Safety issues at the George Street public carpark and the level of action by the district council are worrying the Te Awamutu Community Board.
In her report to the board on Tuesday, board chair Angela Holt said while Waipā District Council had budgeted $170,000 to parking improvements in the town, it was not clear how much of that would go to George Street.
“There is some money allocated to carpark improvements, however we need to push harder to get the George Street carpark addressed before someone does get hurt.
“That carpark is getting busier and busier and how someone between McDonalds and the Warehouse has not been seriously hurt is unbelievable.
“We do not expect everything to be done at once but doing nothing year in and year out is not acceptable,” she said.
Entrance to the car park is from Sloane Street to the west, where traffic mingles with McDonald’s takeaway clients and George Street, to the east.
When The News visited, several cars were seen travelling the wrong way through the car park.
Board member Richard Hurrell was just as frustrated.
“It was asked of them and it’s in the too hard basket. If they are considering the safety thing, they need to have a footpath from the shops on the northern side of that carpark to the toilets.
“I don’t know how nobody has been run over in that area,” he said.
“We said originally that was needed but it’s been ignored.”
Another in support of changes was Jill Taylor who said the changes needed to happen very quickly as people had ignored the no exit signs for at least 12 years.
The board was to recommend to the council’s Service Delivery committee to approve the installation of a marked walkway in the carpark from McDonalds to The Warehouse with a raised crossing between the public toilets and The Warehouse.
It would provide a safe place for pedestrians to cross and slow traffic down at the blind corner, Holt said.
But board members recalled they had a standing motion with the council and so instead asked for staff to find that so they could decide at the next meeting.
- A response from Waipā District Council Transportation manager Bryan Hudson came after our deadline:
- “A number of improvements have been completed in this car park over the last 15 months and a few remain to be finished off when road marking contractors are able to attend from their Auckland base to paint direction arrows, limit lines and crossing points. Works completed to date include: replacement of potholed seal, removal of trees in poor health and replanting replacements, moving of street lights that were too close to trees and creating excessive shadowing, paving of the median island between parking rows where grass was often muddy in winter.”