Road seen as race­track

Kapi-Mana News - - NEW - By KRIS DANDO

Mo­torists who fre­quently use Paekakariki Hill Rd de­plored the risks faced – and taken – by driv­ers, at a pub­lic hear­ing last week.

Porirua City Coun­cil has been seek­ing feed­back on its pro­posal to per­ma­nently re­duce the speed lim­its on Paekakaraiki Hill Rd and Grays Rd to 60kmh – the lat­ter has had a tem­po­rary 60kmh limit in place since 2009 – and re­view lim­its on Raiha St, Ti­tahi Bay Rd and out­side some schools.

Thirty- eight sub­mis­sions were re­ceived; many in favour of the 60kmh re­stric­tions for the Pau­ta­hanui roads. There were ex­cep­tions, how­ever, with the com­mon gripe be­ing mo­torists will speed no mat­ter what the sign­posted limit is.

Stephen Wick­ens, a se­nior driv­ing in­struc­tor for Min­istry of Trans­port, told the hear­ing last Thurs­day that he lived 12km from Pau­ata­hanui vil­lage and would be ‘‘ex­tremely frus­trated’’ if the en­tirety of Paekakariki Hill Rd was 60kmh. He said there was no ev­i­dence a re­duc­tion in speed would lead to less ac­ci­dents on the road.

‘‘ I can un­der­stand the rea­son­ing for Grays Rd, which is just 4.8km long and has sharp cor­ners, but we have 14km of road up Paekakariki Hill. That’s a long jour­ney at 60kmh [and] your frus­tra­tion level is such that you will want to stab your­self in the eye with a fork.’’

Mr Wick­ens said bet­ter en­force­ment of the cur­rent lim­its was the an­swer, as ‘‘those who dis­re­gard them now will dis­re­gard them even if the limit is 60 [kmh]’’.

Fiona Robin­son, who has lived on Paekakariki Hill Rd for 12 years, says peo­ple reg­u­larly drive well in ex­cess of 100kmh on the road. Her sub­mis­sion in­cluded com­ments from more than 12 other res­i­dents and fam­i­lies.

‘‘It’s just hor­rific, es­pe­cially for those with con­cealed drive­ways, try­ing to dodge peo­ple who use it as a race track. Some fam­i­lies won’t let their kids down near the road. It’s a nar­row, wind­ing road – 60kmh worked on Grays Rd, it will work on Paekakariki Hill Rd.’’

Alan Gray, on be­half of Pau­ata­hanui Res­i­dents As­so­ci­a­tion, said he knew the 60kmh re­duc­tion on Grays Rd had been a suc­cess be­cause ‘‘peo­ple were not crash­ing into my gate’’.

‘‘ None of these [ Pau­ata­hanui] roads are safe at 80kmh. They are ar­te­rial routes so you have the con­flict of through-traf­fic and lo­cal res­i­dents and peo­ple do feel un­safe com­ing out of their prop­er­ties.’’

He said mo­torists continue to drive ‘‘ crazily’’ through Pau­ata­hanui vil­lage. All oral sub­mit­ters were in favour of a 40kmh limit out­side Pau­ata­hanui School.

The coun­cil will con­sider the sub­mis­sions at a meet­ing on Au­gust 16.

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