Patumahoe School students submitted a petition to Franklin Local Board calling for a pedestrian crossing to improve safety for them as they go to and from school.
Less than half an hour later the board passed a motion to spend more than a quarter of a million dollars to get the job done.
The board’s $260,000 allocation has been made possible by Auckland Transport’s Community Safety Fund, launched when the fuel tax was introduced.
The fund allocates money specifically for safety improvements to the city’s 21 local boards. Franklin’s allocation from the $20 million fund is almost $1.7 million over two years.
The board approved funding for eight projects, and indicated that if a funding shortfall occurred AT could return to the board to seek top-up funding.
Alongside the pedestrian crossing there is $500,000 to improve parking and safety around the Station Road area of Pukekohe train station, and funding for accident hotspots at Gun Club Road.
The projects are:
- $300,000, Clevedon pedestrian crossing – raised crossing and two pedestrian refuges with locations to be determined after surveys establish pedestrian desire line
- $5000, Gun Club Road / Patumahoe intersection improvements, reduce crash risk at the intersection by installing a gated stop ahead sign
- $10,000, Hart / Gun Club Road intersection improvements, improve visibility and safety at the junction, slow Gun Club Road traffic, improve intersection road markings and install gated stop ahead sign
- $350,000, Queen Street / Victoria Avenue intersection improvements, safety upgrades required to improve safety for vehicles and pedestrians, raised crossing and two pedestrian refuges
- $30,000, Racecourse / Kitchener Road intersection improvements, develop a safer turnout from Racecourse Road on to Kitchener Road, extend existing flush road markings to provide a staged merge
- $500,000, Station Road parking upgrade, install footpaths on Station Road adjacent to the rail station, paths on both sides from Subway Rd to Birch Rd, with parking changes to Birch Road.
- $300,000, Taurangaruru Road safety improvements, the narrow windy road has limited markings, conduct route study to establish appropriate safety
- $260,000, Woodhouse Road pedestrian crossing, a new crossing near Patumahoe village on Woodhouse Road to provide safe crossing for children heading to the school to the west of Woodhouse Road.
The projects will now proceed to the design stage.
The board has already allocated about $180,000 to the Station Road area improvements, so the budget allocated is likely to fall by the same amount.
Safety concerns have seen the board previously raise all the projects with AT, and while members are pleased the work has been funded, other projects did not qualify because the fund has specific criteria that rendered them ineligible.
But the board says it will continue to advocate for those projects and ask AT to address the sites. It has also asked AT to investigate installing signs to alert drivers about a high-risk bend on Whitford-Maraetai-Henson Road as an interim measure.