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Some in eastern suburbs don’t want 30kph limit

Aug 22nd, 2011 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

GO SLOW: Strathmore shopping area where the 30kph speed limit will be introduced this week.

SOME people in the eastern suburbs fear a new 30kph speed limit will cause confusion on the roads when it’s introduced tomorrow.

They claim there has been a lack of consultation by Wellington City Council, and there is no need to reduce the speed limit to in Seatoun, Strathmore and Miramar shopping areas.

City council officers did not hold a public meeting in the eastern suburbs, says Stan Andis, president of the Strathmore Park Progressive & Beautifying Association.

Instead, they showed their delegated authority by using the sub clause 6 of the Speed Limits Bylaw to bulldoze their recommendation through, he says.

“Why did council officers waste so much of ratepayers’ money in proceeding with shopping centre speeds when the views of the wider community were not considered, prior to any suggestion of road speed changes.”

Robin Boldarin, chair of the Miramar-Maupuia Progressive Association, says the speed reduction – which is happening in 21 suburban shopping areas – will create confusion for motorists.

“When vehicles come down from Cobham Dr at 70kph they enter Miramar Ave, they reduce to 50 and then they’ll have to reduce again to 30. It makes no sense.”

The change is unnecessary, as the traffic flow in the suburban shopping areas is self-governing, she says.

However, councillor Andy Foster says the consultation process was thorough and various parties and agencies were approached before the decision was taken to the council.

He says submitters were in favour of the 30km/h limit by three to one.

In fav our of the move is Mike Mellor, vice-president of Living Streets Aotearoa, who says the 30kph speed limit will benefit the suburbs in the following ways:

• economically, by being more attractive places to visit and therefore spend money in;
• socially, through stimulating more pedestrian interaction on the streets;
• environmentally, through lower noise and environmental effects;
• and by being safer.

And then there’s the blanket 40kph limit

Another proposal before the council – to make 40kph the speed limit everywhere – is also raising protests.

“It’s a ‘dog’s breakfast’ and will be confusing if sense does not prevail,” says councillor Ray Ahipene-Mercer.

Andy Foster concedes that the 30kph speed limit coming in tomorrow could possibly be overruled by the  40kph suggestion, but an intended  outcome would be 50 on arterial roads, 40 on streets and 30 in places where lots of people are congregating [town centres].

The council will be looking at public submissions for the proposed 40kph before Christmas, with the speed limit, if agreed, implemented over two years from June next year.

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