were prepared to alter travel behaviours and actually reduce or modify trips taken.
New Focus Needed
To achieve significant improvements will require a new focus. Council would do well to base the entire transport philosophy from the needs of the most vulnerable to the least vulnerable. For example the MCTS states that 20% of fatalities are pedestrians! What can be done to achieve zero fatalities?
True modal shares need to be reflected in road space planning. High pedestrian activity centres like the university (Ilam Rd) and CBD (Colombo St) need better approaches to road space planning. This should be in the current budget.
Where is Living Streets Philosophy Incorporated?
If the MCTS reflected the transport hierarchy and principles adopted in the councils Living Streets Charter the MCTS would reflect better overall spending priorities. The charter lists the following principles: