Re Glasgow St lights (June 9). I am sitting watching these lights at my desk every Monday to Friday. Every time the buzzer goes off I flinch, my nerves are shot, and I am basically dreading the day to be first on the scene of something horrific.
My main concern is a small child or older pedestrian getting hit by a vehicle travelling at speed through these lights. People on bikes move a bit quicker, but all pedestrians and cyclists are at risk. I have even witnessed a young woman in a wheelchair come close to being hit. I see at least six red lights run on a daily basis. Sometimes more. Going in both directions.
The worst times of the day are early morning from 7.30 to about 8.30-9am and in the afternoon from 2pm to 4pm.
Police told me: "I have tasked the Whanganui road policing staff with spending more time there as able, but obviously we can't have a constable stationed there 24/7, so my concern is that by sporadically ticketing or warning drivers we won't affect the large-scale behaviour change required to make the crossing safe. I will contact the council roading team myself once we have made our own observations of the issue, but I also encourage you to keep bringing your ongoing observations to their attention."
I find this response completely acceptable from the police, they work really hard for our community and can't be everywhere at once. However, I think more needs to be done and as soon as possible before someone is seriously injured or killed.
Our staff have suggested a speed bump around the corner. Perhaps a re-think on the placement of the lights.
We seem to be a country that works solely on hindsight. It would be nice to see someone do something proactively. [Abridged]
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All councillors need to participate
Thank you, mayor, for installing council chamber cameras; they don't lie. It's a permanent record of mainly good, informed debate but also the odd recalcitrant jibe by long-termers, some calculated grandstanding by the odd self-important aspirant or persistent, switched off non-engagement by those focused on work/life matters outside the chamber.
Certain councillors need to participate a lot more and turn off their cellphones. If an emergency arises a message will come. Like Big Brother you soon forget and we see a form of reality that at $33,000 a year is so disappointing. Strategically placing one's cellphone by one's sunnies or laptop may hide one from colleague view but not the camera.
The mayor, some months ago in press, dropped a hint. In answering to falling voting and confidence in he and the councillors (down to 50 per cent in 2020), he "observed" that there is usually one or two non-performers in his time on council. Watching the camera recordings, two in particular are easy to identify, with one virtually never speaking, and compounded by regular texting.
If your business is so busy (or other pressures) and you cannot delegate to others for a few hours, then step down and attend to business. Keeping up appearances and soldiering on is not good public service to Whanganui.
I know some councillors share my concern; or rather, they carry the extra load quietly. Why? Exit the cellphone, participate a hell of a lot more, or exit the role ASAP.