A project is underway to make Bluff Hill safer for students and pedestrians, after research uncovered cars consistently traveling at extremely high speeds.
Napier City Council is installing safety features including speed cushions on Shakespeare Road, and a raised courtesy crossing on Milton Road as part of a project to make the area safer for students to walk or cycle to school.
Last year Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency awarded Napier City Council just over $400,000 for this project from its Innovating Streets for People Programme.
Before the physical works began, research undertaken at the three schools in this area – Napier Girls High, Sacred Heart, and Napier Central School – found many students wanted to walk or bike but didn’t feel safe doing so, largely due to experiencing regular ‘close calls’ with cars.
A traffic survey on Shakespeare Road found 85% of motorists travelled at or below 57 km/h, and hourly top speeds of between 80 km/h and 100 km/h were recorded throughout the day. A top speed of 115km/h was recorded at 1pm one day which is not acceptable in a 50 km/h zone.
The physical changes are supported by a student-led programme to encourage active transport to school.
The two high schools are currently running student-led ‘Walk the Talk, Hike the Hill’ house competitions, encouraging as many students as possible to compete to walk/cycle to school and create a safer, healthier environment on Bluff Hill.
The revised layout is now being monitored to determine if any further changes are required. End of monitoring to be June 2022.
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