Statement to the KCDC Road Safety Advisory Group Meeting of 7 April 2021
The Chair and membership of the Older Persons Council (OPC) endorse the need for immediate engineering investment in Elizabeth Street and Winara Avenue in Waikanae to provide age-friendly accessibility to pedestrians of all ages – pedestrian safety being one of the top road safety issues in Kapiti identified by the Council.
Significant risks are posed to pedestrians by vehicles suddenly appearing in less time than it takes to cross the road:
* People with walkers or being pushed in a wheelchair having to negotiate uneven footpath, kerb, channel, unfavourable asphalt camber in addition to getting across the road.
* People with limited peripheral vision or awareness who simply need time to see something moving towards them.
* People who simply are no longer able to walk quickly when needed.
* Children as impetuous road users.
Traffic suddenly appearing in Elizabeth Street heading towards the railway ‐- traffic joined by vehicles from Winara Ave, Anne and Seddon Streets — is a concern for many in the community. School, train commuter and construction traffic booting it in Winara Avenue and Seddon Street is also a raised concern.
Multiple hazards heighten the risk:
* Speed of vehicles.
* Size of vehicles e.g, logging truck‐trailers dominating perception of oncoming traffic.
* The bend in Elizabeth Street and the intersections from Winara Avenue or Seddon Street –
short distance / fast moving traffic = little time for perception.
* Change of grade e.g., Seddon-‐Utauta (with a bend) and Seddon-‐Hira with construction traffic booting it over the hump.
* Uneven footpath, kerb, channel, unfavourable asphalt camber.
One hazard often dominates perception to the extent that other hazards are not seen when there is urgency to cross the road.
Both the Kapiti Coast Museum and Relish Café are ‘destinations’ providing social infrastructure for both visitors and locals. Pedestrians frequently cross from one to the other.
Pedestrians frequently cross Winara Avenue and Seddon Street, walking to the railway station and town centre using the railway station north rail crossing.
The pedestrian risks identified would be substantially reduced by:
* A pedestrian crossing (preferably light controlled) in the vicinity of Relish Café and the Kapiti Coast Museum.
* Provision of two‐hour disability parks outside Relish Café.
* Pedestrian refuges in Winara Ave and Seddon St.