Tolerance, patience and understanding please

Roading progress in Greerton. Photo: Bruce Barnard.

Progress can come at a cost – an inconvenience. In this case the cost is noise, cones, barriers, dust, dirt, machines and traffic snarls on the main street of Greerton. And a few carparks cannibalised by roadworks.

“Take away carparks in front of a retailer’s shop and they don’t like it,” says Sally Benning, the Greerton Village Mainstreet manager. Of course a lost carpark is a lost customer; is a lost sale.

It’s a tricky one for the village retailers. “Because the project is not something we ever wanted,” says Sally. “It’s not as if it’s short-term pain for our long-term gain.”

In Peter Turmer’s case, it’s bewilderment.

“Various people I know in Greerton all said to me they have no idea what’s going on and why it’s being done,” says the Pyes Pa resident. Peter is a regular letter writer to The Weekend Sun on things he thinks haven’t been done, should be done or could have been done better around town.

Recently he’s been gazing on the roadworks; the ‘progress’ in Greerton’s main street. And all he sees is disruption, inconvenience, stress and irritation for the motorists who have to shoehorn themselves through peak-time bottlenecks in Greerton twice a day.

“What they’re doing is crazy,” he says.  “I saw an ambulance headed to Greerton – he was forced to join the queue outside Gilmours and do the crawl like everyone else. If he wanted to get through he was knackered.”

It’s all about safety. The roadworks which began in March and will continue until December will “make it safer for everyone who moves through this area” according to the Tauranga City Council, including pedestrians, cyclists, mobility scooters and cars. The council consulted, shared options, invited feedback and came up with a plan it believes is best to deliver the desired outcomes.

It involves a solid median along the middle of Cameron Road, a new roundabout at Pooles Road, a new signaled pedestrian crossing to replace the zebra crossing opposite the carpark on Cameron Road, narrowing the carriageway to one lane and removing the right hand turn out of Cornwall Street.

This is all aimed at returning the ‘conflict’ area – a blacktop battleground - to a passive, efficient, safe carriageway. Apparently single lanes becoming two lanes and then merging again unhinged some motorists, turned them competitive and aggressive, causing them to race and overtake. Well, they’re fixing that.

There’s also some sensitivity. Peter made some inquiries about the impact on retailing in Greerton. He claims he was told “people might find the shopping at the Crossing more convenient”.

Naturally that suggestion “distressed” Sally. She did her own investigations and says she couldn’t confirm the comment being made.

Back out on the asphalt, they’re also fixing those narrow double lanes on the Chadwick/Cameron Road intersection roundabout – ranked the second worst road accident spot in the city with 70 accidents in five years. They’re going to reduce the ‘conflict’ areas.

And, says TCC, it will improve general road safety and traffic flows while retaining the village feel.

“We have to accept they have done modelling on it and have reached conclusions based on it – we wait with bated breath to see if they are the right conclusions,” says Sally.

She can’t argue against safety. “But we will have to wait and see if it translates into a better commercial area and a safer place.”

As for Peter’s ambulance stuck in the queue, what’s the likelihood of a life-threatening event occurring and the ambulance and defibrillator being stuck in traffic on the other side of Greerton?

No-one’s at risk; lives aren’t in danger according to St John Western Bay territory manager Ross Clarke.

“Response times haven’t been affected – and if we need to get somewhere quickly we have lights and sirens. And a driving public that’s willing to make way for us.”

But manoeuvring through the funnel that is Cameron Road at Greerton right now, you can only go as fast as the vehicle in front.

The council says the reduced road width is only temporary and when the work is completed, the road width will allow a vehicle to pull over to let an emergency vehicle past. On some narrow sections they may have to wait, but this is no different to similar road layouts in other parts of the city.


6 Comments

Looks good

Posted on 21-07-2018 09:09 | By

Super concrete median work. The grass is looking very lush. I wish my lawn looked that nice. Awesome value for money. Really needed.

Bus Lane

Posted on 21-07-2018 05:32 | By Blasta

Wait until they put in the bus lane. They’ll do a great job then muck it all up with foolish bus ideology.

redirection

Posted on 20-07-2018 12:25 | By Dino

Heaven help us if this new and revised Greerton traffic flow actually works, coz if it doesn’t its going to be a nightmare...I wonder how many Councillors have actually been in Greerton at peak times and weekends to see what the real issues are, I’m thinking not, because if they had been they would not be making the changes that they currently are, I hope that I am wrong...but I guess time will tell.....lots of money wasted if I am right

Nonsence

Posted on 20-07-2018 10:50 | By Kaimai

I’m a tenant in Chadwick Road - I was never consulted. The first I knew of this fiasco was when 2 people turned up with pieces of paper showing me what was to be done.

Safety

Posted on 20-07-2018 10:29 | By First Responder

So they are moving the pedestrian crossing on Cameron Rd closer to Chadwick Rd roundabout. How does this improve safety? As it is, many seem to just cross where it suits. Now that the pedestrian crossing will mean further to walk, I presume this will mean more will just cross where it suits. All roads reduced to single lanes, another roundabout going in at Pooles Rd, - Improvements? I think not.

But TCC knows what's best for us

Posted on 20-07-2018 09:22 | By nerak

yeah right. Ten months of absolute disruption, to motorists, including emergency services, and businesses. The whole of the roadworks area is a diabolical nightmare, why was it not staged in smaller parts? I have given up going to Greerton, and The Crossing is a wasted visit. As for the rest of the city, it’s getting to be a good option to avoid that too. TCC need to do better. Next will come surface repairs within 12 months, in keeping with other roads around the country. No quality anymore. And that last includes TCC.

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