Strong backing for lower speed limits

Where to cross . . . The location of a crossing on Factory Rd has mixed opinions on where it...
Where to cross . . . The location of a crossing on Factory Rd has mixed opinions on where it should be located. PHOTO: JOHN LEWIS
Community consultation on the trial Mosgiel-Taieri Safer School Streets project showed overwhelming support for lower speed limits near schools, but new crossing locations did not get public endorsement. 
The final report on the findings of the trial was on the agenda at last night’s meeting of the Mosgiel-Taieri Community Board. 
A questionnaire was one of several methods used to gather reactions to the trials in Mosgiel and Outram. 
Drop-in sessions at the Mosgiel Library, social media and letters to affected residents were also used. 
In Mosgiel, the trials involved kerb build-outs in Argyle St and on the Bush Rd-Argyle St corner, and a crossing point in Factory Rd. 
In Outram, a crossing point was installed in Formby St. 
The majority (74.9%) of the 363 respondents to the questionnaire supported lower speed limits near schools. 
There were comments from the public about the increase in traffic volumes in Mosgiel and Outram, with ‘‘the speed of traffic . . . identified as a particular safety concern around schools’’, the report said. 
Another issue was the location of the trial crossings. 
Although just over half the pupils surveyed (50.8%) supported the location of the new crossings, 58.2% of parents gave them the thumbsdown. 
Asked whether they would support new layouts at more intersections, respondents were almost equally divided, while two-thirds liked the suggestion of more infrastructure for scootering and cycling. 
The next step would be permanent changes, led by the Dunedin City Council transport engineering and road safety team, the community board was told. 
As part of this, the council would investigate 30kmh school zones for Mosgiel and Outram to be followed by consultations and bylaw changes to implement any changes. 
The Ministry of Transport is making changes to the process for altering speed limits at present, but as full details have not yet been released, this could mean a delay, although the DCC aims to implement the new infrastructure late in the 2021-22 financial year or early the following year. 
The project dates back more than three years, when the 2017-18 annual plan of the community board identified issues for children travelling to Mosgiel and Outram schools. 
A survey of parents was undertaken in November-December 2018, then findings and traffic data were analysed. 
From that, three areas to be followed up were identified. 
They were: education and information; liaison with the NZ Transport Agency regarding state highway crossing points and intersections; and infrastructure to improve safety and traffic movement. 
Walk ’n Wheel Week was one of the educational projects undertaken.

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