Children In Danger — KCDC Replies On Raumati Traffic Hazards

The Kāpiti Coast Council has replied to KIN’s questions about heavy traffic in Raumati which is endangering hundreds of young
children in the area.

The Kapiti Independent asked the council seven key questions and got the following responses: 

1. What is being done to improve safety for young children walking and cycling along all the roads leading to the Raumati Beach Primary School, Kapiti College, and the two early childhood centres? 

Answer: ‘A review of the Raumati Beach Village roading corridor, including potential traffic calming and safety improvements, is currently being undertaken. A report on these improvements will be presented to the March 2020 meeting of the Paraparaumu Raumati Community Board.’ 

2. What is being done to enforce the 30 k limit imposed recently? 

Answer: ‘Council proactively works with residents, schools and the Police to address road safety concerns and to identify safety improvements. This includes Police undertaking road safety enforcement actions throughout the district.’

3. Why has a sign signifying a 50k speed has been left outside the primary school, thus increasing danger right outside the school?

A: ‘This 50km per hour sign indicates the current speed limit for this section of road. In August last year Council submitted in support of the Ministry of Transport’s (Ministry) Draft Road to Zero Safety Strategy.

Ministry’s Plans

‘As part of this strategy the Ministry is planning legislative/speed limit rule changes later this year including: 

• Improving how councils and the NZTA plan for, consult on and implement speed management changes; 

• Transitioning to lower speed limits around schools to improve safety and encourage more children to walk and cycle to school; 

• Adopting a new approach to safety cameras to reduce excessive speeds on our highest risk roads. 

‘Upon confirmation of these changes, we will be able to quantify the scope and subsequent cost to implement these changes.

‘We will then seek Annual Plan or Long Term Plan funding from Council, if required, to implement these changes.’

4. Why hasn’t the KCDC installed speed bumps and raised crossings, as has been done, successfully, at Paraparaumu Beach? 

A: ‘The review of the Raumati Beach Village roading corridor includes traffic calming and safety improvements such as raised crossings. 

5. Vehicles still drive at speed around the Pub at the corner of Matatua Rd and Raumati Road and have only a few metres to go before endangering pedestrians on the crossing from the car park to the Four Square Dairy. What is being done about this danger? 

A: The speed of vehicles in the Village area will be addressed in the review of the Raumati Beach Village roading corridor. 

6. Is the Council taking any measures to get police co-operation to reduce the hazards? (The Editor and his wife live locally, and have never recently seen any police road safety patrols.] 

A: Council works with Police on road safety initiatives. As part of the programme of ongoing safety improvements we recently installed an electronic speed feedback sign near the school on Raumati Road. This sign highlights the speed that vehicles are travelling and encourages drivers to be aware of their speed.’ 

7. Do the KCDC officers realise that it is probably only a matter of time before a child is seriously injured, or killed, in this area unless something is done urgently. 

A: ‘Council has made a number of safety improvements to the roading network in the Raumati Road and Village area. The traffic calming and safety improvements that are currently being planned will further improve road safety in this area. 

These answers were sent to us by Sean Mallon, Group Manager Infrastructure Services Te Kaihautū Ratonga Pakiaka

Thank goodness there are some parents willing to let their precious little ones walk to school and back home as you have observed. Wish more will join them, how healthy, they should be encouraged. It keeps the twice daily parent vehicular congestion down too. Nice safe crossings and a realistic speed 30kmph speed zone. Sounds good to me.

Did I miss some earlier posting on this topic? I am a local resident and frequently drive/walk these streets, and have never observed young children ‘at risk’ from traffic in the area. I consider 30 km a safe speed to approach the Raumati Rd/Mataura corner from the north, as visibility is good and plenty of time to give way at the zebra crossing. But, Council’s reiterated claim to be ‘working with Police’ on related issues falls short of being helpful – I have personally never spotted any Police patrolling the 30kmh limit since it was first introduced; and the short stretch of road between Margaret St and the Raumsti/Mataura corner can be very congested, in both directions. With the increase of traffic density, would a series of lights, carefully phased and synchronized, help maintain a flow of traffic as well as protect pedestrians?

Hello Chris, thanks for your note. My wife Helen and I often see unaccompanied young schoolchildren in Alexander Road, which is a prime candidate for effective action. Because it is a long road, it seems to bring out the worst in speed-prone drivers. And the 30k sign only applies to a short, south, section of the road.
Another danger point is the pedestrian crossing by the charging station, where we often see cars whizzing across even while pedestrians are crossing the other side.
Best wishes, Alan Tristram (Editor)

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