Dan­ger ahead

Central Leader - - LETTERS -

Auck­land Trans­port has an au­to­cratic, cava­lier cul­ture.

Far from be­ing a CCO (Coun­cil Con­trolled Or­gan­i­sa­tion) they ap­pear a coun­cil un­con­trolled or­gan­i­sa­tion.

Hard on the heels of the bus route change de­ba­cle, where there was no prior con­sul­ta­tion be­fore chang­ing the New North Rd bus route, now comes the New North Rd/ St Lukes Rd in­ter­sec­tion lane changes.

No prior con­sul­ta­tion, no ad­ver­tis­ing of the change as Ali­son Curd pointed out in the ar­ti­cle Turn­ing lane changes cause con­fu­sion, ( Cen­tral Leader, July 3).

Auck­land Trans­port says traf­fic engi­neers have ‘‘modeled the change and found a 10 per cent im­prove­ment in traf­fic flow speed for city bound traf­fic’’.

How can this be when right turn­ing traf­fic does just that – turns right – no hold up, no queu­ing, no im­ped­i­ment to straight through traf­fic.

How­ever, the right turn­ing traf­fic that used to use both lanes, now will have to all fit into the right lane.

As this is a very short lane, the right turn traf­fic will bank up fur­ther down New North Rd quite pos­si­bly past the Al­ber­ton Rd in­ter­sec­tion.

If this hap­pens that would cre­ate a real dan­ger spot for traf­fic want­ing to exit Al­ber­ton Rd. Al­bert and our chil­dren love walk­ing to the parks and mar­kets in our com­mu­nity.

There are plenty of dogs in the area (on and off leads as well as roam­ing un­su­per­vised), so we have taught the chil­dren to ‘‘be like a tree’’ around un­fa­mil­iar dogs (feet planted; eyes and arms down – i.e. stand still, be quiet and don’t make eye con­tact).

The chil­dren re­mem­ber this and it works.

On July 5, we were walk­ing down Owairaka Ave with a group of 3 and 4 year olds, when a woman ap­proached with two dogs on leads.

The chil­dren moved aside and adopted their ‘‘tree’’ pose, but this dog owner paused her dogs in the mid­dle of the group so one could sniff at a child.

The child curled in be­hind the teacher, try­ing to main­tain his tree pose but clearly fright­ened.

The dog owner an­nounced: ‘‘It’s okay. He’s a nice dog and he knows small chil­dren.’’

I replied: ‘‘Yes, but they don’t know him!’’.

She took the hint and moved off, but shot back at us, ‘‘well, they bet­ter get to know dogs!’’.

This dog owner was in­cred­i­bly ir­re­spon­si­ble.

What if this child had a fear of dogs and chose to run on to the road rather than stand there be­ing sniffed by her ‘‘nice’’ dog?

It is ir­rel­e­vant how nice her dog is or how many small chil­dren it knows.

What mat­ters is that chil­dren should re­spect dogs they don’t know – and dog own­ers should re­spect chil­dren they don’t know.

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