In­ter­sec­tion chaos

Auckland City Harbour News - - Front Page - By Jo­ce­lyn Rein

A NEW road lay­out at one of Pon­sonby’s busiest in­ter­sec­tions is caus­ing con­fu­sion and long de­lays for driv­ers.

A traf­fic light has been in­stalled at the cor­ner of Red­mond and Jer­vois roads, con­trol­ling what was pre­vi­ously a free left-hand turn.

Auck­land city coun­cil­lor Greg Moyle, who drives through the in­ter­sec­tion daily, says the road is now a night­mare in the af­ter­noons, with cars backed up to Pon­sonby Rd.

Mr Moyle was con­tacted by lo­cals last week who were con­cerned about the hold-ups.

“This is such a thor­ough­fare,” he says.

“I saw four or five peo­ple go through red lights in frus­tra­tion one af­ter­noon.”

Mr Moyle says he had not heard about the up­grade and wasn’t aware of any con­sul­ta­tion with the West­ern Bays Com­mu­nity Board.

The coun­cil says the project was prompted by pedes­trian safety con­cerns, but Mr Moyle says the im­prove­ments are pre­ma­ture.

“The prob­lem is peo­ple haven’t re­alised the enor­mity of the con­se­quen­tial prob­lems.

“I just don’t think we ap­pre­ci­ated the dis­rup­tion it was go­ing to cause.”

Jer­vois Rd busi­ness owner Anna Han­son, whose shop looks on to the in­ter­sec­tion, says the traf­fic has been ter­ri­ble since the light was in­stalled.

“It’s a com­plete waste of time, it’s worse than be­fore.”

The new lights have now been tem­po­rar­ily cov­ered over and traf­fic was flow­ing more smoothly through the in­ter­sec­tion this week.

Coun­cil act­ing trans­port safety group man­ager Karen Hay says the in­ter­sec­tion up­grade is aimed at im­prov­ing pedes­trian safety.

A crash re­duc­tion study in 2006 showed 17 crashes at the junc­tion be­tween 2001 and 2005, in­clud­ing four re­sult­ing in mi­nor in­juries.

The free left turn has been re­moved from Red­mond Rd and sig­nal pedes­trian cross­ings added on all ap­proaches to the in­ter­sec­tion.

Ms Hay says let­ters were also re­ceived from Pon­sonby In­ter­me­di­ate School on Pom­pal­lier Tce last year re­quest­ing bet­ter cross­ing fa­cil­i­ties.

She says 394 con­sul­ta­tion let­ters were sent out in June last year to sur­round­ing busi­nesses and res­i­dents to seek feed­back to the pro­posal.

Only five re­sponses were re­ceived, with two in sup­port.

Pon­sonby In­ter­me­di­ate prin­ci­pal Wim Boxen says stu­dents wrote to the coun­cil as part of a class project with a range of sug­ges­tions for im­prov­ing safety.

He says bet­ter safety mea­sures are needed for chil­dren cross­ing the busy street.

Mr Moyle says he’s taken on board the school’s con­cerns, but doesn’t think the added traf­fic light will solve the prob­lem be­cause frus­trated driv­ers may now duck down side streets to avoid it.

“It may bring traf­fic closer to the school rather than take it fur­ther away.”

Trans­port com­mit­tee chair­man Ken Bag­u­ley says he was sur­prised to hear the new light was caus­ing havoc be­cause it’s sim­i­lar to other suc­cess­ful in­ter­sec­tion up­grades. He says the sit­u­a­tion will be mon­i­tored closely and ad­just­ments will be made if nec­es­sary.

The coun­cil would not re­veal how much the changes al­ready made had cost.

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