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