If ever we have had an example of engineers getting a corner seriously wrong the corner of High and Tuam really has to win the prize.
I have to admit that I have a conflict of interest on this as I am a shareholder of a business affected by this intersection, Smash Palace. We were asked by a really decent team of people a year or so ago about what we thought of the corner. At the meeting, also attended by Sam Crofsky owner of C1 with his wife …, we gave our honest opinion that the corner had worked better when there were no lights there. To read in the article below that there are:
31 sets of lights – 11 for cars, 10 for pedestrians, eight for bikes and two for trams.
Nineteen poles were originally installed; however, a council review found the setup was inadequate and another pole was added before they were activated.
The article reports that to remedy this corner :
The council is set to reduce the number of signal poles to six as part of its long-term plan for revitalising High St between Cashel, St Asaph and Manchester streets, and extending the street’s tram route. About $6.7m has been set aside for the High St revamp and about $2.9m for the proposed tram extensions.
What the article does not analyse is that the Council will have spent around the same amount of money getting this corner wrong in the first place. That means that maybe $12m has been spent on a corner which functioned well in the first place.
The other issue is that as CCC spends even more money on this corner the disruption to business is enormous. People can’t stop to get a coffee from C1. People can’t find a park to go and eat at any of the restaurants or bars in the district. Small businesses have been beaten enough by Covid 19, which is nobodies’ fault. However, why does the Council decide to rebuild a corner they cocked up in the middle of summer? Why not undertake the rebuild when times are quieter during the winter?
Here’s the article: https://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/123202841/traffic-lights-at-christchurchs-controversial-20pole-intersection-to-be-reduced.
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