Arapiki Rd resident Mick Rollason at the intersection he is forced to cross every day to get his daughter to school. Photo: Sara Hollyman.

Action demanded over dangerous intersection

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A group of residents are calling on Nelson City Council to further improve an intersection on The Ridgeway before someone is seriously injured or killed.

Mick Rollason says the intersection he lives next to at Arapiki Rd and The Ridgeway is the most dangerous road he’s ever lived on.

He says the traffic has exponentially increased with the joining of Suffolk Rd and The Ridgeway, as well as new subdivisions in Marsden Valley and Coster St.

Coupled with the speed cars travel along the road Mick says it’s “bedlam” to try and cross at 8.30am and 3.15pm with his eight-year-old daughter.

There are no footpaths on the eastern side of the intersection, meaning there is no choice for the street’s residents but to cross at the intersection.

Mick says he has raised concerns with the council on behalf of the residents over a period of five years.

In emails viewed by Nelson Weekly, council acknowledged his concerns as “valid” in March 2017.

More than three years later work has just been completed to build out the kerb on one corner which increases the line of sight for oncoming traffic, but there is still no crossing and no footpath.

“We’re standing on pavement now, but it doesn’t stop the speed and it doesn’t make the distance any less to get across,” says Mick.

He says the first time using the new road layout involved having a near-miss with a van coming over the brow of the hill and another trying to beat it by not obeying the stop sign at Arapiki Rd.

“We were so close to being over the bonnet, my daughter was pretty shocked by it … You’re just getting ready to run every time you cross, there really is no safe way to get across.”

Council group manager infrastructure, Alec Louverdis, says improving the safety of this area, especially for pedestrians and cyclists, is a priority for the council.

“In response to safety concerns raised by residents, particularly the difficulty school pupils have crossing the Ridgeway to access the footpath on the western side, we commenced a project to improve visibility of oncoming traffic at key crossing locations.”

He says it’s the first step in making the area safer and knows that more needs to be done.

“That is why we are now investigating plans for a second, larger project in the 2021/22 financial year. This will look at opportunities to extend the footpath on The Ridgeway from View Mount to Panorama Drive and introduce measures to lower vehicle speeds,” says Alec.

But Mick worries that this work will never progress.

“To council we say, ‘thank you for what you’ve given us thus far, we’re really looking forward to the pathway, it brings up our spirits and we trust you that you’re going to do that, but don’t leave us hanging now’.

“We just want a crossing. Or a footpath, anything, something.”