Saturday, May 18, 2024

Controversial crossing plan canned

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Pakuranga MP Simeon Brown strongly opposed an Auckland Transport plan to construct a raised pedestrian crossing on Pakuranga Road. Times file photo Wayne Martin

Auckland Transport (AT) has scrapped a controversial plan to install a $450,000 raised pedestrian crossing on Pakuranga Road.

The agency announced earlier this year it was considering installing the crossing with traffic signals on Pakuranga Road immediately west of Grammar School Road and Johns Lane.

The work included moving the existing bus stop from east of the Johns Lane intersection to west of it, removing bus bays and moving bus stops into traffic lanes.

A new pedestrian refuge crossing would have been installed on Grammar School Road and the nearby kerb ramps on that road and Johns Lane would be upgraded.

The whole project would cost about $450,000.

It was met by outspoken opposition from the community and Pakuranga MP Simeon Brown, who labelled it “crazy”.

Brown launched a petition against the move that was signed by almost 2000 people.

AT officials attended a public meeting the MP hosted at Farm Cove Intermediate School on December 15 to reveal the agency was scrapping the proposal, for the time being.

Spokeswoman Natalie Polley says: “Auckland Transport appreciates the local interest in this proposed safety project and thanks the community for taking the time to submit on the proposal.

“After extensive public consultation, the decision has been made the proposed changes will not go ahead at this time.

“AT will monitor this area of Pakuranga Road following the speed limit reduction to 50kp/h in January 2023.

“If AT identifies changes are needed, we will share a proposal with the community and request feedback.

“Auckland Transport will investigate changes at the Pakuranga Road-Grammar School Road-Johns Lane intersection that would improve safety and access to the side roads.

“Any proposed changes at its intersection with Johns Lane and Grammar School Road will consider the ongoing work in the wider area and the Pakuranga Road route.”

Following the announcement, Brown told the Times it was “welcome news for Pakuranga residents and proves the community has the power to influence change”.

“Earlier this year, when this proposal first came to the attention of the local community, there was rightly a great deal of outrage as to how such an idea could have even got this far.

“Pakuranga Road is one of the busiest local roads in the entire country and already suffers from congestion issues and now an impending speed limit reduction.

“A speed bump crossing was always going to be a bad idea and the people who use this road everyday knew it and spoke up.”

Brown, the National Party’s transport spokesperson, says improving road safety is something everyone wants to see more of, but speed bumps on busy highways and blanket speed limit reductions are nothing more than a “band-aid on a problem requiring major surgery”.

“The local community should feel incredibly proud of their efforts to oppose this speed bump crossing with credit where it is due to Auckland Transport for taking heed of our concerns.”

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