School asks for move to avert traffic

By Joseph Aldridge

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Tauranga City Council is considering placing a barrier on Fifth Ave to stop vehicles exiting from a planned fast food restaurant driving between the two campuses of a primary school.

The council was petitioned by Tauranga Primary School on Monday regarding the additional traffic the school believes will drive down their street once a Burger King restaurant opens on the corner of Fifth Ave and Cameron Rd.

The school, which has occupied its present site since 1904, sits on either side of Fifth Ave. Junior students regularly cross the pedestrian crossing to access facilities such as the library, administration block and swimming pool, on the northern side of the road.

Tauranga Primary School deputy board chairman Kevin Allum told the council the school was not against Burger King building on the site but it was concerned that there would be an increased number of motorists who were not aware of the children crossing would end up driving down Fifth Ave.

Mr Allum said he was most concerned about Burger King's lunchtime traffic coming onto Fifth Ave during a period when approximately 250 children crossed the road.

"Obviously any increase in traffic going across at that time is a major concern and increasing that flow through is increasing the risk, from our perspective."

"Our request to council is if you could please re-evaluate the traffic plan so that the traffic flow into Fifth Ave is minimised."

The school suggested two ways the council could minimise the effect of Burger King traffic.

The first would be to make the Fifth Ave entry to Burger King a no exit.

The second would be to put a physical barrier in on Fifth Ave so that vehicles exiting onto the Fifth Ave would be forced to turn left and left again onto Cameron Rd.

"I can't see that impacting on the commercial enterprise or anything like that and both would be relatively simple [solutions] from our perspective and would reduce the risk of any small kids getting hit by cars," Mr Allum said.

Councillor Murray Guy asked if the school had talked to Burger King about their concerns.

Principal Jenny McNicol said Burger King had been very helpful and promised to paint a left-turn sign on the Fifth Ave exit, but the sign would have no legal authority if the council did not also enforce the rule.

Mayor Stuart Crosby thanked the school leaders for bringing their concerns to the council and said the council would contact the school once it had considered the options.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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