Safer School Streets Improvements Begin Around 13 Dunedin Schools
Dunedin City Council has trialled several safety options around schools including Bayfield High, Dunedin North Intermediate, Sacred Heart, George Street Normal, Fairfield, East Taieri, Waitati, Kaikorai Valley College.
Work begins next Monday 6 July to upgrade the temporary measures to permanent infrastructure. Feedback from the schools and DCC’s monitoring of the trials show the measures have slowed vehicle speeds and improved safety for pedestrians.
DCC Group Manager Transport Jeanine Benson says, “It’s very important to create safer transport corridors (roads and footpaths) around schools for children. We have a long-term plan to improve travel choice and this begins with safety around schools. We want parents to feel confident about allowing their children to travel to school by means other than by car.
“Vehicles speeds have dropped in school zones where we’ve already put in safety improvements, such as the Central City Schools Cluster, so we know this work makes access easier and safer for all road users. It has encouraged more choice, including walking, cycling and scooting to and from schools.”
At the beginning of this year, speed limits around the above trials were reduced to 40km/h during school pick-up and drop-off times. Electronic signs at entry points around the schools were installed to indicate to drivers they are entering a 40km/h school zone. These school zone gateways narrow the transport corridor width to ensure school zone signs are as visible to drivers as possible. Posts at gateway entry points will be replaced with kerb buildouts and planting. Raised crossings, narrowing of intersections using kerb buildouts and line markings will also be installed.
Schools including Wakari, Andersons Bay, St Frances Xavier, Mornington and Musselburgh will receive new kerb buildouts and improved raised crossings to increase road safety for vulnerable transport corridor users.
The project is expected take ten months to complete at a cost of $1.8 million.
DCC trials its transport corridor safety work to test it before committing to major investment. It also enables people to see what their streets could be like so they can give more informed feedback. Dunedin has been chosen by Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Agency to become a Living Lab which means DCC projects are used as case studies for other councils to learn from.