Worried parents fear it is only a matter of time before somebody is injured or killed on Matakana Road near the village school and have set up a petition calling for Auckland Transport to install a pedestrian crossing at the earliest opportunity.
They say increased traffic generally, many more houses being built and extra quarry trucks servicing the new motorway have made Matakana Road busier and more dangerous than ever before.
Renee Howe, who started the petition on change.org, says crossing the road, whether to get to school, preschool, the playground, markets or shops, is a nightmare.
“Every single morning, our children are experiencing near misses on the road to school and it’s just a matter of time before somebody gets hurt,” she says. “It’s just too dangerous.”
James Graham, who lives in Matakana Road near two school warning signs, which children often use as a crossing point, says he sees near misses there all the time.
“It’s crazy. Just the other day there were two girls, they waited, a car stopped for them, but the car behind just hit the horn and overtook the car in front,” he told September’s Matakana Community (MCG) group meeting. “This is a daily occurrence. What’s there is so ambiguous. Children use it as a crossing because there’s nowhere else to cross.
“The problem is really simple – someone is going to get hurt or killed.”
Another parent, Amanda Stewart, says she was told that the issue would be reassessed once the pedestrian bridge from Tamahunga Drive was built. However, the start of that has already been delayed several times and has just been put back again.
“The bridge was going to happen in June, then it was September, and now it’s going to be November,” she says. “It just keeps going out, and we can’t wait. We’re now at the point where we really need to petition strongly to get a safe crossing.”
She has obtained letters supporting a signal crossing with lights from Matakana School’s Board of Trustees and MCG and is currently trying to set up a site meeting with representatives from the school, MCG, parents, the local board and the police to formulate exactly what is wanted and where.