Editorial: Bring on the traffic lights

PETER O'NEILL
Last updated 05:00 11/04/2014

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OPINION: Some things are sent to try us, and in Timaru traffic lights seem to be one of them.

It's probably the size of the town. Not so large that we accept traffic lights as a necessity, yet not so small that we can do without them.

So it was that the Te Weka St lights became such an issue, decided only when the CBay Aquatic Centre was being built.

And hands up, I was one of those opposed. Now, I think they are great. We should have had them years earlier.

Likewise the roundabout at Wilson St/North St/Woodlands Rd. Firstly I wondered how anyone could have an accident there - until my niece did and I heard others had - and secondly when under construction it looked too big.

Wrong again. It works fine.

So you'll rightly ignore me when I question the need for a roundabout at the Wai-iti Rd/Morgans Rd/Barnes St intersection. Again, there may have been accidents I'm unaware of, but to me it's a pretty straightforward intersection.

Maybe the roundabout has something to do with the childcare centre just built there, but the centre has a good-sized car park and access to it wouldn't be a whole lot different whether there was a roundabout or not.

But, unlike a correspondent on this page, I do agree with the need for something at the Church St/Otipua Rd intersection, and the something may as well be lights.

At peak times this is a frustrating intersection (defined in Timaru by having to wait more than 20 seconds), but it's also a dangerous one due to the number of children who walk/bike through it, the new left-hand turning rule, the set back placement of the crossing, and the narrowness of the entrance to the Scenic Reserve, which adds to the congestion.

So lights it is, with work due to start in a couple of weeks. It's an excellent idea also that this entrance to the Scenic Reserve will become one way.

We'll all have intersections out there we hate, but here's the thing. If those same intersections were in a city of any size no one would have an issue. We are pretty spoilt here.

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- The Timaru Herald

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