"Something needs to be done before someone gets killed."
That's the opinion of Bulls resident Nathan Bevan, who is concerned about the safety of pedestrians and motorists passing through the Rangitikei town.
Two major highways, State Highways 1 and 3, intersect in Bulls, making the town centre a busy area.
There is a pedestrian refuge on SH3 near the BP service station, but the only pedestrian crossing is close to the edge of town near Bulls Primary School.
On December 28, a pedestrian received moderate injuries after being hit by a vehicle on Bridge St (SH3).
"During any statutory holiday, the place just gets bombarded with traffic," Mr Bevan said.
"That's good for business but it's not good for the roads."
Mr Bevan was born and bred in Bulls and recently returned to live there after about 12 years away.
He lives near the intersection of the two state highways (High St and Bridge St), and was struck by the traffic situation.
"There's no controls at the intersection, just give-way signs. And there's nowhere for pedestrians to cross.
"I know people who live around here who just avoid the intersection, they won't go near it."
He described the situation as "a ticking time bomb".
"Something needs to be done before someone gets killed, and that will happen."
Mr Bevan's comments were echoed by two Bulls businesspeople, who said that while the traffic was necessary for Bulls' economy, it was also problematic. "If you put in a bypass, the town will die," said Val Murray, owner of Bulls Bridal.
"But we do need some help. I'm not really sure what the solution is."
Ms Murray said Bulls' traffic was manageable most of the time, but it was a problem on Fridays and Sunday and public holidays.
"One of our customers told me she thought the traffic was worse in Bulls than in Auckland."
Ms Murray did not think an overbridge or underpass was practical but traffic lights for pedestrians might be a solution.
She said Otaki, which was in a similar position, had installed crossings that made it safe for pedestrians to cross SH1.
"We want the business," said the manager of a business on Bridge St, who did not want to be named.
"But our customers do sometimes comment on how difficult it is to cross the road. Something definitely has to be done. It's really hard for elderly people, especially."
The woman said she and her staff had seen a lot of near-misses in central Bulls.
She said a particular concern was vehicles turning left out of High St and into Bridge St too fast, nearly wiping out pedestrians waiting to cross the road.
"Sometimes you have to cross to the middle of the road, and then cars start beeping at you."
New Zealand Transport Agency, which manages the highway network, could not be contacted for comment.