Safe pedestrian crossing for Don Buck Road please!

The Swanson Road/Universal Drive/Don Buck Road roundabout is infamous in the area for being dangerous for drivers (Google maps link to location). We previously discussed this in 2013 on this blog and it is also one of the notoriously unsafe roundabouts featured by Greater Auckland on their site here. A pedestrian island (or refuge!) is provided for pedestrians to cross Don Buck Road between the roundabout and Glen Road here. However, when the traffic is flowing, it is very difficult for people to get across. Those of us who need to cross the road during peak hours pray for gridlock so that we can safely get across. Young children often wait for long periods before someone will slow down enough for them to get safely across.

There are a number of schools in the immediate area (Birdwood Primary School, Ranui Primary School, Waitakere College). Massey High School students catch buses from this location so need to cross the road to the bus stops. Other people catching buses or the train also need to cross this road. There are also two businesses located here; a dairy (Lower Don Buck Road) and a takeaway business (Smith and Wong’s). Both rely on local customers, many of whom arrive on foot.

We have approached Auckland Transport in regard to getting a pedestrian crossing here and had a negative response so decided to ask the Henderson-Massey Local Board if they would consider working with Auckland Transport to see if it was possible to build a pedestrian crossing. This proposal was taken to the HMLB meeting on19 September 2017. At the same meeting, it was announced that a pedestrian crossing would be built on Rathgar Road to enable pedestrians to cross safely to the takeaway/dairy on that street.

We want to point out that it is not the fault of car drivers that it is difficult for pedestrians to cross Don Buck Road. In the morning, the main traffic is from cars coming down the Don Buck Road hill and drivers are often unaware of pedestrians waiting to cross to the pedestrian island until they get too close and then it is too late for them to slow down  as the driver following them may not slow in time, thus resulting in a crash.

Our preferred option is to convert the current island to a formal pedestrian crossing with appropriate signage and lighting. However, in the meantime, we have put a request in to Auckland Transport that they install signage to let drivers know that a pedestrian island is coming up and that they should slow down, .e.g. “Slow down, people crossing”. We hope this request will be successful and that we will see such signage installed soon since this is a low cost option. Of course we still hope for a safer solution to be at least considered, i.e. a full pedestrian crossing, which we don’t think has really happened yet. We have heard back from Auckland Transport that they are investigating this issue and will get back to us with some news in May! Watch this space for updates and in the meantime, please give us your views on this topic by participating in our poll!

 

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Garden Planet now on air…

Riverpark Action Group member and Woodside Community Garden volunteer Selina has teamed up with fellow Woodside Community Garden volunteer Karyn to provide us all with garden tips and advice through their new radio show Garden Planet on Planet FM. They are keen to answer questions during their show, which runs on Wednesday afternoons and is also available afterwards as a podcast. It’s entertaining and informative. Check it out…

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Humming Gardens application successful!

We are delighted to report that our recent application to EcoMatters’ Humming Gardens Grant/Humingbird Coffee for funding for materials for the water tank support for Woodside Community Garden has been successful. Approval has been given for up to $500.00. We had originally estimated the costs for materials as being up to around $500 but due to the need to add additional supports, the total materials costs are likely to reach almost $1000 so we are very grateful to Hummingbird Coffee and EcoMatters Environment Trust for approving our application. Our group has no regular income and we earn funds through delivering the local Massey Matters Pulse newsletter as well as initiatives like sausage sizzles at Mitre 10. This is usually sufficient for regular expenses for the garden but not enough for this major project! Our skilled volunteers Mark and Gilles will be building the support and we will be posting photos here and on the Woodside Community Garden website as the build progresses. Thank you!

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Te Wai o Pareira River Care meeting

TeWaiOPareiraMeetingMarch2019

Report by O A Mills

On 27 February 2019, Ivan and I attended a meeting at Te Atatu Peninsula Community Centre. The meeting was called by the newly formed Te Wai o Pareira River Care Group, a group of residents concerned with pollution in Henderson Creek (Te Wai O Pareira) headed by Chris Ballantyne.

It was appropriate to attend both as a member of the Riverpark Action Group and as a resident who resides on the banks of the Huruhuru Creek which flows into Te Wai o Pareira.

The purpose of the meeting was twofold;  1 – to gain an insight into which local authorities were responsible for the wellbeing of the waterways including Te Wai o Pareira and the tributaries surrounding and feeding into it, and 2 – the organising group wished to gain an idea of the level of support for their group.

Local authorities were well represented; local board members, local councillors, Watercare, SwimSafe, Healthy Waters and Community Waitakere were in attendance and spoke to the subject.

One positive outcome for me was the clarification around who we can call to report incidences of pollution. This useful information is provided below.

  • Stormwater pollution including pollutions being discharged into creeks and streams and air pollution including smoke from fires or odours and dust from building sites and quarries are to be reported to the Pollution Hotline 09 377 3107, this is a 24 hour hotline.
  • To report waste on a beach or park, illegal dumping contact Auckland Council on 09 3010101.
  • To report sewer overflows or faults with the water wains supply contact Watercare Services on 09 442 2222 (Press 1) or free text 3130.
  • To report oil or pollution at sea contact the Harbourmaster on 09 3620397 (Press 1).

The next steps for the Group are to convert interest into action. Future future plans include volunteer water testing and river monitoring, arranging river clean ups, being a strong voice to network and liaise with the authorities, bring the history of the area to life and identify and research contaminated sites. Our group already does some water-testing of the Lower Swanson Stream, which runs behind the location of the Woodside Community Garden.

It was good to make contact with Chris Burton (Community Waitakere – Team Leader Project Twin Streams) who along with his team are visiting the Lower Swanson Stream regularly to check on the breeding ground of the Inanga and his team will meet us at Woodside Community Garden on 23 March to give us an insight into their work.

Since the meeting I have kept in touch with Chris Ballantyne and pledged to support as time and resources permit – I am sure we all agree with Chris “the authorities can’t do it on their own.  The river needs advocacy, and needs guardians.”

To contact the Te Wai o Pareira River Care group, please email info@rivercaregroup.org

Riverpark Reserve playground upgrade

riverparkreserveconsultation_2018_websiteGreat news about the playground upgrade. The Henderson-Massey Local Board has approved the budget and the concept plan has already been created. The theme and colour scheme is intended to reflect the location as a foreshore reserve. The design hasn’t yet been finalised but we hope to see the final plan soon and if permitted, we will upload it here soon. There was a great response to the survey and this feedback has been used to inform the plan for the playground. Strong support was expressed for fitness stations.

Greer Clark has taken over from Lucy Ullrich as project manager as the project is now in its delivery phase. Greer has advised us that they are looking to install the playground equipment in May, a bit later than the March date we were hoping for but at least it’s happening. Apparently, it takes a while to deliver. The colour scheme for the equipment is blue and lime green.

Consultation survey report from Auckland Council

See the backstory to this project

Riverpark Reserve playground consultation

Update to this story here

Great news! The consultation process has started. You can complete the survey online here up until 10pm on October 7: https://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/have-your-say/topics-you-can-have-your-say-on/upgrades-riverpark-reserve/Pages/default.aspx

There will also be the opportunity to meet with Auckland Council staff in person onsite at the existing playground location on Thursday 27 September from 2pm -4pm. Our liaison person is Lucy Ullrich and the designer will also be there so we’re hoping lots of people will come along with their ideas to discuss what can be done. The playground has slowly been shrinking over the years so we’re very excited about finally managing to persuade people that we deserve an upgrade. We are also keen to get fitness stations installed and are working with the Lions Henderson-West Auckland to see how that funding can be obtained. You will notice that there are some questions about fitness stations in the survey. The more positive the responses to these questions, the better support we will have to lend to our funding application. Please have your say!

Riverpark Playground Upgrade

Riverpark Reserve playground – consultation onsite postponed

We chased up Auckland Council for information and finally heard back last Thursday that they haven’t completed preparation of the survey yet so there won’t be any consultation onsite this coming Thursday (23 August). Not sure what is causing the delay.

We have requested information on whether the survey will be available online or by hard copy and apparently that decision hasn’t yet been made…