Ac­ci­dent sparks cross­ing re­view

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

Pukerua Bay’s long- de­sired pedes­trian over­bridge or un­der­pass is back in the spot­light af­ter a 16-year-old girl was hit by a ve­hi­cle while cross­ing State High­way 1 re­cently.

Caitlin Lawrence had her leg bro­ken be­low the knee while tak­ing a short­cut home by the rail­way over­bridge on April 24, her mother Fairlight Lawrence says. The ac­ci­dent was in­dis­putably Caitlin’s fault but it has high­lighted the need for an­other pedes­trian route across the high­way, Ms Lawrence says.

‘‘It’s all too com­mon,’’ she says.

‘‘We’ve all done it at some point. I thought I had drummed it into her not to do it at peak-hour traf­fic. It was just a dumb decision.’’

Caitlin chose not to take the rail­way over­bridge to save five min­utes from her walk, Ms Lawrence says.

‘‘The bridge that we’ve got works well – when peo­ple use it.’’

An al­ter­na­tive pedes­trian cross­ing is badly needed by Pukerua Bay shops, where a Kapiti Col­lege school bus lets off pas­sen­gers and where most res­i­dents risk traf­fic to cross the road, she says.

Pukerua Bay Res­i­dents’ As­so­ci­a­tion chair­man Iain Ma­clean says talks be­gan with NZ Trans­port Agency about a cross­ing in 2005, and $2 mil­lion was at one point pledged for the project but ev­ery pro­posal was deemed too ex­pen­sive.

About 22,000 cars pass Pukerua Bay ev­ery day, most driven above the 50kmh speed limit, Mr Ma­clean says.

Porirua City Coun­cil vil­lage plan­ning man­ager Ian Bar­low says a joint pedes­trian cross­ing project be­tween the coun­cil, NZTA and Greater Welling­ton Re­gional Coun­cil has hit the skids due to fund­ing dif­fi­cul­ties.

‘‘At this stage it’s very hard to con­vince the na­tional road­ing au­thor­ity that they need to put some money aside for it.’’

The city coun­cil does not have re­spon­si­bil­ity for state high­ways and in any case has no wig­gle room in its road­ing bud­get to get a cross­ing built alone, Mr Bar­low says.

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