Tem­po­rary Mid­dle­ton Rd fix crit­i­cised

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - CHELSEA MCLAUGH­LIN

Welling­ton City Coun­cil has agreed to spend $40,000 on a tem­po­rary fix of Mid­dle­ton Road, a de­ci­sion res­i­dents say doesn’t go far enough.

The de­vel­op­ment of a cy­cle­way and walk­way is in the coun­cil’s long-term plan.

To im­prove safety in the in­terim, the coun­cil plans to tarseal the gap be­tween the white line and fence on the eastern side of the road.

Welling­ton City coun­cil­lor Mal­colm Spar­row said the idea was sug­gested by some­one con- cerned about safety.

‘‘It won’t just ben­e­fit cy­clists; it will ben­e­fit cars too,’’ he said.

Glen­side Pro­gres­sive As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Jan Voss said the road felt dan­ger­ous.

‘‘It’s cer­tainly haz­ardous at the mo­ment. It’s very nar­row and feels quite threat­en­ing,’’ she said.

The group made sub­mis­sions to coun­cil about im­prov­ing the road, but had never had much suc­cess, she said. The as­so­ci­a­tion was not con­sulted on the an­nual plan de­vel­op­ment.

Voss said some ac­tion was bet­ter than noth­ing, but res­i­dents would pre­fer the coun­cil made it more of a pri­or­ity.

‘‘Long term, we want a much more user-friendly, ac­ces­si­ble track.

‘‘They should spend more se­ri­ous money on it and put it higher on the pri­or­ity list. It’s an es­sen­tial route into Welling­ton.’’

The coun­cil had spent money con­nect­ing Tawa and Porirua and in the cen­tral city, but Mid­dle­ton Road was the miss­ing link, she said.

‘‘It’s be­come in­creas­ingly re­cre­ational for cy­clists. It’s the route they must take to get into Welling­ton.

‘‘It shouldn’t be over­looked.’’

Coun­cil trans­port and ur­ban de­vel­op­ment com­mit­tee chair­man Andy Foster said Mid­dle­ton Road was low long-term plan­ning list, so it was about mak­ing small im­prove­ments in the short-term.

He said he was un­aware of any ma­jor crashes in­volv­ing pedes­tri­ans and cy­clists for many years, but peo­ple’s per­cep­tion of risk was im­por­tant.

‘‘It is a long piece of road, and with a 70kph speed limit I could fully ap­pre­ci­ate that peo­ple might feel un­safe along Mid­dle­ton Rd. That would re­duce the num­bers of peo­ple who might feel com­fort­able walk­ing or cy­cling there.’’

Welling­ton City coun­cil­lor Andy Foster – ‘‘mod­est level of fund­ing’’.

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