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The Star: March 30, 2017

16 Thursday

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The Star 17 Viewpoint Latest Christchurch news at www. .kiwi Thursday March 30 2017 Tim Seay, of Rakaia, responds to the Christchurch Art Gallery’s drop in visitor numbers You quoted (The Star, March 16) Christchurch Art Gallery director Jenny Harper saying that recent visitor numbers at 77 per cent of the city council’s target level were disappointing and she wanted them to increase. THey have been stagnating while those of the Canterbury Museum are increasing strongly on the back of the tourism boom. Almost 1.5 million tourists now visit the Botanical Gardens each year and the majority of Canterbury Museum’s visitors are tourists. Being on a central city site the new gallery is only visited by a few tourists. It is time Jenny Harper accepted her responsibilities as director and advised the city council that their retention of the McDougall Art Gallery in the Gardens for the city’s collection will solve all her problems. It will provide the additional storage and display capacity needed by the gallery and will increase visitor numbers. THe McDougall always used to receive tourist visitors and could now if open easily attract another 100,000 tourist visitors straight away in addition to local people. Why does she continue to refuse to acknowledge this? Pam Brathwaite, of Ilam, writes about the intersection of Ilam Rd, Middleton Rd and Riccarton Rd, ranked as the city’s second most dangerous, which will be upgraded in 2019 Jan Nolan (Viewpoint, March 23) suggests fixing the problem by putting dedicated right-turning arrows from Ilam Rd and Middleton Rd into Riccarton Rd. This solution would need dedicated right-turning lanes, and currently there is no room for these. However, the arrows would work well if lights for Ilam Rd and Middleton Rd were separately phased, so that cars could turn right or cross the intersection safely from the same queue, without the current blockages caused by right-turning traffic. This could make the intersection much safer immediately, for a modest cost, and then a longerterm solution could be explored for 2019. Readers respond to a multi-agency group looking into altering the amber traffic signal by up to a second in a bid to curb the city’s red light-running problem Elle Morton – I travel across the city every day and have observed that very heavy use intersections don’t have right turning arrows and those that do either don’t work (Curletts Rd/Main South Rd) or have a ridiculously short time span. Drivers are prepared to wait patiently if they know they will get their turn to right turn and not try to be forced in the middle on an amber light which turns to red before they can turn. Our traffic management in Christchurch is almost third world – no right turning arrow at Main South Rd/Clarence St and many other heavy use intersections need them installed. This, I feel, would make intersections safer. Even worse are intersections with gridlocked traffic with no lights (ie streets leading into Barrington St from the mall) and cars trying to make dangerous right turns. Curletts Rd at 3pm has traffic from five schools feed into it at the Main South Rd intersection – dangerous at any time to turn right but more so at 3pm. Sue Bennetts – I live close to the intersection of Clyde Rd, Fendalton Rd and Memorial Ave. I cross the road every morning at approximately 8.30am going south from Clyde Rd. Every morning there would be at least three cars per light change that run a red light. I often have to wait for cars to go through as they constantly run red lights. The kids on scooters, walking and cycling often have to wait as the green man comes up on the traffic light. However, there are often three or more cars still travelling through the intersection very quickly. A friend’s son was hit on the pedestrian crossing to the BP. This is a big intersection with hundreds of children crossing every day to get to three different schools. I can honestly say that every morning there would be at least three red light-runners in either direction on every light change. This is not turning on a red light but just going straight through from Fendalton Rd to Memorial Ave. Because Christchurch (unlike every other major city in New Zealand), has very few right hand turning green arrows it is almost impossible to turn right under a green light. Drop by the intersection of Clyde Rd and Creyke Rd at 3.30pm and try to turn right. Yesterday, I tried this and it took me 21min to get through the intersection. Why don’t we just issue tickets for red light runners (not turning right) at $150 a pop and see how that works. Lynley Fisher – Reading the article in The Star compelled me to write. To some degree yes . . . they need to sort out the light changes to use common sense and not frustrate people. I am guilty of running red lights sometimes but honestly when you have sat through some sets three times you get so frustrated. I take my boy to school and turn right from Styx Mill Rd into Main North Rd, sometimes or often, there are truck and trailers waiting to turn also. The light changes give long enough for the one truck and trailer to get through sometimes and no one else. So annoying. So if I am behind, I go through too or I am late for school. Last week, I was at Northwood lights turning left into Main North Rd. I had a red arrow waiting for a pedestrian to cross the road. It is such a wide road that by the time the woman had crossed, one car had time to turn left . . . so I ran an amber/red light again out of frustration! The light cycles frustrate everyone, who in turn, take risks. Kathy Hughes – Allowing the give way rule at red lights for left turning traffic would free up some traffic flow and reduce driver wait time and frustration. The United States has this – give way on red for right turning traffic as they drive on the right. It works brilliantly by reducing queues when the road is clear. Gavin Simon – Thank you for your article which is timely as some of the traffic problems in Christchurch can be laid at the blame of Christchurch traffic engineers and the others mentioned in your article – Canterbury Transport Operation Centre, city council, NZ Transport Agency and Christchurch Police. What was not mentioned was the short duration of some green lights and the frequent short duration of green arrows. This promotes the illegal travelling through on yellow lights and red light running because of the necessity, or, sitting in the middle with a green then yellow, requiring a red to turn right mainly because of a lack of a green right turn arrow. Many of these green turning lights have a duration of only 2sec meaning that the yellow phase of 3.5sec lets more cars through than the green arrow phase. I realise that light phases is sharing time with the other directions, but if you are sitting in a queue beginning at 10 cars and require three light cycles to get through the intersection then something is wrong. Auckland green and green arrow phases are far longer, why do they have a different standard? Many intersections have only a red turning arrow and no amber or green, so if the intersection is clear to make a right turn on the green light the red right turn arrow prevents you from clearing the intersection. Standalone red turning arrows should be abolished if they are not in conjunction with a green right turning arrow. 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