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Ask Phoebe: No quick fix to restrictive speed limits on urban roads

By Phoebe Falconer

13 comments
Generally, we have one limit of 50km/h on all urban roads. Photo / Natalie Slade
Generally, we have one limit of 50km/h on all urban roads. Photo / Natalie Slade

Can you please tell me who sets the speed limits on our roads in New Zealand and what criteria are used for determining these limits?

Generally, we have one limit of 50km/h on all urban roads, regardless of whether that road is a main road or a side-street. Compared to Australia, for instance, where the limit is 60km/h on main roads and 50km/h on routes carrying less traffic, our somewhat sedate limit of 50km/h seems unnecessarily restrictive.

For instance, East Coast Rd between Pinehill and Northcross is an incredibly wide road with footpaths set well back from the kerb offering unobstructed visibility in both directions, and it has a 50km/h limit. Not surprisingly, there is a speed camera located at the middle of that stretch, which is the second highest revenue-earning fixed camera location in Auckland. In any other developed country the limit would likely be 70 or 80km/h.

How can we initiate a review of these limits in certain areas, and with whom? Vlad Sorokin, Pinehill.

Speed limits are set by the NZ Transport Agency, in conjunction with local councils where the limits apply to urban streets. For full coverage of how these limits are set, go to www.nzta.govt.nz/resources/speed-limits/speed-limits-nz or Google "speed limits nz".

To have the speed limit reviewed on a particular street, phone Auckland Transport on (09) 355 3553 or NZTA on (09) 969 9800.

We live on the Auckland Domain and enjoy walking around it, but the memorial pond with three statues which commemorates the first 100 years of Auckland City is in the most awful state. It has been roped off for months and the pond is empty so it looks very dismal. Can you find out whether anything will be done to restore the area to its former glory? The gardens nearby are always attractive but the effect is marred by the uncared-for pond. Freda and George Green, Newmarket.

Firstly, a little bit of background, provided by the Auckland Council. The Mirror Pond, also known as the Watson's Bequest Reflection Pond, forms part of the Watson bequest statuary that was officially unveiled on October 19, 1955. Originally bequeathed by Mr A.R.D. Watson, a noted Auckland benefactor, the statue consists of three figures representing Auckland finding its strength, wisdom and fertility. The free form modernist-influenced pond forms part of the setting and was originally proposed for Albert Park. It was decided that the Domain was a more appropriate location, providing a better site with "solid backdrop".

The Mirror Pond in the Domain was drained due to a major leak in the lining. Mark Bowater, manager of the council's local and sports parks, says investigations have taken place to identify the cause and unfortunately it is not a quick fix. The parks department estimates the cost of repair to be approximately $100,000 as most of the pond will need to be rebuilt. The repairs to the pond are tentatively scheduled to take place within the current financial year, subject to further detailed design work and approval from the Waitemata Local Board.

- NZ Herald

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