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Dangerous crossing gets makeover

The stretch of road that will be changed next week. PHOTO/JAKE BELESKI


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A notorious stretch of road responsible for pedestrian injuries in Masterton will be receiving a safety-related makeover next week.

The New Zealand Transport Agency will work to improve safety on a stretch of SH2, from Masterton’s northern roundabout at the end of Chapel St, to Te Ore Ore Rd.

The northbound lanes will be resurfaced and the road layout will be changed to improve the safety and visibility at the pedestrian crossing near Te Ore Ore Road.

The road layout will change to mirror the layout for southbound traffic: one lane for vehicles prior to the pedestrian crossing, splitting to two lanes past the crossing.

Work will also result in increased space for cyclists with the installation of a marked shoulder, but green cycle lane markings will not be installed for about a month as the new road surface will need time to cure.

Four pedestrians have been injured in road traffic crashes at the crossing since 2006, with one incident resulting in serious injuries.

An impression of what the new layout will look like. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

Wairarapa Road Safety Council manager Bruce Pauling said the work would fix many issues with the dangerous spot.

“It boils down to the fact that one lane, whether it be the left or right lane, can back up waiting for a pedestrian to cross.

“About two years ago there was an elderly gentleman who got cleaned up there, and sustained extremely serious injuries . . . he’s just one of several.”

The current two-lane layout meant there were visibility issues when pedestrians were crossing, he said.

It was hoped the new design would also make things simpler for those in vehicles.

“With the new layout, after they cross the pedestrian crossing, they can move right to turn onto Te Ore Ore Rd, and others follow the left lane onto Opaki Rd,” Mr Pauling said.

“There is also an increased distance on the left-hand shoulder for cyclists.”

Whenever there was a vehicle versus pedestrian incident there was “only ever one winner”, and anything that helped to prevent that would be welcomed by the Road Safety Council, he said.

The transport agency’s regional transport systems manager, Mark Owen, said the improvements had been a priority for some time.

“With the current two-lane northbound layout drivers can have their line of sight to the crossing obstructed by vehicles in the other lane, so we are changing the layout to remove this risk.”

He said the work was set to begin on Tuesday night, and was expected to take two nights to complete, subject to the weather playing its part.

“Night works are the quickest, most efficient way to achieve the required result and will minimise disruption for road users.”

The road will be open to traffic travelling in both directions, but will be reduced to one lane and managed with stop/go signs.

Mr Pauling said the Road Safety Council was urging motorists to be aware of the work in the area, and to take direction from the contractors while adhering to the reduced speed limits.


  1. When cars are parked on Opaki Road opposite to Oxford Street entrance this causes a lot of problems to traffic at busy times. This area should be kept clear for traffic to pass easily when cars are waiting to turn right into Oxford Street. It would also be safer if traffic could be slowed down with rumble strips as they turn the corner before the pedestrian crossing as again this is an issue for cars trying to turn right out of Oxford Street as well as making the crossing safer for pedestrians.

  2. I can not see the re designing of state Highway 2 to one lane at the north end of town being at all practical regarding the flow of traffic north especially at peak times. I have been informed by the nzta that this is likely the cheapest option BUT if it does not work to make a complaint to them once the change is made. So please complain if it doesn’t work and it will be reviewed.

  3. This may work but what about pedestrians on the south bound side of the garden? I use this crossing frequently and have witnessed crashes and close encounters frequently. I will not venture onto the crossing until I am sure that all the south bound traffic is preparing to stop. Incidents are usually caused by following cars inattention and failing to stop behind a vehicle that has already stopped. This area of road is extremely busy with the pedestrian crossing near Oxford st and vehicles joining SH2 at Te Ore Ore rd. Something needs to be done to slow the traffic down and make them aware of the approaching crossing. A sign up the road may help but also may not be seen. I’m sure the technos that design and monitor roads would have suggestions. It’s only a matter of time before someone is killed on this crossing.

  4. Resurfacing – shudder ! I hope for the sake of cyclists, motorists and nearby residents including campers that the new surface isn’t more of the diabolical stuff that residents of Te Whiti have had to put up with since it was (unnecessarily ) resurfaced last year. It melted as soon as summer heat arrived ( gosh, who saw that coming ! ) and was”gritted” twice and paint -marked twice since but through traffic is still very noticably louder though the surfacehas had many months to “settle”.

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