Western News: May 21, 2019

StarMedia.Digital

6 Tuesday May 21 2019

Latest Christchurch news at www.star.kiwi

Your Local Views

Time for council to focus on Avonhead

Avonhead

Community

Group

chairman

Somnath

Sarkar

Bagchi writes

about the

need for the

city council to invest in the

suburb

When we shifted to Avonhead

from Fendalton in 2004, it was a

suburb with character.

Part rural, part residential, it

drew families with school-going

children like my own because

of its proximity to good public

schools and convenient traveltime

to the city centre.

The majority of our neighbours

were friendly, retired

couples.

Avonhead was no Fendalton

or Merivale but it was diverse

and had a sense of pride.

The roads were well surfaced,

the street gutters clean of leaves,

the parks regularly mowed.

Avonhead Mall was the main

establishment, with Monteith’s

Brewery Bar as its busy drawcard.

Cafe Euro came up in the mid-

2000s and became a fixture for

semi-social meetings.

WAITING: Avonhead Community Group chairman Somnath

Sarkar Bagchi said the long-planned sporting facility for

Avonhead Park, which backs onto the cemetery, remains

indefinitely on hold.

Fast track to 2019 and Avonhead

has lost that vibe of being a

suburb that takes pride in itself.

The mall looks tired and has

one or two empty retail spaces.

Monteith’s is still going strong

but Cafe Euro has been closed

for several months with silence

hovering over its future.

The semi-rural character is

gone, a sprawling retirement

village takes up what used to be

former pasture land.

The earthquakes have not

been kind to the pavements.

The street gutters are now leafstrewn

and many patches of the

roadside get surface flooding.

It sometimes takes time for the

lawns to be mown.

Many of the elderly couples

whom we knew when we first

moved in have either passed

away or shifted to retirement

villages.

Some of these changes are the

inevitable result of time.

Others are not.

The city council’s spending

priorities changed understandably

after the 2010 and 2011

earthquakes.

Avonhead, which was fortunate

to have escaped relatively

unscathed, dropped out of the

city council’s list of areas to

focus on.

No one can complain that this

was the case for the first five or

six years after the earthquakes.

Eight years on, however, it

increasingly feels like the city

council has taken Avonhead for

granted.

Other suburbs have got new

roads and malls while Avonhead

has got patchwork repairs.

The long-planned sporting

facility for Avonhead Park remains

indefinitely on hold.

The efforts to take care of the

suburb and its heritage, namely

the cemetery, have come mainly

from the local community

group.

When can residents expect the

city council to focus its attention

back to Avonhead?

WESTERN NEWS

Readers respond to the

Western News article on

Hornby’s traffic woes

Deb Flanagan – Wait until

you get another 1500 gravel truck

movements a day choking up

the State Highway 1 from Fulton

Hogan’s proposed new quarry.

And the motorway extension is

being overrated. People travelling

in from Rolleston heading for

city centre or Riccarton will still

go via Hornby as they won’t want

to be stuck in the increasing

traffic jam in Sydenham

including all the big trucks heading

to port.

Jo-Anne Clark – They need

to put a right-turn light on the

northbound lights at the Main

South Rd and Carmen Rd intersection.

Just like they have on the

other three lights there.

Heather Wilkins – It doesn’t

help that at the lights there aren’t

always separate turning lanes.

Where there are turning lanes,

they all need to turn like they do

at the main set at Shands Rd and

Main South Rd. That would help

speed the traffic up. The Buchanans/Carmen

Rds lights don’t. The

right turning light onto Carmen

Rd from the Pound Rd end of

Buchanans Rd, turns green at the

same time as the through traffic.

Then you are lucky to get one car

through.

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