Last time I awarded transport prizes I dropped the blog equivalent of a clusterbomb by simply suggesting that an intersection was unsafe for pedestrians – no way! Yes way. By the time everyone’s battered little digits had stopped thumping our keyboards, 129 comments had been posted and a number of egos has been bruised. Let’s see how we go this time …
The best transport “thing” I saw in the last few weeks was the NZ Police ticketing vehicles abusing the pedestrian mall on Alfred Street (at the University of Auckland). As one of the many, many students who campaigned over several years for this street to be turned into a mall, I’m rather pleased with how it has turned out – and somewhat frustrated when this is flouted by drivers. This “bus only” street caters for the Link Bus and bustles with large numbers of pedestrians. When I first started at uni vehicles would frequently queue the entire length of the street and prevent all the buses, let alone pedestrians, from going about their business.
So a big thanks from me to the NZ Police for getting out and helping “learn dose drivers dey arnit welkim rund heeya” – you win my transport prize for this week.
On the downside the worst transport prize of the week goes to: All the people in the last “transport prize” post who suggested that the intersection of Bowen/Kitchener/Victoria Street East works fine exactly how it is. FOOLS! Ever since that post I’ve spent most of my not inconsiderable spare time hanging about this intersection (I can neither confirm nor deny whether I was frothing at the mouth with self-afflicted pedestrian rabies). My time as a layabout not only confirmed that this intersection is a disaster, but also that it’s more dangerous than I initially thought, mainly because the numbers of pedestrians that walk through here are much much higher than I initially anticipated, and also because of the relatively high vehicle speeds from Kitchener.
As it happens, the little sliver of green space along Bowen Ave is quite a popular spot – both to walk and to sit. And it’s particularly popular with pretty university girls, who sit on the benches in the lunchtime sun and read their books. And of course, wherever there are concentrations of pretty university girls, then almost sure to follow are large volumes of fugly boys such as myself. The photo below shows one such boy; having enjoyed the sight of girls enjoying themselves in the sun, he must now cross the so-called INTERSECTION OF DEATH while his eyes are still adjusting back to normal focus. It’s inhumane.
Unfortunately this poor chap was squished by a 40-tonne semi-trailer just before he got to the other side of the road. But at least his timely death proved that I was right all along, and at the end of the day that’s the sort of affirmation that men like me are looking for. As Patrick would say – DISCUSS!