Crash just a matter of time

Owners of the Montessori House of Children are concerned after a number of near-misses near their property.

Ali Shabbir, and his wife and head of the centre Mamira Ali believe it is only a matter of time before someone is hurt, reports the Waikato Times.

The centre opened last June and there have been more than 20 incidents as parents and staff members exited the facility.

“One of the parents has just pulled their child out because she said she can’t cope with the fear of getting hit by someone coming from Gordonton,” Mamira Ali said.

In January, a staff member was in a collision as she turned into the stub road.

“Last week she also had another near miss . . . she was really, really, shaky and upset.”

Mamira Ali said motorists coming from Gordonton Rd did not realise the exit, which initially led to nowhere, was now the entrance to the centre.

The couple approached the Hamilton City Council in May 2014 with safety concerns and asked that a “no entry” sign at the exit be removed, but “everyone is pointing in different directions”, Ali Shabbir said.

“We had to cover the sign with a black plastic bag.”

Hamilton East MP David Bennett wrote to the council on behalf of Ali Shabbir and Mamira Ali in November last year. Their suggestions of installing a school warning sign on the exit and a “give way” sign on Gordonton Rd, as well as reducing the speed limit leading into the roundabout, were rejected by the council after they revisited the site.
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City transportation manager Phil Consedine said the issue wasn’t the layout of the road, but driver behaviour.

“What we need to remember is that when the roundabout was first built there were no properties on that particular exit or entry point.”

Some drivers were taking longer to become familiar with the new roading environment.

“Some road marking changes were made around about the time Montessori first made contact. So we’ve certainly improved the roundabout, because initially there was no need to access that leg so there was different road markings to guide traffic.

“Those road marking have been changed to suit the current requirements of all users,” he said.

The council had no plans to lower the speed limit up to the roundabout, but would monitor the situation.

The “no entry” sign at the entrance of the exit did not belong to the council, Consedine said, but they would work with the developer to look at how they could improve the clarity of the signage.

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Number 8 Network - a community website for the rural areas northeast of Hamilton, NZ, is run by Gordonton journalist/editor Annette Taylor.

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