The woman seriously injured in a car crash on the corner of Cherry Lane and State Highway 1 on Tuesday was a resident of the Tamahere Eventide Home & Retirement Village.
The 75-year-old, described as a very capable woman by Eventide chief executive Louis Fick, remains in a serious but stable condition in Waikato Hospital
The accident occurred just after Fick expressed concern about the Cherry Lane/SH 1 intersection and asked what wider support there was for extending the 80km/hr speed zone as far as Bollard Rd.
The woman was turning out of Cherry Lane on to SH 1 when her vehicle and a southbound Toyota collided. The two men in the Toyota were taken to hospital with minor injuries.
Earlier Fick had said the intersection at Cherry Lane was limited by a short viewing distance towards Hamilton which made turning right very risky.
“A number of accidents have occurred at that point,” he said before proposing that a reduction of speed to 80km/hr would improve safety for all road users.
After the accident Fick was planning to strengthen the case for a lower speed limit by collating accident statistics. Aside from accidents at the intersection four people had crashed through Eventide’s front fence and more had gone through the neighbour’s fence to the south.
“They’d just repaired the fence after the last crash and someone else went through it. I don’t know how they manage to crash through a fence on a straight bit of road,” he said.
The few views expressed on the issue by Forum readers’ have been mixed – one favoured the status quo because “it’s SH1”, another thought a speed change was pointless as it would be flouted when traffic was light and redundant when it was heavy but another thought the Eventide’s expansion was a good reason “to maybe slow the traffic a little.”
By 2019 when the local part of the Waikato Expressway is completed the intersection at Cherry Lane will be completely transformed. A presentation on Thursday, October 27 in the Tamahere Community Centre by the NZ Transport Agency will show just what is proposed for what is known as the expressway’s southern section Hamilton interchange.
But there are at least eight years to go before the interchange will be completed. The latest serious accident suggests many people could be at risk of serious injury or death in the meantime. Should the speed limit be reduced? Could the Cherry Lane/SH 1 intersection be made safer by other means? What’s your view?