Construction at the intersection of Pioneer Highway/Main Street and West and Lyndhurst Streets will start this week.
Over the past five years alone there have been more than 20 crashes, of which 12 resulted in injuries.
Our statistics only include crashes reported to the Police, so it’s likely there have been other near-misses or minor crashes.
The changes will impact how all road users use the intersection
We're removing the ability to cut across Pioneer Highway to get between Lyndhurst and West Streets.
We’re also going to remove the ability to turn right from Lyndhurst Street on to Pioneer Highway. The slip lane from Pioneer Highway which allows you to turn left into Lyndhurst Street will also be removed. Motorists will simply turn left on the other side of the island.
To do this, we will be changing the road layout with wider islands, which will provide a safer stopping point for pedestrians crossing the road.
Concept design for the intersection
Acting Transport and Infrastructure Manager, Geoff Snedden, says the changes have been designed over the past 18 months.
"We’ve been investigating what safety improvements are needed at this intersection and talking to the local businesses about it. We ruled out a roundabout as there isn’t enough room to install one and allow multiple lanes of traffic. It would also have caused traffic building up on other streets. Traffic lights were also ruled out due to the risk of causing traffic to back-up.”
He says that when council consulted on the trial cycleway on Main/Pioneer, and now that it has opened, we’ve again received concerns about the safety of this intersection, which reinforces how important these changes are.
Council designed the trial cycleway with these changes in mind, so the changes here won’t impact the cycle lane trial.
Mr Snedden says changes to the Walding/Taonui intersection 18 months ago show how quickly changes can make a big difference to safety.
“At the end of 2019, we changed that intersection to also prevent motorists cutting across Walding Street. In the decade before the changes, 48 crashes had occurred, including a fatality. Since the changes, there hasn’t been one crash reported.”
He is asking motorists to please be patient with the changes.
“We’re installing signs this week to alert motorists to the upcoming changes. We know this intersection is important for businesses and residents in the area, and the safety of our road users is our top priority. We believe these changes will make people safer on our roads.”