A planned tree-planted median strip in Riccarton Road will be shortened and feature fewer trees to ensure there are no barriers to emergency services travelling along the city’s second busiest road.
The median island will run between Clarence Street and Matipo Street, and is part of a project to replace and upgrade outdated underground pipes and rebuild Riccarton Road to accommodate bus priority measures between Harakeke Street and Matipo Street.
Christchurch City Council Transport Planning and Delivery Manager Lynette Ellis says the adjustments will ensure that the median island is easier to negotiate for emergency services responding to a call-out.
“Riccarton Road is one of the busiest arterial routes in Christchurch and a major thoroughfare for emergency services when responding to an incident or accident and accessing Christchurch Hospital,” Ms Ellis says.
“The change has come about via a great collaboration between the Council and all the emergency services providers. By a process of engagement and continuous improvement, we’ve adjusted the design to ensure that the central median allows for passing opportunities for emergency services vehicles. As a result, it helps allay any concerns over delays in response times.”
The median will help make Riccarton Road a more pleasant and pedestrian-friendly destination for shoppers and visitors, with streetscape enhancements and trees creating a traffic calming effect.
The trees will remain through the central shopping area of Riccarton Road.
However, there will be 10 fewer trees than originally planned at the outer edges of the project and around intersections.
Under the changes, the length of the standard height mountable kerb of the median island will be reduced while the length of the lower mountable kerb will be increased.
Work on the median strip is expected to start in April 2020.