Concerns about McDonald’s motorists’ safety

Cars travel along Main South Rd heading into Green Island, past the site of McDonald’s new...
Cars travel along Main South Rd heading into Green Island, past the site of McDonald’s new restaurant in the suburb. PHOTO: LINDA ROBERTSON
A Dunedin resident is calling on McDonald’s to rethink the traffic layout around its new Green Island restaurant over concerns backed-up traffic may spur unnecessary risk-taking.

But the Dunedin City Council and McDonald’s say the proper traffic assessments have taken place and the restaurant is up to standard.

The council granted resource consent to the international fast-food giant in November last year to develop a drive-through restaurant at 237 South Rd, which formerly housed the Commercial Tavern.

While he thought a McDonald’s was a great idea for Green Island, Dunedin resident Ian James said he was concerned about traffic at the restaurant.

A "bottleneck" of backed-up traffic at the restaurant’s exit could lead some drivers to take unnecessary risks and cause accidents, he said.

"Any time a queue forms, people are going to start darting out when they can see a gap, no matter how small it is.

"The time to make a change is now rather than after the fact."

The restaurant could attract customers from as far as Abbotsford, Fairfield and Mosgiel.

He estimated at least 60% of customers leaving the restaurant may turn right at the exit, travelling across the flow of traffic, to head towards the roundabout and out of Green Island via the Main South Rd.

"It really is a lot of traffic and any time traffic crosses like that it is going to cause problems."

He suggested a second exit from the restaurant, between the two roundabouts, could resolve the problem of cars cutting across traffic.

A council spokeswoman said a full integrated transport assessment was undertaken as part of the resource consent.

It noted the roundabout to the west of the site provided opportunities for vehicles to turn to and from the site due to breaks in the traffic flow.

A painted flush median along the centre of Main South Rd also provided a "haven" for vehicles turning right into the site, and also assisted vehicles making a right turn exit from the site, minimising potential impacts on other road users.

The consent contained a review condition that provided scope to make adjustments if issues were identified within the first year of trading, and each year after.

A McDonald’s spokesman said they had not received any concerns about traffic at the Green Island site.

The consent application had taken into account traffic flows and safe entry and exit for vehicles, and its traffic plans had been deemed appropriate.