It’s been three months since our post, Where do we put our fury and our grief?, which responded to a cycling fatality on our roads. Later that same week, we all learned that the person killed while riding their bike on Manukau Road in Royal Oak was 19-year-old Levi James.
Our post highlighted the fact that the location where this happened has known safety issues. Manukau Road is on AT’s cycling network as a priority regional route; according to AT’s own design guide and parking strategy, it shouldn’t have parking on it at all. And yet, it does, creating the conditions for a ‘dooring’ incident resulting in death. This tragedy was not an accident; it was a consequence.
The guest post below by Damian Light (originally published here) captures some of what we’ve been wondering in the months since: what will it take for AT to act on making streets like Manukau Road safer for people on bikes like Levi?
I’ve gone to write this piece a number of times, but struggled. Not because I don’t know what to write, but because it makes me so angry and frustrated. Too many people are being killed or seriously injured on our roads.
And Auckland Transport has been big on promises for road safety, but their record shows otherwise. Their website proclaims that they have adopted Vison Zero:
“Vision Zero, an ethics-based transport safety approach, was developed in Sweden in the late 1990s. It places responsibility on the people who design and operate the transport system to provide a safe system. This is a transport system that is built for human beings, that acknowledges that people make mistakes and human bodies are vulnerable to high-impact forces in the event of a crash. To protect people from forces that can cause traumatic injury we need to look at how the whole system works together to protect all those who use our roads.”
The page that makes this bold claim that “No death or serious injury is acceptable” has little updates since 2020. The Auckland Transport Monthly crash statistics – Road deaths and serious injuries page hasn’t been updated since 15 April 2021 and most of the data is from 2020. No surprise, they’ve never taken road safety seriously.
But this is too important – people are being killed. These aren’t just numbers – real people are dying on our roads in avoidable situations.
On 5 March 2022, Levi James (19) was killed on his bike riding to see his grandmother. Not only is this a terrible tragedy, it was avoidable – Auckland Transport had recently completed a project in this area, but refused to consider basic safety improvements for bikes, even though their own plans and policies required it. And improvements recommended by an independent safety review weren’t implemented either. They’ve blamed budgets, but that’s a cop out – there are simple solutions that don’t cost big money. And this is meant to be a priority regional route on the strategic cycling network. Read this post on Greater Auckland for more details.
12 weeks since this terrible tragedy and Auckland Transport have done nothing.
In an email to a council worker after Levi’s death, seen by the Herald, an Auckland Transport (AT) staffer said the organisation had considered removing parking outside the shops as a “quick win”, however, that would require consultation with businesses and affected parties.
“We anticipate that given the town centre environment and businesses operating there would be varied responses and would take several months to complete.”
– Father’s grief as officials fail to act after teen cyclist son’s death in Royal Oak, NZ Herald 27 May 2022
This should be completely unacceptable, but it’s how Auckland Transport respond. Four years after the tragic loss of life in an intersection in East Tamaki, there is still no sign of action from Auckland Transport despite a coroner’s ruling that the road layout was the primary cause of death.
William Wiki Teoi was hit by a car while crossing East Tamaki Rd in Ōtara and died later at Middlemore Hospital from heart failure in March 2018.
The 84-year-old had been trying to cross the busy four-lane road because a nearby pedestrian crossing was not accessible in his wheelchair.
Why has it taken so long to do nothing? Auckland Transport decided to do something else instead, widening the road instead of building a safe crossing for people.
I’ve been fighting with Auckland Transport to get them to build a crossing near my workplace – as we were promised in 2015. And again in 2017, 2018, 2019… When they finally did something (on one of the five intersections), they managed to make a complete meal of it.
How does this keep happening?
Auckland Transport has a serious cultural issue that needs to be addressed. And culture is driven from the top – the executive leadership and the Board. So what is being said at the highest levels of Auckland Transport? At their Board meeting on 26 May 2022, this is what appears in their papers.
The AT safety team are aware of these concerning trends and are continuing to deliver on the 2021 business improvement review recommendations. One of the key actions has been the development of the advocacy plan, focusing on increasing our influence on policy and regulatory changes to support our Vision Zero strategy such as our ongoing work with NZ Police to increase enforcement efforts and with Ministry of Transport’s Fines and Penalties Review.
For an organisation that is taking Vision Zero seriously will ensure that safety is an issue that everyone considers not just “the safety team”. Developing an advocacy plan isn’t going to bring back Levi, William or the 59 people killed on Auckland roads in 2021. Vision Zero requires a system response, not pushing the responsibility onto a team who’s responsible for advocating for change. “System designers are ultimately responsible for the safety level in the entire system – systems, design, maintenance and use.” is what their website says, but their Board papers say otherwise.
The data here is from December 2021 which is almost 6 months ago. Worse, the comment here is identical to the comment that appeared in the same report (but a different graph) in March 2022. Not only has AT done nothing in the period between these meetings, they’re just copying and pasting their excuses.
I’ve never seen an organisation do so little in the face of such awful, avoidable tragedy. I’ve worked for organisations that have hurt and lost people so have no illusions about how challenging this can be. But in every case I’ve seen people try to fix the problems, laser focus on the immediate issue and a increased focus on health and safety throughout the organisation. Auckland Transport seems immune to the very human response that we must all do better to ensure that people get home safety.
The Mayor and Councillors helped build this culture when they voted in support of a proposed Emergency Budget that cut funding for safety programmes, with the full knowledge that it would lead to more serious injuries and deaths on our roads.
I’ve sat in meetings and watched elected representatives and council staff debate which part of council should pay for critical safety infrastructure for children. I’ve seen the determined school representative come back month after month, begging for action not more words or promised. But instead of keeping our tamariki safe, Auckland Council has been distracted with it’s own internal processes.
I’ve written to the Chief Executive of Auckland Transport asking him why their organisation is failing to respond, although I have little faith that I will get a reasonable response.
What will it take for Auckland Transport and Auckland Council to act?
— Damian Light
Originally published here.
AT have a yearly budget of $2 billion. To claim they have no money to fix the royal oak roundabout and install cycling facilities on Mt Albert Road is ridiculous.
If they just put off all their other stuff for one year and spent the entire $2 billion on safety, imagine what they could achieve.
As I have said before, no other business in the country gets away this. Imagine a company allowing so many preventable deaths a year because they supposedly had no money to fix it while also having a revenue of $2 billion. Or allowing preventable death because some of their users wouldn’t like the inconvenience of the fixes.
Actually the RLTP2021 “income” is 37 billion for 10 years.
Lack of funding is nothing more than excuses – most of the essential stuff isn’t that expensive, especially if they included in during the project (rather than trying to retrofit it afterwards). I don’t understand how WorkSafe and the Govt let them get away with this, it’s appalling.
Indeed a fundamental safety focus would completely shift the programme, and save money.
Yep fully agree.
There are a massive range of things that they can do, we don’t need to go the full K road style path to start with. A bike gutter, or better yet a bike gutter with Tim tams, would be a fine affordable interim solution (if not permanent). They could have built this by now if they wanted to.
AT saying Funding concerns, is pretty much gas lighting at this point.
A bike gutter (known as moordstrookje in NL and BE) is a derisive term for a bike lane that is too narrow — see Taharoto Road or Green Lane.
The key thing is the width. Preferably at least 2 metres. It has to be wide enough so a car driver can safely overtake a cyclist (1.5m separation) within his own lane.
The width is also the most difficult part to achieve. You would have to take away the flush meridian, and usually a driving lane. This is technically very easy (correct me if I’m wrong), but politically massively difficult to achieve.
I suspect this is why you almost never see proper painted bike lanes. It is so difficult that, if you get something like that over the line, the extra cost of building a fancy separated lane is almost an afterthought.
Karangahape Road is a different situation, this is a street renewal where they were actually not too dumb to reinstate it with a better design. This should be the standard approach any time you see major roadworks. (Saying hello from Mokoia Road, which was dug up for a year or two, and then reinstated in exactly the same stupid layout as before).
Build this then, but with concrete Tim tams as well tho. Removing free on street car parking will allow for fine width for a mon directional bike lanes.
AT only want to add on road bike infrastructure when doing a K road style upgrade. This is already evident in the New North Road plan. This means change is not going happen. Why AT have decided to ignored their own polices here is the infuriating bit.
Yeah exactly, this sort of thing should be popping up everywhere, instead of just a one-off.
Totally agree, there is no transparency how AT spends money except building massive highrise on viaduct for their offices. AT is re-sealing road surfaces every 3-6 months again and again. Public needs to see their annual spending and specifics what was done. All they did reducing travel speed to crawl instead of widening roads , improving corners installing simply street lights on roads.
AT did not build that building. Instead they took over the lease from Vodafone, and consolidated their staff from several other buildings, into the Vodafone building, thereby saving costs.
Here are some facts, See: https://ourauckland.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/news/2016/05/auckland-transport-to-save-money-by-being-under-one-roof/
annual spending and specifics what was done: https://at.govt.nz/about-us/reports-publications/annual-reports/
Cyclists can pay then because they currently pay nothing , unlike motorists
Yeah, nah. You clearly don’t understand how transport funding works.
I cycle. I pay rates. Therefore am paying for the council to provide footpaths for when I walk, and safe cycling infrastructure.
I also drive/ride a motorbike and contribute funding which goes to ACC and other organisations like WK, of which very little goes to active modes; but more should.
Rates help pays for local streets and cycle ways. Most of the funding from rates going to transport goes to maintain local roading network for cars with relatively little going into cycling.
The big money spent on motorway and maintaining expensive infrastructure like the harbour bridge, is for stuff that I can’t use when on a bicycle.
If you get into the economics of externalities, you almost certainly are not paying fully for driving a car. When you are cycling you are probably paying partially for other people to drive vehicles.
This is also my experience with AT. Any change or fix has no chance of happening if it impacts parking or traffic flow. All you get is cut and paste replies.
Have posted here on this, but yes, I think there is a seriously bad and dangerous intersection near where (and plenty of others) cycle.
Generic response about looking at it later in the year (this was early 2021).
A year + later, nothing done, despite this one not impacting any business, or (depending what is done) very little cost and no impact to the all important flow
How do we get AT to become more responsive? In the field that I work in, any complaint that had H&S implications, would mean we would despatch an engineer/tech to provide an assessment very quickly.
If there was opportunity for a small improvement to reduce risk, then it would quickly get prioritized over the big multi-month or multi-year projects and scheduled. Would be able to go back to anybody who asked with the work showing as scheduled and rough time frames – which can get pushed out, but at least customers could see the work is in the pipeline.
What systems do AT use to manage workflow?
The issue is that AT has to CONSULT on any changes that it proposes. This is called Democracy. This slows down the process and adds costs.
Phil Goff talks about climate change, however he is the first person to throw AT under the bus for not doing enough consultation.
Our democracy is electing leadership who make decisions. We are not (and are not advertised) as a direct democracy holding mini votes on every little thing.
Consultations are to find overlooked things in projects to improve them, and to register peoples voices. There is no obligation to change or cancel projects to reflect what people have said.
Goff says whatever he can to deflect any heat. It’s terrible that he does this and it’s weak.
I remember when that person sadly died cycling on Tamaki Drive. Wasn’t there massive media pressure for them to do something then? That seems to be completely lacking this time…..
Good on you for keeping pressure on them.
I’m sure it feels like screaming into the wind, but you’re doing the right thing.
It takes years for them to fix ruts and potholes too.
And look at the tagging covering at least 16 of the screens at the north end of the pink path, thats been there at least 3 weeks.
That section of Manukau Rd has been a cycling danger spot forever. I’ve had multiple near misses, and I don’t go through it that regularly. Another colleague has been knocked off there. Approaching the pedestrian crossing prior to the roundabout the angle parked cars are a big danger, as are the side roads and vehicle entrances and there’s always some random car doing something weird. e.g. https://goo.gl/maps/ggpuBd12MfmTGyn46
Yea nah. This is different. AT has consulted on bike nextwork that includes this road as regional level bike infrastructure. Massive harm had been caused here. There is not nearby alternative. This is completely unacceptable. Something need to change.
AT is a CCO (Council Controlled Organisation). As their “governance team” are appointed by Council then we need to get Councilors involved …. and accountable!
I know both my Councilors – Chris Darby & Richard Hills – are not that impressed with AT’s performance in many areas.
But other Councilors? I have no idea. They should be forced to publicly announce their position on whether they believe the AT Board & management are doing a good job or not, and what they plan to do about it, so we can vote accordingly. A non-statement should be interpreted as support for the current status quo.
Sound like a plan?
Absolutely agree the accountability goes back to Auckland Council, the Mayor and Councillors. I’ve tried but while there are some good councillors like Chris and Richard, my local councillors (Howick) don’t seem interested. They’re happy to blame AT for everything, but they haven’t done anything to change the behaviour or actions of the CCO.
And the governing body shares the blame – cutting safety spending in council budgets sends a clear signal that safety isn’t a priority.
Effecting a change of attitude and priorities can be done by a) changing the elected members, b) through courts and c) through collective action (e.g. protests).
Given the very small voter turnout for local body elections – a bit of social media campaigning on targeted issues may be enough to throw out seat warming Councilors. Most Rate Payer Associations, Local Boards, etc. are on FB. Join up and talk directly to locals.
For example, I’ve been surprised how many locals think the Terraced Housing and Apartment Building (THAB) Zone is a joke because only low density Terraced Houses (with even more carparks!) are being built in my area. All the apartment buildings you see today were originally consented under Special Housing Accord (SHA) rules that pre-date the THAB zone of 2016.
In a nutshell – the THAB is nonsense. Any councilor, including Chris and Richard who both support ABs, that does NOT publicly condemn the THAB zone as a nonsense will not be getting my vote (and the vote of the surprisingly large number who share my view).
Apologies for the digression. The fact remains – surprisingly few votes are needed to throw out Councilors who contribute little to issues of major importance.
SHAs were the way to use THAB rules etc. before the Unitary Plan became operative. Poor design since then is the result of poor market response. Although I don’t say that better guidance might yield better design by developers.
Unfortunately Councilors don’t want to get involved. The CCO review looked at whether Councilors were using powers they have to direct CCOs and found that they aren’t (pg 56)”…the council has the power under section 92 of the Local Government (Auckland Council) Act 2009 to direct a CCO to act consistently with the relevant aspects of any plan or strategy. Yet the council has never once in the 10 years of its existence used this power”. I don’t know how this isn’t a scandal.
Auckland Transport’s reply about why they won’t remove parking as a “quick win” is not Vision Zero. AT are sacrificing safety on the basis of what they assume one small sector of the community will think – as if this subset of society hold the power of veto. They are also using the delays caused by their own overblown consultation process – which is far more onerous than the legislation requires yet is no more democratic – as a reason against timely action.
This is important, and the Board needs to act, and stop behaving as if they are HR and that their overriding concern is for the emotional health of management staff. They need to serve the people of Auckland better, and understand this criticism is fair.
+100 Heidi, AT could immediately remove car parking where it is unsafe just as they would remove a tree at risk of falling or close a road after a washout. They can then consult the public and local business owners with regards to what tge permanent layout would be
Consultation paralysis – AT is so paranoid about backlash. It is such as shame, that it literally takes soooo long for small amounts of parking on main roads to be removed.
Every council meeting and AT board meeting should start with deaths and serious injuries as the first item, and what has been done to mitigate them. I guess though ,that when you have another CCO,Ports of Auckland,with an equally appalling attitude to safety,this is intrenched and normalized. Worksafe don’t help,by allowing large organizations to buy their way out of prosecutions.
They should have one of those signs.
“This road network has operated · · · days without fatal accidents.”
Every time a building in Wellington is declared an earthquake risk, action is taken to evacuate it immediately, even though the day-to-day risk of death or injury is tiny. Yet on the roads, where the risk is much greater, it is treated far less seriously. And this problem is by no means confined to Auckland. It really grates.
Upper harbour Drive Greenhithe is currently in the process of having concrete bollards installed to segregate the cycle lane from the road. This risk “hard control” has created a far greater risk to cyclists and cars alike. The community is in uproar, and AT are intransigent to the issue. In the last 2 weeks 2 cars have hit the bollards and damaged a wheel, a cyclist hit a bollard and broke his leg.
Its a complete waste of money, money that could have gone to other more urgent safety issues.
It is unfortunate if a cyclist has been injured since tge installation, however, protecting the cycle lane makes that less likely, not more.
There are always teething problems when the road way is changed. People will soon get used to it. I cycle along this road and it is far safer now. Before nobody respected the cycleway and cars parked in it were a constant problem forcing you out into the traffic lane to get past.
Cars being damaged by hitting the bollards is a great outcome. Previously they would instead have rolled into the cycle lane and run over any cyclists present. The only people who complaim about this happening are seriously incompetent drivers who shouldn’t be on the roads anyway
+1. Hate to say it but every time I come home from overseas in shocked at how poor the average kiwi driver is. There would be a lot less deaths of all kinds on our roads if we could all drive properly or banned those too incompetent to do so.
I was reading the NZTA documentation for threshold entry treatments into towns where the speed limit drops from open (100) to 50.
They are very specific that everything within x meters of the road has to be frangible or be protected by barriers. I couldn’t help but think that was crazy. At the very least some drunk driver should absolutely be hitting the giant tree or rock or whatever before getting into town. If you cant navigate a car between entry treatments then you shouldn’t have the opportunity to demolish a heap of pedestrians on the sidewalk.
I’ve been taking a few pictures of the “breakaway” bases of poles in places where we let our children walk, or next to seats for our family members to sit at.
The mentality is very strange, and needs challenging. Put it on the pile of subjects needing a post, I suppose.
Cyclist fatalities are our version of US school shootings. Both seem to attract the same level of hand wringing and inaction.
I recently saw a video of Shane Ellison seeming to get a bit emotional while complaining to staff about how mean my Metro feature was to AT. Really galling to watch when they refuse to make safety improvements to the obviously dangerous stretch of road where a teenager recently died, despite the pleas of that victim’s family. I just wish they acted as upset about putting people’s lives at risk as they do about a few harsh words. At least no-one died from my pointed criticisms.
is that video public? would be keen to see it
No very much not. Not sure all the staff there agree they’re doing such a sterling job and just getting some unfair bad press
Shooting the messenger is the new black at AT. It’s not just been the CEO. And it’s not just been to staff. It’s sick.
Great article Hayden. Keep up the good work.
I asked AT to consider adding a traffic light on Station Rd in Penrose. I think it should have a crossing close to the station because i feel uncomfortable crossing that road during peak traffic, and stations should have crossings near the entrances! This is what they had to say:
We’ve now reviewed the details of your case (case number CAS-540319-W2N1J4)
Thanks for contacting us
I appreciate you reaching out to raise concerns and apologise for the delay in responding to you.
I’m sorry to hear you’ve experienced some frustration crossing here.
We won’t be making changes here right now
As part of the engineer’s assessment, they also review crash data. They found there has been one minor injury reported crash, in the past five years. This suggests the current layout is operating acceptably.
There is an existing courtesy crossing/mid-block crossing in close proximity to Penrose train station. There aren’t any plans to upgrade this crossing or install a new crossing.
Thanks for reaching out
I will now be closing your case but please feel free to contact us again if we can be of further assistance. We’re happy to open a new case if needed.
Thanks again for reaching out, Samuel and all the best for a safe remainder to this week.
Customer Care Case Manager
Yes quit busy there at times and with the curve in the road hard too see far enough to cross safely. That crossing is for the other side and road of the station so not much use for what you want. There needs to be 5 deaths and a lost limb or two before they would seriously consider something installed for pedestrians.
There’s no pretense now. This is overt. Auckland Transport are simply refusing to follow Vision Zero. Unbelievable and absolutely outrageous, Auckland Transport.
Samu, would send that email to the chair of the AT Board, Adrienne Young Cooper? She needs to have it pointed out that Auckland Transport is finding excuses not to provide safe walking to stations.
She will hopefully understand this is not aligned with Council and Government direction to improve walking amenity. And she will hopefully understand that under Vision Zero, Auckland Transport must stop referencing crash data, and look more holistically at whether an environment is safe.
They’re just prioritising traffic flow… AGAIN.
You’re right Damian, I was knocked off my bike at the royal oak roundabout 74 years ago and they’ve still done nothing about it.
Sadly, there are no requirements under law to make roads safe.
There are no obligations on designers to assess the risks and reduce them.
This thesis by Murray King highlights why this is, and he proposes a solution. Until we see legal accountability placed on organisations involved in road design, I doubt we will see any change.
1) Transport authorities need to be made legally liable for the safety of the roading network. We expect it of workplaces yet turn a blind eye to the surface transport system.
2) We need a mandatory vision zero design standard for new and retrofit works.
How can be purge AT board in its entirety? Someone please take action. They have fucked up my life and I spend my life savings fighting with their lawyers
Is creating risk of death sufficient harm to provide grounds for a claim of MIsfeasance in Public Office? Or would that require harm to an identifiable smaller group?
I was just thinking. Under the influence of alcohol. If there were no bikes on the road then know one could could die.. Now I know your going to say you have the right to ride your bike on the road safely. And you should.. But don’t forget you live in a fallen world… In other words no perfection ..the end.
You’re right. If there aren’t any cyclists then none can die. I just cannot understand why some people think roads are only for cars. Roads are for getting around. That means cars, trucks, buses, bikes, scooters, and whatever forms of transport come along in the future. We need build our roading network so everyone can get to where they want to go without getting hurt. Drivers expect this, so why shouldn’t every other mode of transport?
Also in case this isn’t obvious, drunk car drivers do get themselves, their passengers, or others killed.
To be honest, I don’t think there really is enough money to do much.
Just looking at their financial expenses in the last annual report I was actually surprised:
– 500m PT Opex
– 300m PT Capex
– 105m Road Opex
– 340m New Road Capex
– 185m Old Road Capex
Half the budget is spent on PT operations, maintenance and new infrastructure.
There really was only $340m spent on new road stuff last year which is stuff on the long-term plan. The K Rd upgrade cost $30m for 1km of street upgrade. That project took years to plan and deliver.
It costs a few million for a new intersection and it takes at least a few years to deliver that.
Maybe 500k for a simple raised pedestrian crossing signal which probably takes 2 years from concept to construction.
So I guess you could spend $330m on 11km more of gold plate road upgrade like K Rd, but that’s all you get for the entire year.
When you look at that, there really isn’ that much money to go around to every part of Auckland’s road network. The majority of DSI are now happening without pattern and aren’t predictable. Most of the predictable locations have been dealt with. Now it is just a network wide safety issue. Every road and every intersection is a problem. So you have to upgrade a whole road, but that just isn’t feasible.
Bill Wiki’s death was terrible. There was an accessible crossing 150m from that location. He just chose not to use it. There are dozens of worse locations across Auckland with not crossing for hundreds of metres. How do you choose where to spend limited funds? On a location that already has a crossing or a location without?
AT is set up to deliver major projects that take years. AT aren’t designed to react quickly with many small projects. It ends up being really expensive to deliver many small projects. And many small projects won’t address the network-wide issue. So you end up with larger projects spread throughout the network.
This is a pretty nasty form of whataboutism. It is absolutely not true that “DSI are now happening without pattern and aren’t predictable”. We know that DSIs happen at intersections, especially intersections with left turn slip lanes, uncontrolled right turns and speed limits or operating speeds higher than 50 km/h. We could target these intersections very easily:
1 – Remove uncontrolled right turns – very cheap, can be done using existing signal poles and, in many cases, just be reprogramming existing signals.
2 – Remove slip lanes wherever it is geometrically possible to accommodate turning vehicles, otherwise ban left turns, signalise the slip lane, or build a raised safety platform. All of these are cheap.
3 – Build safety platforms on approaches to signals. This is also very cheap.
4 – Install missing pedestrian legs. Install missing footpaths, and install missing drop kerbs at intersections.
All of these are very cheap options. We can do all of them at a signle intersection for <$1m and at most intersections we only need to do the cheaper ones.
Regarding your suggestions:
1. This is being done all over the place. It has been happening for years. Fewer and fewer intersections with free right turns.
2. Yeah, just ban left turns, ban rights, ban any turns, ban any movement. I’m sure that will solve the problem…. Removing slip lanes can make things more dangerous. Raised tables seem to perform better safety wise, but are not cheap at all. Thats easily $200k, unless there are stormwater path issues, then its more. From what I understand any project over a $100k has to compete with other projects for priority so it just takes forever. But I could be wrong on that.
3. Not cheap. Expensive. And the jury is still out on if it actually does anything. From what I’ve heard, there isn’t agreement on what is the best gradient to use on a major road.
4. Agree. Should have been done ages ago, but probably due to lack of budget and my earlier point about AT not set up to do lots of small projects.
I live in the area and knew Bill from our mutual involvement in the community. It was a huge loss for our community. I know where the crash happened. There is a fully controlled signalised crossing 150m west of the crash site that is accessible, but people are free to make their own choices. Plenty of crashes happen when a crossing is less than 100m away but people choose not to use it. Locals just cross the road and stand in the wide median instead. Even if the crossing that is 100m east was accessible, there is no guarantee anyone would have used it. Vision zero would have you put raised tables all along there because there really is no other way to have mitigated the risk here except to reduce speeds. This is a major arterial road with a 60kmph posted speed limit. Adding in another crossing won’t change DSI when people choose to not use crossings. So you have to bring speeds down. At every location along that road.
I already suggested, $340m doesn’t really go far regardless of what you claim. 11km of K rd treatment is what you get. That and nothing else all year. And that wasn’t road widening, it was just reallocating of space.
Anything other than renewing like for like requires consultation which is mostly contentious. Presumably, everyone complains and kicks up a fuss and the gutless mayor says nothing. So why bother with that hassle? Seriously. I’d hate to be a project manager working for AT. Just renew like for like and get on with the job. I have been saying for years that it isn’t the engineers that are the problem. It is the politicians and leaders who have no vision and no backbone to support the right thing when it causes nimby’s to get upset. So you just get more status quo because that is the path of least resistance.
AT is set up to deliver major projects that take years. AT aren’t designed to react quickly with many small projects.
I see that as a problem of governance that also needs to be fixed.
Blowing $30m on 1 Km of K-road, might be understandable in the most difficult cases of the oldest and heavily used inner city streets which need a major upgrade, but should not be the benchmark for fixing an intersection in a suburban street
It ends up being really expensive to deliver many small projects. And many small projects won’t address the network-wide issue
Management of many small projects is certainly harder, but you can have multiple competing contractors working in parallel on a long pipeline of work, then you can get economies.
Design work can get very much easier if you have a standard design approach that can be retrofitted to a range of intersection and/or street types.
A standard design pattern that uses best evidence for harm reduction and improves the built environment for people rather than just focusing on ‘flow’ and meeting local/non expert calls for more parking or no change
Even if it costs more, a larger number of smaller projects leads to network effects, addressing network-wide issues than one off $30m (or more) projects
Ari, please! There is no such “accessible crossing” Mr Wiki could have “chosen” to use to get where he wanted to go, so you shouldn’t insensitively risk offending his family. The police say that the lack of accessibility contributed to the crash. The coroner says the road was the primary contributing factor to the crash – and refutes AT stance that it wasn’t. Have a look at streetview if you haven’t already.
As for the general thrust of your comment, that there’s insufficient money… just, no. Money is being wasted on:
– new roads (and AT could have advised government that these new roads would reduce the budget available for safety and modeshift and make those goals more difficult),
– widening roads for improving sustainable modes when reallocating would be better and cheaper,
– widening intersections when reallocating lanes would be better and cheaper,
– renewing streets in a like-for-like manner when betterment through space reallocation could be done for a similar cost,
– day to day network operations / incident response that are done in a car dependent manner when they could be aligned with Vision Zero,
– etc etc
To get them to act you need to get their young children riding on these dangerous roads…. On the traffic side of the AT employees…..see how long it takes once they see the actual dangers apply to their love ones