Congestion at school, CBD security and World Rally discussed at Raglan Community Board meeting

This content was provided thanks to Raglan Community Radio – visit raglanradio.com or 98.1FM for local news and music.

Local school bus driver Peter Hurst brought up the issue of traffic congestion at Raglan Area School during pick-up and drop-off times at the recent Raglan Community Board Meeting held this week at the Town Hall supper room.

With a narrow road exacerbated by a dead-end street, peak times at the school entrance can be a hair-raising experience with lots of cars and kids, especially for bus drivers trying to navigate the road safely.

Cr Lisa Thomson who is also Raglan Area School Board of Trustees Chairperson said that congestion on Norrie Ave and Whitley St during school drop- off and pick-up hours was an issue the school had been trying to address for some time.

While school closures and Covid-19 had caused major disruptions implementing changes over the past two years, Lisa says that the PTA are currently looking at ways to encourage students to walk to school.

“We’ve been looking at alternative options like encouraging parents to drop kids off at the BP or Joyce Petchell park or Stewart St and getting them to walk from there,” said Lisa.

“I’d also advise people to avoid congestion on Norrie Ave and Whitley Street around the start and close times for school. I usually avoid those areas between 2.30 and 3.10 in the afternoon and 8.30 and 9.10 in the morning.”

Police Talk About CBD Security

Senior Constable Andrew Murphy and Terry Johnson, a camera specialist from Secure Net, presented an update about CBD security and cameras. 

After reviewing existing cameras and looking for ways to keep costs low, police are proposing that businesses and local groups collaborate to create a network of cameras to cover areas in the CBD. An additional security camera covering the walkbridge was proposed as well.

Upgrading the entire system would be a large cost which would need to be fundraised but  a cheaper solution would be to use existing networks of security cameras owned by businesses and individuals.

A suggestion to place an Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) camera at Te Uku was also proposed. This camera would be used to capture suspicious vehicles entering or leaving the area and could be used to track suspects after a crime has taken place.

“How can we work together and collaborate for security in the CBD? How can the council support? Who will be responsible for maintenance? These are all areas where we have to work together,” says Lisa.

World Rally Road Closure Application

The council has received an application from the World Rally organisers to close a number of roads for their rally. The road closure information is below:

Whaanga Coast Special Stages – Waimaori Rd, Matawha Rd, Tuturimu Rd, Ruapuke Rd (from Tuturimu intersection), and Whaanga Rds on Tuesday September 27 (reconnaissance) from 9am to 12 noon and on Friday September 30 from 6.30am to 4.30pm.

Te Akau South Special Stages – Ruakiwi Rd from Te Akau Rd intersection, Mangiti Rd and Te Akau South Rd until Te Akau Rd and Te Akau Coast Rd intersection on Tuesday September 27 (reconnaissance) from 11.30am to 3pm and on Friday September 30 from 8am to 6pm.

Te Akau North Special Stages – Te Akau Coast Rd, Matira Rd, Dixon Rd and Waimai Valley Rd from intersection with Dixon Rd on Tuesday September 27 (reconnaissance) from 12.15pm to 3.20pm and Friday September 30 from 9am to 7pm.

Organisers have also proposed to close Raglan’s main street on Friday September 30 from 10am to 5pm to host an opportunity for the public to get up close and personal with World Rally drivers in a festival-type atmosphere.

The road closure application is now open for community feedback on the Waikato District Council website. Lisa encourages everyone to provide their thoughts whether it’s a ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ Feedback closes at 5pm on July 8.

In previous years there has been opposition from residents of Ruapuke and Whaanga Rd with concerns around the road quality and impact on residents.

However Lisa said: “There is overwhelming support for the rally from Te Akau residents so every community is different. There are lots of pre and post discussions going on with the organisers. The road quality must be in good condition for the residents in a timely manner after the event.”

Cyclist Safety

With an ever increasing number of people cycling on the roads, risks of cyclists vs vehicle incidents are increasing.

“Our roads aren’t designed for cycling but we can encourage cycling by reminding people to be mindful of what’s happening on the road around them,” said Lisa.

While bicycles are technically vehicles that can use the road, Lisa says that taking alternative routes can make your trip much safer. For example, if you are cycling to town from Raglan West, taking the Marine Parade road and going over the walkbridge can be a safer route than cycling on Wainui Rd.

Work is currently underway to upgrade the footpath from Poihakena Marae to Rock-it and the footpath around Karikari Ave is getting widened to the width of a shared walkway and cycleway. Other paths are unable to be widened due to the cost and significant infrastructure upgrades that would need to be undertaken.

The Raglan Community Board will meet to discuss the pedestrian crossing outside ORCA and the car stops outside SuperValue.

In the coming weeks the council are expected to present a new design for the upgrade to the Wi Neera footpath leading to the walkbridge. 

Discretionary Fund – The board has approved funding to cover the print cost for  the Mental Health Toolbox by Ruby Gibbs. The Whāingaroa Environment Centre have also returned unused funds from the cancelled Maui Dolphin’s Day.  Community Groups can apply to the discretionary fund by contacting the chairperson Gabrielle Parson at gparsonraglancommunityboard@gmail.com