Signs of trouble for Cr Aaron Keown

UPGRADE: City councillor Aaron Keown put signs up at the intersection of Harewood, Breens and Gardiners Rds encouraging people to submit on the Long Term Plan. They were removed. PHOTO: GEOFF SLOAN

City councillor Aaron Keown has been rapped over the knuckles for putting notices on poles holding compulsory stop signs.

Cr Keown put the notices up at the Harewood, Breens and Gardiners Rds intersection, encouraging residents to submit on the city council’s Long Term Plan in favour of upgrading the intersection to lights.

He put the notices at the bottom of the stop signs, and the city council removed them.

A New Zealand Transport Agency spokesperson said placing items on stop signs was “not helpful” as they distracted drivers who may read the notice instead of paying attention to the stop sign.

“You are not legally allowed to add other signs onto road safety signs or poles for the same reason.”

A city council spokeswoman said a member of the roading team took the notices down.

But Cr Keown told Nor’West News he still did not consider it a safety issue, saying it was a “long bow” to draw.

“In no way could they be distracting, in fact you’re more likely to slow down and stop for a few seconds to read them.”

“There’s actually another sign up at the intersection that’s covering part of a stop sign, advertising jet skis,” he said.

The jet ski advertisement has now been removed. The spokeswoman said the reason that sign hadn’t been taken down was because the city council didn’t know about it.

“We simply didn’t know about it, now we know we’ll take it down,” she said.

The base of Cr Keown’s re-election campaign was to get the Harewood intersection upgraded to lights.

He has lobbied hard for the signals – from hosting a community meeting at the corner, to offering $100 to anyone who could name an intersection in the city without lights that crossed as many lanes as Harewood, Gardiners and Breens Rds.

“I’m trying to get people to engage with council. Public notices go up on a site, whether it be road works or a new bottle store . . . it’s the same,” he said.

Last year city councillors voted down including the intersection in the LTP.