Council puts stop to confusing Cuba St intersection

Council puts stop to confusing Cuba St intersection

A Wellington intersection that's confounded drivers for years is to have a $200,000 set of traffic lights installed.

The four-way stop sign on the corner of Cuba St and Abel Smith St often leaves drivers perplexed as to who gives way to whom.

"I always give way to the right, but no one really knows - everyone just crosses their fingers," one driver told Newshub.

"It's part of what makes Cuba St, Cuba St," said another.

"No to traffic lights!" shouted a third. " A little roundabout, that's all we need. Stop spending our money, Wellington Council!"

The council says it's the only intersection in the central city with a four-way stop arrangement. 

Council puts stop to confusing Cuba St intersection

(Emma Jolliff / Newshub.)

Council transport and urban development committee chairman Andy Foster says "it's kind of quirky, it's kind of fun, but at the same time people get to it and say, 'What do I do?'"

He admits it's been the subject of "low-level" debate for some time, but the move's been prompted by intellectually disabled youths from a group called Active who say it's difficult for pedestrians too.

So what are the rules?

"The first thing is that stop means stop.  Then give way to your right," Mr Foster says.

"But the challenge here is that sometimes you get people coming from all four points, which effectively means you've all got to give way to each other, so then it's a matter of eyeballing each other and seeing who's going to go first."

He concedes it requires a bit of negotiation.

It's not an accident black spot, with just 12 reported accidents in the past five years.

The council says a roundabout, while cheaper, wouldn't fit, isn't in keeping with the area and just wouldn't be appropriate.

The traffic lights are expected to be installed in November.