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Crossing puts kids on the dot

Crossing the road on Greytown’s Main St to get to early childcare centre Dot Kids has become hard work for many including centre manager Charlotte Doyle and pupils Levi Dyer and Alex Allen. PHOTO/JOHN LAZO-RON

A Greytown early childcare centre hopes calls for a pedestrian crossing to be fitted outside the school will not fall on deaf ears after receiving considerable online support of late.

Support for a pedestrian crossing to be mounted outside Dot Kids towards the south end of Main St has quickly grown through feedback on the New Zealand Transport Agency’s [NZTA]

Wairarapa State Highway 2 highway improvements social pinpoint site.

The site is part of NZTA’s plan to seek public feedback on Wairarapa SH2 improvements including speed reductions and safety infrastructures.

Because of where the centre is located, Dot Kids is not the easiest to cross to when parked on the other side of the road.

Dots Kids manager Charlotte Doyle said crossing to the 65-kid centre had become hard work for parents and teachers alike, particularly in peak-hour traffic.

Now, in the name of safety, she was calling for a pedestrian crossing to be established to make the centre more accessible.

“This is something the girls [teachers] have talked about immensely for a while,” she said.

“It is a busy road, and getting across it is hard, especially because there is so much traffic coming from both ways.

“There is definitely a need for one here and would be very helpful for the families trying to cross over. It’s just safety to be honest.”

Doyle cited vehicle speed as a significant issue with the centre located in an area where vehicles were in the process of shifting speeds.

“You find people don’t necessarily slow down before or after the town. As they leave the town they’ll start to speed up as they get closer to the 100kmh mark, and as they get in, they’re only gradually start slowing down towards the 50kmh speed.

“Because of where we’re located in the town, it would be life-changing and would be a very safe option for our whanau instead of running across the road.”

Several comments made on the NZTA site reiterated Doyle’s concerns about the safety of children and parents when crossing that part of the road.

One comment said: “We live nearby this kindy and notice children and families always running/crossing the road to get to the kindy. It’s a fast and dangerous road to cross without
a crossing.”

Another comment was: “There are around 65 families attending this centre on a daily basis with young children entering the centre who need to feel safe while trying to cross the road. This area needs a crossing urgently for the safety of all children and their families!”

Andrea Dyer, who is a parent/teacher at Dot Kids, said she doesn’t even attempt to park on the other side of the road sayng it was too dangerous.

Coming in from Featherston, Dyer said every school day, she drives further up Main St, turns around at a more secure location and parks on the centre’s side of
the road.

“I’ve got two young kids that go here,” she said.

“Getting them both out of the vehicle and walking across with them is difficult so I never park on the other side. It’s definitely not safe to park on the other side of the road.

“The traffic is madhouse when you’re trying to hold a child and stuff.”

Doyle was now hoping NZTA would take notice of the comments online and start to seriously consider a crossing outside the centre.

“We just want the best for our families.”

  • NZTA’s Wairarapa SH2 improvements consultation period ends on August 27.

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