Fjord’s right-hand turn re­lief

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - KRIS DANDO

It was hard to take the smile off Grant Baker’s face as he looked out at the break in the bar­rier.

Baker, a res­i­dent of The Fjord, can now make a right-hand turn off the busy Whit­ford Brown Ave into the Aotea sub­di­vi­sion, some­thing he has been seek­ing for more than four years.

Shortly af­ter the death of a pedes­trian in Whit­ford Brown Ave in 2008, a cen­tre strip and bol­lards were in­stalled along the busy road. The Fjord was then de­vel­oped, but no break in the cen­tre strip was con­sid­ered by Porirua City Coun­cil, de­spite the best ef­forts of Baker and other Fjord res­i­dents.

Mo­torists and emer­gency ve­hi­cles would ei­ther make a U-turn at the top of the cen­tre strip or go to the round­about at the top of Whit­ford Brown Ave and drive back down to en­ter The Fjord.

‘‘It was frus­trat­ing to say the least,’’ Baker said. ‘‘I see this as a suc­cess over bu­reau­cracy.’’

In 2014, it looked as if the turn wouldn’t hap­pen.

The coun­cil de­clared Whit­ford Brown Ave was go­ing to be a ma­jor ar­te­rial route af­ter the con­struc­tion of Trans­mis­sion Gully, even though sev­eral city coun­cil­lors backed Baker.

He said he had made at least five sub­mis­sions to the coun­cil and was de­lighted to have the right-hand turn in­cluded in last year’s an­nual plan.

Baker knew it would take time for the wheels to move on the project, es­ti­mated to cost about $58,000. But when it did hap- pen, it took just a mat­ter of days to com­plete.

‘‘I was al­ways scep­ti­cal about when it would be done, but it’s in now and we’re grate­ful to the coun­cil for it.’’

The Fjord res­i­dent Karen Bow­den said it was a bril­liant re­sult.

‘‘Peo­ple vis­it­ing now have eas­ier ac­cess and it makes life so much bet­ter for ev­ery­one. Well done to Grant,’’ she said.

Fel­low res­i­dent Thomas Thomas said GPS units which say ‘‘turn right here’’ halfway up Whit­ford Brown Ave were now cor­rect.

Baker said it was a case of be­liev­ing in some­thing and fight­ing hard for it.

‘‘If you have some­one to drive these things, and you’re talk­ing com­mon sense, you might win.’’

PHOTO: KRIS DANDO

A se­lec­tion of the The Fjord res­i­dents gath­ered on a wet day to cel­e­brate their re­cently com­pleted right hand turn.

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