How many speed humps are too many?
That’s the question on Manurewa residents’ minds as Auckland Transport starts installingmore than 250 speed humps, raised zebra crossings and raised speed tables in the South Auckland suburb.
People will says it’s overkill, says Manurewa Local Board chairman Joseph Allan, but if it saves one life in the community it is worth it.
“Safety is seriously important for our community. When you have cars travelling through the area at 120km/h something is going to happen and lives will be lost,” said Allan.
With the backing of the local board and local councillors Angela Dalton and Daniel Newman, AT has selected Manurewa for the largest traffic calming programme in Auckland.
The central city, Te Atatu South and Papakura have been targeted to slow down traffic to reduce serious crashes and deaths on the road, but nothing on the scale of Manurewa where speed humps and are being placed every 100m or so in many suburban streets.
AT has completed the first stage in Manurewa north of Weymouth Rd and consulting on a second stage south of Weymouth Rd. Each stage is costing $4 million and submissions on stage 2 close on March 8.
One Manurewa resident, who did not want to be named, said she appreciated the council and AT are trying to reduce speed in the suburbs but believed commonsense was missing.
“When you have 11 speed humps on a 1km street you have to agree that’s ridiculous.
“The council needs to go back to the drawing board and come up with a better solution that is not a complete waste of money and a nuisance to the community,” she said.
The issue has also got residents fired up on local Facebook pages.
“I’m all for finding ways to reduce speeding in these areas, but do we need this many so close together,” said one resident. Said another: “This is a punitive measure taken by our local board. Why should we all suffer due to a very small portion of our citizens driving dangerously?”
AT says the measures will help to create a slower speed environment, saying the area of the second stage had 131 crashes in the past five years and vehicles travelled at more than 120km/h on Rimu Rd, McDivitt St and Coxhead Rd.
The push to slow down traffic arose around 2017, said Dalton, from concerns in thecommunity over speeding, police chases and rat-running in an area with six or seven schools.
“It looks good, it’s definitely safer and it can only but slow people down or they damage their cars. We know it is safer around those schools. The safety for those kids was paramount.”
She said the schools are grateful for the changes and, so too, families with children but acknowledged the community is divided.
Newman said Manurewa’s roads have historically had some of the worst serious injury and death rates of anywhere in Auckland.
“It really upsets motorists who don’t like a slow drive and speed bumps, but there is a significant safety element to the measures. If other communities saw it they would be jealous,” he said.
Barney Irvine, infrastructure spokesman for the Automobile Association, said it is good to see AT changing the roads in Manurewa to bring speeds down, rather than just dropping the speed limit, and more was needed.
“Reducing speeds on quiet residential streets around schools, where there are safety issues, will sit comfortably with most people, and we’d expect it to have plenty of support from locals,” he said.
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