Speed bumps are gone

But planters don’t fix prob­lem

Central Otago Mirror - - FRONT PAGE -

Speed­ing traf­fic is yet again caus­ing con­cerns for some Clyde res­i­dents who are un­happy with the Cen­tral Otago Dis­trict Coun­cil’s de­ci­sion to re­place a speed hump with two tree planter boxes. The speed hump was in­stalled in De­cem­ber 2011 af­ter con­cerns from res­i­dents, busi­ness own­ers and po­lice that driv­ers were trav­el­ling too fast. How­ever, four res­i­dents who live along Sun­der­land St at­tended Vin­cent Com­mu­nity Board meet­ing in April last year to ex­press their con­cerns at the noise caused by ve­hi­cles cross­ing the hump. One res­i­dent, Hazel Grant, had lived in Clyde for 58 years and it had been the first time she ever needed to raise con­cerns with the coun­cil as the traf­fic hit­ting the hump would keep her awake at night. There was no con­sul­ta­tion with the com­mu­nity about where the hump would be put and af­ter the meet­ing the board rec­om­mended

to the coun­cil’s road­ing com­mit­tee that the hump be re­moved. The to­tal cost to in­stall the hump was $13,600 and $3,200 to re­move. Coun­cil road­ing staff then con­ducted an in­ves­ti­ga­tions into other op­tions to re­duce speed, with in­put from a spe­cial­ist traf­fic en­gi­neer at a cost of $531. There were 12 other op­tions con­sid­ered, in­clud­ing chang­ing Sun­der­land St to a oneway street, in­stalling chi­canes – which was re­jected as it at­tracted anti-so­cial be­hav­iour – and re­duc­ing the speed limit to 30kmh. The tree planter boxes were then in­stalled in Jan­uary for a cost of $8,714. In a sub­mis­sion on the coun­cil’s draft an­nual plan Clyde res­i­dent John Gren­fell said he be­lieved there was a lack of con­sul­ta­tion af­ter the re­moval of a speed hump with the de­ci­sion to in­stall the re­place­ment planter boxes ‘‘which causes on­go­ing con­cern’’. The planter boxes were hard to see af­ter dark and mak­ing the street nar­rower in parts or putting in a sign which told mo­torist the speed they were trav­el­ling were bet­ter op­tions, Mr Gren­fell said. ‘‘Some­one’s go­ing to have a damn good ding there,’’ he said. Mrs Grant be­lieved the new planted boxes were point­less if they were only at one end of the town and traf­fic was still ‘‘whizzing through’’. More needed to be done to find a so­lu­tion to slow the traf­fic, which had in­creased since Conroy’s Rd was sealed, she said. Coun­cil road­ing man­ager Julie Muir said there were ‘‘ex­ten­sive dis­cus­sions’’ with res­i­dents and landown­ers at the north­ern end of Sun­der­land St ef­fected by the in­stal­la­tion of the planter boxes and they were placed in re­sponse to the re­quire­ments and agree­ment of the ad­join­ing res­i­dents. The planter boxes were only placed at one end of town be­cause ‘‘this is where the safety is­sue ex­ists’’, Mrs Muir said. The size of the planters was sim­i­lar to hav­ing ve­hi­cles parked ei­ther side of the road and they had re­flec­tive mark­ers on them so they should be vis­i­ble at night if ve­hi­cles have their lights on, she said. ‘‘We can re­view the light­ing if that is a con­cern to peo­ple,’’ she said. ‘‘There is no per­fect so­lu­tion which will achieve the de­sired re­duc­tion in speed which is ac­cept­able to ev­ery­body, and the planters have been in­stalled as th­ese have the least im­pact on the ad­join­ing landown­ers in terms of noise im­pact, vis­ual ob­struc­tion re­duc­tion in carpark­ing, and im­pact on prop­erty ac­cess,’’ she said. The planters could be moved, and there­fore had ad­van­tage of en­abling a tem­po­rary so­lu­tion to be tri­alled, she said. It is likely that some changes to the kerb lay­out will be un­der­taken at the Sun­der­land/Nay­lor St in­ter­sec­tion in the fu­ture to en­able 30km speed signs to be erected when an up­dated speed limit bylaw is im­ple­mented next year.

Smash: A car tow­ing a trailer brakes and crosses the cen­tre line while ne­go­ti­at­ing the $8714 tree planter boxes.

Nar­row: A ve­hi­cle ne­go­ti­ates the $8,714 tree planter boxes in­stalled at the north­ern en­trance to Clyde.

Jack Ni­col­son started at Alexan­dra Pri­mary School on June 10.

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