Safety upgrade for city’s fourth most dangerous intersection

SAFETY IMPROVEMENTS: Safety improvements are planned for the intersection of Ilam, Middleton and Riccarton Rd.

The city’s fourth most dangerous junction could become a T intersection in a bid to reduce the number of crashes.

Plans for the $1 million safety upgrade at the Middleton, Ilam and Riccarton Rd intersection were revealed last week by the city council.

Restricting Riccarton Rd from Middleton Rd to left turns in and out only, as well as narrowing the road to allow more footpath space for pedestrians has been proposed.

It was ranked the city’s fourth most dangerous, raking up 40 crashes with varying degree of injury since 2011.

The intersection is known as being difficult to navigate because of the off-set alignment of the three roads.

The left turn slip lanes from Ilam Rd into Riccarton Rd would also be removed.

The proposed changes have received mixed views.

Ilam and Upper Riccarton Residents’ Association Sue Chamberlain said it is “crazy” vehicles will not be able to travel from Middleton Rd to Ilam Rd or turn right.

She said there should be green arrows for vehicles looking to turn right onto Riccarton Rd.

“They should have a green arrow on those corners which will fix the problem just nicely without having to do anything else”.

But Elite Physiotherapy, which is located near the intersection, owner Michelle North said it is an “extremely dangerous” intersection and while the changes will be inconvenient for the business, it will be better in the end.

Receptionist Rita Noetzel said she will “cross her fingers” when she turns right from Ilam Rd onto Riccarton Rd.

“At first I thought: ‘Oh my gosh am I doing something illegal but it is a right turn lane . . .’ it is just a really tricky one because there is no kind of turning lane,” she said.

Her views were backed by Central Riccarton Residents’ Association chairwoman JoscelyneSilcock, who said she dreads driving out of Middleton Rd to turn right onto Riccarton Rd.

But Halswell-Hornby-Riccarton Community Board deputy chairwoman Helen Broughton said she was concerned there might be an “overload” of projects on Riccarton Rd.

She said there is an argument the project would need to be done in conjunction with the NorWest Arc Major Cycle Route.

The major Riccarton Rd roadworks are due to begin this month and the city council is currently out for public consultation on the South Express Major Cycle Route – which will run through Riccarton.

The intersection upgrades will enable it to have facilities for the cycleway including crossing signals.

Public consultation will run until March 11. For more information on the changes and to make a submission go to www.ccc.govt.nz and click on the have your say page.

•HAVE YOUR SAY: Are you supportive of the planned safety changes to the intersection of Ilam, Middleton and Riccarton Rd? Email your views to georgia.oconnor@starmedia.kiwi

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