Submission on Hereford slow street proposal

We congratulate the Council on this exciting initiative to create a more pedestrian friendly inner city environment.  We especially support the idea of this being a “prototype streetscape design for ‘slow streets’ which can be used for busier traffic links in the central city”.  We look forward to seeing the spread of slow streets so enhancing the social and economic vibrancy of the inner city.

We support the concept of the Hereford Street Plan in general.  Please keep us informed about  future consultation about this project. 

A few points we would like to emphasise:

1) It appears from the plans that some of the trees at crossing points may obscure the vision of motorists and pedestrians, we want even in a slow speed environment to ensure that sight lines are appropriate.

2) We note in the plans the street furniture (signs, seating etc) is kerbside.  The Christchurch City Council Bylaw requires this.  Please can this be rigorously enforced from the outset and maintained.  It is important for people with visual impairments to navigate safely, older people need a good clear non-trippable environment, and many of us like to window shop!  We value and support the cafe culture, including seating and planting for the life and vibrancy it brings to the community but want to remind Council that footpaths are primarily for pedestrians.  We intend to follow up this issue of placing of street furniture with Council for the rest of the city. 

3) We support engineering measures that encourage a lower speed regime of 30km/h or less, and the move towards a legally enforceable speed limit.  We would like a By law as soon as possible to mandate this lower speed limit.  We suggest that 20km/h is a more appropriate speed limit as it allows for slower cyclists to 'vehicular' cycle in the traffic which they are likely to have to with the narrowed carriageway.  We don't want road rage happening (tooting and yelling) and even worse cyclist “retreating” to the footpaths thus adversely affecting the ambiance and enjoyment of the pedestrian environment.

 Chrys Horn,Living Streets Canterbury Co-convener

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