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Bond Street closure to through traffic will improve safety

NEWS RELEASE

30 November 2012

Bond Street closure to through traffic will improve safety in the CBD

Pedestrian and vehicle safety in the central city will be further improved with the permanent closure of Bond Street at the Willis Street intersection to all through traffic from this weekend.

The closure means drivers will not be able turn right into Bond Street from Willis Street, or drive through to Willis from Victoria Street, although they can still access parking, loading zones and shops.

Pedestrians will no longer have to negotiate vehicles turning across the footpath into or out of Bond Street. The closure also addresses vehicle safety at this intersection where there have been seven reported crashes since the end of 2010.

Following a public consultation on the proposal, Wellington City Councillors voted in favour of closing the Willis Street end of Bond Street at yesterday’s Council meeting.

The Council’s Transport Portfolio Leader, Councillor Andy Foster, says closing Bond Street is one of a number of steps being taken by the Council to improve safety in this part of Willis Street.

“We’ve also installed a number of new seats, cycle racks and rubbish bins to direct pedestrians to cross at places where they get a clear view of traffic and where drivers can see them. Of course there are also the recently installed pedestrian lights at Chews Lane, and a number of driver speed feedback signs.”

Other changes associated with the Bond Street closure include moving the taxi rank on Bond Street to Mercer Street – which will free up space for more parking and loading zones – and the motorcycle bays on Mercer Street will relocate to Bond Street. The loading zone on Mercer Street will move to the southern side of the street.

“Bond Street itself will be a much safer and more pedestrian-friendly area. Closing the Willis Street end to traffic allows more space for people walking through as well as for the cafés to put tables out on the pavement.

“We’re also looking at the possibility of extending the people area further along Bond Street, similar to Grey Street, which would add another dimension to this part of Willis Street. This would also further enhance the walkability of the central city,” says Cr Foster.

Temporary barriers will be put in place this weekend to close the intersection, and the taxi rank and motorcycle parking will be relocated. The remaining work to repave the footpath at the Willis Street end will be done in January.

ends

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