Two Tauranga city councillors are calling for car parking changes at Mount Maunganui College.
|Councillors Bill Grainger and Wayne Moultrie want parking established at the back of Mount Maunganui College.|
Tauranga City Council has approved a bylaw to reduce the speed limit along a stretch of Maunganui Road from 70km/h to 50km/h.
But councillors Bill Grainger and Wayne Moultrie want parking established at the back of the school in a bid to improve student safety and reduce traffic congestion.
The decision to cut the speed limit was prompted by the death of student Breeze Brunton outside the school earlier this year when she was hit by a logging truck after trying to cross from the western side of Maunganui Rd.
Along with the speed reduction, parking on the western side of Maunganui Rd will be removed but ‘drop and go’ spaces will be provided in front of the school’s entrance.
Bill and Wayne were the only councillors who did not support the speed reduction, describing the move as ‘unnecessary’ and ‘not enough’.
Bill wants all parking on Maunganui Rd removed and moved to Ranch Rd in order to completely eliminate the risk to students.
“Children have no respect for danger and what I wanted to do is take the parking away from the main road lock, stock and barrel and that way kids will be less likely to be part of any accident,” says Bill.
Wayne is prepared to trial the limited parking at the school’s entrance but would still like to see more parking areas provided on Ranch Rd.
“Breeze’s death was not the result of speed and the police have confirmed that, so why on earth are we lowering the speed, bearing in mind there are more than enough safety provisions put in place.
“Clearly there is a provision for additional parking and drop-off areas at the back of the college but the college has been really reluctant to even consider this until our last meeting,” says Wayne.
Terry Collett, Mount Maunganui College principal, says the school has not been reluctant to look at the prospect of providing additional parking on Ranch Rd but believes there needs to be consultation with a number of stakeholders before it goes ahead.
“We need to be wary that before we push traffic onto Ranch Road, we are not removing the problem from one area and putting it into another.
“What I said to council is that we are prepared to look at a number of options and consider and explore those options with council engineers to make the school safer,” says Terry.