Upgrade to lower speed on Pakowhai rd

By Corey Charlton

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A median strip, intersection improvements and a "kea" style crossing are some of the ideas being touted as possible changes to Pakowhai Rd.

A public meeting was held at the Pakowhai Hall last night for residents, the Hastings District Council and planners to discuss any concerns regarding the proposed upgrades.

Hastings mayor Lawrence Yule told the crowd there had been no funding yet assigned to the project, and there would still be consultation phases to go through in which the public could have their say before it was finalised.

A final report to be given to the council early next year will include residents' concerns.

Issues that arose included the possible speed limits for the road, school pedestrian crossings, noise and cyclist areas.

Opus' Nick Aiken said the speed issue was a priority.

"As part of this process we've identified that as an issue ...

But there is legislation that governs how speed is controlled. Those are national laws, not council laws."

However, Hastings mayor Lawrence Yule cited the recent change to the coastal route between Napier and Hastings as an example of how speed limits could be changed with NZTA's help. It was recently reduced to an 80km/h zone.

Initiatives such as roadside planting could also help slow motorists down to a safe speed.

"It's a collection of smallish things that are actually quite effective," Mr Aiken said.

A "kea" style crossing, a crossing area without painted stripes, was touted as a possibility for near the school grounds.

A detailed design of the plans in 2014 would be subject to council and NZTA funding approval.

"These things take a long time," Mr Yule said.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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