Reports reveal road deaths risk

TROUBLING: Glandovey, Idris and Straven Residents' Association wants to address traffic and roading issues at the Glandovey and Idris Rds intersection before a cyclist or pedestrian is killed.

Reports revealing death or serious injury are likely at a Fendalton intersection should have been made public, a residents’ association says.

The Glandovey, Idris and Straven Residents’ Association obtained safety audits from the city council which say “death or serious injury” at the intersection of Glandovey and Idris Rds is “likely” once every five to 10 years due to visibility issues between vehicles and pedestrians.

Association spokesman James Wilding said the community should have been aware of these audits as their lives are at risk.

Residents have been battling the city council to address ongoing roading, traffic and safety issues in the area for almost a year.

But city council manager planning and delivery transport Lynette Ellis said the community was not made aware of the reports because the city council as “satisfied” the risk had been mitigated.

She said safety audits are not normally given to stakeholders, as often they result in changes to design following the audit.

In this case, she said, infrastructure had been improved in response to the audit.

“Protection has been given to pedestrians crossing on the southern arm of Idris Rd, by allowing pedestrians to start crossing before the vehicles waiting to turn left into Idris Rd south.

“This means that by the time the vehicles waiting to turn left have the green light, the pedestrians have already started to cross the road, therefore improving visibility of pedestrians and vehicles to each other,” Ms Ellis said.

She said there had not been an accidents involving pedestrians or cyclists at the intersection.

During the saga, city council chief executive Karleen Edwards recommended residents not be involved in a work shop to find solutions.

However, the Fendalton-Waiamairi-Harewood Community Board went against that decision.

“Residents do not understand why, when issues have been raised for so long, the city council did not tell us that its own post-construction audit from BECA stated that there was an occasional, so once every five to 10 years, risk of death or serious injury because of the footpath design,” Mr Wilding said.

The association received three safety audits from the city council after submitting a Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act request.

Mr Wilding sent the reports to the community board, which had not been aware of the audits, chairman David Cartwright said. He said it was frustrating that a “number of interested parties”, including residents and the board, hadn’t seen this key information.

But Mr Cartwright said he and city councillors Raf Manji and Aaron Keown would be taking the issue to the city council, as well as chief executive Karleen Edwards and Mayor Lianne Dalziel, on behalf of the residents and the board.

“It sounds like something we want to get fixed as soon as possible,” he said.

The city council was unable to respond to questions from Nor’West News before deadline on why the board and residents were not told of the audits. City councillors Keown and Manji did not return calls.

Mr Cartwright said the board would move onto finding out where the “communication breakdown” came from after the safety issues were addressed.

“We’ll look to find out how did this happen and what learnings can we take because it might be happening across the city in a much bigger picture,” he said.

The three reports were completed by engineering consultant firm BECA over the scheme and detailed design stages of upgrading Glandovey and Idris Rds in 2012-13, as well as a post construction audit in 2014. “Due to the set back of the stop control lines on the eastern arm of Glandovey Rd and the location of the crossing point on the south-eastern side of Idris Rd, vehicles approaching the intersection will not be able to see pedestrians waiting to cross the road . . . This may lead to vehicle/pedestrian conflicts,” the audit said.

Mr Wilding said residents have told him they do not feel safe walking or cycling there. “Now, from reports obtained from the council . . . we are beginning to understand why.”