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More traffic woes on narrow road

A view of Cotter St. PHOTO/HAYLEY GASTMEIER

Residents want Greytown street blocked off

HAYLEY GASTMEIER
[email protected]

A planned 56-lot Greytown subdivision has Cotter St residents worried their narrow road, already congested with traffic, will be a main route into the new development.

At just 4.5m wide, Cotter St has regular traffic due to the Greytown Recycling Station, the dog exercise park, and Greytown Trail, a popular scenic track.

For years the residents have been raising safety concerns for cyclists and pedestrians as the road has no footpath, and asking South Wairarapa District Council to find a solution to reduce traffic.

The council has already installed judder bars on the street, and has put up signage directing refuse station traffic to use West St.

But residents are calling for the street to be blocked off at one end, as it once was with bollards, which were removed when Governors Green, a subdivision of 26 lots, was developed off Pierce St, which Cotter St intersects.

Residents Jeff Barber and Warren Woodgyer say the traffic issue is only going to get worse with 56 new sections opening up nearby at Tararua Junction, which is being developed by Hillview Properties on a piece of land sold by the council.

Property owners will be able to access the subdivision through Pierce St via Cotter St or West St.

However, council officers maintain that a slight angle in the subdivision’s road will encourage drivers toward West St instead of Cotter St.

Mr Barber, a viticulturist and real estate agent, is angry that the resource consent application for the Tararua Junction development was done on a non-notifiable basis, meaning residents living nearby were left in the dark.

Had the land been owned privately, he believed the council would have consulted with residents before approving the “major” subdivision.

“I believe council has done this to maximise the amount of money they could get [from the land sale].”

Mr Woodgyer is one of many Cotter St residents who has raised concerns to the Greytown Community Board over the past few years.

He said 33 of 39 Cotter St residents last year signed a petition requesting the street be re-established as a no-exit road.

Residents have since met the council, which then investigated other possible solutions, including making the road a one-way route, and lowering the speed limit.

Last month a council report was prepared in which council officers recommended the road stay as it is, but the report was pulled from the council agenda on the day of the meeting so more analysis could be done.

Greytown councillor Colin Wright said the safety issue on Cotter St could presumably be resolved with a footpath.

He said there were streets in all three South Wairarapa towns that were the same legal width as Cotter St “and the council is looking at the much wider issue”.

“There are other streets that are similar in terms of situation – the width is not unique.”

South Wairarapa Mayor Viv Napier said all developers had to pay “roading contributions on every lot in their subdivision” to help with new traffic pressure as part of their resource consent.

She said the council understood the concerns of Cotter St residents and another report was being prepared to address the situation.

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