Strong response to dangerous intersections
10 May 2004
A Council call for the public to highlight dangerous intersections hit a raw nerve with the people of Christchurch as more than 2600 responses flooded in.
Police will be targeting some key traffic-light intersections for enforcement, after pedestrians highlighted concerns about being unable to cross safely, while the Council is using some information to help prioritise some of its long-term planning for works on intersections.
Council transport researcher Paul Cottam said that motorists were most concerned with turning at traffic signals, while cyclists cited larger city roundabouts as being dangerous. Most responses reinforced Council plans already underway.
The public was asked through newspaper advertisements as part of the city’s Road Safety Strategy at the end of 2003 to highlight which intersections they considered the most dangerous in Christchurch.
Overall, Christchurch residents found traffic signals and roundabouts on major arterial roads to be the most dangerous intersections to use. Findings from the survey showed that , if these intersections were improved in some way, people were prepared to sacrifice travel time to get through them safely.
The 20 most listed intersections attracted safety concerns over delays in traffic, being able to turn through traffic signals, and concerns at the speed and volume of traffic moving through roundabouts. Inadequate visibility at some roundabouts was also a problem.
Mr Cottam said the Council wanted to thank those who responded because their feedback was extremely valuable to Council long-term plans for works on intersections.
Some intersections mentioned are already destined for upgrading in the next five years, others are noted by police for targeted enforcement.
Intersections of most concern include the Deans Avenue-Riccarton Road, and Blenheim Road-Main South Road roundabouts. Respondents said that at Riccarton Road, heavy traffic went through at speed without giving way, while the Blenheim Road-Main South Road roundabout had too much fast-travelling traffic coming off too many feeder roads.
The next on the list was the traffic-light controlled intersection of Ilam Road-Middleton Road-Riccarton Road where the strange angle at which the roads meet confuses cars turning right out of Middleton Road onto Riccarton Road or those turning right out of Ilam Road onto Riccarton Road.
The Marshland Road-Queen Elizabeth II Drive roundabout had foliage in the centre that blocked drivers’ view of on-coming traffic, and the Masham Road-Russley Road-Yaldhurst Road intersection had two-laned roads feeding into the intersection from one side, then bottle-necking into one-lane traffic on the other side.
Mr Cottam said that some issues such as overgrown foliage could be addressed quickly, but others would take more time and planning.
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