Queenstowners blinded by Frankton highway lights

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Queenstowners are complaining pedestrian traffic lights by the airport are blindingly bright. 

And the NZ Transport Agency is listening. 

The agency initially said the lights had approved units – but after Mountain Scene’s approach, says it will consider tinkering to reduce brightness. 

The eye-piercing signals have provoked a flood of comments from local motorists, one of who quips they’re so bright they can probably be seen from space. 

The safety lights were installed either side of the roundabout to help pedestrians, including Remarkables Primary schoolchildren, cross the busy highway. 

“I’m stunned how bright the traffic lights are, they’re so bright they’re blinding and surely can’t be legal,” local motorist Geoff Matthews says. 

“While we all want Queenstown to be known for its stunning scenery, being known for its traffic lights being so bright they can be seen from space is not something that the resort would want to be known for.” 

On the ‘Queenstown Whinge’ Facebook page last month, Julia Milley wrote: “I go down at 11pm and can’t see a bloody thing when driving. 

“An accident just waiting to happen …” 

Another correspondent, Andrew Atherton, says they’re “like bloody flood lights in your eyes”.

“I drive buses and those lights are that bright you can’t focus on the bus stop to see if anyone is waiting ’cos you’re half bloody blinded.” 

“If someone tried to get over the road without using the pedestrian crossing you would never see them. 

“It’s even worse if it’s raining, too.” 

NZ Transport Agency senior safety engineer Roy Johnston says the signals had approved light units and a light sensor was installed a few months ago to dim the signals “when natural light levels fall”. 

But in an update yesterday, Johnston says the signals have been inspected, adding: “Over the next week or two we will be looking at what options are available to reduce their brightness.”