More traffic expected as lights go up

MATTHEW LITTLEWOOD
Last updated 05:00 16/05/2014
traffic lights
JOHN BISSET/Fairfax NZ

NEW LIGHTS: Work has begun on the new traffic lights at the Church St-Otipua Rd intersection outside the entrance to the Scenic Reserve.

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Quarry Rd might be busier due to the new traffic lights at the Church St-Otipua Rd intersection.

Work on the lights, expected to cost about $230,000, began this week.

Traffic from the intersection will still be able to enter the Scenic Reserve once the lights are installed. However, drivers will no longer be able to exit the reserve there.

Timaru District Council's land transport manager, Andrew Dixon, said the construction had been held up by a couple of weeks due to the recent poor weather. He expected it to be complete by July.

"We expect the construction work to be steady, but we advise drivers to take care over the next few weeks. While they can still treat the intersection as not having traffic lights [until they're installed], it might be easier to seek a different route," Dixon said.

He said only one parking space close to the intersection would be removed.

The roadway immediately inside the Scenic Reserve will be realigned and straightened to provide safer access to the park.

Dixon acknowledged it would lead to more traffic at the bottom of Quarry Rd.

"But the trade-off is better safety overall. There had been a lot of concern from parents from Bluestone School about the risks around the pedestrian crossing on Church St, while traffic moves pretty quickly around that intersection," he said.

"The one-way of the Centennial Park zigzag allows the formation of designated walkway and cycleway, making it much safer."

Dixon said the council had not sent letters to Quarry Rd residents about the likely increase in traffic.

Quarry Rd resident Chris Beatson was not a big fan of traffic lights, but he understood why the council was installing them.

One resident said she was pleased traffic lights were being installed to decrease danger to children on their way to school, but was also "not keen on the heavy traffic flow".

Other Quarry Rd residents agreed a roundabout would have been a better alternative.

According to residents, Quarry Rd is already a busy street, especially when sports events and practices are on at Old Boys' Park.

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- The Timaru Herald

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