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Brooklyn traffic ignores new speed limit

Jun 27th, 2011 | By | Category: Latest News, News

BROOKLYN residents have yet to see the benefits of a new speed limit imposed this year to make their suburb more pedestrian-friendly.

The speed reduction from 50km/h to 30km/h was introduced in the shopping centre by Wellington City Council in February, but the Brooklyn Residents Association says it has little or no effect on traffic.

The speed change – covering sections of two of the suburb’s main roads, Cleveland St and Ohiro Rd, as well as all of Harrison St and Jefferson St – needs rethinking, the association concluded at its last meeting.

 “It only works when you’ve got to stop at the traffic lights,” says Dave Fowler, former president of the Brooklyn Community Association.

Traffic flows through the shops on a slightly downward stretch of road after it has reached the top of Brooklyn Rd, a steep hill that leads onto Ohiro Rd.

The incline of the road gives vehicles a reason to drive over the 30km/h limit, having just climbed a steep hill with a long downward slope in front of them.

“It’s the nature of the suburb,” says Mr Fowler, an avid cyclist who finds he must move to the footpath at the top of the hill to avoid getting run over. 

The meeting’s consensus was the heavy flow of traffic through the central intersection of Ohiro Rd and Cleveland St provides little comfort for pedestrians looking to go to the shops or even cross the road.

Brooklyn has no central pedestrian area, residents say, and  police lack the resources to enforce the change.

A number of solutions were discussed at the meeting, including a suburb-wide speed change or  the use of speed cameras.

The meeting was unable to agree on a solution, but wants to stay focused on making Brooklyn a safer place to live.

Chairperson Simon McLellan says the aim is to create a safer area for everyone and calm the traffic to give pedestrians a sense of pleasure and enjoyment in the environment.

“We want synergy between pedestrians and the cars on the road,” he says.

The council received a number of submissions in December, 2010, before the change occurred, including one from the association to extend the area of the limit.

The council rejected all the suggested proposals on the grounds it would lessen the impact the lower limit aimed to achieve.

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