Chaos fears on Avon­dale streets

Central Leader - - News - By Scott Mor­gan

Res­i­dents fear traf­fic chaos could de­scend on Auck­land city’s west­ern sub­urbs when the Mt Roskill State High­way 20 ex­ten­sion opens in April.

The ex­ten­sion runs through Mt Roskill and ends at Maioro St in New Wind­sor.

The first stage of the project widened Tiver­ton Rd to four lanes in 2007 and was funded by the Auck­land City Coun­cil.

But Avon­dale Com­mu­nity Board mem­ber Cather­ine Farmer is con­cerned pro­posed coun­cil bud­get cuts will de­lay stage two of the project, which would see neigh­bour­ing Wolver­ton St also widened to four lanes.

A coun­cil re­port re­leased last month sug­gested construction on the $20 mil­lion project would start in 2011.

How­ever, a coun­cil spokes­woman has con­firmed to the Cen­tral Leader that the pro­posal is now to de­fer the project be­yond the coun­cil’s cur­rent long term plan, which runs from 2009 to 2019.

Ms Farmer says peo­ple al­ready travel through Blockhouse Bay and Avon­dale on their way home to Waitakere city and SH20 will just pour more cars into the area.

“It means res­i­dents cop a lot more traf­fic.

“We are be­ing asked to ac­cept the safety risks of mo­tor­way out­flow on our res­i­den­tial streets.”

Wolver­ton St res­i­dent Toni Fonoti is wor­ried her chil­dren could face prob­lems cross­ing the al­ready busy road.

“It’s al­ways

busy

be- fore 7am and goes on un­til 9.30am be­cause of the schools. Then it builds up again at 3.30pm.

“I don’t know when we get the mo­tor­way how bad it’s go­ing to be.”

She says driv­ing on the up­graded part of Tiver­ton Rd makes life a lot eas­ier be­cause of the ex­tra lanes.

Res­i­dent Trevor Jones is also con­cerned about safety.

“When the traf­fic comes down here, it’s go­ing to be a night­mare for kids cross­ing the road. It’s a night­mare now.”

Coun­cil trans­port com­mit­tee chair­man Ken Ba- gu­ley says orig­i­nally it was hoped the project could be com­pleted in time for the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

But bud­get con­straints mean road­ing up­grades have been scaled back, with a fo­cus on routes that carry traf­fic from the air­port to the city.

It has seen im­prove­ments to Manukau, San­dring­ham and Do­min­ion roads pri­ori­tised.

“I would have loved to got­ten the job done all at the same time,” he says.

“In an ideal world you would, but we’re not in an ideal world. We’re start­ing a world­wide re­ces­sion.”

Mr Bag­u­ley hopes the New Zealand Trans­port Au­thor­ity, which paid for SH20, may help fund the rest of the up­grade when the time comes.

The Avon­dale-Roskill ward could also suf­fer other losses, with pro­pos­als to de­fer project fund­ing from a pool in Avon­dale and up­grades to the Blockhouse Bay and Mt Roskill li­braries.

The draft long-term plan was as­sessed at the coun­cil’s com­bined com­mit­tees meet­ing last Wed­nes­day and will go to a full coun­cil meet­ing on March 26.

Pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion takes place for a month from April 17 be­fore the coun­cil fi­nalises its rec­om­men­da­tions on June 25.

Photo: JA­SON OX­EN­HAM

Bud­get cuts: Avon­dale Com­mu­nity Board mem­ber Cather­ine Farmer is con­cerned that the coun­cil is likely to post­pone fund­ing that would see Wolver­ton Rd in Avon­dale widened, even though traf­fic num­bers look set to in­crease with the open­ing of State High­way 20 in April.

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