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Ask Phoebe: Dust-up over seal for fringe roads

By Phoebe Falconer

5 comments
Many factors involved in decision to lay tar on any of Auckland's 894km of unsealed routes.

There are 825 unsealed roads in Auckland. Photo / Elaine Fisher
There are 825 unsealed roads in Auckland. Photo / Elaine Fisher

Many of us live alongside dusty unsealed roads, in many cases just a few kilometres from city suburbs. What is the policy on sealing these roads? Many lives are made miserable by choking dust and becoming everyone's racetrack into the small hours. It galls me to see urban suburbs getting fresh seal whether it's needed or not. Alan Andrews, West Auckland.
Mark Hannan, media spokesman for Auckland Transport, says there are a number of issues when considering roads for sealing - traffic flow, the number of properties on the road, dust nuisance, the gradient, accident history and heavy commercial traffic. The road is then given a ranking for funding purposes.
For the record, there are 825 unsealed roads in Auckland, totalling 894km with an estimated cost to seal of $358 million.

Do cyclists have to follow the same road rules as motorists? Recently I saw a pedestrian about to use a crossing in Onehunga Mall. A group of cyclists (25 or so) was travelling down the mall at about 50km/h on the down grade.

Does the pedestrian wait for them or must the cyclists stop until the crossing is clear? Ernie Richards, Mt Roskill.
Cyclists must observe the same rules as motorists at pedestrian crossings, indeed all the give-way rules. At crossings, cyclists must stop for pedestrians on any part of the crossing, or waiting to cross. At raised traffic islands in the centre of the road, everyone must stop for pedestrians on their half of the road. Conversely, it's a very unwise pedestrian who steps out without checking that traffic has time and room to stop.

Can you tell me where in the road code it says it's okay to drive in the right-hand lanes of the motorway doing exactly, or often less, than the maximum speed limit, but not overtaking? John Little, Takapuna.
The road code states clearly, in the section on motorway driving, that a motorist should keep left unless passing another vehicle. The NZ Police website says if you spot bad driving, including holding up traffic on a motorway, ring *555. If you can provide a registration number, the police will write to the driver or registered owner.

- NZ Herald

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