The joys of mo­tor­ing

Kapi-Mana News - - OPINION -

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

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