INDEPENDENT NEWS

Queen/Cambridge Street roundabout to get safety upgrade

Published: Fri 24 Jan 2020 05:18 PM
Levin’s busiest roundabout is being upgraded to make it safer for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists.
In November last year, Horowhenua District Council temporarily removed the roundabout at the intersection of Queen Street and Cambridge Street to renew water pipes. Work on the pipes is now nearly complete, and Council begins rebuilding the roundabout this week.
Roading Services Manager James Wallace says safety improvements were badly needed at the roundabout.
“There have been 14 reported crashes causing injury there since 2014. We’ve redesigned the layout of the roundabout to make it safer for drivers and cyclists, as well as making it safer and easier for pedestrians to get across,” he said.
“In addition, the roundabout was in poor condition and needed extensive repairs to cope with increasing traffic. It makes sense to upgrade it and address the safety concerns while we renew the water pipes.”
The new roundabout design includes dedicated off-road cycleways in all directions. For drivers, it will have a single-lane approach southbound on Cambridge Street and from both directions on Queen Street, rather than the current two-lane approach. The northbound lane on Cambridge Street will have a two-lane approach, with the left lane providing a free turn into Queen Street to aid traffic flow.
“One-lane approaches reduce the crossing distance for pedestrians and improve visibility. They’re also safer for cyclists, and safer for drivers because the road around the roundabout curves more tightly with a one-lane approach, which encourages drivers to slow down,” Mr Wallace said.
“We understand that some drivers may have concerns about the single-lane approaches increasing traffic congestion. We’ve done extensive traffic modelling and we don’t expect any significant delays. We’re confident that prioritising the safety of our community is the right call to make.”
Reducing the number of cars parked near the roundabout will also enhance visibility and make crossing safer for pedestrians, Mr Wallace said.
In addition, the central island on Queen Street will be extended from the roundabout to the railway tracks to prevent unsafe turns.
Mr Wallace said the roundabout would have gardens in the centre and along each corner of the intersection to make it visually appealing, and the tree on Cambridge Street outside Pak ‘n’ Save would remain.
A plaque erected near the tree in memory of former Deputy Mayor Jack Lines MBE would also remain, although it may have to be temporarily removed to protect it during construction, he said.
The new roundabout is expected to take around 12 to 14 weeks to complete.
Mr Wallace thanked the public for their patience during construction.
“We’re doing everything we can to minimise disruption while the new roundabout is completed. We’ll have temporary traffic management in place during construction so people can continue to use the roundabout. If we do have to close the road, we’ll provide advance notice and do all we can to reduce inconvenience,”
For more information and answers to frequently asked questions, visit the Projects page on Council’s website, www.horowhenua.govt.nz/QueenCambridgeRoundabout.

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