Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Raised crossing proposed due to ‘high crash risk’

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Pakuranga MP Simeon Brown at the location of a proposed raised pedestrian crossing in Aviemore Drive, Highland Park. Times photo Wayne Martin

Another of east Auckland’s busiest roads may soon get a raised pedestrian crossing in an ongoing effort to slow traffic down and prevent crashes.

As previously reported, Auckland Transport (AT) is planning to construct three raised safety platforms on Ti Rakau Drive, six raised safety platforms on side streets, and one raised intersection as part of the Eastern Busway public transport project.

The agency last year also proposed to construct a raised crossing on Pakuranga Road before reversing course following vocal opposition from the local community and Pakuranga MP Simeon Brown, who labelled the plan “crazy”.

AT is now proposing to construct a raised crossing on Aviemore Drive in Highland Park.

The plan has been revealed in a recent letter the agency’s road safety engineering team sent to Brown.

The team met with him in late October, before the new National-led coalition Government was formed and Brown was named Transport Minister, to discuss the ‘Aviemore Drive Safety improvements project’.

During that meeting the MP told the team that while there’s a need for a proposed new roundabout, the initial design had too many raised crossings.

“After considering your comments we revised the design and following a reduction in our funding we had to reprioritise all the road safety projects,” AT told Brown.

“The prioritisation has been completed and we are now ready to start consulting with the local community.”

AT’s letter states between 2018 and 2022 there were 36 recorded crashes on the stretch of Aviemore Drive between Highland Park Drive and Lewisham Street.

These incidents included two crashes that resulted in fatalities.

Four resulted in serious injuries and nine resulted in minor injuries.

To address the “high crash risk”, AT is proposing changes to make Aviemore Drive safer for pedestrians and motorists.

The agency’s initial proposal for that location included changing the intersection at Highland Park Drive and Aviemore Drive from one controlled by a give-way to a roundabout.

It would also have involved installing raised pedestrian and cyclist crossings on each leg of the roundabout and installing four raised pedestrian crossings along Aviemore Drive and one across the entrance of Aberfeldy Avenue.

The updated design has resulted in all the raised crossings, except for one on Aviemore Drive, being removed.

“In addition, the pedestrian and cyclist crossings at the roundabout will no longer be raised,” the agency told Brown.

“We have presented the revised design to the Howick Local Board, which they supported.”

AT says it plans to seek feedback from the local community on the proposal between November 27 and December 10.

It will also speak to the people at properties adjacent to the roundabout.

Members of the public will be able to provide feedback via the project’s website, by phone and email and the proposed changes will be explained in English and Chinese.

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