What pressures on parents! We don’t think the traffic’s safe for our children to venture out in it alone, yet fear the effects of chauffeuring them everywhere too.

Research published last month suggests that if Auckland parents aren’t letting their children walk and cycle unaccompanied, they’ve got good reason to be protective. According to the research, Auckland parents allow their children to be ‘independently mobile’ if the environment is safe for their children, and they have a good handle on whether it is.

Auckland Transport will need to get tough with locals resisting safety measures, because

Safety from traffic is a key priority for parents.

The Auckland study was undertaken by researchers from the disciplines of Nursing, Human Potential, Engineering, Social and Health Outcomes, Environment, and Population and Global Health, from five universities.

Key findings were:

(1) parents identified a need for safer traffic environments for their child’s independent mobility;

(2) no significant differences were observed between objective neighbourhood built  environment measures and parents’ reported neighbourhood needs; and

(3) parental licence for their child’s independent mobility was positively associated with parent perceptions that dedicated and safer places to bike were needed in their neighbourhood and negatively associated with residing in an area with a higher ratio of cycle path to road lengths.

I checked about this last finding: that parents were less likely to allow their children to travel independently in places with more cyclepaths – even though they wanted more dedicated cycling infrastructure.

It wasn’t a typo. And it’s quite revealing.

Not many streets in Auckland have cycle lanes, and they tend to be where traffic volumes are high. Typically, such places don’t have enough pedestrian crossings or wide enough footpaths, and drivers often park in the realm intended for safe walking. This research shows that in the 8 neighbourhoods and 19 schools studied, any cycling infrastructure hasn’t convinced parents this is enough to let their children travel independently. Painted lines or stop-start unconnected cycleways do little to overcome lack of basic walking safety.

As one of the research team replied to me:

Yes these findings in #3 might seem a little counterintuitive but we know cycling rates in NZ children are really low – so it’s highly likely that the licence for independent mobility variable mostly reflects licence to walk (and maybe scooter) independently rather than cycle. So increasing cycle lanes isn’t going to impact a *currently* predominantly walking population – but that’s not to say that will remain constant.

The research recorded parents’ concerns.

Specifically, parents consistently noted a need for the following:

  • Slower and safer drivers…
  • Less traffic…
  • More traffic-calming infrastructure…
  • Lower speed limits…
  • Signage such as “kids around”…
  • Safer places to cross…
  • Safer places to cycle…
  • Safer places to walk…

Good planning could achieve this, and much, much more. And children wouldn’t be the only ones to benefit.

The report gives some insight into the different levels of safety awareness in different groups of adults:

A growing body of evidence has shown that adult perceptions do not always align with objective measures of the neighbourhood environment.

This means that we shouldn’t expect adults (eg those whose children have already grown) to have much awareness of children’s safety needs.

Compared with older children, a higher traffic safety threshold may be required for younger children in order for parents to perceive their environment as being safe.

So we need to ask the parents of younger children, “What safety improvements would make things safe for younger children?”

Conversely, parents of younger children were half as likely to report a need for safer and designated cycling infrastructure

And we need to ask the parents of older children, “What safety improvements would make things safe for older children?”

If children cycle in their neighbourhood, parents may notice the lack of cycle lanes available for their children,

We need to ask the parents who do let their children travel independently, “What difficulties do your children face?”

while in comparison parents who grant low mobility licence may not identify the need for more cycling lanes.

But the parents who do not let their children travel independently should be asked, “What improvements would mean you would let them?” They are not the people to ask “what do you think about converting this [car parking or car lane or road space] to a cycle lane?” – that decision has already been made for the city.

I wouldn’t have thought it takes much to think about what children need, if we just remember what was fun. Places to go and hang out. Easy-to-cross roads. Alternative routes through alleyways so you can race each other or circuit in opposite directions and guess where you’re going to pass. Not having to look out for cars much. Enough space to do something a bit silly and fall, without ending up under a truck. Interesting things en route to school. Trees to climb.

But then I’m a parent. I suspect too many people have settled into adulthood thinking the needs of children have matured along with them, or that city environments can’t be safe anyway – which couldn’t be further from the truth. Many cities are becoming children-friendly places, even with much higher densities of population than we have.

An Auckland Transport survey shows:

Yet that’s not showing on the ground, is it? Simple improvements for safety, like safer speeds, cycle lanes, and better crossing facilities, get hit by resistance. We seem to be hearing most from that ‘very unsupportive’ minority.

Look what’s at stake for the children. The study says:

Physical activity levels are low globally, including in New Zealand, where a third of children and youth are insufficiently active for health…

Children’s independent mobility can provide important opportunities for children’s physical activity accumulation…

Physical activity is fundamental to optimal growth, development, and health in children. It is recommended that children and youth aged 5–17 years should participate in at least 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity (MVPA) daily to gain important benefits for their musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, neuromuscular, metabolic, and mental health and development.

But the importance of independent mobility extends well beyond the physical:

Independent mobility also plays an unparalleled role in contributing to children’s development of social, cognitive, and spatial processing skills and enhanced environmental awareness. Children who travel and play freely in their neighbourhood socialise more frequently with their peers and adults and develop a sense of belonging to their community which is important for developing social skills and a sense of identity. Cognitive and psychological development is promoted through spatial awareness and processing, learning about risk and its management, and engagement with the natural and physical environment.

In short, while some children will find other avenues for physical activity (and some won’t) this isn’t enough anyway. Without independent mobility, our children’s development is being stunted.

Is this widespread? In New Zealand, we know that:

  • the average time children spent in active travel modes decreased from 130 minutes per week to 72 minutes per week in the two decades prior to 2011,
  • only 10% of children’s travel time is spent in active travel modes, and
  • The Ministry of Transport’s Household Travel Survey shows that cycling to school has particularly taken a hammering:

So what do we do? Continue along as we are doing:

  • Consult with a wider community that is largely ill-informed about children’s needs?
  • Turn a blind eye to how cars parked on verges and footpaths have stolen children’s safe walking routes and play spaces?
  • Plan as if traffic flow and parking is more important than healthy development for our children?
  • Make requesting simple pedestrian infrastructure, like a crossing or a footpath, an unsatisfying rite of initiation into safety advocacy?
  • Install cycling infrastructure – where locals allow – to suit confident cyclists, while ignoring the main safety issues?
  • Carve away at footpaths and verges to provide more traffic lanes?
  • Ignore the need to reduce traffic volumes?
  • “Promote” walking and cycling without improving safety (and load more guilt onto parents)?

Have a look at these children’s faces as they’re told to shoulder the responsibility because we’ve failed to keep them safe.

We can serve them better. At the level of both government and councils, the high-level plans for improving safety, for modeshift to active modes, and for healthier streets are in place.

We need to adjust our consultation practices to ask the right questions of the right people – and any protocol or legislation tying us to a divisive and untargeted consultation process needs to be overhauled.

Children are our treasures, not barriers to traffic flow. Their needs must take centre stage in our decision-making. Luckily, planning for the children brings clarity to murky adult politics.

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  1. I think that one of the issues is that the decision making process (by transport agencies) does not take things like active modes seriously enough. As long as free-flow is the king it’s not going to change.
    We’ve allowed car-centric development for decades and as the old saying goes – what you water grows. Now it’s time to embed active mode requirements and goals (but not just mentions of it, actual goals) into KPIs those agencies are measured against.

  2. Police need to step up with road safety in Auckland, maybe jump on cycles themselves, in great numbers, not just in the city. So they can actually witness some of terrible behavior on our roads uninhibited. Presently police just hide in their patrol cars, undercover or with police livery it doesn’t matter its always a Holden and people will just slow down and change their behavior generally and thats what they are always witnessing.

    Police stepping up and changing driver behavior is probably the easiest win at the moment as we all know how slow AT is to improve infrastructure.

    Presently its really strange, I see way less traffic police then around 10 years ago, yet I thought this government added more police? Where the hell are they all? We need them with our large population of violent, angry and impatient road users most of whom can’t follow the road rules or simply don’t want to.

    1. I’ve seen a police officer on a bicycle about 10 months ago, issuing tickets to people using their phones at intersections in Manurewa.
      But yes I agree that in terms of training maybe a stint on bikes in some urban areas would be good to get a glimpse into reckless driving. But I’m sure many officers are aware of this, they just cannot be in all places all the time.
      Red light cameras and many more fixed point speed cameras need to be installed, could even target school areas first?

      1. Yeah I know it happens, but not regularly enough, in many other cycling cities you would see a Police on a bike very regularly. Here its a rare sight to see them in anything but a patrol car; if any police at all.

        1. Policing over the past decade has become very very centralised that in turn closure of urban stations or downgrading them to internal admin offices, to save money.

          Budget cuts meant nice to have things like community stations and traffic enforcement had to go.

          I hope the extra money going in under this government reverses this stupidity.

      2. turns out Police officers arent always on duty 2/3 of their week day lives and 100% of their days off and DO see what others see too

        1. Yet when they are off-duty they can’t (or won’t) do anything about it.

    2. Yes good post and this comment. I suspect police have a lot of admin so we don’t see them much? Yes not enough on the beat.

  3. We need a regime of enforcement. Akl drivers have always been poor but over time behavioural patterns have progressively worsened. Unacceptable and unsafe behaviours have become the norm.

    Another counter-intuitive. More traffic should make our roads safer for cyclists – if everyone using the road treated other users with courtesy and respect. Clearly that’s not the case.

    However some responsibility also rests with parents. Saying I wish my kids would get out and exercise more and still running them to school is like sitting on the couch surfing instead of going to the gym or eating uber instead of a salad. There are three schools around my area. A very wide shared path and yet I never see a kid on a bike and hardly anyone walking more than 2 blocks

    1. The importance of the research, for me, is that it shows that programmes to promote walking and cycling to parents are up against the realities of an unsafe traffic network. So they’re likely to take a whole lot of community effort, yet have limited success. And that’s what I’ve witnessed.

      There may be a very wide shared path, but are all homes connected to that shared path with safe walking and crossing amenity? Can drivers be trusted to stop at those crossing points?

      The point is that until we’ve fixed the underlying problems, parents shouldn’t have the finger pointed at them. The Road Safety Business Review didn’t conclude that parents have created our safety problems; it showed a whole lot of other things that need to change.

      We need to accelerate fixing those problems. Once we have a safe network, then we can introduce promotional programmes, knowing that they have a likelihood of success and won’t be a waste of volunteer and paid effort.

      1. You could easily argue parents driving their kids short or long distances, (choice of higher decile schools) not the least at times in their SUV’s are a key contributor to the problem.

        Its traffic madness around schools leading up to and shortly before school ends.

        Yesterday while waiting for a bus just before 3.00pm they were well and truly encroaching into a busy bus stop with their cars. The buses having to stop out in the lane to pick up/ discharge passengers. It was insane.

        1. I’m aware the issues exist. Around here the close parks have been filled by 2:40, and some parents sit there with their engines on.

          But there ways you can fix the issues that change the environment for all users, which will have long-lasting success. Coaxing parents and educating children about the need to come to school actively hasn’t worked, and won’t work until the issues raised in the Safety Review are solved.

          Around here, for example, creating filtered permeability, raising the pedestrian crossings, adding some more, and reallocating road space in the area around the school would probably increase mode share considerably. And for those parents who would still accompany them (but on bikes because it’s safe), research shows many would then cycle on to work. And the infrastructure would be there for people going to sports, to shops, to parks and the beach.

  4. Is that 19% of children biking to school in 1989/1990 in Auckland?

    It seems low to me, but then I lived in Napier at the time, attending high school. The bike racks at school had around 400 bikes in them each day, out of a school roll of about 840.

    But then even today, Napier has one of the highest cycling levels in the country. I think journeys to work by bike is about four times greater than in Auckland per capita?

      1. If we had that kind of mode share amongst kids now traffic congestion would barely be an issue. Itd be like school holidays all the time.

        1. There is a lot more that causes traffic congestion than school traffic. Having children cycling to school is beneficial for a number of reasons but it is not going to eliminate congestion.

    1. Taradale at that time didn’t have anywhere near that level of students biking – Was closer to 20%, 30% max..

      I wonder what the breakdown would have looked like, %students biking vs geographical area…

  5. Heidi, some great stuff. I think that a lot of the answer lies in the first two points that parents identified: slower and safer drivers; and less traffic. You have written about the need to reduce driving and Otago UNiversity agrees, but by a larger percentage. I was astounded in MIlan to learn the number of accidents that would be prevented by reducing car mode share. Surely with the release of the 6th wave of extension information we will see AT/NZTA move to further prioritise spending on other than roads?

  6. Instead of increasing tension and stress to children in active biking mode, police and govt should focus on the people who actually cause the harm.
    A) when will we adopt the Dutch model that the stronger participant in an accident always is x% at fault – by default
    B) when will police severely patrol around schools during “delivery” and pick-up times and start with the parents racing their kids to school last minute?
    C) restrict SUV and double cabin trucks imports by adding huge taxes (as many are diesel you also win on an environmental and health level) and tax them accordingly – in particular where not required for business.

    NZ makes a killing from (international) education, let’s prevent (road) killing through education – with a serious enforcement component and not only a few smiling bikers in the back of a bus.

  7. Isn’t it time we changed the law to allow children to ride on footpaths? Growing up in the UK I spent my whole childhood bombing around on my bike riding on footpaths, we didn’t have a single cycle lane and never rode on the road once. I never knew of anyone that had crashed into a pedestrian. I’m sure with a set of new rules we could mitigate the increase in children on cycles on our footpaths…after all we let grown adults tear around at 30 kmh on Limes on them! It’s no silver bullet but it would help with uptake and safety till other measures described come into place.

    1. I rode on the footpath until I was 15 in Te Atatu, to school and also in my own time, was great for my parents, I went off riding for hours which gave them time to do their own thing. Doesn’t seem common at all anymore, I rarely see any kids out cycling by themselves anymore.

      But yeah plenty of kids cycled in to school too, and all on the footpath. We were told it was legal for children to cycle on the footpath. So I find it pretty strange that apparently now its not?

      1. From the NZ road code:

        If you are on a footpath with your cycle you should be walking with it, unless you are delivering mail or are cycling a wheeled recreation device that has a wheel diameter less than 355 millimetres (normally a tricycle or small child’s bicycle).

        So kids can do so legally on a kids size bike. 14 inch wheels or less… 24 inch wheels tend to be the most common for primary school kids that I’ve noticed.

        1. I biked around on the footpath on a 26″ wheeled bike most of my teen years… rarely anyone walking on the footpaths in the burbs… and when there is I just went on the berm.

          All the kids did, many had 24″ and 26″ wheeled bikes.

        2. Back then, people turned a blind eye to the law because they knew it didn’t serve children well.

          Today, children also have to contend with people driving along the footpath to avoid queues of traffic, cars parked on the footpath, vehicle crossings and verges, hateful attitudes towards people cycling, and a lot of haranguing about cycling on the footpath.

  8. It’s clear that a lot of cycling infrastructure and cycle routes aren’t designed to provide safer travel routes for children to get to school. Most of these routes are designed for commuters, which is especially true in the western Auckland context where most money is spent on the providing cycle mway next to the motorway, but nothing around schools. I also doubt that AT have conducted any meaningful engagement with children to understand their needs too.

  9. We need to change the way we go about implementing protected / off-road cycle lanes, footpaths and pedestrian crossings. A certain standard of safe infrastructure (much higher than the current status quo) should be considered a minimum and its development non-optional.

    That means not consulting the community on whether to add this infrastructure around schools and other community facilities. The only questions should be about which routes will attract the highest use for locals. The location of safe crossing facilities should be driven by desire lines rather than where they’ll be the least inconvenience for traffic.

    You wouldn’t consult the community about whether to connect a school to the electricity network, it’s a necessity. So should it be with active mode infrastructure. If every school in Auckland was allocated 2km of protected / off-road cycle lanes that’d be more than 1000km of new safe cycle routes.

    Such a massive expansion of active mode infrastructure isn’t going to happen overnight. But the difficult thing is not the design or construction, those are solved problems. The difficult thing is changing the mindset of the agencies (AT, NZTA etc) responsible for getting it done. With the right attitude from local and central government it’d actually be a relatively straightforward exercise.

  10. Takes too long to get home, not enough time for procreation. Eventually this means fewer people, and less traffic. Problem solved

  11. Replace the final word (environment) in this sentence quoted above with “schools” and you have the bulk of the problem encapsulated in a nutshell.

    i.e. it goes from:

    “A growing body of evidence has shown that adult perceptions do not always align with objective measures of the neighbourhood environment”

    “A growing body of evidence has shown that adult perceptions do not always align with objective measures of the neighbourhood schools”

    Which is why the parents are so damn busy shuttling their kids to anywhere BUT the neighbourhood schools – creating the very real “traffic” issue they are all declaiming.

    All because they perceive that the local schools are not “suitable enough” for “their” kids needs. As if the parents are better judges of that than they are about their kids safety needs.
    Because if they were – most wouldn’t drive them everywhere.

    But instead their warped sense of “what is right/suitable” also means that their kids entire lives are organised around the fact that the local to home before school after achool opportunities for recreation/unstructured learning or yet more “formal” learning in the neighbourhood are so inferior so the kids have to go to after school this and that.

    I don’t pretend to have all or even some of the answers, but its so obvious what so many parents are doing wrong every time you drive past a “popular” school at the start and end of the school day. Popular schools that often have little actual evidential claim to be better for their kids needs than any other school. Except that many of the parents believe it to be so.

  12. Good post Heidi. Yet another call for mindset changes in AT and NZTA plus more active police traffic enforcement. Also this time some complaining that biking infra is not the right kind for children.
    Will anything change? Doubt it, even if someone somewhere amongst the decision makers takes any notice the notion will soon pass and it will be BAU.
    I noticed that frustration at being constantly ignored. sometimes leads to action, often illegal. From guerrilla road markings to organising mass walks over the harbour bridge.
    Is this the way of the future?

    1. Could be, Bogle. Certainly I’ve wasted an inordinate amount of time trying to follow proper processes to get simple safety improvements, failed, and wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

      Hopefully, the changes in policy and in process will trickle down to work on the ground, eventually. And hopefully the resistance to change from adults who are ill-informed about children’s needs will be observed as simply a typical situation with many international examples of how to overcome it.

      We need:
      – educating before consulting,
      – trialling before consulting,
      – being clear that local consultation is only about learning about local considerations, not about overall direction,
      – better, bolder, more engaging communications strategy from Council, AT, NZTA and MoT,
      – designing the whole system, not piecemeal reactive elements.

      1. Maybe some grassroots activism is needed Heidi. Didn’t I read at one time you had organised a bus of cyclists to encourage/demonstrate cycling in a safety organised transit? Perhaps a cycle-train takeover of a street or arterial lane at peak time. Can’t see the pollies ignoring that tho police would likely have ruptions.

        1. Greenpeace is offering training in peaceful civil disobedience at the moment, Bogle. It’s needed for climate change, absolutely. That’s been ignored systematically since the 80’s.

          Needed for safety? Probably the same answer. At some point it would be unethical not to stand up and exercise the rights to a safe environment. Let me know what you organise. 🙂

        2. I must call in at Greenpeace and find out more about this training. I heard last week of someone with a rail tricycle who was looking at cycling on rails from Huapai to Christian Rd in Swanson. I hope he does this after the one and only morning freight train to Whangarei passes.
          Apparently to highlight the huge waste in not using the existing rail line for passenger services

        3. I must call in at Greenpeace and find out more about this training. I heard last week of someone with a rail tricycle who was looking at cycling on rails from Huapai to Christian Rd in Swanson. I hope he does this after the one and only morning freight train to Whangarei passes.
          Apparently to highlight the huge waste in not using the existing rail line.

    2. Heidi is an excellent lobbyist and by the looks AT have her on speed dial.

      But until there is a decent alternative, and most of us don’t have the hours in the day to bike around, compromise rules.

      AT’s doing their damndest to remove car parking everywhere, not just near kids , Barry’s Point Rd being a more recent area of eradication. And plenty of resources are going in to table pedestrian crossings everywhere, not in places that demanded it And the blanket 30 km/hr in the greater Auckland CBD is surely not far off, the start of the whole city I am thinking, so this appeal will not be wasted and I believe be welcomed by AT.

      So much so that AT is now the focus of attention of candidates in the upcoming mayoralty race.

      1. 30km/hr citywide you reckon? On AT controlled roads, would that apply to road running LR vehicles? Maybe Geoff should take NickR’s bet 🙂

  13. I’m always astonished at the drive that parents have to create a huge traffic jam right outside the school gate – as opposed to parking a few blocks away and letting the kids walk for five minutes. Presumably they do it because the judge the traffic environment around the school as unsafe.
    A clear policy of building industrial strength physical traffic calming measures for some distance around schools would help. That means much more than one zebra crossing on the highway outside the school gate.

    1. Yes. And the cool thing is that for some schools, the physical traffic calming measures can be very cheap, leaving more room in the pot for those where something trickier is required.

      AT just needs to get bolder about bringing in the cheap solutions and rolling them out across the city. Lower speed limits and bollards to reroute the street layout for filtered permeability can be implemented across the city in just a couple of years.

  14. Good article.

    It is important to differentiate between confident cyclists and casual cyclists, because they ask for different things.

    Most children are not confident enough to cycle on road, regardless there is a green paint or not.

    Children with Kmart/Warehouse bike with basic awareness would prefer to cycle at walkway that is not shared by cars or trucks.

    Whereas confident adult cycles who buy a couple thousand dollars carbon fiber sport bike, would try to cycle on the road at 50kmh. They need smooth terrain which a walkway cannot provide.

  15. Great piece Heidi.
    Much of the work on safety and cycle lanes has been focussed on the CBD and commuters (fair enough if we’re to reduce congestion) but kids are still shuffled to school in cars. AT needs to urgently implement a safety programme in the ‘burbs, with lots of additional zebra crossings, raised tables, speed reduction, segregated cycle lanes, so parents and kids can feel safe walking or cycling to school.
    It is important that our kids grow up knowing that getting from A to B does not necessarily mean getting into a car if we’re to bring long term behavioural changes.

  16. Thanks Heidi – great article! Just a couple of thoughts – to me the study doesn’t seem that nuanced in the objective measures of the environment. For example, everything with a speed limit of less than 60km/h is grouped into “low-speed environment”, whereas I would’ve thought parental safety perceptions of a 30km/h street would be very different to a 50km/h road. And there seems to be no differentiation between painted cycle lanes and physically separated cycleways – again I would’ve thought parental safety perceptions would differ massively between these two. Do you think that’s a fair statement?

    Also I think it’s worth mentioning that the study only looked at secondary and intermediate school age children – it’s not talking saying anything about primary school age kids.

    1. I’m not sure if that’s right about the schools, Chris. Did you find something other than: “For each intermediate school, a contributing primary school (elementary school, years 1–6, approximate ages 5–11 years) was also invited to participate in the study, resulting in a primary-intermediate school dyad in each neighbourhood. ”

      Regarding the speeds, I’m not sure for starters if they’re measured speeds or speed limits. Certainly the streets which are essentially on ramps or off ramps are not suitable for vulnerable road users of any age – maybe there were so many schools with those sorts of roads that they needed to capture them? Maybe they wouldn’t have had much data if they’d used a lower speed measure to differentiate between groups of schools?

      I absolutely agree that we need to study what a difference a 30 km/hr speed limit would make to parents’ perceptions. Test and trial tomorrow, AT?

        1. No problem. I’m still thinking about your speed query… I wonder if Christchurch’s 30 km/hr speed areas would be a good place for some research on how parental license has changed there?

  17. I agree that we are a long way off from making infrastructure safe and available for our children to use it, but I have also noticed there are lacks of bike racks stand available at most lower decile schools, which makes it really hard from most parents to let their child cycle, scooter or skateboard to school, and also ensuring their personal belongings don’t get stolen or damaged. Another thing I have noticed is that most pathways are shoddy, and not smooth and doesn’t always have curb ramp when crossing the streets, it doesn’t make for an enjoyable scooter or bike ride for anyone, and even worse on bin days, where people actually put the bins out on the sidewalks. We had few scrapped knees and burst tears because of that, and it often put them off.

    1. “burst tears” ??

      Do you mean instances of children bursting into tears after falling off their bikes because of obstructive rubbish bins?
      Or did you maybe mean ‘burst tyres’, caused by sharp items of rubbish which have spilled out of the bins and caused punctures?

      Either would be a turn-off for those wishing to cycle.

      1. I mean bursting into tears as in when they hurt themselves from falling down because they can’t manage to ride their bike while navigating bins on the footpath. Most footpaths around here are so narrow that there isn’t enough room to get past them but that is one just example of how I mean we are far fromm being being bike friendly and bike conscious society.

        1. Yes, I witnessed a woman nearly wiped out by a bus because she was in a conversation with a companion, on a narrow footpath with someone coming the other way… and wheelie bins. The natural mistake to give way to the wheelie bin and the person coming the other way nearly cost her her life. And I have footage of Blockhouse Bay Rd and Great North Rd in Waterview when the wheelie bins block the entire footpath.

          What’s a child to do?

        2. I have been campaigning for 4 years to get the rubbish bins off the footpaths. IO made submissions on that when they were called for “Waste Management” and again prior to implimentation and more recently on proposed changes. All to no effect.
          Over the past 6 months seem to have got the ear of 2 Council employees but they have not been able to effect change although it did improve for a while,
          It is really time that we reclaimed the footpaths as footpaths and the roads as places for moving on rather than for parking on. I costs a lot more to build a road for load moving and nowhere near as much for parking.
          Further to this we need to think about the indentations in footpaths that have been put there for vehicle crossings which are a fall hazard for young an old. We also need to remember that footpaths are used by mothers with prams and mobility scooters for those who while travelling short distances can run out of battery when forced onto the soft grass verge in winter.



          Makes yme feel good.

  18. Off road cycle lanes should be mandatory (or at least strip the parking and provide a median separator.


    Also where I currently reside pedestrian (& thus cyclists as all cycleways are off road) are provided with fully protected pedestrian phases at traffic signals.

    Pedestrian movements at roundabouts should also be protected by speed humps/platforms or signalised.

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