Slippery and scary . . .

A van stuck on Baldwin Street in Dunedin on Sunday. PICTURE: Otago Daily Times

Ways to make the world’s steepest street safer will be discussed after a tourist got his van stuck in Baldwin Street.
Tourist Concord He, of China, said if there were more signs warning motorists of the dangers of travelling up the Dunedin street he would have never attempted to drive up it on Sunday.
Mr He parked the Hyundai rental van on the side of the street, about halfway up, and when he attempted to drive back into the street, the van began “slipping” backwards.
“It was scary,” Mr He said.
He said a sign should be placed at the bottom of the street, warning motorists vehicles could get stuck.
Signs at the bottom of the street state “no exit no turning” and “no heavy vehicles past this point”.
Mr He believed the rain and steep gradient had caused the van to slip, rather then the shattered lollies remaining from the Jaffa race on Saturday.
A tow truck was used to move the van from the street.
Baldwin Street resident Andrew Cridge said vehicles regularly got stuck but it was usually campervans “bellying out” at the top of the street.
Residents had talked to the Dunedin City Council “off and on” about the street being open only to vehicles driven by residents.
“Residents are concerned someone will get injured.”
The warning signs could be in several languages, Mr Cridge suggested.
Council transport group manager Richard Saunders said design options for safety improvements to the street were being worked through by council staff.
“Community consultation on these options is hoped for later in the year. In the interim staff will be installing signs to better inform drivers about the conditions.”
Otago Daily Times

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