Changes unlikely for problem intersection

MATT BOWEN
Last updated 05:00 02/08/2012

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A Hamilton intersection described by residents as a potential deathtrap is unlikely to undergo major changes, despite repeated serious crashes.

Early last month a woman and her child were seriously injured when she turned her Citroen off the 80kmh Wairere Dr into Raungawari subdivision, failing to give way to a west-bound Ford Mondeo station wagon.

It was the third smash of its type at the north Hamilton intersection in the past three years.

The first was in April 2010, shortly after the arterial route was opened, and the next occurred in October 2011.

However, city council infrastructure general manager Chris Allen said engineers had assessed the scene and found it fully compliant, though vegetation would be trimmed to improve visibility.

"The speed limit [of 80kmh], while we certainly understand those residents' views, I don't think it's easy to get compliance with lower speeds by turning it into a 60kmh zone," Mr Allen said.

"Certainly it doesn't meet our transport strategy for a major arterial, bringing the speed limit down. More importantly, it's not always the answer to just put up signs lowering the speed.

"The cars are driving on major arterials and they tend to travel at speeds that are appropriate for that type of road."

Mr Allen said the intersection had been designed and safety-audited for an 80kmh speed limit.

"Every accident is a concern to us . . . When you get two or more in the same location we're a bit more alert about it and it makes us look harder at it," he said.

The arterial route would be four-laned some time in the future but there were no plans at this stage.

Unless the police report highlighted "real deficiencies" only minor works would be required, Mr Allen said.

matt.bowen@waikatotimes.co.nz

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