Speeding near bike track worries parents

Two-year-old Rangimarie Hampton-Balck is a regular user of the new pump track at Corder Park. Photo: Sara Hollyman.

Sara Hollyman

Atawhai parents are concerned it is only a matter of time before a child is injured or killed on a road where cars have been recorded driving more than 40kmh over the speed limit near a newly-installed pump track.

Nelson City Council opened a new pump track at Corder Park earlier this year, which sits along the roadside of Atawhai Crescent.

Atawhai Crescent resident Genna Wells says while the track has been an amazing addition for local children, she is concerned that there is no fencing or barrier to protect children from the road.

She raised the issue of cars speeding along the stretch of road with the council shortly after the track opened and was told council had performed speed checks in the area which had recorded cars doing more than 90kmh along there.

The three points where Nelson City Council undertook speed monitoring between 2019/20. Photo: Supplied. 
The three points where Nelson City Council undertook speed monitoring between 2019/20. Photo: Supplied. 

Nelson City Council group manager infrastructure Alec Louverdis says speed monitoring was carried out at three points along Atawhai Crescent, including near the pump track, in front of the local Four Square and another point between the two areas, between January 2019 and September 2020.

Each point was monitored separately for one week each, and recorded average daily traffic of between 900 and 3000 vehicles per day with 85 per cent of them travelling below the speed limit or within 3kmh of it.

However, at the point closest to the pump track, 15 per cent of cars were travelling faster than 53kmh with the fastest going between 90-100kmh.

“I don’t want to have to go out of my house and see a terrible incident like a child has been hit by a car, that’s what I’m worried about,” says Genna.

“The track is close to the road, there’s the blind corner from the bridge and there’s no slow down or high-children area signage, so if you don’t know that this pump track’s here, the cars just come hoofing along.”

Genna says she would like council to lower the speed limit past the playground site, install speed bumps and look at installing a fence or barrier between the pump track and road such as the Washington Valley playground has.

“The track is so great, even adults are using it, it’s awesome. It's such a great thing that council have done it, we really needed this upgrade, but I just can’t believe that there’s nothing been done about the speeding.”

Local mum Bailey Smith says her children are regular users of Corder Park and the speed vehicles travel in the area concerns her.

“My bike bus meets there on school days as well and it gets really hard to cross the road some days with speeding cars, especially around the Four Square and Dodson Valley. It is a very busy area,” she says.

Genna says if it was just during the night that they were hearing cars doing such high speeds she could put it down to “bloody idiots”.

“But it’s not, it’s all hours of the day. The intersection at Rainbow Drive, the bridge and now the pump track is just a cocktail of disaster.”

Alec says there are no plans for a barrier or fence to be installed between the pump track and the road but council are currently in the process of looking at all speed limits in Nelson through a city-wide speed limit review.

He says the review is being guided by proposed changes to the way speed limits are set.

This is currently out for national consultation, for details go to the Waka Kotahi NZTA website.

“At this stage, the speed limit on Atawhai Crescent will be considered as part of our review and we aim to consult with residents and other affected parties over the summer,” he says.