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Slow down message delivered

Locals join safety campaign

Published: 6 July 2018

Some familiar faces are urging Waiheke drivers to slow down.

Auckland Transport (AT) relationships manager Melanie Dale has been working alongside the Waiheke Local Board on a speed campaign – Love Our Local Community.

It features billboards and banners across the island, with the faces of locals asking drivers to slow down.

Reusable grocery bags and coffee cups branded with slow down messaging would be distributed free around the island, while three driver feedback signs had been installed and would be rotated around Waiheke to help drivers correct their speed.

Board chair Cath Handley said speed was a big issue on the island.

“We have all zipped off to catch a ferry later than we should and probably gone faster than was wise, so as residents, we have to accept that we carry a lot of responsibility for changing our own behaviours.

“Excessive speed is dangerous so reminding us all to take the foot off the pedal might even save a life, and it could be the life of someone very dear to you.”

She congratulated AT on the campaign’s informal style. “By using locals in the campaign, it’s our friends telling us to slow down, and that’s probably going to be effective messaging because it’s not some outsider telling us what to do, it’s our own people.”

AT has other safety-focused projects in store, including on Wharf Rd-Putiki Rd to the Causeway, where it will provide a wider shoulder on the eastern side of Wharf Rd to enable a safe walking area for pedestrians.

And at Wharf Rd-Belgium St, road marking changes will reduce the left turn entry speed from Wharf Rd, while flexi-posts will accompany that before a permanent island can be installed.

The Belgium St Countdown exit will also get attention, with the traffic island on the south side cut back to ease the turn out from the supermarket, where there have been several near-miss incidents.

Work continues on Waiheke

AT has also received a consent for the Kennedy Point wharf update and is evaluating tenders, although its preferred six-month timeframe is not considered achievable because of the lead-in time required for some of the material, and the need to minimise disruption.

Planning is continuing around maintenance work at both the old Matiatia wharf and the main Matiatia berths. Works on both sites will result in the temporary restriction of access to the fuelling site for short periods but will be completed over winter.

Winter has caused the sealing and stabilising work on Putiki Rd to be delayed until spring. Contractors will delay sealing because if it went ahead now, water could be trapped in the pavement, causing it to fail prematurely.

All footpath and drainage works will be completed, but the road surface will stay in its pre-seal condition and be maintained weekly.