Speed lim­its to come down

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By AN­DREA O’NEIL

The speed limit on Grays and Paekakariki Hill roads will drop per­ma­nently to 60 kilo­me­tres per hour in a pro­posal rec­om­mended unan­i­mously by Porirua City Coun­cil last Wed­nes­day.

The ru­ral Pau­ata­hanui roads are ac­ci­dent hotspots and the coun­cil fre­quently re­ceives re­quests to lower their speed lim­its, says a re­port pre­pared by Peter Bai­ley, the coun­cil’s gen­eral man­ager of as­set man­age­ment and op­er­a­tions.

Paekakariki Hill Rd has speed lim­its of 70kmh and 80kmh. Grays Rd has had a ‘‘tem­po­rary’’ speed limit of 60kmh since 2010, in a mea­sure in­tended to curb a sud­den in­crease in ac­ci­dents.

The re­sult of this ac­tion was an im­me­di­ate 80 per cent de­crease in ac­ci­dent rates, Mr Bai­ley writes.

A sim­i­lar re­sult is hoped for on Paekakariki Hill Rd. The pro­posal will be put out for public con­sul­ta­tion in May and June, and will be de­cided in Au­gust.

The pro­posal was wel­comed by Pau­ata­hanui Res­i­dents’ As­so­ci­a­tion sec­re­tary Alan Gray.

‘‘Paekakariki Hill Rd was built 150 years ago. Grays Rd is 100 years old. They weren’t de­signed to cope with the speed and num­ber of cars that use these roads,’’ he said.

Paekakariki Hill Rd is more dan­ger­ous than Grays Rd, Mr Gray said. ‘‘It’s longer, there are few pass­ing pos­si­bil­i­ties and too many com­muters.’’

Ac­ci­dents since 2010 have been much less se­ri­ous than those while the speed limit was 80kmh, Mr Gray said. ‘‘ Driv­ing be­hav­iour is markedly im­proved. There has been a cul­ture change.’’

How­ever, speed re­duc­tion should be ac­com­pa­nied by ran­dom po­lice speed checks, which were highly ef­fec­tive on Grays Rd, he said.

Other speed re­duc­tions rec­om­mended by the coun­cil in­clude ex­tend­ing Raiha St’s 50kmh zone fur­ther south into its 70kmh zone, and to ex­tend Ti­tahi Bay Rd’s 50kmh zone fur­ther south to slow mo­torists in its 70kmh zone be­fore they turn into Main Rd and Te Pene Ave.

Eight roads out­side schools will have speed lim­its re­duced to 40kmh at school start­ing and fin­ish­ing times. Corinna, St Pius X, Porirua, Holy Fam­ily, Wind­ley, Ti­tahi Bay and Post­gate schools, and Mana Col­lege, have re­quested 40kmh signs be in­stalled by their main en­trances.

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