There’s a lot lined up for 2023: national elections (and associated lolly scramble), a census, and a new mayor and council wanting to stamp their mark on the city. There are also a lot of transport projects lined up ready to go. These are a few I’m looking forward to seeing (in no particular order).
Late last year Christchurch secured funding for street upgrades to improve walkability, cycling, safety and public transport in one of the more deprived parts of the city. It’s all designed to be low-cost quick-rollout stuff. I’m not sure of the exact timeframes but expect you’ll start seeing something happen in this space.
Streets for People
Similarly low-cost quick-rollout stuff, this time in Aranui and Gloucester Street.
This year we’ll see the completion of the South Express to Hei Hei and Heathcote Express, and the commencement of construction on several other sections, all going well. What were once a bunch of disparate cycleways is starting to look like a genuine citywide joined-up network.
Consultation on lowering speed limits across the city closed a couple of weeks ago. Council staff proposed what I thought was a fairly ambitious programme. However the people of Christchurch called for it to go even further so the scheme has been expanded. Expect to see this start getting rolled out later in the year.
This year we’ve been plagued with cancelled services due to a driver shortage. I still don’t really understand how we got to this point but the city desperately needs it to be resolved this year, hopefully sooner rather than later.
The Lincoln Road bus lanes opened late last year, these will be extended another few kilometres down to Dunbars Road, for which construction will begin this year. Routes 17 and 28 will hopefully get better routes and improved frequencies and shelters.
What started out as the Brougham-Moorhouse or Bro-mo project, then evolved into just Brougham St, will start construction this year. It includes adding some more traffic lanes (peak-hour T2), several intersections upgrades, and various walking and cycling improvements including a pedestrian overbridge at, ironically, Simeon Street.
The final two Anchor Projects
I’m disappointed that Parakiore has been delayed, but it’s still looking amazing for when it does eventually open in 2025. With Te Kaha now underway as well, it feels like we’re genuinely on the home stretch for completing all the anchor projects, first proposed before my children were even born (my eldest is now in her final year of primary school).
Speaking of projects that take decades to reach fruition, this year we’ll see public consultation on a new spatial plan (here), two new transport plans (here and here), and a rapid transit scheme (here). These are all planning documents which are a fair way off shovels in the ground, but still good to see things progressing.
Housing Choice Plan Change
Late last year Council voted to break the law and not notify plan change 14. The plan at the moment is for them to instead notify a version of it this year, although with more “qualifying matters” than previously proposed (allowing less housing than the last version). Late in the year an independent hearings panel will make a ruling on whether these are legal or not. Grab the popcorn. (latest update here)
Matatiki Hornby Centre
This is due to open late 2023 and includes a library, pool, cafe and community centre.
Cathedral Square Makeover
Liz McDonald at Stuff predicts 2023 to be the year that Cathedral Square comes alive. The Square’s upgrade will open early in the year and several new buildings will either open or begin construction. Will be great to see.
I’m excited about a big year. What are you looking forward to in 2023?
3 thoughts on “Things to look out for in 2023”
The money likely to be spent on proposed MRT on 2 single corridors in Chch given the dispersed low density nature of the city, would more likely produce higher benefits if spent improving the overall existing network with bus lanes and improved frequencies.
MRT will be needed one day in Chch, but not until we have congestion tolls and the need to provide park n ride options to MRT.
Although I don’t disagree entirety, MRT lines indicate to developer where they can build high density and can get returns due to the transport access.
Bus lines are temporary when compared to tram lines etc , hard to make a business bet when someone can move a bus line the next day.
This the current plan. Improve buses first (relatively low cost). Build mrt second.