A dual cycleway along Rutene Rd?

‘YOU’RE JOKING’.

‘YOU’RE JOKING’.

PROTEST clouds have gathered already over the Gisborne District Council and New Zealand Transport Agency plan for a dual cycleway along Rutene Road as part of the Urban Cycleways project.

The proposal, if successful, would see access to the northern side of Rutene Road from Hinaki Street, Craig Road north and Wildish Street cut off on a trial basis for up to two years.

A NZTA spokeswoman told the council’s assets and infrastructure meeting last week that public feedback to the idea had been “very positive” so far.

Gardner Place resident Jenny Barns-Graham is not one of these.

'General bewilderment'

Miss Barns-Graham told The Herald she had spoken with around a dozen people about the proposal, and had written to council lifelines director David Wilson.

“Responses were uniformly negative and best summed up by ‘you’re joking’ and general bewilderment that anyone would think this is a good idea,” she wrote.

“None of them were in favour of it so it’s not just my view of what’s proposed.”

The proposal would directly affect residents, including all residents of Iranui Road, Gardner Place and Hinaki Street, with Harris Street and its feeder streets also impacted.

“The current Rutene Road/Harris Street intersection, even at the best of times, is dangerous for those trying to cross or turn right from Harris Street.

“At peak times many of us choose to take the Hinaki Street option.

“Even those who do not live in the area appreciate how difficult this intersection is and avoid it also by using Hinaki Street. However, those who have no choice but to travel at peak times, and who currently take the Hinaki Street option, would be most adversely affected,” she writes.

“There are few times that are not ‘peak’, with work traffic and school traffic in the morning, lunchtime traffic, afternoon school traffic and evening traffic.

“We have to monitor vehicles coming from three different directions; some going straight ahead and some turning left or right.”

Cycleway plan will make traffic issues worse: resident

Jenny Barns-Graham pointed to a range of other traffic issues that already existed in that area.

“Your plan would make this considerably worse by channeling many more vehicles to the Harris Street/Rutene Road intersection.

“With Hinaki Street closed off, the only other option would be the long way around via Graham Road/de Lautour Road/Rutene Road, but the angle where Iranui crosses into Graham Road is very acute and difficult to check for vehicles coming from one’s left.

“Also, at peak times, traffic is heavy on Graham Road and de Lautour Road and this was also not considered a good option.

“I should add that I am a cyclist and, of course, favour making cycling as safe as possible but cannot support the trade-off proposed,” Miss Barns-Graham concludes.

Mr Wilson has replied, saying the council will be looking to communicate with the residents who may be affected by the proposed road closures.

“Over the next couple of weeks, Tairawhiti Roads will be working on a programme of engagement to enable us to take into account the concerns of our community.”

He reassured residents that the council would not be closing any roads without discussing it first with them.

“We will take their concerns into account before any works start.”

The proposed pilot closures were a way to improve the safety and comfort of people using the two-way cycleway, Mr Wilson said.

“While research shows that the delay caused by stopping at up to seven intersections along the route is likely to lead to risk-taking behaviour by motorists, reducing the number of intersections through these closures would significantly reduce that risk.”

PROTEST clouds have gathered already over the Gisborne District Council and New Zealand Transport Agency plan for a dual cycleway along Rutene Road as part of the Urban Cycleways project.

The proposal, if successful, would see access to the northern side of Rutene Road from Hinaki Street, Craig Road north and Wildish Street cut off on a trial basis for up to two years.

A NZTA spokeswoman told the council’s assets and infrastructure meeting last week that public feedback to the idea had been “very positive” so far.

Gardner Place resident Jenny Barns-Graham is not one of these.

'General bewilderment'

Miss Barns-Graham told The Herald she had spoken with around a dozen people about the proposal, and had written to council lifelines director David Wilson.

“Responses were uniformly negative and best summed up by ‘you’re joking’ and general bewilderment that anyone would think this is a good idea,” she wrote.

“None of them were in favour of it so it’s not just my view of what’s proposed.”

The proposal would directly affect residents, including all residents of Iranui Road, Gardner Place and Hinaki Street, with Harris Street and its feeder streets also impacted.

“The current Rutene Road/Harris Street intersection, even at the best of times, is dangerous for those trying to cross or turn right from Harris Street.

“At peak times many of us choose to take the Hinaki Street option.

“Even those who do not live in the area appreciate how difficult this intersection is and avoid it also by using Hinaki Street. However, those who have no choice but to travel at peak times, and who currently take the Hinaki Street option, would be most adversely affected,” she writes.

“There are few times that are not ‘peak’, with work traffic and school traffic in the morning, lunchtime traffic, afternoon school traffic and evening traffic.

“We have to monitor vehicles coming from three different directions; some going straight ahead and some turning left or right.”

Cycleway plan will make traffic issues worse: resident

Jenny Barns-Graham pointed to a range of other traffic issues that already existed in that area.

“Your plan would make this considerably worse by channeling many more vehicles to the Harris Street/Rutene Road intersection.

“With Hinaki Street closed off, the only other option would be the long way around via Graham Road/de Lautour Road/Rutene Road, but the angle where Iranui crosses into Graham Road is very acute and difficult to check for vehicles coming from one’s left.

“Also, at peak times, traffic is heavy on Graham Road and de Lautour Road and this was also not considered a good option.

“I should add that I am a cyclist and, of course, favour making cycling as safe as possible but cannot support the trade-off proposed,” Miss Barns-Graham concludes.

Mr Wilson has replied, saying the council will be looking to communicate with the residents who may be affected by the proposed road closures.

“Over the next couple of weeks, Tairawhiti Roads will be working on a programme of engagement to enable us to take into account the concerns of our community.”

He reassured residents that the council would not be closing any roads without discussing it first with them.

“We will take their concerns into account before any works start.”

The proposed pilot closures were a way to improve the safety and comfort of people using the two-way cycleway, Mr Wilson said.

“While research shows that the delay caused by stopping at up to seven intersections along the route is likely to lead to risk-taking behaviour by motorists, reducing the number of intersections through these closures would significantly reduce that risk.”

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