Over­bridge? pedes­trian cross­ing? un­der­pass?

Whangarei Report - - OPINION -

A se­ri­ous omis­sion by plan­ners has caused a wor­ry­ing prob­lem in the new de­vel­op­ments on West­ern Hills Drive [near the ASB Sta­dium].

West­ern Hills Drive or State High­way 1 has been re­cently re­formed with a round­about and other im­prove­ments as well as con­sid­er­able taste­ful plant­ings of na­tive trees.

Wor­ry­ingly lit­tle con­ces­sion has been made for pedes­tri­ans apart from small is­lands in two places for walk­ers to cross one lane and pause in the mid­dle of the high­way.

Th­ese are at the south­ern end of the round­about and at the south­ern en­trance to Rus­sell Rd.

Pedes­tri­ans who at­tempt to cross State High­way 1 from Kens­ing­ton Sta­dium north to the in­ter­sec­tion with Kamo Rd “play chicken” to reach safety on the other side.

I have seen peo­ple do­ing this on nu­mer­ous oc­ca­sions — they scoot across one lane and wait in the cen­tre then scoot across the other lane.

Par­ents with small chil­dren do this to ac­com­pany their chil­dren to the pri­mary school on the other side.

On Satur­day morn­ings and when there is an event at Kens­ing­ton Sta­dium, Rus­sell Rd, Douglas and Wil­liam streets are packed with cars.

All the oc­cu­pants of th­ese cars have to cross State High­way 1.

So scores of peo­ple “play chicken”.

Some­times with log­ging trucks, milk tankers or tourist buses.

Res­i­dents of and vis­i­tors to this part of Whanga¯rei need a le­gal safe way to cross State High­way 1.

And we need it quickly be­fore there is a fa­tal ac­ci­dent.

I have tried a num­ber of ways to get some ac­tion on this mat­ter and am in­formed that I need ev­i­dence of the need.

So this let­ter is a plea for oth­ers who con­sider this is a prob­lem to con­tact me with your ev­i­dence or ex­pe­ri­ence so that I can build a plau­si­ble case that Tran­sit NZ/NZTA will give se­ri­ous con­sid­er­a­tion. _ Julie Rig­gir Whanga¯ rei

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