I recently complained to AT regarding the intersection at Broadway/Morrow in Newmarket which is very unfriendly to pedestrians due to the high speeds of vehicles moving through which seems to result in constant stream of near misses this was the response

Thank you for contacting Auckland Transport on 27 February regarding pedestrian safety at the Morrow Street/ Broadway intersection.

We are pleased to advise that AT have arranged for additional pavement markings to inform pedestrians to check before crossing.

This intersection is due to be upgraded as part of a private development with the intention of it being signalised. AT have been reviewing the design and are in contact with the developer about this.

We trust the above addresses the issues you have raised and appreciate you taking the time to bring this matter to our attention.

Kind regards

Hopefully the signal upgrades like Mortimer Pass/Broadway with frequent pedestrian phases, and a bus priority signal otherwise people will cross anyway making it a waste of money, or hold up buses for turning traffic.

But the key message for this is if you have a local issue contact AT via Twitter or the website it may just get forwarded to the right place and something done about it.

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33 comments

  1. I looked at it a couple of years back in CAS and found it actually had a surprisingly good crash record. But that’s probably because it feels so hostile, people are extra careful. Not exactly the kind of safety you want in a town centre.

    1. Yes, people are always pulling each other back to the pavement, and lots of ‘WATCH OUT’ as people go to cross while looking the wrong way. Also the intersection is horrid and confusing for drivers as well, so the sheer horridness of it all slows people down.

  2. This intersection is horrible for everyone (cars and peds). Who thought it was a good idea to have a road intersection 2 metres from the main entrance to a shopping centre. There needs to be more space for peds to mill around outside the entrance and for safety. Just close off Morrow St between Bourke and Broadway and make the rest of Morrow two-way. Then we can have nice planting and seating outside the Westfield (like a mini laneway/shared space).

    1. Yes looks tricky for traffic “flow”, having the one way pair with Mortimer Pass, closing that end off off would mean a lot of traffic going along Broadway, left to Khyber, left Gillies, left Morrow. Westfield wouldn’t be happy, but simplifying movements may in fact make this whole area work better.

  3. >> ‘inform pedestrians to check before crossing’

    I see it doesn’t occur to them to inform drivers to check before turning or install a zebra or anything else to make it friendlier to pedestrians. As Nathan L says, it’s ridiculous to have an uncontrolled crossing so close to a major pedestrian destination.

    Edit: Wait, I see I’m being unfair, they’re considering signalising it. That would be an improvement – even better if they extend the footpath space to reduce that turning radius.

  4. Looks like a cars vs cycle needs to be addressed. Six injury crashes in 10 years including 3 cycles and one pedestrian.

  5. Given that the road already carries fewer than 7,000 vehicles a day, surely AT should be force to reduce the road to a single lane and widen the footpaths. This would end half of the problems with the Broadway intersection.

    1. Hell yes! Also, why do people turn right into Morrow? They’re the cars that I worry about when crossing that road. As for how else cars would get to Morrow from Newmarket central, obviously not the rat run with it’s speed tables, which means the motorway feeders of Gillies (then to Mortimer) and K-Pass.

      Signalising the intersection strikes me as a very broad brush for some fine painting. I can’t imagine that it would make pedestrian flows any faster…

  6. Removing the slip lane and island would improve things, as would reducing it to one lane.

    Will the traffic lights allow it to revert to way traffic, or just permit safe right turns into it?

  7. Outside 277 on Broadway its like a motorway on/off ramp pair for traffic.
    You have buses pulling in and out of the bus stops.

    Other vehicles are changing lanes – mostly to avoid the buses pulling in and out of the bus stops.

    Then lastly, a race track style chicane at the end of the bus stop for vehicles in the left lane going left into Morrow St who have to dodge the buses pulling in and out to then fly around that corner.

    I suggest they simply move the Broadway “travelling north” traffic lights back from the corner of Broadway and Remuera (Rem) road back to this intersection. And remove the half dozen on street parking on the west side of Broadway between Morrow St and Rem Road intersection. And then widen the footpath here.
    No left turn arrow either. All controlled by the Broadway/Rem road lights.

    That way you don’t have two sets of traffic lights close together when going north on Broadway which if not signalled together cause tailbacks from the Rem Road/Broadway intersection southwards past 277 .

    Also then lets you put proper bus priority from the 277 Bus stops that lets the buses out first ahead of the cars into that part of Broadway.

    And yes, making the road 1 lane wide here would be safer.

    There was an idea to stop right hand turns from Broadway into Morrow which was consulted on when the area was up for consultation 2 years back. Not sure what the outcome of that was.
    The traffic planners said that the right turn mostly was used to access the Gillies Road on ramp going north and there were other ways to get to it. And anyone wanting to access the 277 car parks can do so via other streets [e.g. Nugent then Broadway, Morrow], albeit via a longer trip. But still doable.

    So if that right turn was removed as they suggested there is no need for it to be 2 lanes wide.

  8. I wonder what the impact would be of making Mortimer Pass into a normal two-way street. Traffic wanting to move from Broadway to Gillies Ave could use Mortimer Pass, since the traffic lights already exist to facilitate left and right turns in, avoiding both the 277 bus stops for left turning traffic and the Remuera Road to Morrow Street chicane for those turning right from Broadway. Perhaps Morrow Street could have a one lane left turn on exit only access to Broadway from Bourke Street and be otherwise two-way (along with Eden Street). It might be necessary to add traffic lights at the other end of Mortimer Pass (perhaps shifted from Morrow Street, though a controlled pedestrian crossing would be necessary there for the school and the bus stops).

  9. Was just talking to my Dad (who works above the mall at 277) about this a couple of days ago. He’s totally amazed that pedestrians don’t get taken out more frequently due to the traffic coming in fast from both directions. Apparently they have put in ‘look left’ signs, but he has seen people look up from their phones, read the sign and then look right…At least they see the sign I guess 🙂

  10. I really can’t understand why Broadway isn’t heavily limited to cars. Wide footpaths one lane in either direction and 20kmh area max at least

    1. When I tried to get something done about the lack of a proper crossing outside the swimming pool, the response was that they couldn’t disrupt the volume of traffic going through. That was a good 17 years ago, and I’m sure attitudes have changed since then. The words chosen now would be quite different. :/

      1. Wait, let me dig up the Ponsonby Road pedestrian improvements consultation. That one was only 1 year ago.

        From the consultation report ⁽¹⁾:

        Speed tables will not be marked as zebra crossings. This is because the continuous flow of pedestrians may not allow vehicles to have any chance of proceeding in and out of side roads. This could have the effect of delaying traffic on Ponsonby Road as drivers wait for pedestrians to clear as the driver turns into the side road.

        Well. 🙁

        ⁽¹⁾ https://at.govt.nz/projects-roadworks/ponsonby-road-pedestrian-improvements/

        1. Wow… I hope (in vain, I expect) that this is not representative of their general approach to speed tables. I’d like to see speed tables on Morrow St, love to see them if they were zebra crossings.

          As for the idea of putting up more signage – Really? Take away even more space from pedestrians? It certainly doesn’t help that so many are disconnected from their environment, either focused on what they’re about to do or turned into zombies by their portable electronic devices.

        2. Wow, I hoped in vain. That’s terrible. The whole “Pedestrians Must Give Way to Traffic” thing is a disgrace. Unfortunately they’ve been putting those signs up at pseudo-crossings-that-introduce-dangerous-ambiguity since about 1994, so there must be a whole generation of people who accept it as normal. It is not. They had pretended there was some sort of “pedestrians are safer if it’s not a pedestrian crossing” crap then. But what you’ve quoted is pretty overt. It’s all about the traffic flow.

          1. You’re right on the money with the safety argument. From the same report:

            Concern raised:

            Regarding pedestrian crossings, Ponsonby Rd is ready to have zebra crossings instead of refuge crossings in all instances.

            Pedestrian refuges (especially as built with mountable curbs) are not legitimate means to cross the road -please provide more actual crossings with pedestrian priority.

            Response:

            Zebra crossings are not preferred on multi-lane roads, because if the traffic in the first lane stops for a pedestrian the drivers in the section lane may not have visibility of the pedestrian and drive through pedestrian crossing which could result in a collision with the pedestrian.

            D’oh.

            Note the assumption that drivers will not stop for pedestrians at those crossings.

            I don’t understand this. AT is doing quite a bit of work over there to build out kerbs, install raised tables, etc. That work is partially going to waste if cars still have absolute priority everywhere.

            And recently, we’re having the saga at that flash new playground at Takapuna beach. This one is even more stupid, since the Strand is basically just a parking driveway.

          2. Agree. I feel really, really strongly about this. A child waiting at a non-zebra crossing has to try to figure out if the cars are slowing because it is a speed bump, or if they are actually going to stop. Whereas with a zebra crossing, they know they can go, because the drivers have definitely seen the crossing and are slowing. Sometimes one car stops and the child is still unsure of the car in the other direction, and has the difficult position of having to piss one driver off or go without security.

            I kicked up a stink after the principal of my child’s school advised parents NOT TO STOP at the false crossings so that children know never to trust that they will stop. Yet the road code says the speed bump style non-crossings are there to allow drivers to let pedestrians cross where appropriate. The principal apologised and said that the AT engineer had advised her thus!

            And as for the pedestrian refuges – you can’t fit on them with a pushchair. Lovely choice – stick the pushchair out into the traffic, or stand in it yourself.

            And then the confused colouring systems – the same colouring for a speed bump whether the two sides are blocked with planters or if it’s intended as a crossing. I’ve been in the position of making my way to one, only to find it doesn’t work as a crossing. And car drivers have no cue as to whether they need to look out for pedestrians or if it is just a matter of slowing for their own comfort.

            AT, hear ye, hear ye. Your attitudes and policies around crossings are atrocious.

          3. I’d also be surprised if a powered wheelchair would safely fit into those central ‘refuges’ – but traffic engineers only have one model of pedestrian in their heads, it seems.

          4. powered wheelchairs are supposed to be the design pedestrian but it seems that we can never spend an extra cent to save the live of a disabled pedestrian and no expense can be spared to make sure a B-train can access every street in New Zealand.

  11. “intersection is due to be upgraded as part of a private development with the intention of it being signalised” – Signalised by AT, or paid for by the mall operator (who profits from the upgrade) under AT direction?

    The problem I have with AT is that they seem to be a schizophrenic organisation, sometimes putting peds and public transport first, other times messing things up for both with astounding aplomb. This makes me think that they’d prioritise right-turning traffic, “harmonise” left-turning traffic and let the pedestrians wait forever – Just like the peds do on Queen St.

    On a side note, while I can’t see it happening in the next 15-20 years (NIMBY dinosaurs and all), I’d love to see wider footpaths on the western(?) side of Broadway… It’s the nicer side of the road, yet the paths are so narrow (compared to the other side, which is only narrow in places).

  12. It’s been this way as long as I can remember, and dangerous and unpleasant the entire time.

    Have they sorted out the station entrance yet?

  13. I second the comments of others – raised tables without zebra crossings are dangerous because it’s unclear who has priority.

  14. The road rules have instructions about how pedestrians and motorists interact *at marked crossings* (traffic lights and zebra crossings). They are silent on the question of how pedestrians and motorists interact away from marked crossings. The is NO rule of the road that says that a pedestrian has to yield to a motorist generally. There is NO legal basis for erecting ‘pedestrians must give way’ signs away from marked crossings. Away from marked crossings, you have just as much right to cross a road at the time and place of your choice as a motorist has to drive along it.

    For an AT engineer to encourage motorists not to yield to children outside a school is ignorant and dangerous and has no legal basis whatever. I look forward to AT being sued when that advice leads to an accident.

    1. Thanks John. Yes, roads are for people, not cars, and some legal cases would be good to re-establish this. Preferably, of course, without any more injuries. It would be excellent to establish the illegality of the “Pedestrians Must Give Way to Traffic” signs. I am quite sure that these signs have been responsible for a further erosion of driver awareness of pedestrians. Driver instinct to stop for pedestrians at a crossing or crossing-like location is something to be established and strengthened by the habit of always stopping. The instruction to NOT stop is training to ignore this instinct. Grossly ignorant. But traffic engineers are given no education in psychology.

      I wonder if ACC would be interested in taking the issue up with AT?

      What bothers me about pedestrian safety, is that there are different parts of the world where pedestrians have many more rights – for example where they have right of way on side roads, and turning traffic must not go if there are pedestrians about to cross. This law would establish a different awareness in drivers, and change the situation in Morrow St considerably. Yet it seems to me that AT is working in a vacuum without these other international models being considered.

      That being said, there are many excellent designers and engineers at AT. They need to be unleashed by a changing of the guard. New CEO with new priorities – people, not cars.

  15. Rather than just tweak the one intersection, the traffic management plan including bus stop locations and pedestrian flows for Newmarket as a whole need to be reviewed. As it’s likely there will be additional car parks in the Westfield development, on street parking should be reviewed too.

    In fact, would it be too much to ask for a comprehensive transport plan for Newmarket? One that looks at all forms of transport including rail. Sadly I know the likely answer…..

    1. What is entirely possible, though, is for AT to do a study of walking in Newmarket: a walkability assessment. Similarly, they could do non-motorised user audit, to capture the needs of cyclists and people with disability aids (of all types). They have experts on this sort of thing. And it should be done if they’re about to make changes to the intersection for the safety of pedestrians and cyclists. They shouldn’t be designing in the dark, but after properly assessing the whole area. It would involve counting pedestrians, measuring how long it takes to walk places, and in particular, it would involves recording where people with disability choose to walk, as they are discerning road users who often only choose the safest routes.

      More parking available at Westfield – absolutely the on street parking should go then.

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