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Brooklyn’s dangerous thoroughfare spotlighted

Sep 15th, 2011 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

BROOKLYN Residents’ Association has taken to the streets in an attempt to highlight the suburbs’ dangerous road crossing.

The stretch of road incorporates the bus stop near the top of Brooklyn Rd, which is on a blind corner.

People regularly jaywalk when departing buses as there are no convenient crossings nearby.

Wellington City Council’s safe and sustainable transport manager Paul Barker says the corner is a major concern for council and design changes are being considered.

He says the dangers are buses stopping to let passengers off and pedestrians trying to cross the busy road.

The island crossing at the top of Ohiro Rd is “not so flash” either, he says.

“There’s not a lot of opportunity for them to get across the road.”

The council has received “one or two” complaints in the past year.

Mr Barker says the Brooklyn corner crossing is not a top priority right now because other road safety concerns are taking precedence.

In the past four years, council figures show that nine car accidents occurred on the corner between 2006 and 2010, he says.

Of those, one person was seriously injured, and five received minor injuries.

Four of those accidents involved cyclists, including the seriously injured person.

The resident’s association has been aware of the dangers of the road for a while, says member Dave Fowler.

“It’s a conflict between people crossing the road and traffic passing two ways, creating a dangerous situation.”

The association has received complaints over a number of years and the issue was raised in its last meeting.

“We decided we should take an interest,” he says.

So Mr Fowler went to the corner to observe people getting on and off buses between 4.30pm and 5.30pm on a Friday afternoon earlier this month.

He noted that pedestrians crossing the road inadvertently got caught between the two sets of traffic and couldn’t see what was coming around the corner.

He says he spoke to people, all of whom expressed concerns at how dangerous it is to cross the road.

One of those was Fiona Small (44), who told NewsWire it is too dangerous.

She suggested that council remove the bus stop.

Mr Fowler agrees that it would be the most realistic resolution, but that will still have its problems.

“It might make life easier but inconvenience others,” he says.

“There’s a limit on what you can do to protect people.”

He says it may be more dangerous to cross the road once the new left-hand give way rules are integrated in March.

The association will not put anything to the council yet, but hopes to talk further with council officers at some point.

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