Big rigs wreck shop ve­ran­dahs

Central Leader - - News - B y S c o t t M o rg a n

TRUCKS are caus­ing chaos for shop own­ers on Avon­dale’s main street.

Sev­eral big rigs have crashed into shop ve­ran­dahs and Avon­dale Com­mu­nity Board chair­man Dun­can Macdon­ald wants Auck­land City Coun­cil to take re­spon­si­bil­ity.

He says the prob­lem oc­curs be­cause some shops have ve­ran­dahs in line with or slightly over­hang­ing the curb.

They’re sup­posed to be half a me­tre back from edge of the foot­path, but the road has been widened in the past.

“When the ve­ran­dahs were put up they were le­gal, but now they’re il­le­gal,” Mr Macdon­ald says.

He says truck driv­ers don’t re­alise they’re get­ting close to the ve­ran­dahs un­til it’s too late and hit them.

“It’s get­ting danger­ous. The signs have come down but luck­ily they’ve missed peo­ple and cars.”

Mr Macdon­ald’s wife Glenys has fi rst-hand ex­pe­ri­ence of a col­li­sion.

“It ac­tu­ally shakes and you feel like the whole ve­ran­dah is go­ing to come down,” she says.

Mr Macdon­ald met with coun­cil offi cers at the start of last year, who agreed the coun­cil may be re­spon­si­ble for re­plac­ing the ve­ran­dahs.

Beck­ett Real Es­tate owner John Beck­ett’s oc­cu­pies one of the af­fected build­ings.

He’s worked there for 30 years, and says trucks crash­ing into his build­ing have been a prob­lem for around the past eight.

“I’ve re­paired it about fi ve times now. I don’t worry about it any more even though it looks shock­ing.”

Mr Beck­ett wrote to the coun­cil about the mat­ter in May.

The re­sponse said the coun­cil wouldn’t be fi xing the ve­ran­dahs.

“I was shocked be­cause I’d had a pre­vi­ous let­ter say­ing they were go­ing to look at it,” he says.

A coun­cil spokes­woman says Mr Beck­ett’s let­ter was passed on to the wrong depart­ment and a re­sponse giv­ing in­cor­rect in­for­ma­tion was sent.

The prob­lem is be­ing in­ves­ti­gated by offi cers af­ter Mr Macdon­ald raised the is­sue at the com­mu­nity board.

But the coun­cil hasn’t made a fi nal de­ci­sion on how to re­solve the mat­ter.

While it’s ac­knowl­edged the foot­path has been nar­rowed, it’s not clear when the work was done.

Deputy mayor David Hay says he feels for the shop­keep­ers who have had their ve­ran­dahs hit be­cause “Avon­dale spruced it­self up a few years ago”.

Mr Hay says he sup­ports offi cers looking into the is­sue.

Pho­tos: JA­SON OX­EN­HAM

O v e r h a n g :

Par t o f t h i s ve ra n d a h o n G r e a t N o r t h R d fe l l t o the ground af­ter it wa s str uck by a tr uck.

D a m ag e d o n e :

G l e ny s M a c d o n a l d a n d h e r h u s b a n d D u n c a n a r e c o n c e r n e d s o m e o n e could get hur t if tr ucks keep crash­ing into ve ran­dahs in the Avon­dale town cen­tre.

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