Safe streets save lives

Residents urged to make voices heard

Publish Date : 08 Mar 2021
Safe streets save lives

Everybody should be able to walk the street or ride a bike without fearing for their safety.

Manurewa-Papakura Auckland Councillor Angela Dalton says making streets safer for residents, and especially young people, remains a priority across the city.

“I commend the Papakura and Manurewa local boards for the work they’ve undertaken with Auckland Transport to make suburban streets safer for people.

“That work never comes without criticism, almost always from people who use the streets where traffic calming is put in place like racetracks, or to rat run between major routes,” she says.

“And it also costs, but few people who criticise making our streets safer stop and think that the life that gets saved might be that of someone they love.”

Recently appointed to a group looking at cycling issues, she says not being a rider herself gives her a different perspective. “I'm not a cyclist, and I won't be while the cycle lanes in suburban areas remain unsafe by comparison to others in the Super City.

“Safer cycling routes shouldn’t be the preserve of inner-city areas, so it’s an opportunity to highlight inequity across the suburbs, to point out that opportunities for safe cycling to work, school, fitness class and leisure aren’t the same across the region.”

Councillor Dalton says it’s important that sound criteria are used to determine investment priorities.

“Auckland Council’s last 10-year Budget aimed to deliver critical infrastructure investment and the budget now open for consultation increases capital investment to $31 billion in the next decade.

“That will deliver the infrastructure we badly need and help stimulate jobs and the economy.

“The budget will allow the council to invest more in transport projects and provide additional infrastructure for housing, stormwater and upgrading community facilities,” she says.

“But any spending, including in continuing to invest in safer streets, needs to be well-planned and that makes understanding where Aucklanders priorities lie vital.”

The council’s 10-year Budget is open for submissions until 22 March and Councillor Dalton says while it charts a path forward for the city, it’s also important local voices are heard.

“I’d urge residents to get involved and tell us what is important to them, because there are going to have to be concessions. It’s important residents speak up about their priorities because the decisions made around the budget will impact on what is delivered locally.”

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