Pos­si­ble speed limit re­duc­tions for Kapiti

Kapiti Observer - - FRONT PAGE - JOEL MAXWELL

Driv­ers north of Welling­ton face slower travel next year as the NZ Trans­port Agency floats low­ered speed lim­its around the $630 mil­lion Kapiti ex­press­way.

The agency pro­posed changes on sev­eral roads around the Mack­ays to Peka Peka sec­tion of the ex­press­way, likely to open next Fe­bru­ary.

High­ways man­ager Neil Walker said the changes would cover new and ‘‘re­con­fig­ured’’ roads around the 18km sec­tion of four-lane road.

Traf­fic pat­terns and vol­umes would change on the lo­cal roads around the ex­press­way when it opened, he said.

The changes would in­clude a sharp drop in the limit - down from 100kmh to 60kmh - on a wind­ing sec­tion of Wa­ter­fall Rd, of­ten used as part of a sneaky by­pass of the Rau­mati Straights on the cur­rent State High­way 1.

Po­plar Ave, on the other side of the Straights, would see a sec­tion of 80kmh road go down to 50kmh, un­der the pro­pos­als.

The changes were wel­comed by res­i­dents along a sec­tion of Ratanui Rd set to per­ma­nently drop from 80kmh to 60kmh.

Deb­o­rah Pope lived on the bend be­tween Ratanui Rd and Otai­hanga Rd, and said it was a great idea to keep the speed limit at 60 kph: its cur­rent tem­po­rary limit due to the ex­press­way work.

‘‘Peo­ple drive far too fast around here ... . It’s a lo­cal road and school kids walk along it.

‘‘Now that we’ll have an ex­press­way, if you want to drive fast you can go up there.’’

Pope said two cars crashed in front of her prop­erty due to ex­ces­sive speed within three days of each other two years ago, when the speed limit was 80kmh.

Is­abel Smith, who lived near the Mazen­garb Rd in­ter­sec­tion said she did not mind whether it was 60kmh or 80kmh.

‘‘There’s al­ways peo­ple go­ing a speed down here no mat­ter what you put. I don’t re­ally care.

‘‘It’s safe enough ... but the trou­ble is when it’s 80, peo­ple do 90 or 100.’’

The agency was tak­ing feed­back on the pro­pos­als till Jan­uary 31, with the pro­posed changes avail­able on­line.

‘‘The Kapiti Coast com­mu­nity know the lo­cal roads and how peo­ple use them so it’s im­por­tant to us that we hear their thoughts on what they think the safe speed lim­its should be,’’ Walker said.

Kapiti mayor K Gu­runathan said it made sense that the agency deal with the sec­tions of road built for or mod­i­fied by the ex­press­way.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.