Safety concerns prompt new crossing installation
A pedestrian crossing is being installed in Bank St outside the Mitre 10 Mega store amid road safety concerns.
Timaru District Council land transport manager Andrew Dixon said the pedestrian crossing would replace a courtesy crossing outside the store.
‘‘The safety concern is the uncertainty of some drivers and pedestrians about who gives way on the current raised platform courtesy crossing,’’ Dixon said.
‘‘This is a safety risk and it will only take one instance of one assuming the other will give way to result in an injury crash.’’
Dixon said council road engineering staff and members of the public had raised concerns. New signage included orange discs that indicated an official pedestrian rossing.
Additional road markings would be installed this week.
Dixon said it would become a pedestrian zebra crossing, as per the New Zealand Road Code.
‘‘The raised platform, called a courtesy crossing, has been functioning like a pedestrian crossing but there are safety concerns as drivers and pedestrians can be confused. To improve safety, we are formalising the raised platform into a zebra crossing.’’
Dixon said the changes would comply with national specifications.
‘‘At a formal pedestrian crossing motorists are required to give way to pedestrians.’’
The cost of the signage and road marking was $800, he said.
Timaru District Council’s group manager infrastructure, Ashley Harper, said the initiative would improve road safety, particularly for pedestrians and remove any confusion.
‘‘We have received concerns from users and observations show that there is often confusion by drivers and pedestrians as to who has to give way, the formal zebra crossing will remove this confusion.
‘‘‘There are no further pedestrian zebra crossings planned at this stage. No further changes are proposed.’’
Harper said council staff had consulted Mitre10, which was supportive of the change.
‘‘Road safety is a high priority for council and we expect that this low-cost work will provide improved road safety, particularly for pedestrians.’’
Lollipop signs have been put up as part of a new road layout outside Mitre 10 Mega Timaru meaning vehicles now give way to pedestrians.