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Mixed reaction to road’s re-opening

After a decade with their road blocked off, Devon Spring Road residents are finding the resumption of normal traffic a mixed blessing.

The Devonshire road has been repaired and opened after years of unanswered complaints from those who live there.

“I’m glad,” said resident Joanne Simmons, “but we’re going to have to get some speed bumps, because there are too many little children up here playing in the street.

“In a way, we didn’t mind it being closed — and in another way, we did.”

While many residents found it inconvenient to be closed off from South Shore Road, Ms Simmons said the barriers — originally put up in 2003 because the cliff beneath the road was crumbling — had prevented bike racing in Devon Spring, as well as traffic cutting through.

“This neighbourhood got used to the peace and quiet — now we’ve got to get used to the traffic again.”

Resident Joan Daniels agreed: “Some people like it and some don’t.”

After so many years, she said she hadn’t even noticed it was open again.

One resident, asking not to be identified, said she was “very glad” to have the South Shore Road access back again — in part because the traffic would prevent the road from being used as a playground.

“In the summertime, when the children are playing in the road, you have a hard time going by them all,” she said.

CEO of

The Royal Gazette Jonathan Howes, also a resident, said he felt concerned because people weren’t used to the traffic.

“I’ve asked Works and Engineering to put up ‘Slow Children at Play’ signs,” he said. “People travelling through don’t think of the fact that we’ve had no traffic for years. Yesterday one of my children rode out the driveway without thinking to look. It’s a very residential area with a very narrow road, and we’ve got to get used to it.”

Government initially washed its hands of Devon Spring Road, saying the thoroughfare was a private road and therefore the residents’ responsibility.

That legacy continues, despite Public Works officially reopening the road on Thursday.

Mr Howes said he’d contacted the Ministry requesting speed bumps for the road, only to be told that since it was considered private it would be difficult for Government to add them.

Neighbour Gregory Dietz described himself as “elated” to have the road back.

“It’s night and day for me, instead of having to drive all the way around,” he said.

However, Mr Dietz added: “I wish they’d made it a little bit wider so that cars could pass more easily.”

“I used it the day they opened it,” said resident Mervyn Sirju, “and it’s great. But it needs mirrors where you come out onto the main road.

“It’s kind of dangerous driving out because it’s a blind corner. It needs at least three mirrors there, or people might get hit.”

Devon Spring Road is now open to traffic. (Photo by Mark Tatem)

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Published May 28, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated May 27, 2013 at 9:09 pm)

Mixed reaction to road’s re-opening

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