Safety fears cause delays
A blunder by the Queenstown Lakes District Council as part of the Cardrona traffic calming initiative has cost ratepayers about $30,000. Speed ‘‘thresholds’’, consisting of local river stones and exposed aggregate, installed at the two entrances of the town were found to be dangerous and were removed last week. Council infrastructure and assets general manager Erik Barnes said the design was similar to that used in other parts of New Zealand but the particular river stones used were found to be dangerous to motorcyclists. ‘‘If they were to hit it in the wrong place potentially a tire could pop and throw the rider off causing severe injury,’’ Mr Barnes said. Water collecting and freezing in winter could have also cause riders to skid, Mr Barnes said. The beams used in the thresholds, which were reusable, cost $50,000, while it cost $40,000 to install them and approximately $15,000 to have them removed and reinstated. However, the cost was shared with the New Zealand Transport Agency after it funded part of the project. The council thought potential issues were addressed
and before installing the thresholds but in the end the project proved to be unsafe, Mr Barnes said. ‘‘It was an easy decision to remove them . . . We do not want to compromise anyone’s life.’’ he said. A more suitable use for the thresholds would be found so they were not wasted. However, at this stage Mr Barnes was unable to say what that would be.
U-turn: Contractors work to remove speed ‘‘thresholds’’ installed as part of the Cardrona traffic calming initiative after concerns were raised about safety.
Bumpy ride: Amotorcyclist negotiates the speed ‘‘thresholds’’.