Flowers for victim of Ponsonby car crashSave
By Elizabeth Binning
Nicole Mace died on Ponsonby Rd a week ago but the number of flowers at her memorial shrine still grows.
Some of the sunflowers, lilies and roses come from close friends and family of the award-winning landscape designer.
Others are from people who say a death on that section of road was inevitable and it is time to improve pedestrian safety between Franklin and Richmond Rds.
As friends and family prepare to farewell the 37-year-old at the Grey Lynn Community Centre today, a petition calling for improved road safety has started and retailers, many of whom saw fatal accident a week ago yesterday, are calling for a public meeting on the issue.
"[Nicole's death] has just drawn attention to the fact that Ponsonby Rd is very dangerous," said local resident Isabel Fish, who has organised the petition.
"People rush into the middle of the road then have to wait there until there's a gap in the traffic."
Mrs Mace, who won an award at the Ellerslie Flower Show for a garden design, died in hospital after being hit by a car as she tried to cross near the Ponsonby Fire Station.
Station Officer Shane Olsen heard the screech of tyres and a bang as she bounced off the car's bonnet.
Mr Olsen said he had attended several other pedestrian accidents along Ponsonby Rd, including two which resulted in serious injuries, in the past few years.
Auckland City Council traffic safety manager Karen Hay said measures were under way to improve pedestrian safety by the end of next month.
They include three new pedestrian islands, one of them between Richmond and Franklin Rds, and improvements to two others.
Mrs Mace's mother-in-law, Joy Mace, described her as a wonderful wife and mother to her 22-month-old son. "She was the kind of daughter-in-law that if I was doing the choosing I would have chosen."
Mrs Mace was well-known in Devonport, where she used to sell flowers, and in Ponsonby.
Constable Graham Morton, from the serious crash unit, said it would be several weeks before police decided whether to lay charges.
* Accidents involving pedestrians on Ponsonby Rd from 1999 to 2004: 28 crashes, 1 death, 4 serious injuries, 17 minor injuries.