Right-hand turn still not going to happen

KRIS DANDO
Last updated 11:10 29/04/2014

SlideshowThe Fjord, Porirua


View The Fjord - Whitford Brown Ave intersection in a larger map

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The residents of Fjord Place in Aotea will not get their right- hand turn, but they have supporters among Porirua City councillors.

The council's Te Komiti received a report last week on improvements and changes likely for Whitford Brown Ave.

The road is nearing capacity owing to the growth of Aotea and faces pressure with a Countdown supermarket planned at the top of the road, and its linkage with Transmission Gully.

The report says Whitford Brown Ave may become four lanes to adequately feed the Waitangirua link to Transmission Gully.

A right-hand turn into Fjord Place is estimated to cost $160,000 and, if the road ever became four lanes, such a turn would be a major hindrance to accessibility within the city, the report says.

Porirua mayor Nick Leggett said there were greater issues at play than creating easy access to Fjord Place.

"We have more than 1000 kids going in and out of Okowai Rd and it's important we are engaged with all the users of Whitford Brown," he said.

Te Komiti chairman Euon Murrell said he had strong feelings about entry to Fjord Place. "I find it difficult to grasp what is being decided and I will push for a right-hand turn," he said.

Councillor Denys Latham said he would also pursue the matter.

"The only reason it's not there [in the report], it seems, is because there must be provision kept for a four-lane road," he said. "I have heard it said that once you have Transmission Gully, traffic on Whitford Brown will reduce."

Fjord Place resident Grant Baker said he was disappointed by the outcome, given the strong support from his neighbours and emergency services.

Fire engines and ambulances often performed U-turns at the top of the barrier or drove up the wrong side of the road to get into Fjord Place, he said.

Baker said the possibility that Whitford Brown Ave could become four lanes was a delaying tactic by the council.

"The main entrance to the Porirua CBD from southbound traffic will be the Kenepuru link road. There is no evidence that a four-lane highway is required other than as a reason not to allow a right turn into the Fjord."

Possible upgrades to Whitford Brown Ave could include a roundabout at the intersection with Papakowhai Rd (costing $2 million), shifting the pedestrian crossing closer to Aotea College and creating a roundabout at Okowai Rd ($1.1m), modifying the roundabout at the top of Whitford Brown Ave ($260,000) and creating the Eskdale Rd intersection, which is just a road on paper at the moment ($900,000).

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