Wednesday 25th May

Khyber Pass crossings feedback

Where: see online form
When: 4pm

Speak up for raised crossings on slip lanes at the top of Khyber Pass Rd, which will help slow traffic and make things safer for pedestrians and people on bikes.

Khyber Pass Road is not one of our nicest streets, when it comes to walking or cycling. And the intersection with Symonds Street is particularly dire, despite being a more and more urban area.

Sweeping “slip lanes” designed for large trucks and speeding cars allow drivers to whip around the corner with little consideration of crossing pedestrians (or cyclists riding through on the other road). Many drivers look for cars on the crossroads instead, hoping they might be able to get lucky and find a gap without having to slow down much at all.

"No need to slow down", this generous curve tells the driver...
“No need to slow down!”, this generous curve tells the driver…

So we are pleased to see Auckland Transport is proposing to add zebra crossings on both slip lanes. Pedestrians get right of way, cars have to stop for them. People on bikes also profit – because many of us are riding along the roads that these slip lanes join, and we like that joining traffic to not cut us off quite as speedily.

So – good move, Auckland Transport. Thank you for recognising that Newton is very much urban, and that pedestrians need to be higher in the pecking order.

Slip Lanes Khyber Pass
Auckland Transport plans to add zebra crossings…

But as we know, often enough, cars slowing down is *not* what happens consistently at such crossings. Especially when the geometry doesn’t force any slowing-down at all.

And once in a while, the fact that these curves are designed for such fast traffic will cause a lot of grief. Which is why we feel these zebra crossings need more.

If the slip lanes cannot be removed and made part of the traffic signals (cause cars…), then we ask that Auckland Transport place the two new zebra crossings on raised speed tables.These mean that drivers have to traverse a short ramped section, which ensures that speeds slow down. No wonder NZTA’s own manuals (Pedestrian Planning & Design Guide) credit zebra crossings with a raised table with a whopping 80% (!) combined crash reduction for pedestrians. In traffic engineering, often you are happy to get 10-20% from a treatment.

Beach Road example of a raised table.
… this is on Beach Road: an example of the raised zebra crossing we support.

We appreciate that this will be a little bit more costly. But the change will be worth it, by making our roads safer.

The consultation says “The new design provides a short crossing path, especially for children, parents and the elderly.” Well, these are exactly the people for which slowing down car traffic will make the biggest difference.

The feedback form is here, and consultation has been extended to 25 May.

Please tell AT you support the proposed zebra crossings – but that at such an exposed location, and on such a main walking route into the City Centre, they need to raise the bar by adding raised tables!

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10 responses to “Crossing Khyber Pass (Road) – consultation extended

  1. Thanks for posting this. I live in the apartment next to this and it’s one of the first things I noticed, that intersection is like a hostile interchange! I’ve been meaning to request AT take a look at adding pedestrian crossings for a month now. Well, surprise, they are looking to do it anyway!

    It’s so strange to keep those fast slip lanes where they are, there’s plenty of room to change the geometry.

    If a raised table is added it will need to be just a car length from the give way. Otherwise there will be an increase in engine noise. ie. bad drivers will brake, accelerate, brake, accelerate…

    1. “It’s so strange to keep those fast slip lanes where they are, there’s plenty of room to change the geometry.”

      Cost and (vehicle) capacity…

        1. This intersection was rebuilt in the 1990s with vehicle capacity as the priority front and centre. Originally Khyber Pass and Newton Rd did not line up and the whole thing was much more civilized, but a whole block of heritage buildings were removed for a faster intersection – this is where Citta stands today.

          1. This was the intersection in 1959, that alignment was still like that up til about 1996/1997 from memory (from the GIS viewer, the corner building is still there in 1996 imagery but the one adjacent just got bowled)

          2. That’s why the crossing is so wide there then. Even with the huge footpath bulb out in front of bike barn.

  2. Totally agree. Major pedestrian traffic here at peak and lunch hours.
    Am I right thinking there will be a train station here in future too?
    In addition, the pedestrian islands are too small and there is a lot of room to expand them, as evidenced by the glass debris ‘sneckdowns’. Bigger islands would reduce the distance to cross, and if necessary, could be justified by increasing our holy vehicle capacity through a shorter pedestrian light phase.

    1. No the train station got cancelled. But there will be one about 600 m away down the hill towards Mt Eden. And once construction of that is finished the formerly light industrial area bordered by the triangle of New North Rd, Mt Eden Rd and the railway line will likely become high density residential. But regardless of that, there are so many new apartment buildings in the area anyway, there must be a huge increase in pedestrian activity.

      1. That’s where I was thinking of. Those two intersections are directly linked.

  3. Khyber Pass Rd is one that I always avoid when riding west from Newmarket. The bus lane is full of sunken manhole covers and stormwater catchpit grills that can swallow a road bike wheel whole. Its funny that buses avoid the bus lane too due to the sunken covers, so its always empty in the morning rush hour (what a waste!). I use Carlton Gore then dart through the domain to get into town. If I am heading to Mt Eden I’d go up Seccombes, Mountain Rd and Clive Rd.

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