Gore street trial 'dangerous'


Mary Kennedy (left), Tanya Scoles and Bing Scoles are unhappy with the changes made in west 
...
Mary Kennedy (left), Tanya Scoles and Bing Scoles are unhappy with the changes made in west Gore last week as part of the Gore District Council’s Streets Alive project. PHOTO: FIONA ELLIS
New changes are making streets more dangerous, not less, according to some west Gore residents.

The three-month trials are part of the Gore District Council’s million-dollar Streets Alive project.

Traffic is not supposed to exit Anzac St into Robertson St and the road is partially blocked by a pocket park installed last week.

However, Esplins Dairy owner Tanya Scoles said some people were driving into the oncoming traffic lane to follow their usual route.

Ms Scoles said she had seen about 11 such incidents a day, and suspected there had been more.

She had filmed some incidents that concerned her from her location on the corner of Anzac and Robertson Sts and posted two of them on social media.

People crossing Anzac St now had half the distance to cover and a courtesy crossing to assist them.

This was making people less alert than usual, she said.

‘‘I’m worried about the safety of the kids.

‘‘They’re running out and not looking, and it’s not just little kids.’’

The changes were ‘‘totally unnecessary’’ and she would like to see them removed immediately, she said.

‘‘We had a very wide open, flowing intersection, with great visibility,’’ she said.

‘‘Now we have a very busy funnel of traffic all trying to get by. The traffic has doubled.’’

She did not voice concern earlier because she was unaware changes would occur outside the town centre.

Council workers had not consulted her beforehand as they had done with the nearby church and schools, she said.

Anzac St resident Charlie Wilson also opposed the changes.

‘‘I’ve never seen such a mess,’’ Mr Wilson said.

‘‘There are so many things [the council] haven’t looked into.’’

Nadine Tremaine was worried for her parents, Mary and Gerry Kennedy, who lived by intersection of Anzac and Robertson Sts opposite Esplins Dairy.

‘‘There’s no safe access in and out,’’ she said.

Council transport manager Peter Standring said the changes had been well publicised and the council had sought input for the trials since last July.

The pocket parks were clearly sign-posted, he said.

‘‘We appreciate the new road layouts can be challenging.’’

The council would consider ending the trials earlier than the three-month mark if they were dangerous, Mr Standring said.

‘‘We are committed to reviewing any initiative where safety is genuinely compromised.’’

FIONA.ELLIS@theensign.co.nz

Comments

As one person put it, "Progress makes things worse."

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