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Community Board debates traffic speed limits
August 13th, 2014
[by David Armstrong]
Debate over the best speed limits for Motueka's High Street and State Highway 60 through Riwaka took up considerable time at last night's meeting of the Motueka Community Board.
Board member David Ogilvie proposed that the speed limit between Pah Street and Whakarewa Street be lowered to 40kph for safety reasons, especially for heavy vehicles.
Board member Cliff Satherley was strongly opposed, saying that the average speed of vehicles at busy times was much lower than 50kph anyhow and it was better for the traffic flow to automatically regulate its own speed depending on conditions.
Complicating the debate is the uncertainty about where the two or three pedestrian-controlled crossing lights in the central business district will be positioned and how they will affect traffic flows and speeds.
David Ogilvie was particularly unhappy that TDC has not indicated any further public consultation on its plans. He said that the number of crossings to be made, where they will be sited and how many parking spaces will be lost will make a huge difference to the town and there should be a "proper public consultation process".
No-one at the meeting was able to say with certainty what design details the Council engineers are producing and what the consultation requirements are, whether or not a final decision has been made to go ahead, and which pot of money will be used to fund it.
Chairman Paul Hawkes said he would contact the Council's transport engineering manager to get definitive answers. In the meantime, the board agreed that any ideas on changing the speed limit should wait until after the effects on traffic flows of the traffic lights are seen.
The speed limit through Riwaka was also a matter of contention. NZ Transport Agency, which owns State Highway 60, wants to raise the limit from 50kph to 60kph. Some board members believe that this would increase the risk to residents along the road.
A survey by the Community Board of Riwaka people, plus those of communities fed by the road including Kaiteriteri and Marahau, on their opinion of the suggested 60kph limit is under way.
Kiyosato Japanese gardens
The board received a report by TDC's Glenn Thorn on options for making the Kiyosato Japanese garden safer and the tea house less susceptible to vandalism.
For some times concerns have been raised that the thick hedge along the southern and western borders of the gardens provided a safe haven for youths intent on mischief.
The board supported the option that the southern hedge (along Wallace Street) be pruned from the ground up to about one metre, as a first step before possible complete removal of some plants. They also asked that a security camera be reinstalled within the tea house.
Discretionary grant funds were approved for five projects:
- Vision Motueka, $464.90 for two tall ladders for painting more murals
- Vision Motueka, $140 for Memorial Hall hire for the Motueka Volunteer Awards event
- Nigel Duff, $304.80 for material to do maintenance work on the saltwater baths
- Keep Motueka Beautiful, $480 for six stoat traps to protect birds at the inlet walkway reserve
- Histrionics, $450 to help stage a Gallipoli Centenary drama programme at the museum next year.
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