'Near misses' for Portobello pupils

Portobello School principal Shelley Wilde is fed up with a lack of action on pedestrian safety outside the school.

•  Broad Bay School waits for walkway

She raised the issue at the Otago Peninsula Community Board meeting last week, saying it would have been remedied by now if the school was in the city.  

Speaking to the Otago Daily Times yesterday she said it had been hoped issues would be sorted out next year when work on a shared walkway and a protected cycle path was initially scheduled.

However, this was thrown into question when the council called for consultation on what order to do the work under the council's draft annual plan.

She hoped a meeting next week, which would include her, council senior traffic engineer Ron Minnema and other community members, would ensure the work happened next year.

Road-widening work also needed to be extended past the school, which was beyond Portobello township. Pupils had been involved in ''near misses'' and the situation should not continue.

''Depending on where they live in Portobello, some children have to cross Harington Point Rd twice to actually get to school.''

The situation was made worse by the school's lack of visibility from the road.

Meanwhile, transportation engineer Susil Gunathilake and Mr Minnema discussed at the board meeting a plan to install new speed-limit signs as a way of reducing speed in the area.

Mr Gunathilake said larger ''threshold'' 50kmh signs, to be installed in the 2014-15 year, resulted in increased driver awareness they were in a residential environment.

The decision to go with ''threshold'' signs came after it was shown other signage installed was not working.

The signs would cost about $6000.

vaughan.elder@odt.co.nz

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