‘Near misses’ a concern

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Invercargill City Council roading manager Russell Pearson alongside one of the speed platforms in the Windsor Shopping Centre, the purpose of which is causing confusion for some pedestrians and drivers.

”THEY are speed humps, not pedestrian crossings,” concerned Invercargill resident Ray Scott says in reference to the raised sections on Windsor and King Sts in the Windsor shopping centre.

Mr Scott said he had witnessed several incidents in the past couple of months where pedestrians started crossing the street on the speed humps without looking first, assuming they were pedestrian crossings, and were upset when vehicles did not stop for them.

“There have been a couple of near misses.”

Windsor Business Group member Alan King said he had been aware of the issue for several years.

“People seem to think the white lines on [the speed humps] are pedestrian crossings and walk out in front of vehicles,” he said.

“Pedestrians get quite snarky [when vehicles do not slow down or stop for them].

“I am not aware of any accidents, but there have been some close calls.”

The business group had raised its concerns with the Invercargill City Council (ICC) and was told the speed humps were working well, he said.

“They are not working. People are not slowing down,” Mr King said.

“There are still a number of cars using [the street] like a race track.”

ICC roading manager Russell Pearson said to his knowledge there had not been any accidents around the “speed platforms”, but he was aware some people did not understand their purpose.

The platforms were designed to slow drivers down. The council believed at the time they were installed they had slowed vehicle speed by about 10-15kmh on average, he said, but he conceded over time driver speed had increased.

The lines on the platforms were designed to warn drivers of the raised road surface, he said.

The road was a space to be shared between pedestrians and drivers, Mr Pearson said.

“I encourage every pedestrian to make eye contact with the driver to make sure they have seen you whenever you are crossing the road, even on a pedestrian crossing.

“You have to presume the driver is distracted and hasn’t seen you.”

Drivers needed to recognise the Windsor shopping centre was a busy, high-pedestrian area, he said.

“A lot of behaviour is excellent, very considerate and thoughtful, but there are others that need to be more responsible.”

The council had considered installing pedestrian crossings on the Windsor shopping centre’s main street, but two to three car parking spaces on each side of the road would be lost and retailers in the area indicated they did not want to lose the spaces, Mr Pearson said.

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