Traffic calming policy

The following Council policy on traffic calming was reaffirmed:

Traffic restraints

  1. That traffic management measures and restraints be constructed where:
    (i) These are defined, significant and measurable safety reasons for providing these or
    (ii) That traffic management measures and restraints may be constructed where major roading projects involving the use of traffic calming devices or threshold treatments have first been referred to Community Boards for discussion prior to the circulation of pamphlets describing the work, with contentious issues being referred back to the Operations Committee for resolution.
  2. That in other areas, traffic restraints and management measures be installed only where a Local Area Traffic Management or Neighbourhood Improvement Area Plan exists
  3. That works that are planned for and budgeted in the current year and which meet the criteria set out below be proceeded with
  4. That the following policies be adopted subjected to resolutions 1 and 2 above.

Traffic management policies

  1. A network or hierarchy of roads which form part of the District Scheme is the basis of all traffic management in Christchurch
  2. Traffic - particularly heavy vehicles or longer trips - will be attracted to use this network. This will be achieved by a combination of improvements to network roads and intersections and disincentives to the use of non-classified (particularly residential) streets
  3. Network roads will be made more attractive to traffic and easier to identify by the use of the following:
    • Traffic
    • Channelisation at major intersections
    • Medians
    • High quality lighting
    • Direction signs
    • Smooth surfaces of good riding quality
    • Pedestrian crossing and other special features.
      Note: There is also a policy of not generally marking centre lines on non-classified roads. On occasions other traffic management devices such as stop signs, give ways and splitters might be installed because of special traffic problems.

      In a network such as exists in Christchurch, there are weaknesses in the traffic network and inevitably some high speed or long distance traffic will make use of minor non-classified streets, so it is not possible to eliminate all traffic management changes on minor streets.
  4. While attracting traffic to network roads will be given a high priority, designs must also take into account the safety and convenience of all road users
  5. Traffic restraints will be used to reduce the volume and speed of traffic on minor roads and to define the limits of each area
  6. Standard of typical widths of carriageway and details of cross section will be followed wherever possible for all classes of road ranging from arterials to minor residential streets
  7. In addition to the adoption of standard cross sections and widths, wherever possible, traffic management policies will attempt to provide for appropriate volumes of traffic and levels of service on each class of road
  8. Non-network roads are potentially available for the use of the following devices and policies to make them attractive to residents and less attractive to through traffic
    • Traffic restraints
    • Landscaping
    • Parking precincts
    • Pedestrian areas
    • Cycleways
    • Recreational facilities
    • Special themes to identify the uses (e.g. Charleston).
  9. No traffic restraint will be installed without a public consultation and the item having been placed first on the annual plan or being covered in a special resolution and financial allocation. No work will be undertaken without taking into account the possibility of diversion to other minor streets.
  10. In general a plan for the whole affected area will be drawn up, known as a Local Area Traffic Management Plan (LATM)
  11. Where other values are taken into account e.g. landscaping, recreational features, cycleways etc, the above will form part of and be subservient to a neighbourhood improvement plan. It is intended that the whole city be covered by such plans within six years. Implementation depends on available finance and seizing opportunities presented by street reconstruction but is likely to take up to 20 years.
  12. As arterials are reconstructed opportunity will be taken to float the idea of traffic restraints at minor streets. In addition, other traffic devices such as islands, roundabouts, kerb extensions and medians may be proposed. (These are channelisation and safety devices, not traffic restraints).
  13. No physical changes to any street will be made without the following conditions being met:
    (a) The work will be on the approved annual plan, or
    (b) A special resolution and fund allocation made.
    (c) The draft scheme is circulated to elected members at lease five working days in advance of -
    (d) An opinion seeking distribution of pamphlets to residents and others.
    (e) A notification of when work will commence.
    (f) As far as possible, the process of planning and implementing traffic and roading schemes on the attached diagram (see green paper) should be followed.
  14. All new works are to be tested against these policies (as they may be amended by Council). It is to be expected that schemes which follow a normal path of publication and discussion and amendment will be built without formal approval of the Council, Committee or Board.
  15. That all significant structural alterations to roads and significant traffic changes within the central business district be referred to the Operations Committee as well as to the Community Board
  16. That, where any roading or traffic scheme is to be changed significantly from the original published plan, a further pamphlet will be distributed to the appropriate area
  17. That the Traffic Unit continues to monitor the effects of traffic calming
  18. That the Traffic Unit develops guidelines for implementing traffic calming at all levels
  19. That the Traffic Unit develops an illustrated pamphlet for the public explaining traffic calming policy and techniques.

Council, 28 June 1995


  1. That the Council's Traffic Calming Policy be confirmed.
  2. That traffic calming in local residential streets only take place under the following conditions:
    (a) In accordance with the above-mentioned Policy
    (b) Where a clear majority of residents are in favour of the scheme's objectives
    (c) After consultation with local residents and road user groups on specific design elements chosen to achieve the objectives.

Council, 25 February 1999