Speed limits to come down
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.