Speed bumps are gone
But planters don’t fix problem
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.