Adding colour to a pedestrian crossing in the "mural town of New Zealand" would modernise Katikati and give kids "a bit of pride" in their school environment.
That's the view of Katikati resident Andy Earl, who runs the Katikati Area Road Info Facebook page.
But Western Bay of Plenty District Council and Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Agency disagreed due to safety reasons.
The crossing is between Katikati Primary School and Katikati College on Beach Rd.
Earl wanted the background of the crossing to be painted red - similar to what he had seen in Tauranga, Rotorua and Ngātea.
He had raised the idea with the Western Bay of Plenty District Council but was told crossings could not be painted because it was not in the council's mandate.
"Every other town has had modern crossings with different colours for 10 or more years," he said.
"Waihi Beach has had a lot more work done to modernise it. Waihi has had all sorts of work done with red embellishments at various road displays. It's looking nice over there.
"Our council is quite happy to leave us in the dark ages," he said.
"We are the mural town of New Zealand. Shouldn't we have awesome coloured crossings that attempt to draw tourists to the place?"
Western Bay of Plenty District Council roading engineer west Ashley Hall said there were no coloured pedestrian crossings across the district – all had standard white road markings.
Hall said the council was guided by Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Agency on industry best practice through the Traffic Control Devices manual and it was at the council's discretion how it used these guidelines to manage its road network.
"Council sought advice from Waka Kotahi on the proposal to paint [this] pedestrian red and it made the decision to decline the proposal," Hall said.
While the council appreciated coloured pedestrian crossings could be more visually appealing, there were several reasons why this decision was made.
"Council's primary objective is that the pedestrian crossing is safe for pedestrians and all road users, rather than aesthetics."
The council had funded the improved stay-put school patrol system at this crossing and new speed signs would soon be installed.
Hall said the council could not comment on other councils' decisions, how they managed their road networks nor how they interpreted Waka Kotahi's manual on industry best practice.
A Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Agency spokesperson said red background colours on pedestrian crossings had been used to improve visibility and highlight risk.
However, the latest guidance from Waka Kotahi discouraged this practice as it could cause issues for visually impaired pedestrians, the spokesperson said.
"In addition, the red can fade quite quickly to a light colour, which doesn't sufficiently contrast with the white stripes, as is required by the Traffic Control Devices rule."
The Traffic Control Devices rule outlined the requirements for pedestrian crossings, which included that white pedestrian crossing lines must contrast with the colour of the adjacent roadway.
The latest guidance recommended red panels on the road on the approaches to pedestrian crossings.
Principal of Katikati Primary School Andrea Nicholson said the school urged the community to pay attention to the new electronic variable speed signs once they were installed.
"Reducing speed around the crossing will help to increase the safety for our children."
Nicholson said there were 520 children at the school and estimated around 70 regularly used this crossing.
As of August 11, Waka Kotahi had recorded two crashes in the vicinity of this pedestrian crossing in the last five years, with one resulting in a serious injury and the other resulting in two minor injuries.
No deaths had been recorded. This data was provided from the Crash Analysis System and data from 2020 and 2021 was incomplete.