East Auckland community deters speeders with billboards

Resident Teana Gilman says the billboards are a success but the community still wants speed bumps.
JAMES PASLEY/FAIRFAX NZ

Resident Teana Gilman says the billboards are a success but the community still wants speed bumps.

An east Auckland community has successfully lobbied Auckland Transport (AT) for speed reduction billboards. 

After more than a year of campaigning Kupe St in Orakei was allocated $14,500 by council-controlled organisation AT to erect billboards and banners featuring local children reminding drivers to slow down. 

Campaigner and resident Teara Gillman said Kupe St was used as a shortcut between Tamaki Drive and Mission Bay, despite having Orakei Marae, an early childhood centre and two elderly care facilities located along it. 

After years of campaigning against speed, Kupe St residents have been heard.
JAMES PASLEY/FAIRFAX NZ

After years of campaigning against speed, Kupe St residents have been heard.

The billboards were erected last week, and rather than shaming drivers, the slogans in both te reo Maori and English focused on the safety of children in the community.

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Gillman said she was pleased with the billboards but disappointed speed bumps and traffic islands wouldn't be installed. 

She said sensors installed along Kupe St showed more than half of the vehicles using Kupe St drove faster than the 50kmh speed limit. 

"We hope through this campaign we can raise awareness of our community and the safety needed for our children, adults and the elderly," Gillman said. 

She said Kupe St wasn't getting speed bumps or traffic islands because AT said there had been no traffic incidents. 

"It's quite sad, because it means we are waiting for an accident or someone to die before they react."

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AT walking, cycling and road safety manager Kathryn King said monitoring had shown speeds were above the levels AT would like to see. 

"I'm looking forward to seeing the billboards up and seeing speeds reduce in the area as we remind people to keep each other safe as we travel around," King said.

She said there were no plans to install speed bumps, but AT would continue to monitor the area. 

While Kupe St has been a success, on social media site Neighbourly.co.nz residents from other streets across Auckland said similar work was needed. 

Orakei resident Marlo West said people used Ngake St to cut through to Tamaki Drive and made leaving his driveway a game of chance.

Glen Innes resident Eden Maynard said Rukutai St needed speed bumps as soon as possible.

One Tree Hill resident Ar Williams said Namat Rd needed speed bumps and a mirror on its last bend, because of poor visibility. 

 - Stuff

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