There are plenty of obnoxious pedestrian crossings out there but thankfully we can cross one off the list. The train station at Henderson always seems to be a fairly busy place these days, even off peak there always seems to be people waiting to get on a train (e.g. early this afternoon I witnessed around 40 people getting on a two car train to head towards town). There are also a lot of people that get to the town centre by way of bus and there are a number of bus stops alongside the station. Many of the people from the trains and buses are heading towards the Henderson town centre and to do so many use the crossing in the image below.
Now at first glance the crossing is quite good, it is at the base of the entrance to the station, there is even a speed table that is designed to slow cars down and is high enough that it means there is no kerb. All of these things are designed to make it easier for pedestrians but what made this crossing so obnoxious is that despite getting 95% of the things right to become a great pedestrian crossing but it failed on perhaps the most basic hurdle. For some reason the designers of the crossing decided to put these signs on it.
These signs just help to reinforce that as a PT user or walker you are considered a second class citizen. Thankfully though, this has now changed and this is the appearance of the crossing today.
Such a simple, cheap and easy change has made this pedestrian crossing into what it always should have been and all it took was a the removal of the signs and a bit of white paint. I suspect that a large part of the reason this particular crossing was upgraded has a lot to do with the new occupants of the building in the background of the above picture. It is the former site of the Waitakere City Council and is now the home of Auckland Transport and I would guess a decent number of the staff there would use this crossing regularly for things like getting lunch from the Westfield mall which is located right behind where I was standing.
This wasn’t the only crossing in Henderson to have signs telling pedestrians they need to wait and there were a few others installed nearby along Gt North Rd. Unfortunately the signs explaining that cars come first still exist so come on AT, why not give them a similar quick and cheap upgrade and help to make Henderson more pedestrian friendly.