Submission emailed on Review of Speed Limits on Rural Roads

We sent a submission as follows:

This submission is on behalf of the Waikawa Beach Ratepayers Association. Our paid membership represents more than 100 Waikawa Beach households, more than 12% of them in the Strathnaver area.

  1. Our Association has long requested that the speed limit along the full length of Waikawa Beach Road from SH1 to the village entrance should be no more than 80 Kph. We support reducing the speed limit along Waikawa Beach Road from its current 100 Kph to 80 Kph or less.

  2. We have surveyed the affected ratepayers and residents who are members of our Association, and have 100% support from them for speed reductions along Emma Drive, Kristin Place, Strathnaver Drive and Reay Mackay Grove, but with the following notes:

    Continue reading “Submission emailed on Review of Speed Limits on Rural Roads”

Speed Limits on our roads may change – submissions by 15 March 2019

Horowhenua District Council is undertaking Stage 1 of a district-wide review of speed limits on rural roads. Submissions close at 5PM on 15 March 2019. Extracts below, but read the full information at the link.

This review affects most of the rural roads reached by turning off SH1 onto Waikawa Beach Road. We’ve collated the individual suggestions from the proposal document available at the Council’s website (and linked below in case their link disappears).

Continue reading “Speed Limits on our roads may change – submissions by 15 March 2019”

Horowhenua beaches have road rules

Horowhenua drivers are being urged to be more thoughtful about taking their vehicles on the beach.

Dangerous driving on Horowhenua’s beaches will not be tolerated and people need to remember road rules apply, police say.

All beaches with public vehicle access are considered public roads, which means the road rules still apply, even if there is no signage.

In Horowhenua, driving is allowed on the whole coastline, with a 30km/h speed limit for all areas. …

A report by the Coastal Restoration Trust says there is “clear and irrefutable evidence from New Zealand and overseas experience that the use of vehicles on beaches can cause adverse environmental and social effects”.

The report stated that many of the activities vehicle owners access beaches for, including fishing, boat launching, recreation and sightseeing, might be benign on their own, but that they contribute to a cumulative negative effect on the environment.

Source: Police remind Horowhenua drivers the beach has road rules – NZ Herald.

Boat launch at Waikawa Beach.
Boat launch at Waikawa Beach.

Road changes near Ōtaki roundabout 28 January 2019

SH1 ŌTAKI – ROADWORKS – MON 28 JAN

On Monday night northbound traffic will be moved onto the new road layout after the Ōtaki roundabout to allow for work to take place on the final tie in of the new and old sections on SH1.

During this time, southbound traffic will continue to use the existing bridge, and a 30km/r temporary speed limit will be in place in both directions. This will keep traffic flowing and create a safe work space for our contractors.

This is the first step on the way to having all traffic moved onto the new layout by March 2019. For the safety of yourself and others, please slow down and adhere to the temporary speed limit whilst travelling through the new layout. ^RS

Via NZTA Facebook page.

Road changes near Ōtaki roundabout 28 January 2019
Road changes near Ōtaki roundabout 28 January 2019

How to turn south out of Waikawa Beach Road

Roading terms: Flush Medians and Merge Lanes

Ever since the intersection of Waikawa Beach Road with SH1 was changed a year or two ago there has been a lot of discussion about the corner and turning.

Some, like me, might not have known that the white diagonal lines are an area vehicles can use for turning south out of Waikawa Beach Road. Here’s the official word (with my emphasis):

Flush medians are white diagonal lines, painted down the centre of some urban and semi-urban roads, marking an area about one-car-width wide.

They’re called ‘flush’ because they are not raised, just painted on the surface of the road. Sometimes, however, there will be raised islands on the median to provide extra protection for pedestrians.

What flush medians are for

Flush medians are there to:

  • provide a wider separation between traffic streams on either side of the road
  • provide pedestrians with a place to pause while crossing two traffic streams
  • provide a refuge for vehicles turning into and out of side roads or driveways.

Don’t use flush medians as:

  • overtaking lanes (except for short distances just before the turn or when preparing to turn right and other traffic is occupying the adjacent lane)
  • a place to park.

It’s an offence to use a flush median to overtake, or to park on one.

How flush medians improve safety

In New Zealand, there has been a 19% overall reduction in crashes on streets where flush medians have been installed. Rear-end crashes have reduced by 66% and incidents involving pedestrians by 30%.

How to use a flush median

It’s alright to drive on a flush median for a short distance if you’re turning into or out of a side road or driveway. You can use them to slow down before making a right-hand turn, or to merge left into a gap in the traffic flow.

If you’re using the flush median to make a right-hand turn you should indicate, then steer gently onto the median rather than at an abrupt angle. Use the median as an area to slow down and brake. This way the following traffic doesn’t have to slow down rapidly to avoid you.

Carry out a similar manoeuvre if you’re using the flush median as a refuge before merging into traffic on your left. Remember to indicate and check your mirrors, accelerate, and move gently into a gap in the traffic.

When you’re using a flush median, always remember to watch out for pedestrians, other vehicles using the median and any raised islands.

Source: Flush medians | NZ Transport Agency.

Using a flush median for turns.
Using a flush median for turns.

Previously we had a Merge Lane:

Leaving a merge lane after turning right at an intersection

Some roads have a merge lane to help vehicles that have turned onto the road join the traffic flow.

If you are in a merge lane at an intersection:

  • show you want to merge by signalling for at least three seconds
  • move into a safe gap in the traffic
  • adjust your speed and following distance.

Source: The official New Zealand road code – About driving.

Using a merge lane after a right turn.
Using a merge lane after a right turn.