Open road sign spells danger
Michael Fiolitakis moved to Morrinsville two years ago to retire in a peaceful, country town without traffic problems and bought a property in a quality subdivision.
He says he did not expect to be living next to an open highway.
New speed limit signs erected on SH26 East have Fiolitakis riled.
At the beginning of August, the New Zealand Transport Agency replaced the old 70kph speed limit signs between Seales Rd and the Piako River bridge to 50kph, which was badly needed as a survey carried out by New Zealand Transport Agency found about a number of years ago.
That is the good part as far as the traffic in and out of the Holmwood Park entrance goes.
The problem is that they moved the open road sign, 165 metres closer to town and within the residential area where Fiolitakis lives.
‘‘Under the old speed limit, outgoing traffic past our place aver- aged 70-80kph as the open road sign was on the outside of the bridge. Now with the new open limit, the speed has increased to 90-100kph,’’ he said.
‘‘The new open speed limit sign is visible virtually from the Holmwood Park entrance some 200 metres away and drivers put their foot down as soon as they see it doing full speed as they go past.’’
While NZTA informed the Matamata-Piako District Council of the change and it was published, NZTA did not elaborate about the new position of the open limit sign.
‘‘We and our neighbours weren’t informed or consulted about it until we saw the new signs being erected,’’ Fiolitakis said.
‘‘After making several calls to NZTA to ask why they changed the position of the signs, we got contacted by their signs engineer, who said that he made the decision based on a three year old survey and that there is nothing we can do about it!’’
There are four main entrances into Morrinsville with new 50/100kph signs, and the other three while not as densely populated, have had the new signs erected in the same spot as the old open speed limit signs.
This is the only one which has been moved 165 metres closer to town and past residential properties.
‘‘We know that there will be an accident here soon involving one of the neighbours trying to turn into their drives,’’ he said.
NZTA was approached for comment but didn’t respond before time of print.