A cyclist killed after being struck by a vehicle on Marine Parade has continued a horror run of crashes on State Highway 51, formally SH2, prompting calls for change.
The crash happened in clear and sunny conditions just after 11am in the northbound lane of Marine Parade, just north of the Ellison St intersection at the southern seafront entrance to the city.
The cyclist, understood to be a woman, died at the scene and a serious crash investigation diverted traffic, heavier than normal because of the school holidays and the open attractions of Marine Parade.
The road was closed for five hours.
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This is the third serious crash in the area within the past week.
On Monday at 10.10pm a woman crashed into a tree on Creagh St, suffering serious injuries, but is in a stable condition.
And last Friday three woman were taken to Hawke's Bay Hospital after a crash at the intersection of SH51 and Awatoto Rd.
Two teenage girls escaped serious injuries and a woman in her 40s remains in hospital in a stable condition.
Resident Karla McDougall said State Highway 51 between Awatoto Rd and Ellison St needed to change, and fast.
"There have been too many accidents there over the years and the council and NZTA need to step in and make a difference because if nothing is done there will continue to be accidents and more fatalities on the road," McDougall said.
She has lived opposite the stretch of road that meets Te Awa Ave for more than 15 years and says crashes have become normal.
"My kids when they were younger would come home from school and the road would be blocked off and they'd come in saying 'looks like another person has died'," McDougall said.
"That's nothing kids should really become numb to but there were so many over the years it just does, it's sad to think about it, even when you hear a loud bang our first instinct is 'here we go, another crash'."
McDougall felt change was needed right along SH51 as the speed and road conditions were leading to the high number of crashes.
"The speed should be cut right back to 80km/h like it is between Clive and Hastings, but also the road needs to be looked at to because in recent times there has been a huge build-up in traffic due to the continuing road works on the expressway."
She believed the passing lane at the Awatoto Rd intersection and the turn offs to the carparks on the beach front were a couple of the main issues.
"Another issue is the trees that follow along the road because during the year the needles fall and build up along the road and when the wet weather comes along it just makes for havoc," McDougall said.
She said her daughter was now 16 and has just got her restricted licence and she feared for her driving to and from home.
"I've got her to use the back way, which takes a lot longer but it makes it far easier and safer to deal with. She agrees.
"She's seen what has happened just outside our house for most of her life."
But in the end she says crashes will just continue happening unless the council or NZTA step in.
"It's a major issue that needs to be looked into and changed, and someone needs to take the first step weather that be council, NZTA or just a member of the public who has the time and resources to really push at it."
Road Safe Hawke's Bay regional manager Linda Anderson said education and enforcing safe driving habits was key.
"For drivers it is all about driving to the conditions and the environment you are in. Down that section of road from the southern end of Napier to the Awatoto Rd intersection drivers have to be extra wary as it is a high crash area," Anderson said.
"The best thing to make any road safer is first for drivers to respect the conditions.
"If it's raining watch your speed, if there is a large amount of traffic be patient, it all starts with the driver and those using the road."
An NZTA spokesperson said it does not have any work planned at the intersection but was open to feedback and ideas from the general public.
The Napier City Council said it was up to NZTA to evaluate and make any changes.
Tuesday's fatality is at least the 13th on Hawke's Bay roads this year. The 2018 toll at the same date was 14.