London/Halswell intersection safety options to be considered - 1/11/2012Infrastructure and Property Committee Chair Cr Ray Stevens today said the Wanganui District Council will consider options for improving safety at the London Street/Halswell Street intersection, in consultation with nearby residents and businesses.
“Residents who live near the intersection are concerned about the number of crashes occurring there,” Cr Stevens said.
“Between 2007 and 2011, there have been 15 reported crashes – an average of one crash every four months. There has been one serious injury crash, three minor injury crashes and 11 non-injury crashes. While there are other city intersections with higher crash rates, this intersection has a high number of crashes relative to the volume of traffic.”
London Street has a traffic count of approximately 1000 vehicles per day in the vicinity of the Halswell Street intersection. Halswell Street has approximately 3300 vehicles per day around the intersection with London Street.
“The crashes appear to be mainly caused by drivers not being aware of the ‘give way’ controls at the intersection and because of visibility problems for drivers on London Street caused by the oak trees and parked vehicles on Halswell Street. All of the reported crashes have occurred during the day which suggests that at night drivers are more cautious because they can see the headlights of other vehicles approaching the intersection.”
At its meeting on November 13, the Infrastructure and Property Committee will consider a number of options for improving safety at the intersection, including the pros and cons of each option, the likely cost and the expected effect on crash reduction. The options include:
- Remove the oak trees on Halswell Street and install no stopping lines to improve visibility. However, the trees have historic value and it is undesirable to remove them.
- Install stop signs. This is unlikely to significantly improve safety. Low expected crash reduction impact. Cost approximately $1000.
- Install speed humps on London Street. This would not improve visibility and would create additional noise and ground vibration issues for nearby residents. Medium expected crash reduction impact. Cost approximately $5000.
- Install a roundabout. This is not a practical option because of narrow road widths and the location of the railway line near the intersection. Low expected crash reduction impact. Cost approximately $70,000.
- Install partial road closure – prevent drivers entering Halswell street from London Street. This would significantly reduce crashes at the intersection and would encourage drivers to use Glasgow Street which is an arterial road, but may raise other safety issues if vehicles drive around the partial closure. Cost approximately $7500.
- Install complete road closure – close off the intersection on the Aramoho side. This would result in a safer T-intersection which is safer than a cross-road intersection.
“We’re intending to talk to residents and businesses in the area about the possible options for improving safety so Council can implement the preferred option early in the new year,” Cr Stevens said.