28 comments

    1. Don’t see it like that. See it as one of the baby steps Auckland took on the way to the better stuff we are getting now.

    2. This was the last pre- shared space upgrade. It’s frustrating, but the wins there removing parking and specifying high quality finishes paved the way for the shared spaces.

      1. Maybe one day we’ll be talking about how Fort Street was a missed opportunity because it wasn’t fully pedestrianised.

        It’s easy to get disheartened about the lack of progress re-humanising the city centre. But if you look at how things have changed even in the last 10 years, it’s pretty obvious that incrementalism and half-arsed slight improvements are always better than doing nothing while you wait for something better. They help keep the momentum for bigger and better things in the future. It’s very much a virtuous cycle.

        On the other hand, that frustration is what keeps you pushing for change in the first place.

  1. I would almost argue that we need to take a NYC approach to shared spaces for a while. The looming AC debt increase has me concerned at spending overall. Some planters, bollards and paint could work wonders for the time being and put off some spending for a while. My concern is not limited to transport / placemaking of course.

    1. Cut out a few hundred million dollar roads and the council would have enough money to fund public realm upgrades for many years to come. These upgrades are cheap c.f. what they blow on road widening.

      1. Bryce is actually right that in terms of “spend by kilometre”, these upgrades are reasonably expensive. However, they also provide really high-class results, and (from what AT told the traffic industry in a few public presentations) are designed with long-life, low-maintenance in mind. Hopefully that’s true, on top of the quality urban sphere results.

        1. As i said, my concern is not limited to transport related spending. You might want to know the AC are anticipating to increase debt in the draft 2014-15 annual plan by a sum of $900M. Good design is a must but firstly we have to prioritise Council spending and only spend what is available.

          1. So? You are aware how big Auckland Council is right?
            Are you objecting to debt increase because you’ve benchmarked AC with other councils of a similar size overseas and found AC relatively more indebted, or objecting because you must don’t like debt in any form (I won’t ask if you have a mortgage on your house)?

          2. I’m well aware how big Auckland council is. I’m not benchmarking them against anyone as I am solely concerned with Auckland’s financial budgets. Going from $6.5B to $7.4B debt in a single 12 month period is a huge increase. What’s that, something like 12% in a single financial year? I’m more than ok with debt but this, in my opinion, is a vastly excessive increase.

          1. For all that it’s ugly, the sign’s still a legal necessity. They could do with that “10” sign on Fort Street, which still has a default 50 limit…

            I wonder about having a speed limit system and shared-space system that simply relies on the actual built environment. No kerbs or painted shoulder = 10 + give way to peds, no centreline = 30, no median strip = 50, and speed limit signs would be reserved for the few exceptions, and arterials and highways. Would that be too confusing for people?

            We should also be able to get rid of a lot of parking signs if we follow America’s example and paint the kerbs.

            Red = no stopping,
            White = pickup/dropoff,
            Yellow = loading zones,
            Green = time restricted, typically P10 (they don’t do it in America, but you could even stencil the time limit onto the kerb rather than a sign),
            Blue = disabled parking.
            Unpainted = long-stay, either metered or unmetered.

            Again, America doesn’t even take advantage of its own system and they generally have signs as well. But as long as you have standard rules, you can rely on paint alone, and only put up signs if the parking rules are more generous than the default.

          2. Steve D – I agree 100% on Fort Street. I watched a car today driving way too fast for the shared space almost hit a boy (maybe 10 years old) on his skateboard. Luckily he managed to stop just in time.

            I am sure the driver thought that the boy was to blame but he is doing exactly what the shared space is designed for. The car should be doing walking pace – 10km/h max – and that message needs to get through to drivers.

            In saying that, it is great to see that 90% of drivers in the shared space seem to have the right attitude. It might take 30 seconds extra to drive that short stretch at an appropriate speed.

          3. I guess the biggest problem with coloured kerbs is colour-blindness. But traffic lights are slightly tinted to avoid red-green blindness, is that possible for paint, too? Or again, by using stencils?

            @goosoid:
            The worst are cars and especially vans going into and out of the Lumley carpark. The whole street suddenly becomes wide and barren there, and it encourages drivers to make very fast turns, probably faster than when they had to cross a kerb cut and avoid parked cars. It needs some necking down, as well as just a speed limit.

  2. The Elliot St shared space certainly seems to have resulted in higher ped flows. PINZ count in 2010 was 470 and increased to 876 in 2012. cf Lorne Street which has stayed stable.

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