Khyber Pass crossings feedback
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.
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.
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.
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!