Students petition for pedestrian crossing

May 15, 2019

Students petition for pedestrian crossing

Students are having to dash out into traffic to reach the bus stop on Meola Rd. Photo: Ellen Sinclair

High school students are petitioning to get a pedestrian crossing installed to help them cross a busy Auckland road to their bus stop.

Meola Rd runs behind Western Springs College, and many students must cross it before and after school to catch their bus.

Other bus stops around the school were easier to access, but this bus stop was the only option for students using the OuterLink bus.

Year 13 student Isabella Hutcheson, one of the students behind the petition, said “a lot of students are having to run across the road to catch their buses,” which was putting their safety at risk.

Student Harrison Cooke said: “It’s just trying to go through at the nearest opportunity, and that can be very risky sometimes.”

He said students “aren’t taking the time” to use a crossing further along the road, 60m from the bus stop.

The crossing has a pedestrian island in the centre, but no zebra lines. Students said this meant cars don’t often stop.

Having to walk further for the unreliable crossing meant most students take the risk of crossing directly to the bus stop.

Chair of Waitematā Local Board Pippa Coom said Auckland Transport included a crossing in their original Pt Chevalier cycleway plan which was still in development.

If it was not implemented as part of the upgrade, the local board would consider funding it from their community safety fund.

“We just want to make sure everyone can use Meola Rd safely.”

Jared Hockly, math teacher and co-ordinator of the TravelWise team behind the petition, said it was all the students’ work.

“This is great because we haven’t done a lot of outside of school stuff before, normally we’ve been trying to convince students about sustainable transport,” said Mr Hockly.

The school’s TravelWise team, made up of a group of students, worked to ensure sustainable transport options are encouraged, including making sure there were bike racks and bike paths throughout the school.

The community have echoed the students’ concerns, commenting on the petition how busy the road was and how many near misses they have seen.

At the time of publication, the petition approached 500 signatures after two months.

MOTAT’s second site, the Aviation Display Hall, is also on Meola Rd. The crossing would make accessing the bus stop easier for their visitors.

MOTAT chief executive Michael Frawley said some form of pedestrian crossing across Meola Rd would improve the health and safety of the precinct.

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