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New turn for busy road

The Aucklander
18th June 2010

By Rowena Orejana

Residents of a busy Howick street are thankful their pleas have been heeded, reports Rowena Orejana.

The bus trundles down Bradbury Rd in Howick and turns right at Lexington Drive. Or at least it tries to turn right.

A car parked a few metres from the corner is blocking its way. The bus backs up. Meanwhile, another car speeds up from Union Rd, narrowly missing the bus that has just turned.

It's a recipe for disaster, one that has been brewing for a long time. Joan Cavaney, a Bradbury Rd resident for 43 years, is all too familiar with it as she looks at the road from her kitchen.

"These people are flying down the road," she says. "One of these days, there will be a serious accident."

Ivo Pabbruwe, her neighbour of 38 years, won't be surprised either. "They come down from Cascades and go down the road to miss seven traffic lights," he says.

They don't just drive, they hurtle down the road. "And it's not young kids who speed. It's really anyone who drives down," says Mrs Cavaney.

Traffic consultants for the Manukau City Council traffic say about 75 per cent of the vehicles are travelling at speeds of 60-62km/h. They warn it is unsafe to approach the intersection at a speed of more than 10km/h.

There's a give way sign at the corner of Lexington Drive which is more often than not ignored, says Mr Pabbruwe. "They just take the turn. They don't even wait," he says.

Mrs Cavaney says it gets worse late in the afternoons. "The sun sets directly on Bradbury Rd. They couldn't see the other cars coming from the other side. There's a screech of brakes and its just bedlam."

Howick Community Board chairman Jim Donald is aware of the problems. "We do know that area.

"It's a busy intersection and we feel a stop sign would solve the problem," he says.

Bradbury Rd has an average daily traffic volume of 4100 vehicles while Lexington Drive has an average of 2800 a day.

Mr Donald says that, by changing the controls at the intersection from give way to stop, vehicles on Lexington Drive would be forced to reduce speed to slow to a stop before making the turn.

Mrs Cavaney and Mr Pabbruwe are delighted at the swift action from the board .

"We're glad they've done something about it and not just have an ambulance at the bottom of the cliff. The board listened to us this time," she says.

Crash causes

Driving too fast for the conditions is the single biggest factor in fatal crashes, followed by drink driving and failure to wear seatbelts. - Neighbourhood Support.

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