Inaccessible city- St Asaph Street- another grumpy meeting…

Well that was interesting.

I was rung at 4.10 to be told there was a meeting of retailers from St Asaph St to be held at the ECAN offices in Tuam Street at 4.30. Present was the CECC, CCC numerous angry retailers.

The meeting of grumpy retailers, bar and cafe owners were deeply unhappy with the “Inaccessible city” design that has been imposed on St Asaph street. All stated the same concerns, road width, lack of short-term parking, curbing, lack loading zones,  constant complaints from their customers about being unable to park anywhere near their destination shop. etc!

One company in the area said that this plan was “idealistic” and takes no account of the fact that the retailers in this area were mainly light manufacturing and destination shops. A very valid comment.

There were 6 business owner in the room, that I know about, who planned or were talking about moving out of the area.

CCC maintains the plan was imposed upon them by CCDU.  hum… I believe it was partially designed by CCC staff…  fake news ? The comment from the CCC was “we had no opportunity to change the plan”.

So far I believe that the new curbing has destroyed 2 sumps and 27 car tyres,  those are the ones that we know about.

CCC says that the roading width is deliberate, to “calm traffic” and that they will not bulldoze the new design but they will tweak it.  ie change parking times from 120mins to ??? give us a few loading zones, sort out the taxi stands and smooth some humps and curbs. The speed limit will be reduced to 30 kmh.  (You can only do 30kmh now!).  I am not sure that any of these measures will deal with the real issues.

CCC maintained that St Johns Ambulance were quite “comfortable” to wait in the traffic on their way to the hospital. It is the “nature of the central city to be caught in traffic”.  Really?  next time I have a heart attack remind me to tell the driver to avoid St Asaph Street.

It will take a brave and honest planner to firstly admit that this design is a huge mistake and then it will take a Very brave council to say that it has to be removed and redesigned.

ho hum,  it is surely interesting in this city.


9 thoughts on “Inaccessible city- St Asaph Street- another grumpy meeting…

  1. Is this still going on! I haven’t driven through there for more than 2 months, and probably never will again. About the only part of the centre of “old” christchurch that still has any relevance for me is Sydenham, and that’s because there are still quite a few smaller old-school service industries down that way However even Sydenham is going the same way as Wellington did in the 1970s & 1980s when all of those types of businesses moved out to the Hutt Valley. That new northern bypass road should be fully complete at just about the perfect time, just as my need for old-Christchurch dwindles to never

    • I do think that some of the light industry in the CBD will have to move out to the burbs. That is inevitable. The real problem here is that a period of transition is necessary. Many of the businesses in St Asaph street were destination shops. They relied on easy access and reasonably close parking. Most of us are still in place following the quakes. We need time to move and find new locations that work for us. Than we will cheerfully leave the CBD for outlying areas.

  2. Go to any city in the world and parking issues are the same, it’s what comes with being based in an urban environment. Why should Christchurch be any different? In fact the three multi-storeys around the city, as well as the parking at South City and elsewhere, offer more than adequate options if people are willing to walk a short while

    Are Christchurch retailers so delusional that they think they should be surrounded by unlimited free parking? If they want this, move to a retail park and miss out on the upside of foot traffic and buzz that will come as the rebuild progresses

    The constant complaints of carparks, cycle lanes and traffic have been escalated by the media offering new negatives every day, I expected better from this blog

    • Ouch that hurts. The problem in the St Asaph St area is three fold.
      1. Long term parking by retailers and staff, who insist on parking in front of their own shops/workplaces. (very silly as each park in one day can have a average turnover of 16 shoppers.)
      2. The long term shortage of parking at the poly technique. This has steadily got worse. I hope that the students will start using the bike lanes.
      3. As I said to Bruce below. This area has a history of Destination shops. ie picture framers, printers in our case, tool shops, furniture shops.etc We relied on easy pick up and drop off. We never really had parks out side our door, but usually the customer could get pretty close. Our products are often bulky and heavy. In our case most of our customers were older. This is the type of access that we have lost. ie quick pick up and drop off. Most of us destination shops in this area will need to move further out. (We do not rely on foot traffic). This takes time and also This lessens the quirky nature of the area, to its determent, in my view. Its a catch 22.
      We have an “inspirational” long term plan that looks good, but we are having teething troubles getting to the ideal end point.

      Interestingly at the meeting yesterday, no one said that they hated the bike lanes, although some safety concerns for bikers were mentioned.( there have been 6 injury accidents so far).
      (As well as the sumps ripped of 2 cars and 27 tyres blown out on the curbing.)

      You are welcome to come down and see the problem for yourself. I am happy to walk you through the problems that we have struck.

      Thanks for the comment.

    • Looks like the positivity-fairy has discovered your blog. He can live in his world, and the rest of us will live in “delusional” the real one. The rebuild has been a disaster, period!

      • I’d love to spend a day with you getting angry at the rebuild in front of your computer instead of discovering the quirks, challenges and rewards the new city centre offers by visiting it

      • Of course, you are right. I don’t get out enough and have no idea about what has gone down in the old former CBD

      • Given the massive rebuild task that we have taken on, my days in front of the computer are far and few between. Contrary to what Gerry thought, we do very little “buggering around on face book”, she says with a grin! You are more likely to find me stuck up a ladder with a paint brush.
        Always happy to have different points of view thrown into the pot. And I hope your experience with the rebuild is much more positive than ours has been. I do look forward to a rebuilt city, but for High Street it is at least still a year away.

      • I guess we all have different views on the rebuild process depending on how we were treated by the powers that be. So I will assume James may have had a different ride from what we had!

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