The Herald has an interesting article on the speed limit of Ian McKinnon Drive between Dominion Road and the City Centre – which just got lowered from 70 km/h to 60 km/h. As the article points out, dropping the speed limit even lower (to where it should be – 50 km/h) would have created a situation where most drivers would have ignored the new limit. Because the road design simply tells motorists: Speed up here.
Auckland still has a few such remnants of our motorway obsession in the middle of our residential areas, part of the street system where we are supposed to walk and cycle – you could even argue that we are building more such mistakes, but at least new motorways these days usually come with separated walking and cycling links (see Waterview).
Cycle Action strongly supported the speed limit reduction during our work with Auckland Transport last year. The change is very welcome, and together with the new cycle facilities, will make the street much more welcoming to cyclists than the racing strip it used to be (see image to the right for the layout before cycle lanes were added). And an extension of the cycleway facilities uphill to Upper Queen Street is likely to be part of the Northwestern Cycleway extension to be built in the coming years.
But for now, the speed reduction is just one partial step in a long journey of getting our city back to human scale – where people, not cars, dominate. So what other streets around Auckland would you like to change that are signed faster than 50 km/h?