On Tuesday evening was the latest Auckland Conversations event, with Skye Duncan, Global Street Design Director at NACTO. If you weren’t at the event here’s the video.

Over 1.2 million people die on global roads each year from traffic injuries. With three-quarters of the global population expected to be living in cities by 2050, cities must rethink, reimagine and redesign the most valuable real-estate space of streets to function more efficiently for the needs of more people.

Skye Duncan will present the upcoming Global Street Design Guide (link is external) and discuss opportunities for cities to be creative about the infrastructure they already have, and improve the capability of urban streets to support a healthy, livable, and sustainable future.

With input from transportation experts from 72 cities in 42 countries, this Guide is intended as a tool to inspire leaders, inform practitioners and empower communities to shift how they measure the success of streets to include goals of public health and safety, quality of life, social equity and environmental and economic sustainability.

Produced by the Global Designing Cities Initiative (link is external) (GDCI) in partnership with the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) (link is external), the Global Street Design Guide is funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies as part of the Bloomberg Initiative for Global Road Safety (link is external).

It was a great talk, showing lots of examples of how streets can be redesigned and it will be interesting to see how the Global Street Guide influences change. One interesting comment from the evening was actually from Ludo Campbell-Reid who said that Auckland Transport are currently leading the creation of a street design guide. It will be interesting to see what they come up with and how it compares to some of ideas shown in the global guide or that we’ve seen in many other cities in recent years.

Did you go to the event or have you watched it, if so What were your thoughts?

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  1. I have attended the seminar. It was impressive with a few people asking critical questions.

    One of the question asked is how could the council gain support from the stakeholders and dealing with compromises.

    For example in high street, all it takes is one or two noisy business owner to reject the street to be pedestrianized.

    Should great visions be more proactively advertised to gain public support?

  2. Another point I would suggest, is the council should start to investigate upgrading the alley between queen st and Albert st.

    For example they could beautify Durham lane and Millis lane. Then encourage buildings to build arcades connecting Elliot street, Durham lane, Millis lane, and custom street.

    Once the CRL Aotea station is built, great connections between Albert st and queen st will be needed.

  3. Priorities for road corridor design should be in order – 1. pedestrians/bikes 2. bus and 3. cars. If you’ve only got a 20-metre wide road corridor with existing bus lanes or bus lanes earmarked for that corridor, the priority is to take the cars out, keep/put the buses in and configure paths for foot traffic / slow cycling. Just look at Japan where many suburban arterial routes are narrow, do not allow any on-street parking whatsoever, give buses priority (often without special lanes and bus stop pull-ins), allow bicycles to either share the road safely with buses or share the footpath safely with pedestrians and thus overall, discourage car-based travel as bus/bike travel options are faster, more efficient and more enjoyable. Speed limits on suburban roads in JP are often 30-40kph and that makes bus journey times reliable because the lower speed limit encourages cars onto tolled motorways where they can 80-100kph ‘speed’ to their destination. Those lower speed limits on suburban roads, the corridor shared space design and the tolled motorways, prevent road rage. There are just as many ‘crusty old buggers’ and ‘young whippersnappers’ in JP as there are in NZ – they’re making trouble ‘off the road’ and not from behind the wheel of a car.

  4. That is well worth watching and quite short. She speaks from 10:50 through to 49mins if you want to avoid the windbags.

  5. Thanks for posting. Funny how none of those designs feature the median strips and right-turning bays that our transport planners seem to prioritise over cycle lanes.

    1. I was thinking about this a bit after I was almost ran over on a Beach Rd cycleway yesterday, by a car turning right into one of the business there. He “had no other option” than cutting me off, as there was a car coming from the opposite side and if he was to give me way, he would’ve slowed it down… hmmm… While there is no median flush, banning right turns altogether might be the smart thing to do in many places around CBD.

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