Single lanes an option for busy road

KATE DAVIDSON
Last updated 12:58 12/06/2014
Rocks Road.
MARION VAN DIJK/FAIRFAX NZ
HAZARDOUS CROSSING: Victoria Solloway crosses Haven Rd with her family including R J Solloway, 6, right, at the crossing outside Auckland Point School yesterday. The road may be narrowed to improve pedestrian safety.

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A busy Nelson road could be narrowed in an effort to make it safer for pedestrians to cross outside a school.

The Nelson City Council's works and infrastructure committee was to decide today whether to reduce Haven Rd to single lanes from just past the Anzac Park roundabout to the Auckland Point School pedestrian crossing.

An estimated 18,000 vehicles use the dual lane road daily, but reducing it to single lanes in both directions was not expected to hit traffic as it would still have the capacity to deal with that volume, said a report to the committee.

The area outside the school is hazardous for road users with 13 crashes recorded there between 2006 and 2013 - four were directly linked to the pedestrian crossing and a police speed camera shows that section of the road is among the highest speed offences in the city outside a school.

The crossing is considered to be an important point linking to the CBD and the new layout is expected to limit vehicles speeding along the road.

Auckland Point School principal Sonya Hockley said one lane was preferable to the dual lane system, but the school community really wanted a 40kmh speed limit like other schools in the region.

She said cars often treated the road as a motorway with one vehicle being clocked going 80kmh during school hours.

Hockley said the wider community used the crossing and it was important to make those at the school's parenting unit, kindergarten, and primary school safe when crossing the road.

A petition had been started by parents to request a 40kmh speed area, but a council spokeswoman said the school did not have the pupil population to meet the New Zealand's Transport Agency's criteria for a 40kmh speed zone.

Victoria Solloway, a parent and user of the crossing, said going down to one lane would be a hassle for some traffic, but the road was unsafe and something needed to be done.

Parent Shirleyann Dixon said she would be keen for the single lane proposal.

"I think it's dangerous and it's stupid, it's [the crossing] right on the bend," she said.

The council's report said the one-lane option would not affect the potential of the southern link route as the road could easily be reverted to four lanes at a minimal cost.

It is the cheapest of four options given to the council at $99,000.

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- The Nelson Mail

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