As you may have noticed, over the last months Ilam road has been upgraded to be more pedestrian and cyclist friendly! Here is a little Q & A with Steve de Jong from CCC about this upgrade. Thanks to Cycling in Christchurch for the images.
What is your position and your relation to the Ilam Road upgrade?
I am a Traffic Engineer with the Council and am responsible for the day to day traffic operations matters within the Riccarton/Wigram Ward area. I have a specialist role as “Operations Cycle Specialist”.
What instigated the Ilam Road upgrade?
The Council has recognised for quite some time that this is a unique section of road with very high numbers of pedestrian and cycle users both crossing the road and traveling along it. When combined with buses and general traffic it presents a complex traffic environment requiring careful consideration.
When did the upgrade take place?
The present scheme went out for consultation in October 2012.
What was changed on Ilam Road?
The new layout provides a shared path on the west side of Ilam Road with separated cycle facilities on each side of Ilam Road; it is proposed to reduce the speed limit along the University frontage from 50km/h to 40km/h. The new design provides two additional Zebra crossings at the strongest identified pedestrian crossing desire lines as well as crossing facilities at identified secondary desire lines. It upgraded the existing bus stops and waiting facilities as well as the footpath and drop off area outside Ilam School.
How does this benefit cyclists?
The new design physically separates cyclists from motorised traffic were possible, providing a safer environment for cyclists that will hopefully encourage more students to cycle to university and Ilam School.
The design also provides the younger/less confident cyclists a shared path facility on the west side of Ilam Road.
Any last comments on how things have been going on Ilam road since the improvements?
Council has received very positive feed back from the active travel modes, the University and other local authorities across the country. We are aware of a couple of incidents post construction however these are generally associated with users being unfamiliar with the layout and how to negotiate the new environment.