Do you live in, or travel through, the northern Mt Albert area, between Unitec / Carrington Road to the west and St Lukes Road in the east? Take a step (out of the car) and walk or cycle these streets, and you’ll quickly notice two things:
- it’s a gorgeous wee residential enclave, and
- the 1950s road design has left the suburb with lots of excessively wide streets, ripe for transforming into four-lane highways (just in case), with intersections large enough to handle truck-and-trailer combos and big enough to whip a car around at speed.
While the footpaths generally tend to be okayish and are shaded by beautiful trees, all that asphalt from gutter to gutter can make it really hard for pedestrians to cross the roads. Fix your eyes on the far opposite side, check both ways, and then make a dash for it – adding a perilous ‘Why don’t you run along and play?’ frisson for kids just trying to visit their mates over the road.
Meanwhile cyclists might enjoy the extra road width for being safely overtaken… but at what cost that extra passing space, when some drivers do so at 60 or 70 kilometers an hour, encouraged by the long, wide race-tracks?
Well, good news: the Local Board has kicked off a small traffic study / survey to underpin what is apparently a constant trickle of pleas from parents worried about their kids walking to school, people annoyed about drivers gunning the engines down the road outside their houses, pet owners upset about speeding and careless motorists taking shortcuts, etc.
The local board would like to hear from you in order to determine:
- whether there is a broad community perception of unreasonable traffic speed and volume, and
- to establish whether a solution of some kind would be supported by the community in general.
The consultation doesn’t yet discuss how things could be changed, although a few ideas come to mind: narrowing some of the main streets, adding speed humps, and maybe adding a few deliberately slow-speed intersections?
The main thing is, if everyone who lives there or regularly visits gives support to the Council survey, then Northern Mt Albert stands to benefit, as does everyone who walks and bikes in the area. (Ed note: This includes heaps of school kids and students, as well as savvy folk who know that Baldwin Ave train station is more pleasant to cycle to than the main Mt Albert train station, and that these sweet streets are perfect for navigating your way between Pt Chev and the NW cycleway, and Mt Albert destinations like Rocket Park, the Mt Albert Community Centre, and the Aquatic Centre at MAGS, especially if you have kids in tow.)
Here’s a map of the survey area, and again, the link to the survey itself. Go for it – feedback closes Monday 13 June, at 5pm.