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Dangerous intersection raises concerns3 min read

Mar 11, 2024 3 min

Dangerous intersection raises concerns3 min read

Reading Time: 3 minutes
Some motorists disregard the stop signs on Arthur Street

Residents living close to a dangerous intersection in Onehunga are expressing growing concerns over safety, as the junction is notorious for frequent accidents and near-misses.

Ria Pou, a long-time resident of the area, has witnessed numerous accidents at the intersection of Arthur Street and Selwyn Street, including cars crashing through her fence and onto her property. Several years ago, one woman’s car was hit so hard that it ended up on Ria’s sundeck.

The situation came to a head on Boxing Day last year, when two crashes occurred within the span of an hour. Ria highlights that motorists disregard the compulsory stops on Arthur Street, and treat them as give-ways.

“The motorists underestimate the drivers going uphill on Selwyn accelerate, and those coming down Selwyn gain momentum, making the car go faster,” she says.

Ria has taken measures to protect her family, and her property. “We removed a boundary hedge, but left the concrete base to act as a barrier to deter cars. I also prevent my sons from camping in the front garden, out of fear for their safety.”

Regarding the crunching sound of cars colliding, Ria can now tell whether an accident is serious or a fender-bender, by the sound it makes.

Another resident who lives nearby, Susan, describes the intersection as a hotspot for collisions. “I live close enough to hear the bangs of the cars colliding,” she says.

While interviewing Susan at the intersection, the Onehunga Community News journalist observed three cars and four AT buses disregard the mandatory stop signs on Arthur Street as they crossed over Selwyn, or turned onto Selwyn.

One well-known local who has attended several accidents at the intersection, is Onehunga’s community constable Don Allan, as he has also had an accident there.

“I know many motorists don’t stop at this intersection, so I managed to scrub off enough speed as I approached it, and was travelling well below the 50km per hour speed limit when the impact happened,” he says.

Fortunately, the airbag deployed, so Don wasn’t injured. The same can’t be said about his almost-new patrol car as it was written off.

“I’m aware that this is one of the most dangerous intersections in our community due to driver behaviour.” Don has handed out several tickets to motorists for not stopping, but they still disobey the law and risk their lives, and those of other motorists.

”I fear that it is only a matter of time before an accident occurs involving pedestrians, and with close proximity to Onehunga Primary School, the risk is increased.”

The principal of Onehunga Primary School, Viki Holley, says she hears crashes regularly, but her main concern is keeping the children safe. “We try really hard to encourage our children to cross the street at one of our two patrolled crossings, so that they can avoid this intersection.”

In response to these concerns, Senior Media Specialist at Auckland Transport, Natalie Polley, acknowledges the seriousness of the situation.

“This has been identified as a high-risk intersection and plans are being developed to improve safety here. Subject to consultation, we would be looking to implement improvements next financial year. This would also be subject to funding and prioritisation.”