Aotaki Street resident, Gus Housiaux spoke to the Board about vehicle speed and safety concerns from fast traffic turning from Kirk Street to Aotaki Street. Three vehicles have gone through his front fence in the last 18 months — the most recent taking out part of the fence and children’s trampoline. He voiced his concerns as there are a lot of children living in the area who walk along the footpath to the skate park at the end of Aotaki Street. There are also a large number of elderly at the Tahuna and Paterson Court flats and the Ian Peter Way villas. He had a 60 signature petition from Kirk Street residents calling for speed humps or traffic slowing means.
“It’s not just keeping my kids safe, but all kids and everyone in the area,” he said. He was advised the matter was on the agenda and he was welcome to stay for the hearing. He has previously approached KCDC with his concerns.
There were two applications for funding from the Sporting Activity Grants Fund. The Ōtaki Athletics Club and Raukawa ki Runga Māori Rugby League team both received the $500 requested.
Barbara Johns spoke to the Athletics Club application, for funds to assist with administration costs and $300 storage fees and use of facilities for the club’s equipment in the Scott Pavilion. At the end of the 2014/15 season they had 140 children aged three to 17 registered, the youngest having fun and older children learning skills and attending competitions, eg Colgate Games.
Tanira Cooper spoke to the rugby league’s team application for funds to attend the New Zealand Maori League Nationals in Auckland. They have won the title several times, 2014 the most recent.
Greater Wellington Regional Council Question & Answer Session
Elected members, Nigel Wilson for Kāpiti, Upper Hutt’s Paul Swain Transport Portfolio leader and Wayne Hastie GWRC’s manager of public transport, attended the meeting to speak with Board members and answer questions. Mr Wilson noted: GW had “put” $500,000 towards keeping the Capital Connection running; an estimated cost of $90 million to double track and electrify rail from Waikanae to Ōtaki; providing a further 380 commuter car parking spaces at Waikanae; the start of Transmission Gully road and Queen Elizabeth Park cycleway; rural Kāpiti has been declared (bovine) tuberculosis free; the June floods cost $10 million in damage repairs and flood protection work on the Kāpiti Coast; issues with freedom campers at the Ōtaki River mouth and estuary area and lack of toilets. Mr Wilson suggested a “possible resolution for a joint venture” between KCDC and GWRC to install toilets. With positive results for the Save the Capital Connection group, “A number of people worked very hard toward the Save the Capital Connection (petitions and meetings)” said ŌCB chair James Cootes and he also noted “concerns about the Waitohu Stream mouth area of the Waitohu Stream Care Group and frustrations at lack of communication with GW.”
While discussing transport issues, particularly buses, Mr Swain emphatically stated “there was no intention of removing Ōtaki’s bus service.”(see full report in separate story.)
Kirk St – Aotaki St traffic control
KCDC’s Infrastructure Services manager, Sean Mallon reported on the department’s investigations into the intersection, following concerns and complaints from Mr Housiaux, the proposed improvements include installation of give way signs at Kirk Street, a pedestrian refuge centre of the Kirk Street near the corner improving pedestrian safety and a new street light and warning chevron sign opposite the end of Kirk Street, on Aotaki Street. Aotaki Street is a primary route and carries over 2500 vehicles per day. Kirk Street averages 700 vehicles per day. Mr Mallon noted vehicle numbers and speed counters across the intersection were recorded over October 5-9. “If you do ‘stuff’ (intersection improvements) it’s about changing peoples’ driving behaviour and habit’s” Councillor Penny Gaylor said.
Board members approved the suggested intersection improvements. Work should commence within one month. The cost involved would be about $5000 for the street light pole and signs, Mr Mallon said.
Matters Under Action
Beach pedestrian crossing: Garry Evans, KCDC Transport manager, said investigations are continuing and there will be further discussions with beach residents to be reported back in February.
Sunday Market: Mr Adams noted concerns had been raised over the potholes in the land where the Ōtaki Women’s Community Club hold their market days, opposite New World. The land was the former Ministry of Works land but was “invested” to the Ōtaki Borough Council in 1983. KCDC staff members are still looking into ownership.
Waitohu Valley Road: Mr Mallon acknowledged the increased number of trucks using the road from the Waitohu Quarry. A suggestion was to recommend trucks use Ringawhati-Rahui roads to which Board members stated this was just shifting the problem. Another suggestion staff members had was for the quarry to stockpile material and transport at different times — after hours when residents and children were less likely to use the road. Complaints have included speed, insufficient road width with trucks or other motorists having to go onto the berm. Mr Mallon said there was budget to widen the road, though acknowledged the issue had “escalated” with extra vehicles providing material for the McKays to Peka Peka expressway.
Greenwood Boulevard: Council is looking to reduce speed along the road and looking at the (current) footpath.
Community Board Chairs Seminar
Mr Cootes will attend the November 14 seminar in Taupo.