Danger zone despite fewer crashes

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Second-worst ... Dunedin City Council transport engineering and road safety team leader Hjarne Poulsen inspects the Princes St and South Rd intersection for safety upgrades. PHOTO: SHAWN MCAVINUE

A Dunedin intersection has secured the title of second worst in the city despite being the site of fewer crashes than other junctions on the list.

Dunedin City Council transport engineering and road safety team leader Hjarne Poulsen said the Princes St-South Rd intersection was ranked the second worst in Dunedin.

The central Dunedin intersection was worse than one in North Dunedin – the intersection of Opoho and North Rds and Bank St – despite it having about half of the reported crashes.

The central Dunedin intersection had 26 reported crashes in the past decade – two serious, 15 minor and nine non-injury.

The north Dunedin intersection had 46 reported crashes in the past decade – four serious, 14 minor and 28 non-injury.

The council ranked two other Dunedin intersections as a lower priority despite being the sites of more crashes.

The intersection of George and Duke Sts had 27 reported crashes in the past decade, including four serious.

In the past decade, the intersection of Princes, Jetty, Manse and Stafford Sts had 32 reported crashes, none serious.

Mr Poulsen said the council took a broader approach than just crash statistics when planning intersection improvements.

“Individual intersections can have short-term spikes in crashes, or a period of relatively few crashes, which can otherwise distort the rankings.

“We want to be planning ahead, not just reacting after the fact. We don’t want to be the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff.”

The “personal risk rating” at the Princes St-South Rd intersection was considered high, Mr Poulsen said.

“The Oval is a very popular sportsground and we have several pedestrians crossing this area, which can sometimes become rather dicey.”

The council was having upgrade concept plans designed to find a solution to make the intersection safer.

The upgrade would include better points for pedestrians to cross the intersection, he said.

The upgrade concepts would consider other factors such as parking and the businesses operating in the area.

Gilmour Motors owner Emma Gilmour said she had owned the car dealership for the past decade and saw motorists struggling to navigate the “terrible” intersection.

“It’s terrible because it confuses people.”

Motorists often travelled in the wrong lane when navigating the intersection.

Staff had seen multiple vehicles involved in T-bone crashes at the intersection.

Any upgrade would need to include car parking options because it was “carnage” when school sports fixtures were held at the Oval.

“All the parking is taken up in all the side streets and there are kids everywhere,” Ms Gilmour said.

Reported crashes at Dunedin’s worst intersections.

  1. George,London, Pitt, Frederick Sts. (43 in total, 3 serious, 11 minor, 29 non-injury )
  2. Princes St and South Rd. (26 in total, 2 serious, 15 minor, 9 non-injury)
  3. Opoho and North Rds and Bank St. (46 in total, 4 serious, 14 minor, 28 non-injury)
  4. Portobello Rd and Shore St. (21 in total, 4 serious, 6 minor, 11 non-injury)
  5. George and Duke Sts. (27 in total, 4 serious, 5 minor, 18 non-injury)
  6. Smith and Stuart Sts. (20 in total, 1 serious, 4 minor, 15 non-injury)
  7. Princes, Jetty, Manse and Stafford Sts. (32 in total, 0 serious, 7 minor, 25 non-injury)
  8. George, St David and Park Sts and Regent Rd. (16 in total, 2 serious, 5 minor, 9 non-injury)
  9. Andersons Bay, Portobello Rd and Bay View Rds. (19 in total, 1 serious, 4 minor, 14 non-injury)
  10. Forbury, Bay View and Allandale Rds. (22 in total, 2 serious, 8 minor, 12 non-injury)