Two years ago Auckland Transport embarked on a programme to change the speed limits on many roads around Auckland as part of their efforts to improve road safety. They started with changing the limits of around 700km of roads around the region, that’s about 10% of all local roads. Around 90% of those were rural roads but that 10% of urban roads included the streets in the City Centre. The changes were implemented last year.

Those changes were always intended to be just the first tranche of the programme and now AT are back consulting on the next big set of speed limit changes, this time covering around 800 roads around the region. Once again rural roads feature strongly with 208 roads on the list to be changed, this time mostly in the southeast, but the most notable urban changes proposed are to 462 roads near 57 schools.

Auckland Transport (AT) is asking for feedback on a proposal to change the speed limits of approximately 800 roads around the region.

Most of the proposed changes involve 462 roads near 57 schools around the region and 208 rural roads.

From today, AT will seek feedback on the proposal, which also includes roads in Ōtara Town Centre, residential roads in Manurewa as well as roads, mostly in Ponsonby and Freemans Bay, that have been requested by communities.

AT is legally required to investigate speed limits and, when it finds speed limits are not safe and appropriate, is legally required to make changes.

AT’s Road Safety Engineering Manager, Michael Brown, says the proposed new limits will support travel speeds that are safe and appropriate for the function, design and use of the roads.

“Improving safety around schools is an area of focus for AT as well as central government. These proposed changes will help to make it safer for children walking or cycling to school.

“Research shows there is strong community support for speed limit changes with 78 per cent of people supporting speed reductions around schools,” says Mr Brown.

Mr Brown adds that most of the proposed changes will have little impact on journey times for motorists.

“On 90 per cent of these roads, many drivers are already travelling much slower than the current speed limit due to the conditions. In rural areas, that’s often because the roads are narrow and windy. And in urban areas, it’s due to things like speed humps, congestion and knowing that the current speed limit is not appropriate.

“While most of the changes we propose will simply bring the posted speed limit into line with the speeds people are already travelling, it is important that these changes are made. Speed limits that are set too high can become a target for drivers to aim for, plus they can prevent the police from addressing those travelling at unsafe speeds.”

Mr Brown says some of the proposed changes are on high-risk roads – where there’s a greater chance of deaths or serious injuries occurring.

“In these instances, the proposed changes would create a very slight increase in journey times. For example, on Linwood Road near Karaka where speeds were changed last year, we know that a typical nine-minute journey is around 30 to 50 seconds longer. But the changes will help to reduce the chance of someone getting seriously hurt or killed.”

Most of the schools focused on for these speed limit changes are on the isthmus and and can be seen on the map below. AT say they “have prioritised the roads which already have road safety engineering measures like speed humps, or they already have low operating speeds and don’t require them“. They also say that under current legislation they can’t lower speeds unless they have added engineering measures to bring vehicle speeds down. However, that could be about to change with new legislation expected soon that will make the speed limit change process easier.

It does make me wonder how they managed to change speed limits in the city centre – also you may recall our post previewing the September board meeting and the business report noting that they are finally going to implement the engineering solutions they promised in 2019 for the Hobson/Nelson/Fanshawe Street corridors .

There are a couple of things that stand out to me with these proposed changes

  1. Many of these areas look like they’re almost ready-made Low Traffic Neighbourhoods. Some perhaps they only need a few bollards to stop rat-running traffic
  2. I don’t know why AT didn’t just do all the non-arterial roads across the central isthmus.
  3. It’s disappointing that AT have excluded making changes to any of the arterial roads

The majority of the remaining roads are rural ones in the southeast.

It’s good to see AT finally moving forward with this process, though I do wonder why it’s taking so long to get to this point – I recall being told the original plan was to do one big consultation like this each year.

Safety improvement also can’t come fast enough as this year has seen the number of deaths on our roads jump – over the last 12-months 62 people have lost their lives on Auckland Roads compared to 30 for the same time period last year.

Consultation on the changes is open till 14 November.

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104 comments

  1. Why do they consult to death a safety project, to the extent of dropping letters about it in letterboxes across the city–do they ever delay and consult to this extent for all their widening projects which reduce safety and increasing speeds…

    1. Yet if someone gets a paper cut at my work its a big deal from a health and safety perspective. Typical government: do as I say, not as I do.

    2. They do this then, but when I ask for my neighbourhood to be included (that already has physical amendments) they say they have no resources. I am pretty sure the issue is they are forced to consider speed changes, but are then forced to consult on changes. It’s weird.

  2. The South East road to the Coast is bizarre – that stretch has large distinct sections of winding switchback corners and then more typical, open-road NZ rural driving. Making the whole thing 60 kmh makes little sense; I can quickly see that getting ignored – can’t help but feel going down to 80kmh on the faster bits and then really tightening up the speeds through the twisty stuff would have better outcomes.

    1. Just to hammer this point home, there’s apparently no changes planned to North Road despite it being close to Duder Park and having several cambered corners and elevation changes that make it extremely challenging to drive safely at open road speeds, and that’s before you allow for cyclists or slower drivers. It also connects to the Eastern end of Clevedon. This is still going to be open-road, apparently?

      Yet the flat sections way out by the coast, with far less traffic and elevation changes are proposed to be run at 60 kmh? I don’t understand that.

      1. Yeah they’re ruining a lot of the good roads.
        Radar detectors help. I was never a big fan of them until they started this crap.

        1. Do you need a radar detector? Not sure about the rural roads, but the speed limit changes don’t seem to be enforced in the city at all and are just completely ignored.

        2. I mean the road is still there – you could probably apply to close it for a bent sprint or hillclimb or whatever – not like the Domain which they ruined (should have just closed Lower Domain Drive totally and kept it usable for the rally cars).

          But North Road definitely needs looking at. If anything it’s the one in the district that needs paring back to 60kmh more than any of the ones they’ve actually flagged.

    1. There are a few changes in the north. We got the letter drop here in Paremoremo for the most worthless consultation I can think of…

      Changing the first 50 metres of a road from 60kph to 50kph, you know the 50 metres where all the cars are either slowing down for the intersection or speeding up having pulled into the road. After that 50 metres the rest of the no exit road is 50kph but has no centreline so should be 30kph.

    2. A couple of North Shore schools are part of the proposed changes I understand. I live near Sunnynook School and AT are proposing to make all the roads around the school area (except Sunnynook and Sunset) 30km/hr. A great idea as there are 3 pre-schools and some local shops on Tonkin Drive included. The funny side of it is there are already speed calming humps, pedestrian crossing and a roundabout and the streets are so narrow it is virtually impossible to get up to 50 anyway but AT are treating it as a trial around schools. One they can do just for the cost of the signage! Anyway it will be great for these streets.

    3. Yes, one near me is on a cul the sac that will now be limited to 30.

      Even there, there’s people commenting to not change it because the current 50 works “just fine”. Even though I don’t think it is physically possible to drive 50.

  3. With the likelihood of our ICU capacity being put under pressure in the near future, there would be a massive health gain by a blanket reducuction of the opposing traffic open road speed to 80kph, and the urban road speed to 30kph across the country.
    On a local level,the road death/injury stats under AT,s jurisdiction are going to make appalling reading at the next meeting ,drastic action required.

    1. Reducing the National speed limit to 80kph will create more emissions.
      That’s not a good idea and arguing health as a reason is flawed logic

      1. Sorry that’s completely wrong. For most cars, fuel consumption (l/km) rises above about 80 km/h due to the increasing effect of wind resistance, which gets worse the faster you drive because it’s proportional to the square of the speed. How much worse depends on how aerodynamic your car is. Typically you’ll burn about 15% more fuel at 100 km/h than 80 km/h. Utes are so bad that their optimum speed is lower. For the Ford F-150 it’s less than 50 km/h.

        1. It’s about the efficiency of your catalytic converter. This works best at around 112kph.
          That’s why speed bumps are so bad for health, the cat cools down and all the nasty Nox goes out the tail pipe unburnt.

        2. CO2 dominates being 80% of the total in GHG terms and is directly proportional to fuel consumption. The difference in NOx between 80 and 100 or whatever is relatively tiny.

        3. CO2 is not a health issue, but Nox is.
          If you travel 100 kms at 80kph, instead of 100 Koh, that extra 15 minutes of driving will also create additional Nox and be emitting CO2.

        4. Peter, this thread is about 80km/hr areas, the vast majority of roads that would be this speed are in rural, low population areas, where nox is not such a large issue, but the still co2 is.

  4. My daughter’s school is at the end of a short narrow cul-de-sac but is not part of these changes. Do AT think that 50 kmh is a sensible and safe speed limit on such a road with a school? Or do they have to install speed bumps to lower the speed limit in a narrow cul-de-sac? Or is it just in an area they don’t give a crap about, as also witnessed by the decimated footpaths and dangerous crossing at the main road?
    I have complained about it, and being a safety complaint I assume they sent someone there straight away as “AT is legally required to investigate speed limits and, when it finds speed limits are not safe and appropriate, is legally required to make changes”, and they must have found no issue with 50 kmh?

    1. Yea the way AT have a team/unit for speed is absurd. Speed is the key adjustable variable to make interactions safe it should be at the core of all safety considerations. But, you make a complaint or a submission about it and get directed away from the people doing the project to completely different unit, that do these yearly speed reduction batches. This gets even more stupid where they are building physical infrastructure knowing that in the next few years the speed might reduce.

  5. Re – arterial roads. I spoke with an Engineer from AT in charge with the lower speeds project, he said that they have been told that arterials are never going to have their speeds reduced. He refused to give me a reason, for this beyond car movement importance. This in addition to AT refusing to re allocate any arterial space for bikes, is a real bummer.

    I also asked for my neighbourhood (already has substantial speed slowing infrastructure) to be considered for lower speed limits, despite him describing it as a “perfect candidate”, nothing. But I am not central so hey, maybe next year.

    1. From my limited understanding, 50 is a more appropriate speed for arterials. Perhaps not our arterials with all the driveways though?

      They certainly need some changes to make that speed appropriate, removal of the medians / replacement with some kind of kerb. No random right turns, more lights. And provision for cyclists. Perhaps with people redeveloping sites we could get rid of the need to have all the driveways directly onto them, over time.

      1. The ITF report that came out a few years ago was pretty clear that arterial roads that have residential homes on them should have 30kph speed limits. I almost half get arguments for keeping a tad higher arterial speeds in NZ context, IF there is safe walking and meaningful bike infrastructure and the roads are easy to cross, but we get none of that because these 5 lane roads need 2 lanes of parking.

      2. Vision Zero needs 30 km/hr where people are. That’s what AT and Government signed up for when they adopted it.

        If they want higher speeds on arterials than this, then they need to fully separate people from vehicles, including at the intersections. Vision Zero is absolutely clear that “temporal separation” is not sufficient. So we can only have pedestrian crossings and traffic signals in 30 km/hr environments. Above this speed, we would need barriers, underpasses and overpasses. Which are not appropriate. So we need 30 km/hr.

        That AT and Government haven’t got their heads around this is a tragedy. They need to design city streets of all kinds for local trips and proximity, not for distance trips and speed – which require motorways.

        1. Wait, so the solution in urban areas, you have 30km/hr streets, and any speeds higher than that require full grade separation?

          Even seemingly committed vision zero countries like the Netherlands don’t do this. They have plenty of arterials that have lights and pedestrian crossings etc at 50km/hr, and I believe they still build new ones like that.

        2. They are still aiming for Zero, Jack. And if you look at where they have achieved Zero, it is where they have full separation.

          The key here is “Moving Beyond Zero”… and learning to stop designing for mobility. You might be interested in the book, “From Mobility to Accessibility”, mentioned here:

          https://twitter.com/davidzipper/status/1447184642029805570?s=12

          I have a most hilarious OIA sequence of emails from WK about Mill Rd, as it was, indicating the gulf between their understanding and Vision Zero on this. Designing yet more distance into our system when the opposite is best practice for safety, is just downright negligent.

    2. Depends what kind of arterial road you are talking about; an urban arterial through a busy shopping area or other locations with lots of pedestrians will most definitely get a reduced speed limit at some point. Especially as the greater use of “One Network Framework” with its consideration of Movement & Place kicks in. E.g. in Christchurch, we have Riccarton Rd (25,000 vpd) through Riccarton and Ferry Rd (17,000 vpd) through Woolston both getting the 30kmh treatment; Lincoln Rd (21,000) through Addington is next…

    3. “He refused to give me a reason, for this beyond car movement importance.”
      hahaha. In a climate crisis and one of your targets is to preserve car movements – shit for brains!

  6. Those streets that are already calmed, this will be a big help. People feel the need to brake hard, then accelerate back up to 50. No longer!

    I can already hear the griping about people opposing the 30 limit now. saying, “you dont have to drive that speed, thats just the max”. But the problem is people that think they’re totally entitled to drive that fast, and honking etc at people that do safe speeds with parked cars and kids with balls or dogs. Even if people break the new limit, it helps set expectations that actually, if you’re doing 50 down narrow purely residential streets you are in the wrong here. And the bloke driving slow in front of you is doing the right thing.

    just getting salty at utes honking at me for doing appropriate speeds on residential streets

    1. Totally. I don’t have any patience for their sort of impatience.
      Maybe I’m a bad person but I get a special sort of joy by driving slowly (appropriately for my street) in front of folks like that.

  7. The problem with this project is that the changes have been really inconsistently applied. Where I live, there are 3 narrow, windy roads that connect two bigger road that run parallel to each other. They’re all about 5km apart.

    Road 1 is two lanes, narrow, prone to flooding and has a 1 lane bridge in the middle. In the previous changes, Its speed limit was dropped from 80 to 50.

    Road 2 is two lanes, mostly residential and has blind corners at each end. It was dropped from 80 to 50.

    Road 3 is residential. It’s two lanes for about 80% of its length, before becoming a series of blind hairpins and is less than one lane wide. Each exit onto the bigger roads is blind – you pull out and pray – and there are a lot of accidents. It has no streetlights, a stream that floods and is frequently blocked by trees in storms. It is between roads 1 and 3 and has remained 80km/h.

    1. What would be far more sensible is that central government should make 30kph the default speed limit for residential streets.
      Speeds different from this should require a case by case justification.

  8. Many of these areas look like they’re almost ready-made Low Traffic Neighbourhoods. Some perhaps they only need a few bollards to stop rat-running traffic
    This also brings up the point that creating low traffic neighbourhoods, and bring cars back under control, doesn’t have to be done all at once.

    I think the piecemeal approach that they’ve essentially created is much better (politically) than coming in and doing it all at once. Whereas before with the Onehunga one for example, people were all inconvenienced all at once, and there wasn’t time to organically switch modes and get all the benefits.
    Putting in a few chicanes here and there, curb build outs at intersections to make the car parks pocketed in (prevent people parking on the sidewalk) and shorten crossing distances. Add a few speed humps or road narrowing where needed, then like we’re seeing, lower the limit to whatever all the slowing devices were designed for (30).

    The end game is to put in a few modal filters deep in the residential network. You could do one at a time in response to any complaints from people on that street complaining about rat running etc. I think the way to pitch it as ‘cul de sac makers’. This is where we aren’t quite at yet, but I could see it coming with some effort from AT.

    The advantage with a piecemeal approach is that after you make a couple changes you get some of the benefits for some people, couple more changes, couple more benefits, you spread out the adjustment time, and gain support from the community. I doubt many people living on these upmarket, calmed streets wants them removed and to encourage through traffic on their street.

    I also think going hyper local with it, eg only consulting people on that immediate street, or even section of street for those specific measures. Consulting the entire area about removing through traffic on one street is like asking toddlers how many lollies they should be allowed

    1. There is a point at which sentiment will flip and it will be appropriate to change the rest all at once, but I don’t think we’re there yet, so I agree that a piecemeal approach is best for now.

      The pragmatist in me says that a lot of the traffic calming measures in the first tranches will need to be revisited, in the same way that early cycling infrastructure will need to be upgraded, but as we’ve seen successive upgrade on the NW Cycleway, it’s not impossible, just frustratingly slow.

      1. Yes, I think getting a few example neighborhoods pushed a bit further on towards LTN’s would help. Point to them and say, “don’t you want your neighborhood’s infra to look like that?”

        Old traffic calming measures like this:
        https://goo.gl/maps/L8fEkoZr9WuUPkfu9, or this : https://goo.gl/maps/wxePUZ22xG2Pfhyd7
        Are I think considered far from ideal. I’m semi sure if you asked Bike Auckland they wouldn’t want those to built today. However the netherlands etc use very similar looking traffic calming measures pretty extensively. I think that everything will change when the speed limits for these streets are 30km/hr. Then bikes are almost keeping up in mixed traffic.
        https://youtu.be/5aNtsWvNYKE?t=164 this is the kind of street that we should probably be aiming for with these changes, in the end. And they use chicanes and narrowing that cause pinch points extensively.

        So long story short, these original traffic calming measures that were built, are in my unprofessional opinion well designed, just not for 50km/hr.

        If Max from Bike Auckland is reading these comments perhaps he will be able to comment better.

        1. I think it is a problem on busy roads. For example the bike lanes through Northcote are pinched in a few places by kerb build outs. I thought they were going to remove these but this one just got rebuilt (I think it got a bit bigger too) — https://goo.gl/maps/BpNBk6TSVBKhqLc49. Oops.

          On quiet residential streets I don’t think it matters, but this kind of street doesn’t exist in Auckland right now.

    2. The piecemeal approach ensures people keep being killed on our roads, when could easily make changes to ensure they live.

      There are OECD counties NZ size that have road deaths in double digits and cities that go years between bike user an pedestrian deaths, change is needed.

      1. Yes yes, I get this is exactly what we should, and the sooner the better do and its a crime to delay or do anything else etc etc.

        But this is the political hand we are dealt and it needs to be engineered exactly as the roads do. There is an optimal political solution to get change delivered as fast as possible, some sort of sequence of events that the community should ask for, and AT should do, that will deliver the desired infrastructure as fast as possible. Empirical evidence has shown that going all and doing it all at once in hasn’t worked and ended up with squat. We need a better way to do these changes politically.

        I think the piecemeal approach will deliver the changes as fast as they can be, especially when compared to a small group on the sidelines yelling for sweeping change. That is a lesson in how to be totally ignored 101.

        1. It’s a crime, but it’s what you want to do?

          AT approach is absolutely terrible. Speed is essentially in isolation, but then their interpretation/understanding requires them to physically alter the roads. This the choice they are making, and it is killing people.

          Blanket the city in 30kph, enforce the law (maybe use technology), piecemeal increases to roads that a deemed truly safe can be considered. Change the law get it done.

        2. That’s exactly what I’m talking about. Advocating for things like that, that are just never going to happen because if everyone in power did, then the next election cycle they’d all be kicked to the curb, most of it would get reversed, and such extreme measures might even incur the wrath of central govt adding in even more measures to block such changes from occurring in the future.

          It might even be considered worse than useless because now if you mention traffic calming or LTN’s in Onehunga (especially on the FB page) you might as well dig your own grave. Some politicians have to do a shit load of work now (if they ever do) to change the conversation to get the community to support even some more basic traffic calming measures.

          All the other countries that have had great success in LTNs and controlling cars recently / over the last decades had significantly higher starting points. We are starting as one of the most car dependent cities, in one of the most car dependent nations in the world. We have a lot to work towards before starting more rapid change. Of course now that we have a handbook and target, from these other nations work, our overall timeline could be much shorter than theirs, which might have taken 50 years say. I think we could get it mostly done in a decade or two. But not by the process which you describe.

        3. Also I agree that ATs approach is very far from ideal, and it is killing people.

          “It’s a crime, but it’s what you want to do?” yep, because the alternative is to continue the crime for far longer.

        4. Jack. I fundamentally disagree, we can make cars go 30kph, that protects the community massively and takes away the need to spend millions in every single intersection. Just mandating this will save lives. The whole people won’t follow the restrictions is not a real thing even in the research that AT and NZTA cite. Having an open consultation session for a couple of decades is not going to do much.

        5. Jak, the evidence is with you here. We know how to approach this politically. We just don’t have the leader required.

        6. I think the disagreement here is that I’m coming at this from the perspective of the leadership being bad (which it is), and I have extremely little hope of there suddenly being an entire group of leaders, at all levels, that are totally willing to politically die for these changes.

          And that with leadership as it is, and the system in place to set the leadership up like it is, this is the path that remains an option for AT. Progressive frog boiling, until people adjust and realize that the system we’re moving to is better.

        7. We need to find the right mayor and we could be sailing straight towards a liveable city from next year onwards. The more slow and piecemeal processes are discussed as if they are preferable, the more likely we are to get them.

        8. Heidi for Mayor !

          Why not? If all we ever have is numpties like Goff standing, then that is all we are ever going to get. We need far more people standing – more interesting people, more intelligent people, more people with leadership values and with a vision. Heidi would not be a Phil Goff-alike mayor, she would be her own woman and would be a breath of fresh air in the field of Auckland politics, after years of death by Banks, Hubbard and Goff. Time for a change !

    3. Jack, I think the evidence is moving as fast as possible brings benefits faster and is easier politically.

      Our problem here isn’t public resistance. AT’s evidence shows the public are supportive of the programme. The problem is their fear of vocal minority resistance, which is stupid because AT shouldn’t even be concerned – they’re supposed to be at arms’ length from politics. The other problem is why AT are choosing to have this concern – it is for ideological, not technical, reasons.

      The public basically want to see competence and delivery, and will be critical if it’s not provided. The public will lash back about the rising number of deaths and the finger pointing between organisations.

      AT have the opportunity to act and message well, but the safety teams will need proper support from management, which is lacking.

    1. It is quite the surprise, given decades empirical evidence and statistics saying otherwise.

      It seems more likely that noise and external factors are to blame, considering the all the literature. Otherwise it would be quite the revelation. bring on the 100km/hr queen street.

        1. Reduced traffic = less congestion = higher speeds = higher likelihood of fatal or serious injury when you do have one. The same effect of increasing fatality rate has been noted elsewhere.

          However, more pertinently to this case, the fatal/injury rates on the 10% of roads that did have limits lowered DID reduce notably, so the stats you’re seeing are more to do with the 90% that didn’t get changed (incl many big arterial roads where most crashes happen).

      1. Chance, sheer recklessness that no speed limit will ever address, lack of seat belts, walking in front of buses, thinking road rules don’t apply to you, a variety of things other than speed. The point is always missed if speed is always held up to blame!

        1. All of the consequences of those things are lessened (significantly) by having lower speeds though.

          If I hit another car doing 30 vs 50, clearly the impact energy and accelerations are less, so will do less damage.

        2. You’re probably right regarding chance, the rest of your comment is nonsensical though, given the thing that changed was the speed limit.

          People were walking in front of buses and not wearing seatbelts before the speed limits were lowered and will continue to afterwards.

  9. If the speed is lowered around the city and suburbs, it would make the mobility (e-bike, bike, e-scooter and trains/bus etc) transport more attractive and not to mention good for the climate. Probably the cheapest way to reduce the carbon footprint.

  10. There’s some clunky legislation that needs to get sorted out by government to give more agility to RCAs to make changes. It would not be hard to create in the Speed Limit Rule a category of Demonstration Speed Limit that could be used to show a limit works and then be made Permanent after 6-12 months if there are no problems. This could be used along with Innovating Streets tactical treatments to develop the right local scheme. The current Rule still makes it very difficult to make sensible and obvious changes quickly, or to link them to any kind of scheme that makes physical changes in the road.

    1. Updated Setting of Speed Limits Rule is coming – it was consulted on a few months back. Much easier process for making speed limit changes happen

  11. When I was driving on the motorway yesterday, I thought to myself – why can’t the open road limit be 80 kph? That would both reduce fatalities and also greenhouse gas emissions.
    So seriously why not?
    Maybe 80kph in urban areas and 90 kph beyond

    1. basically it should be for every non directionally separated road in the country.

      Waka Kotahis planned upping of the waikato expressway to 110 for the whole thing with no consultation is quite revealing of their biases.

      1. Yeah, so why isn’t it? Because we are catering to people’s love of speed, and/or the need to get to a destination just that bit quicker?
        I would have though in the scheme of things accident fatalities and climate change are more important….

        1. I think the non-directionally separated roads getting put at 80/90 would be much more palatable if more of the state highway network had lane separation, ie with median ropes and could be kept at 100. But because various political parties have been burning billions on a few km of new expressway alignments, there’s nothing left over for regional state highways (post hopefully coming one day).
          Relegating all of the south south island except a bit around chch and dunedin to 90km/hr or less would be uhhh quite the bitter political pill to swallow. And pretty much the same as the north island. Roads like this really should have median ropes https://goo.gl/maps/9EoGKvEnXaPJ9e6W6
          And bits like this should be 80 (imo) https://goo.gl/maps/7rQzXUiHQKm6vmQi6

          The crash map is really pretty bad when you zoom out, especially on state highways.
          https://maphub.nzta.govt.nz/cas/

          On non congested open road fuel burn per km is optimized at about 100km/hr. Although if the speed limit were lower you would probably have fewer discretional trips.

        2. A bitter pill for whom, though? So many people have lost family members or loved ones and bitterly want lower speed limits. Families with young people learning to drive or recently driving often wish the limits were lower. Older drivers often stop driving because the speeds are too high. I really hate the assumption that ‘the public’ don’t want lower speeds when that’s not what the evidence says. It’s what the Old Media and vested interests say.

        3. I think the bitter pill is a metaphor for getting stomped at the next round of elections. Ambition doesn’t amount to much if you don’t get elected.

          Although I think it is a reasonable suggestion to have 80 or so by default, and on, say, State Highways (where you drive most km anyway) you can look at it on a case by case basis. In theory if you want to drive faster you can always campaign for some engineering to make that safe.

          Of course there will be plenty of complaints about Nanny State, but what do you think is the Venn diagram of:

          – People who will complain about Nanny State
          – People who make Nanny State necessary because without speed limit they go High Speed Lemming behind the wheel.

  12. I’d like to see the fatal accident sites overlaid to ensure the speed restrictions are where they should be not where the “experts” say they should be.

    1. How do you think “the experts” determine the sites? Other than for land-use reasons (eg near schools, shopping centres), they’re prioritised based on the existing level of serious/fatal crashes and the greatest ability for lower speed limits to reduce those numbers.

  13. I got this from Auckland transport after nearly getting hit for the 2nd time on the pedestrian crossing next to Three kings school and requesting that they look at making a raised crossing.

    https://www.google.co.nz/maps/@-36.907633,174.7609462,3a,75y,221.29h,74.09t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s_YVLivnNHbuJ2KEx081pZQ!2e0!7i16384!8i8192?hl=en-GB

    Thank you for your concerns about pedestrian safety at 276 St Andrews Road, Epsom.

    We’re sorry to hear you’ve experienced trouble on this road. We’ve now reviewed the details of your case.

    We appreciate your concerns; however, we will not be making changes right now.

    Our engineers investigated your concerns and observed the following

    -Diamond in both approaches are clear
    -School zone electronic speed warning signs are clear.
    -No recoded crash at this location in last 5 years which indicates the crossing operates relatively safe.
    -In addition, the crossing is monitored by school patrol during the school start and end time.

    Not giving way to pedestrians is illegal driver behaviour, which can be enforced by police. We recommend that you report to NZ Police for targeted enforcement.

    We will also inform NZ police in our next liaise on meeting with them.

  14. I do not understand the thinking here. Why do so many people think adjusting the speed limit signs is a better idea than learning how to drive adequately. Reading the signs instead of reading the road is counterintuative!! Or is that the issue? Adjusting speed signs does little for safety. People ignore them or become impatient with those that try to follow them and speeders will speed regardless of the sign. Traffic “accidents” don’t happen because of the number written on the sign, they happen because of poor driving!! Are we simply being punished to cover the lowest common denominator?
    Multiple speed limits make the issue more complex. I hate to be one of those that talks about the old days, but one limit for town, one for open roads and a transition between seemed to work pretty well…

    1. This thinking is for lack of a better word, the ‘old’ thinking.
      And people saying, “just drive better” has resulted in a vastly higher road toll than we could have otherwise had.

      This kind of individualized thinking applied over large populations is totally pointless. People on average will behave how the systems are designed to allow them to behave. If we design the system to have less people die, then less people will die. Its a pretty simple choice, design thing for less people to die, or design something so more people die.

      Part of the system is to have limits that are appropriate. Non directionally separated roads are basically all going to fall to 80-90 km/hr across the country eventually. That’s the international standard for non directionally separated roads.

      The complexity of the system is a bit of a teething issue. In the future it will become clear with the road design how fast people should drive. But given the cost that changing the design entails, it cant happen immediately.

      1. “this thinking” / “this kind of individualized thinking”
        being the idea that people should just be better at driving.

    2. “I do not understand the thinking here. Why do so many people think adjusting the speed limit signs is a better idea than learning how to drive adequately.”

      Empirical evidence. Lower speed limits work. Driver education doesn’t. In the vast majority of crashes resulting in death or serious injury. No one was engaging in any high risk behaviour (i.e. no seatbelt, drunk, on phone, on drugs), they’ve made a simple mistake for which they have paid with their life or a traumatic, potentially life altering injury.

  15. Its not simply a matter of reducing the speed limit.
    The streets need to have traffic management devices added to ensure those speed limits are adhered to.

    On rural roads this could mean narrowing the lanes & wider paint markings.

    On urban roads, speed humps and other speed devices.

    1. Tweaking the road environment no doubt helps make speed limits more self-explaining, but don’t under-estimate the value of changing a speed limit alone. People tend to take their cues from both the road environment and speed limit. As a rough rule of thumb: if you change a limit by 10km/h then typically the mean speed changes by about 2-3km/h in the absence of any other changes.

      That might not sound like much of a change but actually it can result in quite a notable change in casualties (esp more serious/fatal ones); the effect is exponential. E.g. a 5% change in speeds can lead to ~20% change in fatalities.

      The upshot is that, while it would be great to retrofit roads to support the new speed limits, that shouldn’t be a reason to delay introducing the speed limits now.

      1. to add to that, it helps solidify that the design will change.
        AT renew roads all the time and never give a thought about changing the speed or the design. Its a chicken and egg thing, and changing the speeds now at least breaks that excuse cycle of, “no design change because speed is X, no speed change because the design is X”

      2. Hi Glenn,
        I don’t disagree that the changes should go ahead. As you note the speed limit reduction will achieve some change in mean speed.
        One might say they are necessary but not necessarily sufficient (on a street by street basis)

  16. Consultation is a sop to create the impression that what the public thinks actually matters. I do not expect public submissions to make any difference. AT has persisted with an arrogance for their agenda and, of course, the public consultation sham will be ignored. When has a Public Consultation ever had an impact? Never.
    After all, we know that the bureaucracy’s contempt for the public is underwritten by the belief that the public don’t know what’s good for them.
    Most of AT’s agenda is about moving people off private vehicles and onto public transport.
    Unfortunately, the public transport service is so appallingly unsuitable for actually getting around Auckland, as the city is so spread out, distances are significant and the the vast amount of cross-city traffic cannot be efficiently substituted with the current network.
    So, instead of making a public transport that actually meets the needs of the city, they attack the and penalise those those who can’t use it, or for whom the system is unsuitable.

    1. “When has a Public Consultation ever had an impact? Never.”
      Happens all the time, particularly with cycleway projects. The only set in stone requirement of a recent cycleway project was that no car parking was to be removed, added after consultation. Nothing about cycleway requirements for the cycleway project, just requirements about cars.

      Don’t let your bias cover your eyes.

      “ So, instead of making a public transport that actually meets the needs of the city, they attack the and penalise those those who can’t use it, or for whom the system is unsuitable.”
      I dont really know what you mean by this, I assume the ‘punishment’ is adding bus lanes by taking away car space and the like. But thats the whole point, its what’s needed to solve all the issues you point out with the bus network. The reason its unreliable, slow, limited route coverage, is because cars are in the way all the time. Just because cars have some in and expanded to fill every inch of pavement in the city doesn’t mean they’re entitled to that.

    2. Anthony, oh yee of little faith. “When has a Public Consultation ever had an impact? Never.” Why, dear sir, you are quite wrong.

      Ever heard of the Basin Bridge Board of Inquiry? A project down in Wellington almost a decade ago now, where the official Government backed scheme was reviewed by the community and it was judged to be lacking in quality. NZTA called 57 highly-paid “expert witnesses” who testified that what NZTA was proposing was the gold standard and the best possible outcome (for cars) but the public clearly replied and said that it was a rubbish outcome (for people) and so it was tossed out on the scrap heap.
      But be careful what you wish for. NZTA have done zero about it since. They’ve since been “consulting” for the last 7 years, and still not a shred of action.

    1. As we understand more about needless death and serious injury, speed limits get reduced.

      Car safety for car occupants is a very different thing to car safety for other road users. The latter type of safety has reduced considerably in recent years, due to increases in vehicle size, height, mass and driver distraction features.

  17. From the consultation doc:
    “The internationally recognised safe and appropriate speed in areas with people walking and on bikes, like around schools, is 30km/h.”
    Nice.

    Also:
    “In some instances, there are schools close to the proposed changes but we do not propose changes on these roads at present. That’s because, under current legislation, the roads near these schools would need engineering measures (like speed humps) to bring vehicle speeds down before speed limit changes can be considered.”

    I mean, What? Really? Is there really some legislation that means they need to use engineering measures to reduce speeds before the speed limit can be lowered? But they lowered the speed limits through the CBD without engineering measures?

    1. AT are half right here. There is legislation that requires the expected mean operating speeds to be only 10% above the proposed speed limit.

      But AT are being very conventional in their approach to how much they could reduce the mean operating speeds – evidence shows a whole raft of measures they can use to achieve a bigger drop than they assume (which seems to be just an outdated rule of thumb).

      The legislation is about to be changed – which means we can expect to see a big change in how they approach this soon. (It also means that in terms of risk management, the risk to life and limb here is far bigger than any risk of challenge, but this is AT).

    1. The lack of upgrading the majority of the state highway network is borderline criminal in my mind.

      The answer is bloody obvious with median wire ropes and similar upgrades. They can do 100s of km of road with the price of 10 km of new motorway. But instead its all in on a 1.5 billion 0.2 BCR motorway.
      If they did these https://www.nzta.govt.nz/projects/sh1-dome-valley/gallery kinds of projects instead, they could get a ~80% reduction in DSI all the way to the northernmost extent of the SH1 for the same price as the planned Warkworth to Wellsford motorway.

      Of course it doesn’t make sense to do even these cheaper upgrades everywhere, and statistically the death and injury rate drops significantly below 80-90km/hr so inevitably a lot of roads have to be dropped. By upgrading the places where most VKT is done, they can minimize the impact though.

    1. Did you even look at that data before posting it? There are loads of crashes on Coatseville Riverhead Highway, many with high severity outcomes. 15 fatal or serious crashes in the last 10 years (more if we include the intersections at each end). P.S. the government actually loses money on fines once you factor in the costs of recovery.

      1. The intersections are in the 80 khr zones go figure, they are dangerous.
        We have read the data and as locals we know about most accidents.
        The point is the revenue collected ( 1 camera only went from $1m over two years to $3.7m in six months) so is this about Safety? Collect half of the fines and still spend nothing to improve the network.
        This is one road, council now have the authority to change whatever roads they see fit, no real analysis like transit used to do and yet spend nothing, tell us why?

        1. Mt experience of engaging with the public is that people are overwhelmingly unaware of the carnage happening on their local roads. Most people are startled to learn that there is a fatal or serious crash at least yearly on that road.

          Of course the lower speed limit has increased fines issued. When the speed limit is reduced people are more likely to speed (although average speeds will decrease). More importantly, they are less likely to die.

          You are wrong about the analysis by the way. Speed limits have to be set in accordance with the speed management guide. A lot of analysis went into preparing the guide, and a lot of analysis is still done on every single road where the speed limit changes.

          Transit used to do a lot of analysis because the law made it almost impossible to change limits. As a result of that law thousands of people have dies unnecessarily and tens of thousands have been seriously injured.

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