Slow down

Beach Communities calling for speed limit reduction.

Beach Communities calling for speed limit reduction.

NO NEED FOR SPEED: Concerned residents want speed limits reduced between Tamarau and Tatapouri. This group are pictured across the road from Okiti Store, which the Beach Communities group says is especially dangerous for children trying to cross the road. Picture by Rebecca Grunwell

Residents afraid to use a new city cycle/walkway are pleading for help to keep people safe from speeding vehicles on State Highway 35.

A group of concerned residents representing Tamarau, Okitu, Wainui, Makorori and Tatapouri made a public deposition to Gisborne District Council’s Assets and Infrastructure committee this week.

They presented a comprehensive report revealing a host of “horrific” close calls and fatal accidents in the area that had them feeling unsafe.

Beach Communities group spokeswoman Veronika Lambert said it was their aim to reduce the speed limit to 50kmh at Tamarau, Wainui and Okitu, and to 70kmh from the end of Okitu to the end of Tatapouri.

“We are very concerned and worried. We have young children and we want our children to be safe. We have seen too many deaths, too many accidents and too many close calls.

“The traffic will only increase over the next years and if we slow the traffic down now, we can give everybody more time to react to a dangerous situation — please help us.”

The deposition was backed in writing by more than 20 submitters including Wainui Beach School.

“We have only just started this process and already a big part of the community is supportive of this proposal,” Veronika Lambert said.

“Tamarau now has that wonderful cycleway, which is very exciting, but since the new crossings were installed many families have had horrific experiences there.

“When they try to cross the road the kids on bikes get stuck in the middle of two lanes, with cars and trucks racing past them on both sides at 70kmh or faster, frightening the children.

“Tamarau residents also find it hard to pull out of their driveways.”

‘When we hear sirens coming, our hearts sink’

Moving on to Okitu, most residents used the beach on a daily basis for a surf, to walk the dog or to go for a run. For all those activities, they had to cross the road.

“Doing so puts us in danger every time, with cars and trucks going past, often over the speed limit.

“It is especially dangerous near the Okitu Store when kids buy lollies and ice creams, and then cross the road.”

The area was known as “Kiddies Corner” for a reason, she said.

Another area of concern was the school bus stop.

“My kids are aching to bike to school. They ask me every day. But I’m not going to let them, I’m, just too scared. It is just such a shame. Our kids should be able to bike to school.”

She also pointed out that people had lost their lives around the Makorori area in motor vehicle crashes.

“When we hear sirens coming, our hearts sink.

“I’m certain visitors to the region that are camping there don’t feel safe either.”

Responding to the deposition, Tairawhiti Roads general manager Dave Hadfield said a business case was being put together as part of a speed limit review along several townships along State Highway 35.

However, that would involve a full consultation process involving residents, communities and forestry and logging companies, which would take time to complete.

Residents afraid to use a new city cycle/walkway are pleading for help to keep people safe from speeding vehicles on State Highway 35.

A group of concerned residents representing Tamarau, Okitu, Wainui, Makorori and Tatapouri made a public deposition to Gisborne District Council’s Assets and Infrastructure committee this week.

They presented a comprehensive report revealing a host of “horrific” close calls and fatal accidents in the area that had them feeling unsafe.

Beach Communities group spokeswoman Veronika Lambert said it was their aim to reduce the speed limit to 50kmh at Tamarau, Wainui and Okitu, and to 70kmh from the end of Okitu to the end of Tatapouri.

“We are very concerned and worried. We have young children and we want our children to be safe. We have seen too many deaths, too many accidents and too many close calls.

“The traffic will only increase over the next years and if we slow the traffic down now, we can give everybody more time to react to a dangerous situation — please help us.”

The deposition was backed in writing by more than 20 submitters including Wainui Beach School.

“We have only just started this process and already a big part of the community is supportive of this proposal,” Veronika Lambert said.

“Tamarau now has that wonderful cycleway, which is very exciting, but since the new crossings were installed many families have had horrific experiences there.

“When they try to cross the road the kids on bikes get stuck in the middle of two lanes, with cars and trucks racing past them on both sides at 70kmh or faster, frightening the children.

“Tamarau residents also find it hard to pull out of their driveways.”

‘When we hear sirens coming, our hearts sink’

Moving on to Okitu, most residents used the beach on a daily basis for a surf, to walk the dog or to go for a run. For all those activities, they had to cross the road.

“Doing so puts us in danger every time, with cars and trucks going past, often over the speed limit.

“It is especially dangerous near the Okitu Store when kids buy lollies and ice creams, and then cross the road.”

The area was known as “Kiddies Corner” for a reason, she said.

Another area of concern was the school bus stop.

“My kids are aching to bike to school. They ask me every day. But I’m not going to let them, I’m, just too scared. It is just such a shame. Our kids should be able to bike to school.”

She also pointed out that people had lost their lives around the Makorori area in motor vehicle crashes.

“When we hear sirens coming, our hearts sink.

“I’m certain visitors to the region that are camping there don’t feel safe either.”

Responding to the deposition, Tairawhiti Roads general manager Dave Hadfield said a business case was being put together as part of a speed limit review along several townships along State Highway 35.

However, that would involve a full consultation process involving residents, communities and forestry and logging companies, which would take time to complete.

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Leanne Harrison - 3 months ago
I agree to reducing the speed limit.

Bernie - 3 months ago
Beach communities calling for speed limit reductions . . . . Sorry to say this happens everywhere. I live in Tolaga Bay along the main road. Many years ago I petitioned to the GDC to have a walkway put up along our road to the wharf road, to make it safe for our kids when they are walking to school, and for parents to be safe when walking with their babies along the road. We live with heavy traffic every day. This walkway only made it to the Hauiti Marae and has never been finished. We have a 70kmh road sign just past my house - we have been wanting this sign moved or changed to 50kmh but this has also fallen on deaf ears. I'm a bit confused with your article on Saturday 16th Feb, wanting to reduce speed limits at Tamarau, Okitu and Wainui, and then Makorori to Tatapouri. I travel to Gisborne quite a lot and get very annoyed when I see how your area is well looked after with a beautiful walkway and plenty of walking space. You have a cycle/walkway - we have nothing. Our kids have to practically walk in the drain to dodge heavy traffic. As for pulling out of your driveway, well? Crossing the road at okitu store dangerous? May I suggest making arrangements with the school to have the children picked up on the bus if possible, just a suggestion. All the best for 2019 . . . if this situation is sooo dangerous then the school should become responsible for the safety of everyone.

Andrea Clarke - 3 months ago
I'm totally against . . . A Wainui resident for 48 years.

John Clarke - 3 months ago
I suggest they leave the speed limits as they are and the parents spend more time educating their children on the hazards of the roads everywhere, and life in general. Overprotected children are more likely to have accidents in life than those who are taught the pitfalls and consequences of every-day modern life with all its increasing challenges.

Margaret - 3 months ago
Only two days ago a Wainui resident complained that they were stuck behind a driver doing 50kmh on their way to work. But because this petition to "slow down" has not passed, drivers are not allowed to drive 50km now? I live on Moana Road and it's a highway which we all must remember. I don't agree slowing down is going to solve accidents, but putting cameras in and catching drivers on their phones while driving will reduce accidents.

Jo - 2 months ago
I see so many children dodging traffic crossing the road to get to the bus stop for school; no safe crossing for them with the speed of the traffic.

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