Halswell Domain

Halswell Domain
View from the Model Engineers' site in the Halswell Domain

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Transport around Halswell - what to do?

Halswell has a range of transport issues. 

  • As anyone around Halswell will know, congestion on Halswell Road is an issue during rush hour.  
  • For local schools and for families wanting to get children to and from school safely, the 60km/hr speed limits and lack of adequate crossing points are an issue. 
  • Parents who feel compelled to drop their kids off and pick them up from school to keep them safe, have themselves created a major traffic hazard around schools.
  • Cyclists have to contend with fast traffic and increasingly angry motorists who don't have any idea how it feels to be on a bike. 
  • Pedestrians often have to wait a considerable time before they are able to cross the road safely in places around Halswell.  If you are struggling with mobility issues because of injuries or illness, the problem is even worse.
  • For people living down Halswell, and Junction Roads, traffic noise and traffic related pollution is making our place increasingly unpleasant.
  • People trying to turn right out of Nichols Road or School Road onto Halswell Road are finding it increasingly difficult to get across even when traffic is not heavy.

Add to this the large developments such as Longhurst and Knights Stream and the continuing development of Aidanfield, and the new Meadowlands development, it is clear that things are set only to get worse for Halswell residents in the near future. 
While each of these have pretty good walking and cycling facilities within each development, as has been the case for areas such as Country Palms, Aidanfield and Halswell on the Park,  there are problems for anyone trying to get between these developments and major community facilities such as schools, shops, sports grounds etc.  

Things that would assist these problems are: 

  • Off road cycle paths, which get a few people out of their cars and onto their bikes (even a few more people biking can make a significant difference to traffic congestion for those who choose to stay in their cars).  Cycling is currently the fastest, most efficient way to get from home to town, and many people do enjoy cycling but not when they feel unsafe as a result of the large volumes of car traffic, and a lack of cycle facilities.
  • Bus lanes which make it quicker and more pleasant for people who choose to catch a bus rather than take their car.  (Again, even a few more people catching a bus can make a difference to traffic congestion).  However because buses get stuck in traffic, taking the bus is not a great option for people.
  • Traffic lights, 
  • Pedestrian refuges and safe routes to school
  • Lower speed limits in some areas
The space taken up on our roads by the same number of cars buses bikes and pairs of feet

Sadly at this point, and despite the development here, there are no plans for any of these things in the Lincoln/Halswell Road area in the foreseeable future.  The off road cycle path that is planned as part of the new Christchurch cycle network, is planned to go up Sparks Rd.  The new cycle path along the southern motorway is not that useful for anyone living in Halswell wanting to get to work.  It would be good for those moving into the Knights stream area if Junction Road were not so unsafe for cyclists.  If we want to see good transport infrastructure around this area, we need to be taking some action and we need to do it soon.

If you have concerns about these things, a good thing to do is to write to the Riccarton-Wigram Community Board and the Christchurch City Council. Alternatively you could ring them.  Encourage your friends to do the same!  You could also get in contact with the Halswell Residents Association, who have asked the Council to do a transport plan for the area to manage the issues that we are already facing.

Without this kind of action, very little is likely to happen to sort out our suburb's transport issues.