Temporary barriers are to be installed on a section of Rongotai Road in Kilbirnie later this month in a trial move to reduce the danger to people using a pedestrian crossing just to the west of the Mahora Street intersection.
The ‘flexi-post’ barriers will prevent traffic forming into two parallel queues on the single-lane section of the roadway. This trend, especially during morning rush hours, means motorists have a limited view of the pedestrian crossing.
A schoolboy was hit on the crossing by a vehicle in March and there have been a number of near-misses in recent years.
Wellington City Council’s Transport Portfolio Leader, Councillor Chris Calvi-Freeman, says many motorists heading along Rongotai Road and intending to turn right into Evans Bay Parade have, in recent years, started overtaking queuing traffic. “Quite a few of them whizz through the pedestrian crossing – even when people are using it. This is clearly very dangerous.”
The installation of the barriers may slow the flow of westbound traffic on Rongotai Road at peak hours. “However I’d prefer to see this interim safety solution in place rather than a pedestrian getting bowled and seriously injured – or worse.”
He says Council traffic engineers will monitor traffic conditions after the lane changes are made – most likely around 14 June.
The possible installation of stop-lights at the pedestrian crossing will depend on the funding and the priority for safety improvement projects in 2017/18.