Intersection parking crusade

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A Balclutha resident is determined to change what he sees as unsafe parking rules around the town.

“‘You’re very lucky you’re not dead.’ That’s what the police officer said to me,” Michael Brough said, relating the story of his car accident at the intersection of Elizabeth and Charlotte Sts in Balclutha about a year ago.

Mr Brough was attempting to make a right-hand turn into Charlotte St when his car was clipped by another vehicle coming from the right.

He was badly shaken but not injured.

“Both of the cars were complete write-offs,” he said.

Since his accident, and following other near misses at Balclutha intersections he had witnessed or was part of, he determined to get something changed.

Mr Brough was fined $150 for failing to give way at the intersection, but maintained lack of visibility was the reason for the collision.

“You can’t see anything. You have to nudge out into the road to see past the cars that are parked right up to the corner. It’s very dangerous.”

About a month ago, he took his concerns to the Clutha District Council to see if anything could be done about the town’s intersection issue.

“They took a copy of the photo of the car after the accident and of the diagram I made of what happened.”

He has not heard anything since then.

Council service delivery group manager Jules Witt said he was aware of the visibility issue at some intersections in town.

“I understand how difficult it can be to see when you’re pulling out and there is a large vehicle blocking your vision,” he said.

However, it was established law that drivers were not to park their cars within 6m of an intersection “whether there are yellow lines or not”.

There would also be a trade-off between visibility and parking, Mr Witt said.

“We’ve consulted local businesses who were all very resistant ..” to losing parking.

The council was open to ideas about how to solve the problem.

The campaign was certainly not over for Mr Brough, who said many others felt as he did.

“I’ll fight this until I die because I think someone is going to get killed.”