Narrow road puts fear in drivers

2015-10-13 06:00
A truck tries to get down narrow 2nd Avenue in Harfield Village.

A truck tries to get down narrow 2nd Avenue in Harfield Village.

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Business owners in Harfield Village say parking is a nightmare in 2nd Avenue.

The biggest problem is close to Harfield Centre where many businesses are situated. The owners’ concern is that the street is so narrow. Due to the lack of parking space motorists park on both sides of the road, leaving very little space for other motorists to drive through. They are in constant fear that their parked cars may be damaged in side swipes.

They have been trying to get the problem sorted for years but their calls to have red or yellow lines painted on the road fall on deaf ears, they say.

Business owners watch on as trucks, delivery vans and refuse collectors block the road. Trucks are sometimes driven on pavements as there is not enough space in the road.

The business owners wish to see a sign stopping big trucks from using the road. They also want traffic officers to monitor the area, as some people tend to park any which way and motorists speed.

Just last week, a business owner’s car parked outside was damaged by a truck. Lindsay Luppnow says her car was damaged so badly that it might be written off.

“A very large truck tried to squeeze down the Avenue and hit my legally parked car on the side of the road. The car was dragged for about 10 metres down the road, up onto the pavement, and rammed into the side of the steps of another building.

“This happens all the time and we have been saying we want marked parking bays and red or yellow lines, but none of that has happened. We have to deal with it because it is becoming a huge inconvenience and very expensive. All the cars, though they are parked legally, are at risk,” says Luppnow.

Al Homan, another business owner, says the area is old and small.

“Everything has changed. Now most households have more than one car. People have to park on both sides, leaving little space.

“Trucks have to come through to deliver and that’s another big problem. Instead of using Rosmead, they use this road.

“This is a big issue that hasn’t been dealt with properly. If we can’t have the lines we would rather have demarcated parking on one side of the road,” he says.

Problem for yearsJames Fernie, chairperson of the Harfield Village Association, says the street is a problem area.

“Every year there is more development with restaurants, shops and other things opening. People are parking on both sides of the road and there are trucks. At times it forms a gridlock and people have to sit there for a long time because they can’t move.

“People are endlessly complaining; we have been trying to address this with little help.”

Fernie says the Association is trying to resolve the problem but authorities are not forthcoming.

“We hope this time the City will listen and come hear our proposals, because this can’t continue.”

Brett Herron, mayoral committee member for transport, says the City is aware of the congestion close to the Village Centre. The only long-term solution is for residents to reduce their reliance on private cars.

“Harfield Village was never designed to accommodate the traffic volumes it currently attracts. With the densification of the suburb and homeowners having more than one car, and with limited off-street parking, they are also congesting the streets by parking on the street. There has also been an increase in the number of offices, shops and restaurants,” he says.

Herron adds that 2nd Avenue is only 6m wide and can only accommodate parking on one side of the road.

“Should we further limit the on-street parking with yellow or red lines along certain roads, we will displace these motorists to other residential roads in the vicinity. Thus, we will only displace the problem from one street to the next. That said, congestion in certain circumstances forces motorists to slow down and it discourages extraneous traffic from using the area as a thoroughfare,” he says.

However, the City will conduct an investigation into the parking issue, though this is a complicated matter, he says

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