The joys of motoring
It’s amazing how quickly a car trip can go from relaxing to incredibly vexing when the speed dial plummets to single figures. In last week’s Kapi-Mana News we reported the delays and gridlock councillor Bronwyn Kropp says she and other commuters continue to experience on Mana Esplanade since the switch from transit lanes to clearways.
Going by the number of comments about the article on our Facebook page, her frustration struck a chord.
Heck, it turns out there’s even an ‘‘I Hate Mana Esplanade’’ Facebook group. It has about 40 members, but I can see that climbing if measures aren’t taken to improve traffic flow.
The clearway hours need to be increased on weekends, particularly Saturdays when there are a lot of folk heading to the capital, up the coast, and here and there for kids’ sport.
There’s also no reason why the peak traffic periods can’t be more flexible, increasing for long weekends or special events.
Confusing motorists by changing the times is a non-issue – they are already confused.
We also need to appreciate a lot of the problems concern the failure of motorists to adhere to the rules which support the traffic system, rather than the system itself.
We are simply too impatient or too inattentive to other road users; driving too fast, driving or parking in the kerbside lanes when we shouldn’t, and driving too close behind other vehicles.
Getting motorists to change their habits is the real challenge, and hopefully it doesn’t take a threat of speed humps to accomplish this.
I find the traffic flow annoyances of the Esplanade are tempered by the realisation that it is a difficult piece of road to manage, with the needs of SH1 commuters and local residents being juggled.
More exasperating is the Porirua central city at 5pm, where commuters who opt to take the northbound offramp instead of the clogged Mungavin Interchange are too often left rueing their exit strategy.
In its attempt to present the facade of a walkerfriendly link between the Canopies and MegaCentre, with a plethora of pedestrian and ‘‘courtesy’’ crossing at major intersections, the council has ensured it only takes a couple of leisurely pedestrians to bind up Lyttelton Ave, Hagley St and Parumoana St. Promenade? A fancy name for pain-in-the-arse. And don’t even get me started on the Pak ’n Save debacle. I feel like Luke Skywalker navigating the Death Star trench run every time I drive Parumoana St.
– Matthew Dallas, Editor