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Hereford St upgrade slated online

Charlotte Thieme
hereford street
  Timmi Aplin-Barrett

Christchurch City Council has opened a public feedback forum for their proposed Hereford St plans.

An open forum for public input on Hereford Street developments stirred up largely negative comments.

Many expressed their concerns in comments on a Christchurch City Council Facebook post about its plans for the inter-city street, and asked the public for feedback.

The plan, which details an upgrade of the street's pre-quake format, includes two cycle ways, designated parking areas for taxis and Uber, as well as mobility parking. It would also allow for an east and west-bound bus route.

The top comment on the city council's Facebook post criticised the consultation process, and claimed the council had already made its mind up.

The commenter, Jeanette Gray, said that if plans went ahead as proposed, the council would "continue to make the city difficult to get around unless one walks or cycles".

She also cited large concrete safety medians put in place for cycle-ways on Manchester and St. Asaph Streets as the root cause of accessibility issues.

Other comments on the post agreed that the upgrade would hinder ease of access for commuters, and promote cycle-ways that no one would use.

But the Chair of Infrastructure, Transport and Environment Cr. Pauline Cotter said although cycle ways were outlined in the plan, the council's main goal was to increase safety for all modes of travel through the CBD.

It was also noted that the previously 3-metre-wide street would be widened to 3.25 metres, to help accommodate all city-goers.

"Historically, Hereford St was never pleasant to walk down, and so we're looking to repair that."

In response to claims the Council was not listening to the public, Councillor Cotter said that a previous cycle-way plan for the 'Papanui Parallel' saw 86 changes being made to the initial proposal after public consultation.

"We're keen to delve into submissions, and see what people think."

Those still interested in having their say on the proposed upgrade may continue to do so via the council's website until the forum closes on August 14.