Monday, January 4, 2010

Welcome 2010! News You May Have Missed On Holiday.

  • Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker looks to the "steel and sparks" era of public transit – calling for trains, not buses to dominate Christchurch's public transport system within five years. Transport experts are reluctant to put a price tag on the creation of a light rail system, but agree it could cost tens of millions of dollars. The Mayor’s call comes after a recent urban transit fact-finding trip to San Francisco, Vancouver and Portland – cities which have invested heavily in light rail systems. The Press, 26 December 2009.
  • Environment Canterbury (ECan) deputy chairwoman Jo Kane slams Mayor Bob Parker’s methods of advocating for light rail, claiming that Parker went too far and that some of his statements were a direct pot shot at Ecan. (ECan runs most of the region's public bus network, although the Christchurch City Council operates the Red Bus venture.) Kane believes more debate is needed before leaders make public statements in support of a single direction and that all authorities need to sit down and have a hard look at all the issue surrounding public transport, not just light rails. She also suggests an “intermodal mix” of rail and buses could potentially work most effectively, from her observations on a recent visit to Stasbourg, France. The Press, 28 December 2009.
  • The Press reports a successful day for retailers on Boxing Day, including patronage of shops in the central city. “Kathmandu central city manager Andrew Veitch said shoppers were waiting at the doors when the Lichfield St store opened at 9am, and the demand continued right up to 6pm. "It's been flat out, with all the developments going on in the city centre there's plenty of people around and plenty of tourists, which is good for us," he said.” (LV side note - On a gorgeous 29 degree day (Celsius), a shopping stroll about the city sounds much more enjoyable than being stuck in a suburban mall, doesn't it?") The Press, 28 December 2009.
  • Christchurch snack-food company Cookie Time will launch a new health bar in United States next year. A “more refined version” of the One Square Meal bar will be aimed at the health food market for release in the States in April or May. Cookie Time's sees its partnership with Kiwi television star Phil Keoghan an advantage in a market saturated with snack and health food bars. The Los Angeles-based Cantabrian is host of reality television series “The Amazing Race” and will be international face of Cookie Time’s new American health bar. The Press, 29 December 2009.
  • Developer David Henderson is set to buy back the first of five central Christchurch properties he sold to the city council 18 months ago $17m while fighting liquidation proceedings against two of his companies. City council bought the sites to protect them from inappropriate development, and at the time gave Henderson the right to buy the sites back. Some criticised the arrangement as a bailout for Henderson. The sale of the northern portion of the old Para Rubber site in Manchester St to Henderson is expected to be ratified next month, under condition that development must be substantially under way within six months. "Henderson, in an email to The Press, would not say what will be built on the Para site”. The Press, 1 January 2010.
  • Over the course the week The Press hosted a lively debate from contributing writers and letters to the editor over Bob Parker’s call for a light rail system. Some point to the population of Christchurch, and question if a city of this size could support a light rail system in the way that other cities do. Many Christchurch residents applaud Parker’s calls for action and vision for a livable city of the future. “At last someone is talking sense! It’s taken – how long?”, states David Killick, a Press contributing writer, in an January 2 article “Time to rethink cars’ dominance” in which Killick fantasizes about what Christchurch and Canterbury could look like with more European approach to public transport. The Press, 2 January 2010.

1 comment:

  1. I'm excited to see what Henderson does with the Manchester site. He seems to the only one in this city completing new, and refreshing developments.