Ill-feeling grows in Greerton

Another grizzle, another signature – Petitioner Yvonne Gibson on the Greerton Village traffic island with Frank Watt. Photo: Bruce Barnard.

Yvonne Gibson is a feisty 70-something-year-old, and claims to be “a voice” for the aggrieved of suburban Greerton.

Having been told that Tauranga City Council has received half-a-dozen complaints about traffic safety improvements along Cameron Road through Greerton, she responds: “Well, council, here’s another 695 bloody complaints.”

She’s waving 30 pages of signatures - a petition - under the reporter’s nose to re-enforce her point.

“It’s not acceptable, it’s crap,” says Yvonne. “What city would reduce a two-lane road to one lane in the hope of improving traffic flows?”

What’s not acceptable to Yvonne, and it seems the 695 signatories to her petition, is Tauranga City Council’s efforts to defuse a crash hotspot. Some have suggested it is working. Traffic has been slowed, there are fewer crashes and it’s safer.

“I would disagree,” says Yvonne. “There were 23 crashes in 2016 and 70 in the last five years. I am told there have been several nose-to-tail accidents since the re-development.” And, she says, pedestrians take their lives in their own hands with mobility scooters, regular scooters and bicycles.

Yvonne read a newspaper article about the impact of the roading re-development on local business. It wasn’t positive. She read it again, and then a third time before deciding it was time for action.

She parked herself outside a Lotto shop, a chemist and a supermarket for three hours on three different days to gather signatures. “I had no trouble,” says Yvonne. “People were very keen to sign. They’re not just moaners, they have genuine grievances about this development. They are angry. Very, very angry.”

And they needed a voice, so Yvonne spoke up.

Her own personal experience of negotiating Greerton fired her up. “It took 22 minutes to drive from the old Gilmours building on Cameron Road to the front gates of Althorp Village, where I live.” Google maps says that’s a journey of around 3.7 kilometres, which should have taken her about seven minutes.

Reaction to her petition has been interesting. “A couple of guys offered to bring their bulldozers in and fix things – put Cameron Road back to what it was,” she says.

“Some said ‘hey, you know that despite the petition, nothing will happen’. Maybe so. But the council needs to know there are a lot of very angry people out there.“

Yvonne’s suggestions for improving the “improvements” is restoring the double lanes through the village, removing the tolls on the toll road so traffic will divert around the village and returning the pedestrian lane to the middle of village.

TCC’s website says the improvements were needed because the Cameron Road and Chadwick Road roundabout was ranked the second worst local road location in the city in terms of serious, minor and non-injury crashes.

To improve safety, council reduced the number of ‘conflict’ areas by taking away some traffic movements, such as U-turns and the right turn from Cornwall Street, and providing signalised pedestrian crossings and cycle facilities.

The desired outcomes are the improved general road safety of the Cameron Road/Chadwick Road intersection, improved safety for people moving through the area by foot, bike or mobility scooter, protection of most of the trees, additional greenspace and trees and new cycle facilities, as well as retaining the village feel.

Yvonne says she hopes to present the petition to council early next year. “I am just voicing what the people feel and they absolutely hate it. And as for that pedestrian crossing…”




19 Comments

@Sollygirl

Posted on 17-12-2018 11:06 | By Mein Fuhrer

That would have to be one of the biggest load of bollocks I’ve read.

Well done Yvonne

Posted on 16-12-2018 08:04 | By kiwigirl41

I asked it before and I’ll ask it again... ’Who’s the muppet who designed the "improvements" to Greerton? Traffic is often backed up way back to Mitre Ten at 11am on a week day which we never had before......also not having the right hand turn on the round-a-bout at Cornwall Street is now a total nightmare..you either have to drive through Chadwick Rd to the main round a bout causing more chaos or turn left at Cornwall St drive through Greerton go round an already congested round-a-bout drive back down through Greerton to where the Cornwall St round-a-bout to head to the city.....absolute madness. byw Yvonne if I had seen you with your petition I would have gladly signed it as well...

Effort in the wrong places.

Posted on 15-12-2018 22:19 | By AKS

I live on Greerton Road, just along from Cornwall. The changes that have been made are in all the wrong places. Everyone thinks they’re cutting out extra traffic by using Cornwall and Greerton Road to avoid the Cameron and Chadwick roundabout. But none of them seem to realise that the traffic they leave when entering Cornwall is the same Traffic they now have to merge back into. It’s also highly annoying that all these people give you a dirty look just for walking across the street into your own driveway that you have to wait 5+ minutes to do because of the continuous slow crawl this line has. And the more these roadworks go on, the longer the line gets at peak times, stretching from Chadwick almost to the other end of Greerton Road.

What Idiots thought by doing these changes it woul improve traffic flow ?

Posted on 15-12-2018 22:06 | By local yokel

All they have done is caused a bottle neck by making Cameron Rd single lane each side of the road through both the Village and Chadwick Road and transferring the problems around the area. It should have been made 4 lanes through Greerton and right up to the Barkes corner roundabout. No emergency vehicles can get through in a hurry now because they get held up in the traffic and Maleme Street is now being clogged up with traffic picking up school children and then going out the Oropi end of it onto Oropi Road and either turning right to the highway or up the hill to Greerton creating another bottle neck. Now they want to put 2 bus lanes on Cameron Road into town and narrow it to only one lane for cars each way. What idiots !!!

We need more Yvonne Gibson's

Posted on 15-12-2018 19:50 | By Murray.Guy

We need more Yvonne Gibson’s. Thank you for giving a damn, for being prepared to ’walk the talk’. The whole shambolic affair we know to be a con job from the outset. The accident statistics quoted were at best misleading in an effort to divert attention from the reality of their ’not so hidden agenda’, to further undermine the economic viability and commercial competitiveness of Greerton Greerton Village, to further frustrate motorists. With 7.5 million (plus) vehicle movements a year the area was extremely accident free.

WE are the traffic!

Posted on 15-12-2018 17:46 | By Sollygirl

Here’s an interesting true fact for each one of you who cares enough to respond to this Sunlive article: Widening roads and making more roads to solve congestion solves the congestion problem, right? Wrong. Through a mechanism called ’induced demand’ widening and building more roads makes traffic congestion worse. Google it. Our horrible traffic congestion - that is wrecking Greerton Village - is due to too may of us having to use our cars to move around. We are the traffic. When there are really good, other ways of getting around the city, such as buses, car-share, trains, cycling, walking and scootering, we’ll see a reduction in traffic congestion and a much more pleasant, quiet city.

Pedestrian Safety or Driver Convenience?

Posted on 15-12-2018 17:23 | By Sollygirl

Council identified that Greerton is a hotspot for accidents involving people moving around the village by all modes. The changes to the road in Greerton are NOT (and never were intended) to improve convenience for drivers of cars passing through and around the Village. The rate of serious accidents/deaths on our roads in New Zealand is a tragedy and national disgrace and I believe that Council has its priorities in exactly the right place to make these safety changes. Greerton Village is a marvellous place - ruined only by the people driving their cars THROUGH it to get into town. How about we channel our energies into lobbying the Regional/TCC Councils for a fantastic bus service so that we have alternative travel choices apart from our cars? Or cycling, or walking?

Well Done

Posted on 15-12-2018 13:34 | By Kancho

I wish I had signed too. I avoid going into Greerton more these day although it was my favourite place to shop. Traffic crawls the Chadwick roundabout often stops in all directions when the crossing is used as traffic gets stopped on the roundabout. Its hard to enter the roundabout and see or know when the crossing operates. The supermarket is harder to access or leave so I no longer go there. As for the new bus system I tried it twice and its also a failure for my purpose. From Pyes Pa return to the hospital and town takes nearly twice as long so this once bus user will go back to the car.. Sad to say the alterations are set in concrete although all that may have been necessary was crossing light on the previous crossing. I can walk through quicker than the traffic

rogues

Posted on 15-12-2018 12:21 | By Dismayed

We are all aware of the ineptitude of our elected council, and their inability to admit wrongdoing. Instead of demanding change from these buffoons, should we not be petitioning government to intervene? After all its our rates dollars going up in smoke here. This is merely one of many mind-boggling decisions made by this parade of troughers in the name improvement.

WHERE IS THIS PETITION?

Posted on 15-12-2018 11:22 | By Colleen Spiro

Well done Yvonne....where is this petition...I think MOST RESIDENTS of Greerton Village would sign it and those who travel through EVERY DAY, from Tauriko, The Crossing, Pyes Pa, who do not wish to pay the toll...take the damn toll OFF. I used to have great pride in our Village, but over the past year, with the lack of consultation with residents over this fiasco and the fact that Greerton has constantly created bad press for itself over the beggars/who are mostly drug dealers, who could have been dealt with by POLICE if anyone actually cared, it’s just a place where I live now...I struggle to get out of my street each day, mostly having to turn left onto Cameron and use back surburban streets to get to my destination........Greerton was NEVER DANGEROUS before....It is however now in danger of being the suburb PEOPLE AVOID.

Well done Yvonne

Posted on 15-12-2018 10:28 | By Calm Gully

I would have signed the petition BUT I don’t go via Greerton anymore, always go via Parkvale (which will be the next hazard area :( ) Council didn’t listen to the submissions which said this would be an issue, a good start would been lights at the original crossing - not move the crossing??? closer to the roundabout!!! The new bus schedule will only exacerbate the situation (how can they keep to time IF they are stuck getting around THAT roundabout. TWO lanes are required at roundabout to get any movement. This is not a surprise though, locals could see the results, the people who designed it got paid a lot of money and don’t even live here??? Lots of questions??? Congestion causes road rage. It is a topic whoeveer you talk to - get it right. Thanks Yvonneforbeingavoice!!!

very picturesque

Posted on 15-12-2018 08:26 | By ow

Greerton is a nice big carpark now with lawns down the middle

@Cynical Me

Posted on 15-12-2018 08:19 | By nerak

Re the new CEO, your hope is my hope. His predecessor was constantly swayed by all the pretty little things fluttering in his face, I’m thinking Marty is already sounding like a new broom, can’t wait to see what he achieves. As for Greerton, ’improvements’ are a dismal failure, "The desired outcomes are the improved general road safety blah blah" - we pay these fools to dream, they are not on our planet, and partial quote of that paragraph proves it. There are too many staff, with too much ’responsibility’ who constantly overstep the mark and don’t have life experience to understand the implications of their fluffy dreams. Time is now, to sort out the wheat from the chaff, there’s an overload of the latter.

Total disgrace

Posted on 15-12-2018 08:07 | By Angels

Once again council don,t listen to the voter, we told them prior to changes,they would not work, but they would not listen. We have a council that are not listening. Traffic in Greerton is totally crazy. If this is city planning and called improvement then please do not improve anything else as it has been proven council make everything 2-3 times worse. We need to elect people who can think and listen. This council and their improvements are a disaster. We need a roading referendum to make them listen. They hold meeting yet ignore the results every time. They have their own mandate and the hell with the public

Well done Yvonne

Posted on 14-12-2018 23:13 | By Neiliies

I think the majority of people having to use this area would gadly sign your petition, its been turned into a disaster zone that no-one wants to go near unless they absolutely have to - there is no improvement here!

Wot do Council say?

Posted on 14-12-2018 21:26 | By Slim Shady

Do they just hide behind their website? Any comment from anyone after 700 complaints? Or is it the usual fingers in ears and ignore? This Council, elected members and staff alike, are so arrogant they think they can just ignore everybody. Completely inept.

Two lanes?

Posted on 14-12-2018 18:48 | By o0motorhead0o

What are these crack pots on about? It was never two lanes the entire way through, it was just at the roundabouts that had two lanes. This bit of road is much improved with no merging and a light controlled crossing. Obviously these retirees need a new hobby that’s not complaining...

False Information apparing Real.

Posted on 14-12-2018 18:37 | By Cynical Me

I have been going through this roundabout for over 20 years, sometimes 8-12 times a day. I have yet to see an accident on the roundabout. I would challenge the dept. of transportation to provide evidence of all these accidents because its a falsehood and they can’t. Blaming the police is bullshit as well. I will say there have been a few near misses of late, especially at Pooles rd. The new lawns are just a waste of space. Its all because the Transportation dept. couldn’t get their own way with traffic lights which were overwhelmingly protested against and no one would use their council car park when it was set up as pay bin. Empty for months it was. One hopes the new CEO will have a better attitude to Greerton than the council has had for a longtime.

No point complaining

Posted on 14-12-2018 18:27 | By Slim Shady

They don’t listen. Arrogant and corrupt. You cannot break through that combination.

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