Expensive pedestrian crossing draws criticism
The installation of a $77,000 pedestrian crossing on a dead end road in east Auckland is being labelled a waste of ratepayers money.
Wootton Rd, off Remuera Rd, will have a signalled pedestrian crossing installed later this year by Auckland Transport (AT) despite it being a narrow, dead end road.
In feedback to residents the council controlled organisation said there was a high volume of pedestrians wanting to cross the road. With no pedestrian crossing people were unsure when to cross, it said.
Local resident Rollend Rackley said it was a waste of ratepayers money.
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"This project is completely unnecessary, Wootton Rd is so narrow that you could almost jump over it," Rackley said.
Orakei Local Board chair Colin Davis said board members had given feedback to AT that there was a lack of support for the crossing.
"We question the necessity, need, cost and placement for it."
He said the board was concerned that the extra phase would increase traffic build up at the existing intersection, outweighing the benefit of creating the crossing.
AT spokesperson Mark Hannan said after reviewing the intersection's safety it was found that pedestrians hesitated to cross Wootton Road because they were unsure when vehicles would be turning right into Wootton Road from Remuera Rd.
"The changes will give pedestrians the peace of mind that it is definitely safe to cross the road," Hannan said.
AT conducted surveys which showed 95 pedestrians crossed between 8.20am and 9.20am, while 38 vehicles turned out of Wootton Rd and 31 vehicles turned into it during that time.
Rackley said in the 15 years he had lived at the end of the road, on Ely Ave, he had never seen an incident.
"It's ridiculous. You can't tell me a pedestrian can't figure out when it's safe to cross."
Rackley wondered if every other road off Remuera Rd would receive the same treatment.
In correspondence to Rackley a spokesperson for AT said the crossing was necessary because there were a number of pedestrian destinations on either side of the road, including a railway station and local schools.
The correspondence said the installation costs involved installing a traffic pole, relocating another pole and adding a pedestrian push button and signal.
Work was expected to begin later this year.