Thursday, April 18, 2024

Share your opinion on road safety

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Feedback is being sought on whether speed limits should be lowered on numerous local roads including Shelly Beach Parade in Cockle Bay. Times photo Wayne Martin

People who want to see speed limits on numerous east Auckland roads lowered in an effort to increase safety have until April 3 to share their views.

Auckland Transport (AT) has released a list of more than 1500 roads across the city that it’s eyeing for proposed speed reductions.

It’s part of an initiative designed to reduce deaths and injuries on the road network.

AT says if approved, the changes will come into force at the end of this year, dependent on public feedback, board approval and implementation considerations.

Among the 1646 roads on the ‘phase three’ list are busy local ones such as Accent Drive in East Tamaki, part of which would fall from 60km/h to 50km/h.

Part of Botany Road in Golflands would fall from 60km/h to 50km/h, as would part of Cascades Road in Highland Park.

Edgewater Drive in Pakuranga would go from 50km/h to 30km/h, while parts of Pakuranga Road would drop from 60km/h to 50km/h.

That specific proposed change isn’t supported by Pakuranga MP Simeon Brown.

“Pakuranga Road is one of the busiest roads in New Zealand and is critical for people in east Auckland who commute to and from work each day,” he says.

“Slowing the road down will only mean people spend more time getting around and less time with their family at the end of the day.

“I encourage everyone in Pakuranga to submit in opposition to this proposal and will be doing the same myself.”

The lengths of Cockle Bay’s Advene Road, Alexander Street and Avoca Road would fall from 50km/h to 30km/h.

Part of Shelly Beach Parade would be reduced from 50km/h to 20km/h.

Among the people pleased by that is Cockle Bay resident Danny Wright, who’s involved in a community campaign to slow down speeding drivers who are plaguing the suburb.

Wright says it’s “totally understandable” Shelly Beach Parade’s speed limit may drop to 20km/h and he’s hopeful AT may consider lowering the speed limit on Cockle Bay Road and Pah Road as well.

“A 30km/h down that hill and back up to the top would be ideal.”

Wright says there’s been several “close calls” relating to speed on Cockle Bay roads this year.

“One [vehicle] went through a lamppost and one went through a fence.

“I didn’t see the one that went through the lamppost but I came out in the morning and drove up the road and there were skid marks and a lamppost lying down.”

He urges people to submit feedback to AT in support of lowered speed limits in Cockle Bay.

“I would encourage them to do so to keep our families and our kids in the area safe.

“I think if we can put some responsibility onto AT to keep people safe, with the speeds through there, because they certainly don’t want the worst thing to happen and that’s someone getting injured or killed.

“We need to do it for ourselves as a community.”

AT spokesperson Natalie Polley says the focus of the programme’s current phase has been on residential roads around schools where mean operating speeds are already relatively low.

“This is because existing legislation around speed limits does not allow us to reduce the speed limit where existing mean operating speeds are significantly higher than the proposed speed limit, unless there are plans to install infrastructure to support a lower speed limit.

“Due to existing legislation, arterial roads or higher speed residential streets would require significant engineering measures before we could propose reduced speed limits, and these types of measures may take significant time before they could be implemented.”

Polley says later this year AT expects legislative changes that will give more ability to change speed limits on roads where current mean operating speeds are higher.

“If and when these changes come into effect we will be proposing further changes around schools.

“That would be a continuation of the sorts of 30km/h zones in residential areas like the ones in this consultation, but will also include looking at schools that are on busier, arterial-type roads where we also consider using variable speed limits.”

Polley says Cockle Bay Road and Pah Road will be reviewed and considered in the upcoming interim speed management plan 2023/2026.

People can see the full list of roads and provide feedback online before April 3 at www.at.govt.nz.

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