Henderson is one of the key areas Panuku Development Auckland hope to unlock in the coming years. It’s a centre with a lot of potential, especially once the CRL drags it 10 minutes closer to town. As part of that, Auckland Transport are looking at what it can do to improve walking and cycling in the area, which was identified as an “early construction” area in their 10-year business case. They’re currently running a consultation similar to what they’ve done in other area wide improvements projects, such as at Glen Innes. It closes tomorrow so if you live, work or travel in the area, you might want to consider providing feedback.

Alongside council organisations, AT is asking for your feedback on what it can do to deliver better walking and cycling connections, enabling Henderson to become more vibrant and a more attractive place for everyone.

“We want to unlock every option for people to travel around the area, and promote the best projects to serve local business. It will be led by you, and directed in partnership with the strong local business association providing you a collective voice,” says Shane Henderson, Chair of Henderson-Massey Local Board.

“It’s an exciting time to grow the greater Henderson area together, make it more attractive and easier to get around.”

AT’s Walking, Cycling and Road Safety Manager Kathryn King says we are seeking feedback from the local community, residents and businesses on how to make Henderson into a more attractive and a vibrant place for people.

“We want to know what is important to people and what would they like to see in Henderson, and also how they would like to get around it more easily. To support the area’s growth, we want to give people more travel options to get to work, school and local attractions.

The map below shows current and planned walking and cycle routes in the area, although I’d say some walking/cycling routes are fairly marginal at best.

As a local this one is quite important for me, I’ve provided a number of bits of feedback bus a couple of specific pieces included:

A walking/cycling route alongside the rail line from Mt Lebanon Lane to Sturges Rd. This is quite a bit of space in the corridor here and it would provide a useful connection with an easy grade.

Making use of what appears to be an over engineered pipe to provide a bridge to straighten out a dogleg in the Twin Streams path (which also needs widening).

Turning all of the raised tables into formal pedestrian crossings, including getting ride of the stupid Pedestrians give way to vehicles signs

There were plenty more ideas I submitted and many readers could have other suggestions too. If so, make sure you submit them.

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  1. Good suggestions, Matt. Thanks for raising the stupid “Pedestrians Must Give Way to Vehicles” issue, and the raised tables that aren’t pedestrian crossings. To drivers, there is almost no difference in appearance between raised tables that are pedestrian crossings, those that can be crossed but aren’t official crossings, and those that can’t be crossed because they are edged with plants.

    What is AT thinking? Both these issues work to train drivers to ignore pedestrians and crossings. I hope it gets shaken out in the upheaval AT must be about to have in regards to safety.

    1. I believe that these are pre Super City signs and as such are Waitakere history. I agree that they should be removed, however I do not think AT are to blame. (Do similar signs exist anywhere else in Auckland?)

      1. Yes. They were introduced all over Auckland in the mid-90’s. True that they are a legacy from pre-AT days. AT, however, have continued with avoiding proper pedestrian crossings.

    2. I think they are perfectly fine pedestrian courtesy crossings. The tables are steep enough to really slow down cars and the ambiguity encourages both drivers and pedestrians to use caution. Whenever I drive through there, I always see cars giving way to pedestrians because they know they aren’t going to get anywhere very fast. And if all else fails, there are signalised crossing within 50m of those courtesy crossings.

      If you want zebra crossings you have to cut all the trees down and remove any bushes. Zebra crossings give pedestrians confidence to step out without looking and get run over by drivers that don’t see them. Zebra crossings with poor visibility are really unsafe.

      1. If the tables are steep enough to really slow down cars, and cars are always giving way to pedestrians, then it sounds like a great location for pedestrian crossings. Real crossings remove the ambiguity of whether the driver is slowing down to let them cross, or is just slowing down because of the table. That is an ambiguity that children shouldn’t be expected to figure out. Any driver that has slowed for the table to a speed that the pedestrian is comfortable with is able to slow to a stop; it is only the lack of legislative requirement to stop – and the habit of it that courtesy crossings have developed in drivers – that means they don’t. (Add in the 30 km/hr speed limits that will be coming, and the possibility of drivers not being able to stop for pedestrians at a well-marked crossing disappear.)

        The other situation that arises with non-pedestrian crossing tables is that different drivers/cars slow at different rates, so whereas without a table, adults can judge where the gap in the cars is going to be, by the time the cars arrive, the gaps are quite different. This makes it hard for adults; impossible for kids.

        And where courtesy crossings aren’t split in the middle with a refuge, a car in one direction might slow, intending to stop, and the driver might even wave the pedestrian out, but a car in the other direction isn’t required to stop. It makes it really hard for children who are used to following adults’ orders to not step out in this situation.

        Courtesy crossings are really about prioritising the car over the pedestrian. There’s no excuse for them in a safe road network. Drivers must be required to stop for pedestrians. Every single table in Auckland intended as a possible place to cross needs to be a pedestrian crossing. And every single table in Auckland intended to just slow cars without being a possible crossing needs to marked and painted in a very different way.

        1. I’d suggest speed humps in front of the tables as well. This is standard practice where I live & also allows safe zebra crossings to be established on arterial & multilane roads. (i.e. we have zebra tables & speed humps on arterial & multilane roads – just think of that) – no reason it cant be done in NZ

        2. You miss the point of the design entirely! They are speed bumps designed to slow down cars in the town centre with the ADDED benefit of providing potential crossing points rather than just being boring old speed bumps. There are already safe crossings nearby. More crossings aren’t exactly needed, but it really is a thoughtful design.

          No one is forcing people at gunpoint to use these courtesy crossings. If as you say there is no excuse for them, then remove them all and pedestrians can use the signalised crossings nearby. Now cars can speed through nicely.

          Or do you seriously want to put in a raised table zebra crossing every 25m along a main road? I really do think though we should have signal crossings every 200m or something.

          Painting in a zebra does not magically stop pedestrians from being run over. We actually get this all the time around Auckland, even on a straight road. Slower speeds also don’t remove the fact that pedestrians still may not be seen jumping out from behind a tree. People make mistakes remember…

          Regardless of who gets blamed by the law, pedestrians still have an obligation to make sure it is safe to cross before stepping out into the road.

        3. That’s not a Vision Zero attitude, Ari. If AT have determined the desire line is there, they should make it safe for all pedestrians, not just certain adults who can judge distances and ambiguity better.

          I know you’re not alone with thinking we can just design for how adults think. The first draft of the TDM said, of Main Street Collector:

          -Strong pedestrian focus with large clear paths and frequent crossings
          -Separated Cycle Lanes
          -Lower speed zone. (<30 kmph)

          Whereas the second draft says:

          -Formal crossings at intersections and mid-block (signals or zebra that give priority to pedestrians)
          -Informal pedestrian crossing opportunities with kerb build outs at no more than 100m intervals (safer but no priority over traffic)
          -More formal crossings than informal with increased pedestrian demand and roadside activity for this road type
          -Very low speed zone for pedestrians (<30kph)

          I believe the third draft is 'better'. Perhaps an internal 'discussion' about this is one of the many things that have delayed the release of the document by 6 months! Perhaps we'll see further delay after the damning report into safety that was released last month, and words like "safer but no priority over traffic" will get removed.

          I recommend two changes to AT:

          Include in the design team people who have spent a lot of time transporting young children around by PT/active modes, and nobody who just drives.

          Follow the recommendations of people like safety engineer Bridget Burdett, who has pointed out that the engineers are unable to design properly for vulnerable users because they don't actually have the data they need.

          Incidentally, the Waterview Connection's pedestrian data was 'lost'.

        4. Exactly. Putting in dangerous zebra crossings is not a Vision Zero attitude. Those things kill people.

          A signalised crossing every 50m is as good and safe as it gets and are much easier for the most vulnerable pedestrians to use.

        5. Don’t you think this is what’s killing people:

          -A culture in AT and NZTA that can’t see the world from a child’s perspective, and that prioritises traffic flow over safety.
          -Drivers trained to ignore pedestrians waiting at the side of the road at a pedestrian crossing – like crossing that actually isn’t.
          -Police and AT not enforcing red light running, illegal parking, not stopping at crossings.
          -Pedestrians not bothering to walk to the courtesy crossing because you have to wait for a gap there anyway – not much improvement, why bother.
          -NZTA and AT thinking they know how to design built infrastructure for pedestrians when their NZ data is limited to what they know is safe for car occupants, because that is what they collect.

          I could go on.

          Maybe you should ask why we can’t do what other countries are doing: putting in zebra crossings, on tables, with speed humps before them, enforced by authorities and supported by a safer driving culture?

        6. To save lives and to increase the quality of life in our towns and cities we have to change our priorities away from facilitating the movement of motorised transport through these towns to facilitating the freedom of movement to the people within these towns.
          Some other countries do just this.
          An example from France
          The village of Termignon la Vanoise has a permanent population under 500 and is bifurcated by the D1006 road to Italy via the Col du Mont Cenis
          While passing through the village it is crossed by 9 pedestrian crossings within 350m including 4 within 100m

        7. This is a town centre. It shouldn’t be necessary to wait several minutes each time you want to cross to the other side just so cars can be accommodated (most of them are not even accessing the town center anyway, they’re just through traffic)

    3. AT just installed one of those signs on cnr Tawa Road and Rawhiti Road in Oranga. At least the one you show is visible, AT decided to install this tiny sign about 10 foot high so unless you are staring up into the sky you wouldn’t see it. But at least the driver of the car that hits you would have a good legal case to sue you for damages.

  2. Yes I have submitted some points also. There is a pin drop map tool as well so you can add lots of specific points ( the footpath is broken here, needs to be cleared of vegetation here etc). So as well as consultation it is acting as a report any faults process.

    1. I raised this in my feedback. Also doubt it will happen now as another part of AT is in the process of installing speed tables right now and they’d need to be dug up – although to be fair some are basically flat and aren’t even noticed by drivers.

  3. Cycling to the station needs to be improved of course, visiting the area found it weird and difficult to get to first time when trying to not miss the next 1/2 hrly weekend service.

  4. Would be good if they connected Oratia Shared Path with Twin Streams Path somehow, cycling through the roads between them is not particularly pleasent at all.

    Deffinately need more other infrastructure too like places to easily lock your bike, and some protected lanes in the mall/library/paknsave area to allow better access to shops.

  5. Wow I must say there really are a lot of great road and highway reserves on that map, I imagine that they could build over the Henderson Creek from the NW Motorway down through henderson and sunnyvale out to titarangi.

    A simple 4 lane Motorway as is typical in the states is a mere ~30mn NZD a kilometer adjusted for currency differences and GST, and that is the upper bounds of that type of motorway in a city (so includes some land-repurchasing, and many interchanges and other upgrades),

    So they could build it for about 300-360mn NZD, and it would of course support latteral transit between WaitakerieAlbany (especially if you built two routes), thereby opening up more land for development and simulataneously allowing for insification of the CBDs at Henderson and Massey. This would alleviate preassures on urban roads, and fix the issues associated with everyone in West auckland commuting outside of it to work.

    1. Also if the route were to go through Glen Eden, a new highway leading up the eastern side of the Glen-Eden Cemetary through Kelston, up the creek to Rosebank Road and perhhaps to the NW Motorway or Great North road would provide a route for people In West Auckland heading east to the cbd to bypass the congested New Lynn local roads.

      It would also facilitate traffic in the other diferction, then it could be considered to redevelop the cemetary into a commercial park. This would probide a new CBD and reduce the need connected to the Motorway network, and reduce the need for long-distance commutes that create congestion.

      That would be a route approximately 6 kilomteres long. It could be funded by the profits gained from the redevelopment of the Cemetary.

    2. All the growth at Westgate could renew interest in the Western Bypass that was on Waitakere City’s plans, that ran from Border Rd along Summerland Dr/Munroe Rd/Marinich Dr/Waitakere Dr and up Birdwood Rd to Massey. Only needs a couple of bridges to complete most of the route. 😉

    3. That sounds like the worst thing I’ve heard of.

      Why would we build more roads, particularly motorway standard ones through urban areas?

  6. Well Nik, as I stated it would support the latteral transit of people from the Waitakes through Glen Eden, Sunnyvale and Henderson through to Albany and vice versa. And the Highway connecting to it from Glen Eden, through the Cemetry, up through Kelston along the creek, Past Rosebank and potentially to the NW or Great North road would support transit along that corridoor.

    So the First point would be to take preassure off of our overburdened and full local roads, and put them onto long-distance high-speed routes, with a much greater capacity, this would decrease commuting times because the routes would be uncongested as opposed to congested, and high-speed as opposed to low-speed, it would also be safer so there is that.

    The Second point, and I though I was rather clear about this from the get go, is that these routes go past the Glen Eden Cemetery, the two Henderson CBDs and connects to Westgate in Massey (and also Albany), this improves transit links to these areas and allows for widespread commercial development of business districts, including turning the Glen Eden Cemetary into a new CBD the size off the Auckland City CBD.

    And Thirdly, since there is little in the way of employment out west, many people out West Commute Eastwards to the Auckland CBD, Manakau and the Airport for work, this places a large one way burden in the mornings and evening on all roads, local and freeway (Eastwaards in the morning, westwards in the evening), if those people had access to local employment it would reduce that burden, as a far higher proportion of West Aucklanders would commute to local business parks. Additionally people East of West auckland would also commute there, this would equalize the East/West demand on the network during rush hour…

    Lastly as I stated this would allow for more urban development between West Auckland and the Waitakere ranges because the combination of the creation of new and intesnification of existing business parks in West Auckland along with the connecting high-speed/high-capacity routes would facilitate timely commutes for the new residents.

    1. “turning the Glen Eden Cemetary(sic) into a new CBD the size off(sic) the Auckland City CBD.”
      I was worried you were serious until I read this.
      I’m still worried about your lack of literacy, spelling and punctuation though; not to mention verbosity.

  7. Well unfortunately as is self-evident from your completely baseless ad-hominems and personal attacks in lieu of a serious argument against what you clearly dislike, you are wrong. Very, very wrong. And its a shame you would stoup to acting like 5 year throwing a tantrum, to demonstrate to the world how wrong you are.

    Now if you have a better suggestion to alleviate the shortage of build-able land, the lack of local workplaces in West Auckland and the terrible traffic congestion and commuting times of the people in West Auckland then go ahead. Otherwise feel free to not respond.

    1. We have that m8 it’s called ‘the plan for light rail and other shit’ (formal name if you’re thinking of doing an OIA) but it has also been covered extensively on this blog.

    2. Oh common, as an argument against (not that it addresses anything of what I proposed) what I proposed it is a joke, as a joke it is not even funny. Trams are an antiquated and noncompetitive technology from a 100 years ago, that was ripped out almost that long ago..

      Ripped out all over the world, in every single major city, ironically by the Tram companies themselves, because buses were cheaper and more competitive. And all those Tram companies, converted to bus operators, because buses didn’t need rails, they were cheaper, and they could go down every street.

      So how exactly are trams going to do anything to improve transit when we are talking two routes (neither of which go anywhere near the corridor improvements I proposed), and when buses which the whole world has decided are better only account for some ~15% of trips in Auckland, and only after the council pays for most of the fare?

      1. In defence of the other commenters, I too honestly thought you were joking. Perhaps it is because your ideas seem to be suggesting the sort of approach that has brought Auckland to its poor levels of sprawl, car dependency, demographically-determined access levels and carbon emissions. So most people who have thought beyond the status quo are looking for something else. Just some things for you to consider, now that I realise you’re in earnest:

        1/ Your suggestion provides “access” for a limited group in society. It doesn’t provide it for people who don’t or won’t drive. We already have a bad mental health rate amongst teenagers. Places that have provide a comprehensive, safe, connected cycling network have the happiest teenagers. That’s an important measure of real access. You shouldn’t have to ‘fart into the future’ to have access to your city.

        2/ We don’t need more areas opened up for development. Auckland already covers too much land. We need to use that land better. One of the difficulties is the amount of land given over to carparking and to car infrastructure. This spreads everything else apart, reducing access for everyone by making distances longer and thus requiring a car. So brownfields development with public transit is a good solution. Anything that adds to the car dependency is not, and unfortunately that’s what your idea does.

        3/ Major roads as you have suggested sever communities and make for a less liveable and walkable environment. Children aren’t safe to walk; those with parents available to drive them places get driven, the others just miss out on opportunities. Many people are calling for better urban form than this.

        4/ You seem to have forgotten about induced demand. Add roading capacity, as your plan does in spades, and you add traffic to the whole city.

        Good to have ideas thrown about. But if you’re going to suggest something so set in 1960, you’ll have to expect people are waiting for the punch line.

      2. hahahhahahahahahahahhahahahhahahaa……

        I seriously though you were trolling until I realised you are serious.

        Laughter is a great start to the morning. Thank-you good sir!

      3. So Melbourne, San Francisco, Lisbon, Prague, Houston, Portland, Zurich, Geneva, Sydney, Adelaide, Toronto, Edinburgh, Amsterdam and Istanbul are not major cities? Because every one of those have trams.

        I think that will come as quite a shock to the residents of those cities.

  8. Thanks for writing Matt, delighted to receive as much feedback as possible! Great suggestions.

    1. Hollows, I think you are referring to the Waikumete Cemetery ? A motorway ?

      As an Aucklander, whose ancestors first arrived here in the 1850’s. I have literally dozens of
      relatives in there.

      Over my dead body !

    2. And you claim that you can somehow speak for them and object on their behalf because of a racial and genetic basis/argument? Tell you what, if any of the people buried in the Cemetery object I might reconsider. But otherwise it’s a large amount of relatively flat (I know it’s not 100% flat) land surrounded by built-up residential suburbs, all of which have no real Commercial Park or office space nearby and have to commute a long distance to get to work…

      This is a real issue, it creates real problems, we don’t need cemeteries in the middle of our city, I know it’s common place in European Cities like Paris, but the people are dead, it’s time to move on with urban renewal. Heck a previous king of England was burred in what later became the parking lot of a WINZ office!

      If its good enough for the Ruling Class of England, surely it is good enough for you and me?


      1. It’s almost like we can change zoning rules so we don’t have to bulldoze cemeteries, which are green spaces in suburban areas and serve additional functions other than corpse storage.

      2. Anything good enough for the Ruling Class of England is probably setting a pretty low bar for humanity, Hollows.

    1. Why, miffy? I thought your family needed better access to visiting you in a mental health facility, not in a prison.

      1. Mental Health Facility? That is really old school Heidi. They closed those in the early 90’s so that people could be ‘cared for in the community’. Which of course means people who need help get to live in a bus stop or doorway.

  9. Blimey, some bitter comments above but ….moving on, thanks Matt for raising this. Also as a local to this area I am extremely interested in getting the balance right and, as such, increasing the integration of the disparate off-road routes. My major grip concerns the crossing of Great North Road at the junction with Henderson Valley Road. Lovely cycle way on both sides of GNR, possibility of an underpass to Corban Estate but no, let’s all join the pavement and wait at the crossing.

    Finally, it would be great to find a way to accelerate the Whau River greenway. The idea is brilliant but the projected length of time – presumably due to the drip feed of funding – is painful.

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