Thursday, October 17, 2013

Roading and rebuild issues are burning questions for inquisitive Cantabrians.

Since August, 112 reader queries have been sent to The Press for answers in Mainland Live's Q&A.

Out of the questions, 38 were about roads and roading issues, while 36 were about the rebuild.

The rest were about recycling, the environment, city maintenance, artworks in the city, transport, carparking, and buses.

Several people asked about right-turning signals at Christchurch intersections.

"I've been wondering for some time why there are so many light-controlled intersections that don't accommodate the traffic trying to turn right over the multiple lanes of oncoming traffic," said Karen, who withheld her surname.

"An example is the roadworks on Carmen Rd, where lanes are blocked in the centre of the road, forcing two lanes of traffic into one as they approach the lights. The upshot of this is if you are turning you cannot get a break in the traffic, forcing you to utilise the yellow and red lights. Why can't we have turning signals on these very busy intersections?"

However, there is no ready answer for this question, as the Christchurch City Council has a procedure for investigating whether right-turning signals are needed.

With rebuild questions, readers were concerned with the fates of structures and facilities they were familiar with.

Several asked about AMI Stadium - both old and new - and when rubble will be removed from the old Sydenham Heritage Church site.

Heritage buildings like the old Provincial Council Chambers and the Majestic Theatre on Manchester St also attracted questions about their fates.

"Every time I drive past the sad remains of the Provincial Council building on the corner of Durham and Gloucester streets, I wonder whether any of the beautiful hand-painted ceiling in the main building survived enough to be rescued," asked S Shaw.

The reader would be happy to know the council has said most of the stencilled ridge and furrow ceiling had been retrieved, along with the chamber's stone corbels, many undamaged, and fragments of the stained glass.

Examples of questions that have not yet found answers:

"Is there anywhere in the city that recycles the clean plastic wrapping from  The Press? I have been unsuccessful with my inquiries. It cannot go into the yellow bin and it is not good putting it into the landfill."

"Could you give us some explanation for the severe erosion of the sandhills north of the Waimairi Beach Surf Club? We have lived in this area now for 16 years, each winter we get storms that take bites out of the sandhills; they soon recover; but I have never before seen the dunes disappearing at the present rate. Has the local seabed shifted with the earthquakes off the coast or are there some other reasons?"

"Since the installation of the stretch [of new footpaths] outside the newly built shops on the corner of Westminster and Cranford Sts, I've seen two people tumble on to the road from the steep camber of the sidewalk. I think there's a serious accident waiting to happen to the less agile, aged or very young, or visually impaired. Can you please suss out the rational behind this departure from the flat, hazard-free footpaths we've had forever?"

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