Most of Hamilton’s challenges are associated with our steady growth in recent years, which are good problems to have compared with those in areas facing declining population and investment.
Planners and decision makers must aim to stay ahead of demand for houses, infrastructure and the provision of services, while spending your rates and taxes fairly and appropriately.
Inevitably, demand always exceeds the funds available and difficult decisions must be made. This year’s General Election will again see spirited debate over priorities and choices so I encourage eligible voters to get enrolled and take a keen interest in the options that local candidates are promoting.
Be wary of those who make extravagant promises of new spending on a raft of their pet projects, as they seldom add that they expect you to pay for them!
One of the obvious areas for regular upgrades as our local population keeps growing is associated with the busy roads that most of us use on a daily basis.
While there are several pressure points in our city, two that readers of this publication know well are the Dinsdale roundabout and the Alison Street / Kahikatea Drive intersection. Both have become increasingly congested areas of frustration for commuters in recent times - and frustration sometimes leads to risk-taking which puts our safety at risk.
With so many vehicles heading into Hamilton from Tuhikaramea and Whatawhata Roads each morning, and out from Massey Street and Killarney Road in the afternoons, long queues are forming and entering the roundabout can be difficult and frightening.
That’s why I have sympathy for the view that it’s time the roundabout was controlled by traffic lights to improve traffic flow and safety.
Similarly, turning right from Alison Street into Kahikatea Drive is difficult and sometimes dangerous, especially at peak times, and it may be time for a roundabout to be installed there to reduce the problem and enhance our safety.
I am talking to local residents, councillors and council staff about these and related issues and would be pleased to hear your views to guide our discussions.