Golfers at risk crossing road, says councillor

GRANT BRYANT IN QUEENSTOWN
Last updated 05:00 12/06/2012

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The 20,000 annual users of the Arrowtown Golf Club risk being hit by speeding cars when they cross a road to access greens, the Arrowtown ward councillor says.

The matter was brought up in the Queenstown Lakes District Council's infrastructure services committee meeting last week and could result in an overhaul of the Centennial Ave speed limit, which will for the time being stay at 100kmh.

Cr Lex Perkins pushed for the speed limit to be dropped to 80kmh, but after discussion between other councillors and the council's asset management engineer, Andrew Edgar, was satisfied that the matter would be more closely looked at in the near future.

Golfers have to cross Centennial Ave to access the last nine greens of the 18-hole course.

Mr Perkins said the avenue stretched over undulating ground on either side of the golfer's crossing point, and he was "very surprised" the speed limit was even allowed to be 100kmh.

However Mr Edgar said drivers were often counterintuitive, and did not always react in what would be considered a logical manner.

"There are many points to this issue, but many drivers probably won't understand why they're being asked to slow down, and we may end up with a worst case scenario where some drivers slow down, and others don't."

The danger of that scenario was it would result in golfers not being able to judge an approaching car at an average speed. The New Zealand Transport Agency had measured the average speed of drivers along the road at 82kmh.

After the meeting Mr Edgar said there were a huge number of case studies on drivers' behaviour that showed driver psychology was often contradictory and counterintuitive.

The committee was asked to consider changing the speed limit on Centennial Ave under its speed limits bylaw after public consultation.

Other roads that had speed limit change requests included a section of Peninsula Rd in Kelvin Heights, the full length of Old School Rd on the lower Shotover River delta, and Orchard Rd and rural roads near Mt Barker, Wanaka.

"If there's a crossing issue with the golf club, then we have to take it up directly with them," committee chairman Lyal Cocks said.

The issue could also be more effectively looked at when Arrowtown town boundaries were more firmly sorted out through plan changes 29 and 30.

grant.bryant@stl.co.nz

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