Over the hump for road safety



In among the calls for more tourist infrastructure and responsible freedom camping rules in a Clutha District Council report last year was an old chestnut — a call to consider traffic calmers in Kaka Point.

The suggestion had been on the table for a long time, and had been raised with the council many times over the past 12 years, but in the minds of Kaka Point residents it was all about enhancing the safety of their small coastal community.

Then, on the eve of last month’s midwinter swim at Kaka Point, residents were surprised to see speed calmers (speed bumps) had been installed along the Esplanade.

Kaka Point Community Group chairman Ken Stephens said he had spotted council contractors working on the road and was very happy that the township’s long road safety campaign was finally over.

“We wanted to reduce the speed of vehicles along the Esplanade because over the years there have been many near misses.

“In summer time or whenever life-saving carnivals are held, the cars park all along the road next to the beach and playground.

“Over the years, we have seen many near misses on the narrow road when drivers haven’t noticed children or visitors standing in between cars waiting to cross,’’ he said.

The council had been asked to consider various speed reduction options, from reducing the road speed to installing speed calmers.

‘‘It’s all about safety; we wanted to make our community safer for ourselves and our visitors.’’

Mr Stephens said many people had been smiling and commenting on the new calmers.

“Everyone here has been very receptive and supportive.

‘‘We are very grateful to have the calmers finally in place as it’s for the safety of everyone,” Mr Stephens said.