RSA wins cross­ing bat­tle

Auckland City Harbour News - - FRONT PAGE - By EMMA WHIT­TAKER

A 20-YEAR bat­tle to make a risky stretch of road safer for pedes­tri­ans is al­most over.

Auck­land Trans­port is plan­ning to in­stall three cross­ings with traf­fic lights at the in­ter­sec­tion of Great North Rd and Kiwi Rd, out­side the Pt Che­va­lier RSA.

Two peo­ple have been killed near the in­ter­sec­tion and at least four oth­ers have been knocked down since 2009.

Su­sana Lua­futu Hutchin­son died last year af­ter be­ing struck by a car at the blackspot on April 24.

A 65-year-old man pleaded guilty to a charge of care­less driv­ing caus­ing death at the Auck­land Dis­trict Court in De­cem­ber and is due to be sen­tenced on April 1.

The Pt Che­va­lier RSA first asked the Auck­land City Coun­cil to in­stall a pedes­trian cross­ing in 1994 af­ter a num­ber of in­ci­dents.

‘‘I don’t know why it’s taken 20 years re­ally,’’ club pres­i­dent Ho­race Cadd says.

‘‘It’s money be­ing put ahead of lives,’’ ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee mem­ber Graeme Poole says.

‘‘It’s an RSA, our mem­bers know how to bat­tle, but in this case it’s been bat­tling bu­reau­cracy.’’

A pedes­trian refuge was in­stalled in 2002 and in 2008 it was re­shaped to stop mo­torists turn­ing right from Kiwi Rd.

‘‘Since then traf­fic has ab­so­lutely dou­bled. It was good at the time, but it is no good now,’’ Mr Cadd says.

The planned up­grade fol­lows a re­view of the site as part of Auck­land Trans­port’s re­gion wide Safety Im­prove­ment Pro­gramme.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tion found a lot of peo­ple cross at the spot and high traf­fic vol­umes mean a ze­bra cross­ing wouldn’t be suf­fi­cient.

The work will also in­clude pram cross­ings and street light­ing im­prove­ments.

A bus stop will be re­lo­cated and the op­tion to turn right out of Kiwi Rd will be re­in­stated.

More de­tailed plans will be avail- able af­ter a con­sul­ta­tion pe­riod for af­fected busi­nesses and res­i­dents ends on Fe­bru­ary 16.

The Al­bert-Eden Lo­cal Board is back­ing the plans. The is­sue has been an on­go­ing one for board mem­ber Graeme Easte who dealt with it while he was on the for­mer Western Bays Com­mu­nity Board.

The course of ac­tion so far has been the cor­rect one, Mr Easte says. ‘‘Hav­ing a fully blown cross­ing was not war­ranted.

‘‘Hav­ing a lit­tle used cross­ing can be po­ten­tially dan­ger­ous be­cause peo­ple drive past it ev­ery day and no­body is us­ing it and then sud­denly they are.’’

Photo: EMMA WHIT­TAKER

Much ap­pre­ci­ated: Pt Che­va­lier RSA pres­i­dent Ho­race Cadd, left, and ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee mem­ber Graeme Poole are pleased a cross­ing is to be built out­side the clu­b­rooms.

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