Through the wonders of modern smartphones I’ve put together a sped up clip of a few minutes activity at a downtown intersection. This shows the intersection of High St, Shortland St and the Jean Batten Pl shared space in action. This clip shows everything, pedestrians crossing every which way, cyclists weaving through queues of traffic, drivers going the wrong way down the street and the inevitable tradesmen doing dodgy u-turns.

The funny thing is it all seems to work in harmonious chaos, although it does make you wonder if a ped crossing might straighten things out a bit.

PS: sorry about the music!

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  1. In that clip the number of pedestrians in the area is much greater than the number of people in cars, so why do the cars get so much priority here?

  2. I counted 4 westbound cars parking across the intersection of High St when the queue for Queen St backs up. Maybe instead of a ped crossing, yellow X markings painted across the entire intersection would be better to allow pedestrians a clear view instead of trying to squeeze in front of and behind cars? The other thing that would’ve been helpful here is a tripod 😉

    1. Why? Just make it a ped crossing then it has to be left clear, and pedestrians still don’t have to look around cars.

      1. Well for one thing it would be cheaper to paint it. Secondly, the rules around a pedestrian crossing would back the entire road up, as cars would have to wait until each pedestrian had left the crossing entirely before they could drive through. And going by the amount of peds in that video that would be a very long wait!

      2. No need for cross hatching or a ped crossing. That entire 15m section of shortland St that’s intersected by Jean Batten and High St is an intersection and no cars in either direction should be queuing there anyway.

    1. Yes. Or if not, at least install some of those flexible barrier thingmabobs along the Shortland Street centreline, to prevent idiots driving the wrong way down the street in the meantime.

  3. A pedestrian crossing is not really needed as it is easy to cross due to traffic lights on the corner with Queen St. A traffic island may help a people get taken unaware of traffic overtaking other vehicles to turn right into Jean Batten Place.

    Ideally the 30Kph speed limit should be extended from Queen St and applied to the whole of the Jean Batten Place, Fort, O’Connell, Chancery, High and Lorne Streets. The real issue in the area is the hoons who speed through the pedestrian area at 50K trying to intimidate pedestrians.

    The council still need to sort out the speed limit signs in the area. The 30K speed limit in Queen St being of dubious legality as it is not enclosed by signs with the reduced speed limit. As I recall when the area was pedestrianised the spokesperson said they wished to reduced the amount of street signs, I did not realise, removing the speed limit signs was what was meant.

    1. What so you think people wanting to cross the road to/from Jean Batten Pl should detour down to Queen St to cross and then back up. That adds up to about a 130m detour.

      1. No, they do what they do now, cross the road. The vehicles are generally stationary as they have to wait for the lights to change at the junction of Queen street and Shortland street. The long pedestrian phase between each car phase gives plenty of time to cross the road. I can cross the lower part of shortland street and be much safer than when I cross Ponsonby road.

  4. that Audi move was dodgy as… but then, Audi drivers.
    Still surprises me that so few Aucklanders ride motorbikes or scooters though. Even today under the mightiest storms I made it home on my motorbike dry and quickly.

  5. Phew! Did you see the way those pedestrians nearly hit the cars? It’s obvious that cars are in great danger here due to all those people walking; what’s the matter with them? Can’t they afford cars? Or maybe they’re all anxious to get to Crane Brothers?
    I use this area often and I’ve taken to just walking out in front of cars; sometimes it’s the only way to get across. The whole situation is ridiculous.

  6. I noticed in the Auckland City Advisory Board agenda, that the O’Connell St businesses are advocating for the street to be pedestrianised (something like 11am to midnight). AT is currently doing a feasibility study, so hopefully it goes ahead. I wouldn’t mind seeing the same thing done for Jean Batten Place with a few bollards at the Shortland St entrance, it’s silly to have to dodge cars coming from both directions on the Fort St shared space.

    1. Lol, that was fast. Two years ago, the initial proposal was for a “typical street with some prettied-up footpaths”!

      1. Yes Auckland is at last catching up with the global movement to reshape cities to a better less auto-centric paradigm. It seems fast cos we’ve been so slow!

  7. Jean Batten Place does not need to be open to Shortland St for vehicles. It operates purely as a rat run. Close that and it makes it far simpler to build a crossing to High St. Of note, the crossing may appear safe but that is for able bodied adults exclusively. Not an 8 to 80 environment.

    1. As the pedestrian phase at the Queen Street junction with Shortland street is frequent and relatively long, it is safer and easier to cross than most uncontrolled crossings in Auckland. Even my 92 year old father in law can and does cross it safely.
      As the vehicles that use Jean Batten Place are trying to avoid Queen St, I would argue this is a good thing as it reduces traffic on Queen St.

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