Congestion dangerous, residents say

 Cones keep pupils safe after buses have had to stop in the middle of Alison Ave, due to a lack...
Cones keep pupils safe after buses have had to stop in the middle of Alison Ave, due to a lack of free parking spaces. PHOTO: KERRIE WATERWORTH
Traffic congestion in Albert Town, caused by rampant development, is putting children at risk, residents say.

Albert Town Community Association chairwoman Heather Thorne raised concerns with Queenstown Lakes District Council three weeks ago about school buses having to double park in the middle of Alison Ave, due to vehicles parked on both sides of the road.

Mrs Thorne sent the council an email requesting urgent action, after a meeting between Mayor Jim Boult and the association planned for last week was postponed until the end of March

"This is a totally unacceptable situation and endangers the lives of our local students and also endangers the lives of pedestrians attempting to cross what is a busy thoroughfare.

"As the controlling authority, what is QLDC going to do?" Mrs Thorne said.

Police Community Constable Deane Harbison, of Wanaka, said vehicles parked near the entrances and exits to the town’s shops were mostly from the Riverside Residences development being built next door.

Const Harbison said he had great conversations with the operations supervisor at Go Bus and the construction manager who agreed to cone off an area directly south of the exit to the shops on Alison Ave.

"This will be trialled this week. In the meantime, I hope to have a conversation with QLDC on this issue," Constable Harbison said.

Mrs Thorne said the traffic congestion issue would not go away when construction was finished.

"They have only one parking space for two and three bedroom units so residents and their guests will have no choice but to park on the street."

The Riverside Residences were developed by Wanaka businessman Matt Tuck, of Multiplied Investment Partners, and comprised 42 lock-and-leave visitor accommodation units and one residential unit.

Mrs Thorne said at her meeting with Mr Boult she would ask why the development had not been publicly notified, as she would have opposed it.

Resident and parent Dr Stefan Billing said the community had become "really busy" due to the development and it was no longer safe for children to cross the street.

"It is every childhood moment of independence to be able to go down to the dairy and buy something and come home.

"If a kid ran out between a car they would be toast, it is just too much risk," Dr Billing said.

Council spokesman Jack Barlow said the development was processed on a non-notified basis because the adverse effects of the proposal were considered to be no more than minor on the environment.

The Otago Daily Times contacted Mr Tuck for a comment on the parking issues but he did not respond.


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