Rural Road Safety

F_R_KCDC-logoAt a public meeting on 3 December, called by KCDC, organised by road safety campaigner Shelly Warwick, over 50 residents turned out to hear KCDC’s response to concerns about speed and safety on Waitohu Valley, Ringawhati and Rahui roads.

Chaired by Councillor Penny Gaylor, with KCDC’s Sean Mallon general manager infrastructure, and roading engineer John Perkins. Community board members James Cootes and Rob Koefed were also present.

The courteous meeting heard Sean Mallon’s discussion of how Waitohu Valley road’s footpath was currently being extended 500m up to Greenwood Blvd. It will be ashphalted, and complete by Christmas. Safe crossing points for pedestrians over the bridge are to be implemented. Questions followed.

Points arising

  • These are Rural roads. KCDC believes they are ‘fit for purpose’
  • Speed is the issue. KCDC are monitoring traffic counts and speeds. Speed of trucks isn’t as bad as that of private vehicles.
    Many local drivers use these roads unsafely.
  • Roads are too narrow, but widening will increase the speed of drivers.
  • Waitohu quarry is not supplying the expressway at the moment. It’s only supplying KCDC’s local road works.
    The meeting’s feeling towards Waitohu quarry was not antagonistic.
  • NZTA won’t subsidise improvements to our local roads.
    KCDC don’t have a budget for any more road work until the new financial year. Widening could cost over $1 million.
  • NZTA will go to tender for the Ōtaki section of the Expressway early next year.
    Only then will any extra demand on Waitohu quarry be known.
  • A ‘circular’ route for trucks to the quarry has been trialled, and was favoured by the majority of the meeting.
    Empty trucks go down Rahui, Ringawhati roads; full trucks exit quarry, go out Waitohu Valley road.
  • A ‘clip-on’ pedestrian bridge costing $300k is under investigation.
  • Forestry — soon the forestry blocks in the foothills will be ready for harvest.
    What will be the consequential threats to safety from big logging trucks?

How do we make submissions to KCDC & NZTA?

Some comments:

  • ‘these country roads are hazardous for walkers’
  • ‘it’s dangerous if you have to pull of the shoulder’
  • ‘ Ringawhati road is a speed trap’
  • ‘speed and courtesy are a problem on Rahui road’
  • ‘Rahui road is only 4.6m wide, the verges have dangerous ditches’
  • ‘Waitohu Valley Road is a racetrack’

Where to from here?

Sean Mallon undertook to gather information and report back in writing with options, costs and time frames, before another meeting in the New Year.