I was lucky to have the joy of cycling to kura (school) with my friends. I have such happy memories from those journeys, and I stayed active and healthy because of it! My bike gave me freedom – want to go to a friend’s house? No worries, I’ll hop on my bike. And, it set me up for a life-long habit – it’s why I’m cycling for my transport now. To me, it is a great injustice that most children no longer have this freedom; our streets have become so unsafe that many parents and schools ban children from cycling for their journeys. We have an opportunity now with this consultation to make streets around schools safe for kids to walk and cycle for their journeys; and to experience the joy, freedom, and exhilaration that many of us got to have. The Katoa Ka Ora Speed Management Plan proposes to create safer speed areas around many kura (schools) across Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland – and misses others out entirely! Auckland Transport, your local board, and local schools need to hear from you – Fiain d’Leafy
Katoa, Ka Ora Speed Management Plan – Auckland Transport
Waka Kotahi’s Road to Zero strategy includes a key action to have safe speeds around all schools across Aotearoa New Zealand by the end of 2027. It actually requires 40% of these changes to be completed by 30 June 2024! Auckland Transport’s Katoa, Ka Ora is giving effect to those requirements.
The plan proposes:
- school zones so children feel safer walking to school
- safe neighbourhood zones so everyone is safe on roads around their home
- safe rural areas so people are safe on rural roads.
To make your submission:
- Healthy Auckland Together have given ratings to each local board area based on whether the speed changes proposed for around the schools are enough! They’re ranked from Waiheke with an A to Kaipātiki with an F, and list the schools which will miss out. Check out their scorecards to assist with your submission
- This page includes links to summaries in various languages, the full plan, and maps by local board
- Check out AT’s interactive map of proposed changes
- More background on the plan is available here
- Equip yourself with key stats on why safer speeds matter
Make your submission by 28 August. Read on to find out more about safe speeds and how you can help!
Why do safer speeds matter?
Safer speeds keep people safe – it’s in the name! Worldwide research has shown time and time again that 30km/hr is the sweet spot which can turn a deadly crash between a vehicle and someone walking or cycling into something we can get up and walk away from.
Here in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland the evidence is clear: reducing speeds saves lives and reduces harm.
And harm is not only the direct injury; it’s the devastation that rocks a community after losing someone, and the stress whanau go through when someone they love has a long recovery from severe injury.
What’s more, people can feel the difference. 30km/hr streets feel safer, more pleasant, and are quieter. So, people start to walk and cycle for their trips more! This is crucial for us to meet our emissions and mode-shift targets.
A network of 30km/hr streets connected by raised crossings and protected cycleways along arterials would go a long way towards enabling transport choice; and more joyful, resilient, and quieter streets! It’s one of our fastest, most affordable ways of creating safe places to ride from A to B!
What about variable speeds?
In Katoa Ka Ora some schools are listed as having a variable speed limit. This means that they would have a 30km/hr speed limit at the school start and end times, but the speed limit would return to the current limit (likely 50km/hr) for the rest of the day. This would not create the safe streets our children derserve: 85% deaths and serious injuries immediately outside of schools occur outside of pick up and drop off time. Children are still using the streets around schools throughout the whole day; for getting to and from before and after school care, for school trips, and for extra curricular activities like choir, theatre, and sports practice.
Variable speeds are also simply too easy to forget about. A permanent speed change is a much easier habit to follow; and ensures everyone using the street is safer.
You can help make streets safe for kids to walk, cycle and scoot to school! Here’s how:
- Submit on this consultation by the 28 August, letting Auckland Transport know that you support permanent speed changes to 30km/hr around all schools. Make sure to point out the ones they’ve missed. Healthy Auckland Together’s scorecards will help for this! It’s also important to request permanent changes rather than variable ones.
- Write to your local board to let them know you support permanent speed limits of 30km/hr around your local schools. Healthy Auckland Together has created this awesome community information pack (PDF) which includes an awesome template. We also have tips for writing to the local board here.
- Connect with your local schools and encourage them to submit on the consultation, write to their local boards, and present to their local board. Schools can help keep their students safe by telling Auckland Transport and their local board that they support permanent 30 km/hr speed limits on surrounding streets
You could also…
- Share your story with Healthy Auckland Together, so they can learn how dangerous speeds are impacting your community.
- If you’re a school principal or community leader, contact Healthy Auckland Together to explore other ways you can get involved.