Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is calling for some public feedback around the possible installation of an intersection speed zone at Junction Street and SH3 in New Plymouth.
The consultation period runs from today (27 February) to 2 April, and people can share their views on the project page:
If confirmed following public consultation, the intersection speed zone would detect when traffic is approaching the highway from Junction St, or turning right into Junction St from the highway, and temporarily reduce the local SH3 speed limit to 60kmh from 100.
According to Waka Kotahi case studies, intersection speed zones improve safety at rural intersections along high-speed roads and can reduce fatal and serious crashes by 69%. They are part of the Safe System approach, which aims to create a forgiving environment and reduce harm when people make mistakes.
“An intersection speed zone at Junction Street would give people more time to take evasive action when necessary,” says Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency Senior Project Manager, Sree Nutulapati.
“In a crash situation, it would reduce the speed and energy of impact and lessen the severity of collisions.”
The zone would feature two flashing digital signs – located approximately 150m north and south of the Junction St intersection – displaying an enforceable temporary speed limit of 60kmh. The current 100kmh speed limit would continue to apply at all other times.
In response to public feedback, people will still be able to make right turns out of Junction St onto SH3, reducing the likelihood of adding to congestion on the local network.
Waka Kotahi aims to start construction of the works at Junction St in the first half of 2023, with the Mangorei Rd roundabout beginning later in the year, subject to funding and contractor availability.
The 9.75km stretch of SH3 between New Plymouth to Egmont Village has been prioritised due to its high safety risk, with 77 crashes reported between 2016 and 2020. Waka Kotahi continues to develop plans for safety improvements along SH3 between Egmont Village and Hāwera.