Chaos fears on Avondale streets
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.
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.
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.