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And the transport prizes go to … Queensland Rail and Symonds Street

It’s been a serene little while since the last ATB transport prizes were awarded. For those who missed it, the last prize ceremony ended in somewhat spectacular fashion, with one commenter calling me a “self righteous prat” and telling me to to “stop moaning“.

Before we begin may I please highlight (again) that these particular posts are all about me. If you don’t like me and/or what I write, then don’t read the posts. But if you do read the posts and subsequently feel the need to comment then please observe common courtesies (but feel free to tease me because I do technically ride a girl’s bike, and I also have a pink woollen vest).

Probably also worth highlighting that self righteous prats, such as myself, only become self-righteous prats by virtue of the fact that we’re almost always right. It’s a super simple causal relationship.

Super simple stuff all around really: Just like Queensland Rail’s campaign to improve train etiquette. This has seen a lot of posters being put up on trains and at stations across Brisbane and South-east Queensland. The idea behind the campaign is to promote higher standards of behaviour on the trains, such as people standing to make way for people in need …

The QR campaign wins my ATB transport prize of the week because I think it’s important for society to define what is/is not acceptable behaviour. I believe that we can respect individual choices while simultaneously “nudging” people’s choices in directions that we have (collectively) determined to be desirable. This is really no different from how anti drink driving advertisements have sought to influence our attitudes, and quite successfully I believe.

But one of the main reasons I like the QR campaign is that it’s so flaming easy to make fun of …

Ultimately I think the rip-offs just highlight the underlying virtue of the idea; well done to QR for recognising that one of the easiest and best ways to make public transport more pleasant is simply to promote higher standards of public behaviour.

In terms of the ATB prize for worst transport experience, this week’s recipient (by popular request) is Symonds Street. As I walked/cycled down/up Symonds Street between 5-6pm today I was struck by the overwhelming number of pedestrians and people catching buses, but the near complete absence of private vehicles (in numerical terms). Despite their lack of numbers, however, private vehicles still managed to commandeer the vast majority of space, as well as take the largest slice of the signal time at intersections.

The preferential treatment for private vehicles was particularly noticeable at the intersection of Symonds and Wellesley Street, which is illustrated below.

 

 

I simply cannot believe that the current set-up is delivering an efficient balance between different transport modes: In the photo above about 15-25 people were waiting for about 2 minutes while approximately 2 cars went through. Now I know that many of the posts on this blog throw around billions of dollars. But here is a problem that has a relatively cheap and easy partial solution: Just change the signal timings. Why not double-phase the pedestrian lights, as per Queen Street, but maybe with some more continuous bus priority at the stop line?

Based on my support for QR’s campaign you can probably tell that I’m all for following the “road rules”. They are, if you like, an area where society has collectively decided on norms that should be in our common interest, like driving on the left-hand side of the road. On the other hand the road rules are not a substitute for common sense. With regards to Symonds Street, people are expected to follow road rules (i.e. wait for pedestrian phases before crossing the road) that do not make sense given the environment, i.e. the number of pedestrians versus the low numbers of vehicles.

And I’d suggest that pedestrians know they are being treated poorly. So what do they do? Well, in my experience in these situations people simply start to make the rules up for themselves. This does not mean they have absolutely no regard for their safety, but they do flip off auto-pilot and start crossing whenever/wherever there is an interminably long break in the pedestrian crossings, as illustrated below.

 

 

And once one person starts to think for themselves (heaven forbid!) others seem to quickly follow. While some people call this “sheep” behaviour I actually think that there is something more subtle at play here. I suspect there is some kind of self-reinforcing dynamic feedback loop between social norms and actual behaviour, i.e. once a few people start disobeying the rules then others are motivated to do the same. At the same time such behaviour would be undesirable were it to be replicated on a large-scale across the city, where there are many conflicting needs/priorities at play.

But I sympathise with the people in this photo because Symonds Street, as far as I can tell, is not currently “fit for purpose” as a street. From where I’m sitting it obviously needs to give more priority to pedestrians and public transport users, at the expense of priority for private vehicles. And that is, in a nutshell, pretty much what’s currently wrong with Auckland’s wider city centre: We’ve given over too much space/time to vehicles.

Fixing it is (at least partly) super-simple stuff really: Change the signal phasing at traffic intersections to give more priority to pedestrians and, where necessary, public transport.

Discuss. But above all – enjoy yourself and don’t take me or yourselves too seriously ;).

64 comments to And the transport prizes go to … Queensland Rail and Symonds Street

  • Christopher

    Hi – I have raised this very point about this intersection with the previous Auckland City Council transport department, and now Auckland Transport, but I get the brush off each time – which is frustrating. I’ve also observed this intersection become a de-facto ‘Barnes Dance’ crossing. The first two times I was told bluntly that they (Transport engineers) needed to keep the ‘flow’ of vehicle traffic moving through this intersection so I was told NO to doing anything. The third time I wasn’t given any excuse, but nothing was promised either. I will continue to meet officers and will continue to state my (and now yours as well) case and will continue to agitate for change at this intersection.

    I have also observed that pedestrians simply just start walking out, particularly if traffic is light and they have been waiting for quite some time, and this informal behaviour is remarkably ‘safe’.

    Thanks
    Christopher Dempsey
    Waitemata Local Board – Transport Eastern & Central.

    • Stu Donovan

      Hi Chris,

      Good to hear that you’re highlighting this intersection within AT.

      You may want to ask them the last time they surveyed this intersection and subsequently optimised the signal phasing to minimise delay for all users (including pedestrians)? You might find that the signals have not been surveyed optimised since the Central Connector went in about 4 years ago. And you may find that they have not done any post-validation of the results …

      If they can’t tell you when the last survey was undertaken (and show you the results) then they’re just fobbing you off.

  • greenwelly

    The whole queensland rail meme worked because they encouraged people to take the pi$$ out of it by allowing them to customise and share the posters on social media,

    Good on ya Stevo

  • Daighi

    I always had difficulty understanding the two UoA underpasses that run underneath Symonds St just North and South of Alfred St.

    When I studied engineering at UoA I, along with many others, diced with death on a daily basis crossing Symonds street (not willing to tolerate the inconvenience of descending and ascending a flight of stairs to get to the underpass) and I always thought that a pedestrian crossing wouldn’t go amiss.

    My Dad tells a story from his university days (in the late 70s/early 80s, I think) about some rapscallion engineering students who decided to paint a pedestrian crossing directly above the engineering school underpass, much to the consternation of motorists and university administration alike. The story goes that pedestrians enjoyed a day or two of freedom and safety before they were relegated back to their underground lair.

    On my last visit to Auckland I was pleased to notice that a pedestrian crossing has mysteriously appeared, directly in front of the engineering building AND directly above the underpass. For a moment I wondered why a street level crossing wasn’t installed in the first place, rather than building the underpass (which must surely have been a costly exercise). But then I remembered that I’ve learnt to stop asking questions about the state of transport in Auckland…

    • Mr Anderson

      Yeah that underpass is pretty useless because it’s so difficult to find the entry points at either side and because you do need to go down, across then up. The other underpass – further north linking HSB and the Arts 1 building with the Library was always extremely well used because you didn’t need to detour to use it.

      • David O

        The Arts / HSB to Library underpass is better used, but not much, and _mostly_ in one direction, from Arts to the Library, much less so in the opposite direction. I think this has a lot to do with desire lines – people are unconsciously steered by their environment, and exiting Arts the underpass is right there. Coming from the Library it isn’t such an obvious path.

        The Engineering to Science / Information Commons should be turned into a bowling alley or something else more useful.

        The hilarious thing about Symonds St is all the hoopla about how pedestrian-friendly it was being made when the busway was built. Pedestrian-friendly in the parallel-warped universe of Auckland transport engineering, but not in any universe real people actually live in.

        The only proper way to deal with Symonds St and the University if it is to continue to function as a busway and major arterial is to bury the road. Like that’s ever going to happen.

        • No, burying the road would be to spend millions and millions to prioritise traffic. Those millions would be better spent elsewhere to provide better alternatives to having to use traffic. Including needing to bring so many buses through there.

          • David O

            You’re right about the cost Patrick – much too high for the benefit compared to other uses of what? – got to be 100+ million at least, which would buy a whole lot of cycleway. It might have been an option when they were doing the busway planning some time back, or spending all that money paving Grafton Gully, but not now, I agree. It might still be worth it if the end-goal was a buses only tunnel (like Seattle: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metro_Bus_Tunnel) but that seems unlikely to be needed if the CRL eventually goes ahead.

            For a lot less money, banning cars through the campus (from Anzac to the intersection with Wakefield St) would be a good start – given that there are several alternative routes for the stretch of Symonds St that bisects the campus. Lowering the speed limit on buses that remain, and changing the whole lot to a surface that said ‘shared space’ would also be (relatively) cheap and could make a big difference to the sense of the Universities as, you know… people-friendly spaces.

            As a buses-only route they could also have stops more evenly spread along the University stretch of the road. At the moment stops are at the far ends of the campus stretch of the street, and much too cramped for the numbers of buses served. Its unbearable how often buses get held up by one another at the stops because of the space give over to cars (and even more annoying when a driver uses the congestion as an excuse not to stop and sneaks past, when people are clearly requesting them to stop…).

  • Christopher

    You have hit the nail on the head here: in terms of physical energy, it is more expensive to go down under, across then up (or up, across then down), than straight across a space. Which is why people will dice with death to conserve physical energy. And that’s why people still in Sth Auckland attempt to run across the motorway, rather than using the underpass.

  • Torbayite

    What I would like somone to do is to video symonds street, recording buses rate per 5 minute intervals, for an hour and post in on u -tube. This would record buses per hour visually. This would be useful to see visually as part of the debate for CRL is that we can increase bus numbers. Seeing in practice 100 buses per hour in a bus lane makes it easier to visualise what 400 per hour would look like (or more realistically not look like as it is propably not possible if they have to stop and pick up drop off at a normal stop at a rate of on every 10 seconds)

  • Christopher T

    I endorse both awards wholeheartedly: they’re timely and highly appropriate. And, yes, Daighi, the engineers did paint a pedestrian crossing over the underpass in, I think, 1977 (or soon after the underpass was constructed); the only intelligent thing UoA engineers ever did, at least in my opinion as a self-righteous prat who at the time was the proud owner of a bright pink shirt. And yes Christopher, any time you question ACC/AT traffic engineers about their inherent bias against pedestrians, particularly in respect of traffic light timings, you get the brush off, even if you’re a Board member. It’s depressing.

    • Stu Donovan

      Glad I’m not the only one here who owns a pink shirt; the external validation of my personal choices is very fulfilling.

      Keep questioning those engineers at ACC/AT: Even better take photos and get some of your own traffic counts. It’s much harder for them to fob you off when you turn up with some “hard evidence” of the problem, i.e. 5,000 pedestrians getting 10 seconds of green time every sixth full-moon whereas 1 car towing a boat gets the rest.

      • David O

        I have a pink shirt too… although I almost always wear another layer on top of it…

        I’m sure they know very well that the pedestrians and bus passengers inconvenienced outnumber the drivers by some margin. But everyone knows drivers are in a hurry so by definition their time must be worth more money… so clearly… well, we all know the rest.

      • “Even better take photos and get some of your own traffic counts.”

        There’s an idea I can get behind. ;-)

        This intersection on Symonds Street was high on my to-do list to record photographically, but you’ve done a fine job of covering it. On to the next one…

    • Filde

      About time someone painted some new lines…

  • Jerome

    I have crossed this intersection almost every day for the last one and a half years and am pleased to see it getting the ‘award’. Thousands of students cross it everyday, particularly because the Bus Stops are south of the intersection and so Wellesley St must be crossed to reach the uni buildings.
    Very few wait for the pedestrian traffic signal, admittedly myself included. I frequently see people begin to cross before suddenly running back in order to escape the path of an oncoming bus that is charging downhill.
    I think that the reason why so many flaunt the pedestrian lights is because it does not turn green often enough, as the post identifies, but also because it is located in-between two other road crossings – that of St Paul’s St as well as the other Wellesley St crossing. These crossings are of an equal size to the one in question but are pedestrian crossings. This difference has an effect of encouraging jay-walking as there appears to be little difference between the three crossings apart from the fact that this one requires pedestrians to wait.
    However I can understand that making this crossing a pedestrian crossing is not possible because vehicles turning right from Symonds St onto it would block oncoming traffic while waiting for pedestrians to cross. So increasing the frequency of the green pedestrian light is probably the best solution to the problem.

  • David O

    My personal favourite ‘be polite on public transport’ poster is this one: http://southosullivan.com/japan/images/20120605213607_dsc02006.jpg

    Only in Tokyo would this even be contemplated.

    • Stu Donovan

      That’s so odd and so funny at the same time. Careful handling a wet umbrella – as opposed to a dry one, because everyone knows it’s appropriate to impale other people with a drym umbrella.

    • jpa

      Japan is packed to the gills with do this do that announcements. It’s not an admirable tendency at all, in all honesty it is overkill and on a day to day basis a complete pain in the bum. The constant repeition also reinforces the nail the sticks out gets hammered down conformist tendency in the society. Honestly, they need to relax.

      Every time i go I end up yelling “I KNOW the bloody doors are opening I’ve got a pair of eyes in my head you morons”.

      Ahem.

      • David O

        I take it you can see the irony in the intensity of your post and thinking that the Japanese need to relax… the uptightness in general of the Japanese is well known, all just part of life’s rich tapestry.

        I like the poster for its weird combination of small cute animal (a strange Japanese public advice poster fixation), highly specific subject matter (the proper handling of a wet umbrella), and also for the unstated implication: the Tokyo Metro is so super-high-functioning that they have the luxury of focusing the behave-yourself posters on marginal stuff like wet umbrellas!

        It would be pretty cool if wet umbrellas were a major concern for Auckland’s PT system – if we ever do get to that point, I’ll be relaxed about being reminded about it, because it would mean they had fixed a whole lot of much more important ‘problems’.

      • Brodie Davis

        I am pretty sure the “doa ga shimarimasu” is for the blind people.

  • Publius

    I’d like to see society crack down on people who insist on playing music out loud in a bus/train instead of using earphones. It’s not acceptable. This is where the QR campaign works great — by publishing etiquette you feel empowered to give people glaring looks rather than thinking “its just me that has the problem with their behaviour”.

  • The obvious solution to the Symonds St intersection imbalance is to remove the disruptive and time consuming right hand turn into Wellesley St from Symonds St. This is the most complicated and complicating manoeuvre of the whole thing and serves very few vehicle movements. Movements which could be served by the controlled intersection at Wakefield St.

    Then the frequency of pedestrian cycles could increase significantly without slowing down the flow of buses and cars here. It would also free up roadspace currently reserved for the exclusive use of these right turning vehicles to carry the buslanes through uninterrupted [from memory they break here?] or the provision of a bike lane which is sorely needed on this street serving two universities.

    And a Barnes Dance could then operate, this would be so much safer as there is a defacto one there now with pedestrians getting sick of waiting and crossing at all times, and especially crossing on all directions when one cross signal is green. Simple is always better, two alternating cycles: All walking, or all driving. Done.

    Is it likely that some drivers would be frustrated by this and stop using Symonds St?, I would hope so, it appears we have seen a considerable reduction in general traffic here since the last upgrade and at no noticeable cost to surrounding streets, so why not continue to encourage the uptake of other options on high pedestrian volume streets?

    As a rule Auckland is too big now to try to accommodate so many different movements at it city intersections, especially where each one is given its own lane and controlled cycle. These are the movements that slow down all the cycles and are also particularly dangerous to pedestrians as vehicles approach from unexpected and out of sight directions.

    I would love to see a study of high pedestrian and potentially high pedestrian streets in Auckland which would examine two things with a bias towards removing both unless there is a strong case for their retention:

    1. Left turning slip lanes
    2. Right turns across traffic

    Flow of all movements [on foot or wheeled] would be rationalised, simplified, and time wasted waiting would be reduced. And safety would be greatly enhanced.

  • cam

    From memory the phasing at the intersection has been changed, the first 6 months/year or so after the upgrade I’m sure there was double-phasing for pedestrians (or at least shorter waiting times) and crossing with the green man was never an issue, I noticed that it changed a couple of years ago to the point that it was not worth waiting – I wasnt particualrly interested in turning a 5 minute walk to Queen St into a 10min one.

  • Max

    Pedestrians crossing on their own will and choosing? Quick – get out the pedestrian fences and pen them in!

    Yes, definitely agree that this crossing is ridiculously unattractive.

    Why not replace it with a speed table zebra crossing? Why keep the signal at all?

    • Max

      Actually, I know what the answer is to that – “but a right turn across a zebra crossing is too unsafe”. Well, then the speed table is obviously not vicious enough… ;-)

      Or take Patrick’s suggestion, and ban the turn – though I dislike the tendency to ban lots of turns. That just makes our network less and less flexible, and turns it into a maze. We should ideally work to reduce car convenience (such as making drivers wait longer at intersections, in comparison to other modes), not reduce route flexibility.

      • David O

        Although when drivers are made to wait there is a tendency for them to start running reds or at least racing orange lights – which just adds to the fun. It’s not particularly clear that this turn is necessary given all the other right turns off Symonds St just a bit further along which will get you to Mayoral Drive just as quickly, especially given that Wellesley St down to Queen St is now bus only, and so of little use to non-buses making this right turn…

        • Good point, as a motorist you can really only head to Mayoral or into Kitchener from there.. I think a lot of the movements on Symonds could be streamlined if Wakefield St was signalised an prioritised as the main vehicular link between Symonds St and Mayoral/the centre of town.

  • LucyJH

    I totally agree about the under pass. I think it’s a particularly powerful psychological thing when it’s raining – if you are coming from Arts, you think “woohoo, I can stay under shelter” – and you take the under pass, even though you know you’ll eventually have to come out. But if you are coming from the library or quad, you think “Hmmph, I’m going to get wet whichever way I go and so instead you go and stand on the intersection of Symonds and Grafton, along with maybe 100 other pedestrians, and watch say 25 people in cars drive through.

    I also think that same intersection you highlighted is fairly shit for cyclists, mainly because if they stay where they legally should be on the road then they end up inhaling heaps of bus fumes when the buses start up the hill. Then they have to leap frog with the buses all the way up Symonds Street, inhaling fumes and swerving from side to side. The thing is that the other side of Symonds Street (the K Road side) has a footpath that is ALMOST wide enough for a cycle lane – I reckon. It would not take much extra space to make it viable…the only bit that is tight and can’t really be widened without killing a lot of trees would be the part right outside the uni – where the gym is.

  • Ari

    let’s just remove all the lights and let the pedestrians get run over. if there is no safe place to cross then i fully support a safe crossing going in even if it means delay for vehicles. if they want to break the law and cross when they shouldn’t then i have no sympathy for them. the three intersections along there all have double sped phases during the day so maybe get your facts straight first. the buses along there carry alot of passengers and more delay for them means more complaints from them about always stopping for a few pedestrians or waiting forever because of stupid Barnes dances. aggressive speed tables are bad for buses bad for emissions bad for passengers experience. you are damNed if you do, damned if you don’t. the only thing traffic engineers hear is they are a bunch of idiots. lets forget that they continue to reduce accidents and make the roads safer for everyone,saving lives and reducing congestion. without them we have and a India style free for all shared space and 200k deaths every year.

    • I am not confident it is double phased now, will have a look on Friday.

      I have the answer above, you are right the buses are doing an important job through there, but we could simplify and speed up the cycles for everyone if we remove the little used and dangerous right hand turn. Unlike Max I am for restricting the ‘I must be allowed everywhere’ default setting we have for vehicle access in the inner city. Remember this is actually a complicated K shaped intersection as St Paul St is also part of the system and simplifying it down to all drive or all walk would be a huge benefit.

      I’m sorry if traffic engineers’ feelings get hurt by criticism but we have no choice but to live in the world they make so until they do a better job and stop only working for drivers they are going to have to put up with a great deal more of it.

      • Ari

        oh, i didn’t know it was the engineers that made the decisions about funding projects. here i was thinking we were in a democracy where elected officials determine the allocation of funding and direct it. council engineers only do what they’re told to by council to make happen. it is council who can’t decide what competing interest they want to support. this site doesn’t work with ie so i have to type this out on my phone and it really annoys me. i don’t go through there all the time but im pretty certain all three intersections along there near uni run the ped phase twice during the day. not sure in the evening as i leave work around 3. my point is not about their feelings but don’t expect traffic engineers to be amiable to suggestions if all people do is criticise their work. they are a stubborn lot afterall.

        • … ‘just following orders’, never heard that before… oh wait…

          • Max

            Patrick, if you restrict movement options, all you end up with is the cul-de-sac mazes (except for the inner city, rather than the suburbs) that people like Joshua Arbury correctly decry as making trips much longer and more inflexible that they need to be. I am all for increasing pedestrian (and of course, bike) priority. But in most case it should be done in a consistent manner, for example by decreasing the time provided to cars at intersections, rather than by creating ever more complex restrictions and movement patterns. Doing that is actually more “engineering-focussed” than you claim to be ;-)

          • Max

            So in the example, the through buses southbound on Symonds would retain the same normal phasing, but the through-and-right general traffic lane… well, if someone arrives there and wants to turn right into Wellesley, and can’t because he’s got a red arrow because the peds have been given a lot more time…. well, he can still do the turn, but he will be held up longer (and maybe some cars behind him too). Tough, they will have to deal with it. I am okay with that.

          • I understand that, but in this case there would seem to be very little benefit and a great deal of cost to retaining the rihjt hand turn. To the intersection’s phasing, to simplicity and legibility of movement, and to the roadspace on Symonds. In this case I think removing it should be analysised and considered.

          • Max

            Well, I will go as far as saying that in the choice between “do nothing” and “ban the right turn”, banning it would come out clearly on top in my book too.

          • Yipee! Welcome to the dark side Max! [evil laugh]

          • Ari

            this has nothing to do with moral responsibility and you know it. engineers always put safety first but they can’t hold everyone’s hand.at the end of the day it is lack of political will that makes decisions, not the engineers.
            Stu they must switch it off after 5 or something. someone else mentioned speed tables.one problem is that traffic engineers don’t see anything as wrong with the status quo. regarding drivers breaking the law, they suffer the consequences as well. suppressing drivers only increases red light running which is more dangerous than pedestrian delay. so what is the safest option? engineers can fix stupid people.

          • “at the end of the day it is lack of political will that makes decisions, not the engineers.”

            Oh yes street design and transport decisions are ultimately political but technical issues and opinions have a great deal of influence, especially at the fine detail level.

            “engineers always put safety first”

            I don’t doubt it, but here, in my view, that hasn’t been done well [who ever did it]. And why? Because of the thing that those who make road design decisions in Auckland have for a long time have put a very close second: Auto-privilege.

            Anyway this is about how we might improve a complicated and busy intersection not about a witch hunt.

        • Stu Donovan

          Engineers don’t always put safety first Ari. Vehicle capacity is often king: That’s why we have so many intersections where pedestrian crossings have been dropped. Or are you going to suggest that’s for their own safety? Balderdash!

    • Stu Donovan

      Ari:
      1.Intersection did not appear to be double-phased to me. I was there during 5-6pm so maybe it changes then?
      2. The old “you break the law and you deserve to die argument” eh? It’s an oldie, and a suckie. Drivers break the law every time they do more than 50km/hr and/or run an orange/red light. Diddums!
      3. Not sure why you’re talking about speed tables, the post does not mention speed tables.
      4. Traffic engineers do some good things, but they also need to own their mistakes (even the historical ones) and demonstrate how we (yes, I am a transport engineer) can still add value by bringing technical expertise to complex problems, lest we risk being sidelined by urban designers and architects.
      5. I am not suggesting changes that would impact greatly on buses so long as other improvements were made.

      • morecityplease

        money quote: “lest we risk being sidelined by urban designers and architects.” you have been warned.

          • Stu what has got you so worked up about those evil and powerful creatures, ‘urban designers and architects’? Is it the so called Quay St Stitch? Trouble fitting the buses in?

          • Stu Donovan

            Patrick it’s not so much about fitting buses in, as it is about getting urban designers/architectural community to stop hating buses full-stop. Auckland has a long history of hating on buses and still does not provide anything for their needs, despite the fact that 5-10 times as many plebs use them as other PT modes.

          • Stu Donovan

            P.s. It’s just a ploy by which I can shirk responsibility for Auckland’s failures from engineers, such as myself, to another profession :). Share the blame around a bit you know?

  • James M

    In the same manner as the Symonds St pedestrian crossing debacle, I’d like to also nominate the Park Ave – Park Road intersection outside Grafton campus & the hospital. Almost a constant stream of students, hospital staff, patients & visitors, workmen and others walking along Park Road, to or from the shops – and only a handful of cars, who get two northbound and one southbound lane. At least there’s a stop sign which cars occasionally stop at, but I can’t see how this isn’t either a crossing or a raised road-thing (can’t remember the name, but like the ones going in on Tamaki Drive) to slow traffic down.

    Fairly typical of Auckland to give such priority to cars over everyone else, but I thought given the proximity to a hospital and campus a bit more thought might have gone into being slightly more pedestrian-friendly…

    • Scott

      It has a zebra crossing when i lived there. google street view shows a zebra crossing…

      • Max

        This one has a bit of a sad history – apparently, the Resident’s associated said the zebra over three lanes was unsafe when it was first planned (a bit before my time, in the area, so I have to take that on faith). Then it was built with three lanes and a zebra anyway.

        Come half a year or so later, Council suddenly decided that a zebra over three lanes WAS unsafe after all. So they one day just took it out. No other action.

        So myself and the Grafton Resident’s Association complained. Council eventually agreed that something would be done – but not until after the works at the Grafton Campus of the medical school were done.

        So we chased it up recently, and they said they would put in a speed table in place during the next financial year (a bit like further west, at Seafield View Road). But I understand they will retain the three lanes, which I think is overkill for a side street. Anyway, at least it will be a lot safer and more pleasant for peds. Eventually.

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