Big changes mooted for CBD

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Central Ashburton will be transformed under a proposal to go before council today (April 5).

The full scale – and the $13m cost – of the proposed renewal of the Ashburton central business district is revealed.

It includes Burnett and Tancred being one-way – Burnett west bound and Tancred east bound.

The document, designed as a base for consultation, recommends creating a 30kmh speed limit in the area bound by East, Moore, Cass and Havelock streets, putting in sensors throughout the CBD to allow time-limited free parking on a one-year trial basis (60 minutes for East, Burnett and Tancred streets; 120min for Havelock, Cass and Moore streets), delaying the design of Baring Square East so it can be integrated with the new civic building, create laneways, and pursue development of a wider cycle network in the CBD.

The recommended options were developed with input from council officers and the Town Centre Working Group, which includes business people.

If the work went ahead, work on Havelock Street would cost $1.15m, $242,000 in Moore Street, $3.73m in East Street, $1.77m in Burnett Street, $1.66m in Tancred Street, $3.05m in Cass Street and $1.68m for Cass Street roundabouts.

Last year the council began work on a revitalization project for the centre of Ashburton, recognising that a viable and vibrant town centre is vital to reinforce the “primacy” of the town centre, to reclaim retail spending and attract business back to the CBD – complaints lodged with council by retailers during various submissions to the council.

Retailers also sought free parking – now being trialled in East Street.

Under the proposal before council – and to go out for consultation – if income from the CBD time-limited free parking is not enough to cover the cost of parking activity, council will revisit funding options such as targeted commercial rate or general rate.

Under the proposal, East Street, from Moore to Havelock, would have a wider footpath on the east side and parking on both sides with a shared path to the west side; raised platforms at the intersection with Burnett and Tancred streets, 30kmh thresholds (gateways) where drivers enter this part of East Street via the traffic lights at Moore and Havelock streets.

Burnett and Tancred streets (East Street to Cass Street) would be one way, with Burnett west-bound and Tancred East bound and each end of the street will have angle parking on one side and parallel parking on the other.

Cass Street, Havelock to Moore, will have cycle lanes and parking on both sides, a kerb “build out” somewhere between Tancred and Burnett streets, depending on the final Eastfields site layout.

Havelock Street (East Street to Cass) will feature the current layout but with two kerb build outs to provide landscaping and pedestrian crossing areas, one near to the east of Baring Square intersection and one between this and the Cass Street intersection.

Moore Street (East to Cass) would keep its layout but with a kerb build out mid-way.