Yesterday’s post certainly attracted a lot of comments and a lot of great ideas about ways in which we can improve life for pedestrians in Auckland. I think most helpfully the suggestions didn’t have the CBD focus that I was perhaps worried about – with a nice geographic split. As I noted in yesterday’s post I think that our chances of success are best if we focus on a relatively small number of specific improvements rather than more general (if still justified) statements for how things can be changed.
Funny – I have literally spent dozens of hours getting AT and NZTA to fix that exact spot on the SH20 cycleway. They wouldn’t budge, even with an official CAA complaint. “Straight off the motorway, speed to high etc…” – all we managed to get was some stupidly high planting replaced with low planting to improve the sightlines.
This might be a tough one to resolve (perhaps we’ll counter-balance this with some of the others being easy) but I think it’s worth throwing whatever weight we can behind Cycle Action Auckland’s efforts to get a better result here than sending people for 120m in the wrong direction.
A next “easy win” I think is removing the “pedestrians give way to cars” signs which infest places like Henderson, instead putting in place proper pedestrian crossings. I think this is a pretty easy win as Auckland Transport have already made the change at the crossing over Railside Ave connecting the train station with the mall (just outside their head office, coincidence I wonder?) If the change is OK there I can’t see why we won’t be able to achieve the same thing around the corner on Great North Road. Are there any other spots around Auckland where these signs proliferate?
Shifting onto some changes which are more “software focused”, a few intersections were proposed in the comments as being suitable for changes to phasing or the addition of “legs” onto intersections which currently ignore the fact that pedestrians may not want to have to cross three sides of an intersection rather than just the one. For phasing I think the following:
- Barnes dance at the corner of Albert and Victoria Street (after all that’s what started off this whole discussion
- Barnes dance at the corner of Grafton Road, Park Road and Grafton Bridge
- Reducing the amount of “green time” given to vehicles going up and down Queen Street to slow them down and reallocate time to cross streets (particularly at corner with Wellesley). Same for Quay Street (especially outside Ferry Building).
And in terms of adding legs to intersections, the following seem pretty obvious:
- The Kitchener/Bowen abomination that we’ve been moaning about for quite a while
- A pedestrian leg across Beach Road on the eastern side of the intersection with Anzac Ave
- Same thing just along at the corner of Customs Street, Fort Street and Britomart Place
Some obvious locations for pedestrian crossings:
- Along Ponsonby Road (we’ll do a bit more thinking about the best locations)
- Hill Road outside the Botanic Gardens
- Along Pah Road between Greenwoods corner and Mt Albert Road
Finally, I think we ought to try and do something about this:
These are just my preliminary ideas. I know Kent has some further ideas and discussion may highlight that some of this is unrealistic, will happen anyway, needs to be rolled into something more extensive or perhaps there’s a compelling reason why what we’re suggesting wouldn’t work. Once we’ve got a list finalised we can put together a letter to Auckland Transport (copied to key politicians of course) and hopefully begin the process of making this happen.