Raised crossings have been in the news recently and we’re hearing that, in response, Auckland Transport is considering reviewing its whole programme. The idea seems to be to review all current and planned raised crossings for aspects like costs and community support.

Frankly, this would be a bizarre response from the organisation that’s the expert on road safety. The number of projects involved would likely run into the hundreds, and this sounds like a poor (and poorly targeted) use of staff time.

Questions can certainly be asked about, say, the cost of traffic management in Auckland – but that goes for any project on AT’s books. And as Matt noted in Friday’s post, the current rash of stories seem to be using an apples-to-oranges comparison about construction costs.

But there’s no question at all that raised crossings are working, and that they save lives. As Matt also put it, “The suggestion that just paint will do, or that we should be putting vehicle speeds above human life, is simply wrong.”

Or, in the words of Councillor Filipaina at the council table last December, sharing a school principal’s response to the Mayor’s complaints that speed tables are “expensive”: “Well, so are funerals”.

Raised crossings are one of AT’s most successful responses to the blistering 2018 road safety review that called the organisation to account for a growing road safety crisis. It should be an absolute no-brainer for AT to keep calm and carry on building as many as needed.

Over the last five years, raised crossings have been installed at a hundred or more locations around the city, successfully calming traffic and making it safer and easier for people – especially children, the elderly, and anyone using mobility devices – to cross the road at shops, bus stops, and schools.

A raised crossing in Parnell, en route to the Museum.

The evidence

AT should have no problem communicating all this to the public. They have all the evidence at their fingertips, and know that raised crossings are working as intended. For example, this peer-reviewed paper in the Journal of Road Safety (August 2023).

Key findings from the research paper about AT's Mass Action Pedestrian Improvement Programme 2018-2019

The paper looks at the results of AT’s Mass Action Pedestrian Improvement (MAPI) programme, which delivered 37 pedestrian crossing upgrades in the 2018/2019 financial year. A few highlights:

The context

  • In the first half of the 2010s, a fifth of all crashes involving pedestrians happened at zebra crossings, due to drivers failing to stop.
  • Lowering speeds from 50km/h to 30 km/h at point of impact can reduce the likelihood of a fatality or serious injury from 80 percent to 10 percent.
  • Previously, raised crossings in Auckland had gradients of 1:20, and didn’t reduce speeds to a survivable level.

The programme

  • AT used research into international best practice, local observations, and extensive testing (including buses with passengers) to arrive at a comfortable and more effective design, with a gradient of 1:10.
  • Over 2018-2019, AT upgraded 37 existing zebra crossings to raised crossings.
  • More than 100 raised zebra crossings have been delivered to date, including upgrades and brand new crossings.
BEFORE: attempting to cross Hukanui Road near Marist Catholic School, Herne Bay, in the absence of any zebra crossings.
AFTER: a new raised crossing at the Marist school gate on Kelmarna (just around the corner from the above pic) was installed in 2019, making children’s safety the priority.

The outcomes

  • Where tables were installed, speeds were successfully lowered: “mean speeds at treated sites ranged between 20 km/h to 25 km/h, which is below 30km/h, the suggested survivable speed for [vulnerable road users].”
  • AT also compared before-and-after crash data from 37 improved locations and 30 untreated ones, to understand the safety outcomes.
  • At crossings that had been improved, crashes fell from 20.8 to 5.6 crashes per year.
  • Injuries and deaths also fell at treated locations, from ten serious and two fatal crashes, to “one serious and no fatal crashes nor pedestrian crashes post treatment.”

There may even be a network effect, with raised crossings contributing to a safer pedestrian environment beyond their immediate location. Coinciding with the mass installation of new raised crossings, pedestrian injuries in Auckland – which had been rising sharply – began to fall.

(The paper notes that Covid-era disruption may have impacted some of the data across this period, but that those impacts are hard to identify and isolate.)

The paper also delves into public responses. While motorists grumbled, they did change behaviour: drivers were “more likely to yield and give way to pedestrians at raised crossings.” At the same time, communities wanted more raised crossings, at schools and public transport:

There has also been an increase in requests from school communities received by Auckland Transport for raised crossings to facilitate safe crossings and connections to public transport and currently there are approximately 100 raised crossings… listed in Auckland Transport[‘s] programme for delivery.

A raised pedestrian crossing at the New Lynn transport hub. Image via Our Auckland
A raised pedestrian crossing at the New Lynn transport hub. Image via Our Auckland

Other findings that are not particularly surprising:

  • Stormwater issues tend to add to the cost of raised crossings
  • Delivering crossings to a tight timeline reduces traffic management costs, but may result in a lower quality outcome
  • “Communicating the purpose and benefits of raised platforms, effective engagement with stakeholders and educating road users about how they should be approached are all important.”

There’s also analysis of the feelings of bus and car passengers re raised crossings, and a recommendation to do broader surveys in future. Oddly, there’s not much about the feelings of the people who use the crossings to cross the road. That would also be a good thing to ask about.

And here’s the kicker: based on feedback from motorists and other stakeholders, AT settled on a gentler profile than originally designed, in the hopes of achieving quantity over quality:

AT have now adopted a 1:15 gradient as a standard design recommendation. This balances safety objectives with the need for community buy-in. This move may ultimately enhance city wide safety outcomes if community acceptance of the lower profile enables a greater number of treatments to be installed.

The trade-off in the last line suggests AT has still not quite grasped what Vision Zero is all about:

Auckland Transport will continue to roll out raised safety platforms to achieve survivable speeds at high-risk locations, while balancing the need for the efficient operation of the network.

But the point remains: even if AT is proceeding with a slightly watered-down design to be used at selected locations, the evidence is clear that its raised crossings are saving lives:

Raised crossings installed have been shown to be effective in reducing traffic speeds to a survivable speed for pedestrians [with] a significant reduction in death and injury crashes at treated sites.

So why doesn’t AT just come out and say this stuff, loud and clear? The public deserves quality communications. And we need to hear and see more before-and-after stories with successful outcomes.

What we don’t need is for AT to pause and review every single project that includes a raised table. That’s using a sledgehammer to crack the wrong nut, and is a familiar way of slowing down progress on safety.

Besides, hastily hitting pause on progress won’t appease the kinds of voices that oppose progress. Instead, as we’ve seen time and time again, it will likely just embolden them to go harder.

It’s also possible some projects that are already under way would be caught up in any review. This could include the hard-won Inner West projects currently making progress through Pt Chevalier and along the Great North Road ridge. Talk about kicking over a hornet’s nest.

Readers may recall that last year, AT made a last-ditch attempt to “value-engineer” the Great North Road design by removing many side-street raised tables. This elicited an immediate and fierce pushback – from the primary school, which recounted hair-raising near-misses, and the residents’ association, backed by a broad coalition of community and business organisations.

Children en route to school on scooters, along Great North Road (unimproved).
Children en route to school along Great North Road (unimproved). Image via Boopsie Maran.

It’s hard to imagine a clearer example of vocal community support for raised crossings. As the Grey Lynn Residents’ Association told the CEO and the Board:

Safety must be at the heart of the project. The growing number of residents including families and children must be considered in the design. Removing side street treatments [i.e. crossings on raised tables] would not be consistent with AT’s Transport Design Manual and its Vision Zero policy. We oppose AT doing so.

Thankfully, the Board – which had already spent a year bouncing the project to council and back – directed AT to go ahead with the full design. It would be outrageous for AT staff to now turn around and try to relitigate a project with such strong public buy-in and clear Board direction.

Something else the Inner West experience shows is how much community time and energy it costs to beg AT to simply deliver what it’s promised. It’s sobering to think about other less networked communities, say a small school that just wants one raised crossing, but which might not have the resources or the time to fight their corner. How is this situation equitable?

Artist's impression of the proposed side street treatments on Great North Road, which the AT Board has directed AT to deliver in full.
Artist’s impression of the proposed side street raised crossing tables on Great North Road, a design that the AT Board has directed AT to deliver in full.

There’s a lot at stake here, including the quality of information we are being served. The public is entitled to expect a robust, consistent, evidence-based approach from the agencies in charge of vital services. AT needs to do better at standing its ground and sticking to its design standards and safe system principles.

This will be a deciding moment for AT leadership. It can keep on awkwardly shooting itself in the foot while publicly bending over backwards to placate a handful of doubters. Or, it can harden up and forge ahead – safe in the knowledge that it is the subject matter expert on this, and the evidence supports building streets that don’t maim the people who use them.

And if AT wants to rigorously review traffic management costs across its whole programme, so it can get more bang for its buck and deliver a safer system sooner for more people, fine!

Just don’t start by arbitrarily making safer crossings some kind of sacrificial lamb. They’re far too important to our most vulnerable community members.

Carrington Road raised crossing along the NW Cycleway, heavily used by families.
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  1. Hear hear!
    Now that the light rail project has been ditched, please please can AT apply this treatment and a traffic rethink in Sandringham village. Despite the two crossings many pedestrians cross at other places and many drivers don’t stop – this little zone is a bit of a misbehaviour nightmare.

    I’d also love to see raised tables at all the side streets – many drivers swing fast off the arterial with no thought for the pedestrian crossing the side street.

        1. Or more for, it’s an arterial and AT don’t understand arterials. The sector-wide misconceptions that compromising safety is acceptable, and even required, in order to pacify Goddess Flo’, means their planning for arterials is 100% misaligned with Vision Zero.

        2. Yes. It’s not that it shouldn’t be made safer. It’s just that some traffic needs to go through it. Safely.

  2. This is going as per the standard Auckland Council process. Spend all the money on gold plated solutions in the rich areas such as Grey Lynn, then have no money left for anywhere else. Much like the footpath replacement program, speed reduction programs, town centre regenerations, etc.

    1. This literally could not be further from the truth, at least in recent years (but probably over a longer period too). There are a few examples of disproportionately expensive projects in the inner suburbs, but just look at the sums of money (rightfully) being invested by the council in places such as Manukau, Avondale and Northcote.

      If you want to find examples of inequitable investment across the region, just look at the eye-watering sums being spent in greenfield areas. That is the real reason that existing suburbs are often left to fight over the scraps.

      1. Take a walk down any of those side streets off Dominion Road in Mt Eden, all have brand new footpaths, nice trees planted, speed calming, 30 km speed limits, etc. A few kms back in Mt Roskill we have none of that, except for what Kainga Ora are doing in the state housing areas.
        The cul-de-sac to my kids school still has a 50 km/hr speed limit, broken footpaths where kids have to walk on the road instead, the school crossing on the main road has no raised table or speed reduction, there is barely a tree or placemaking feature in sight, nothing has been improved or even maintained in 50+ years.
        Yes there is the odd poorer suburb where things have been done by AT due to extreme increases in density, but in general the rich suburbs like Mt Eden / Grey Lynn / St Heliers / Meadowbank / etc are in much better condition than elsewhere despite being opposed to change.

        1. It may be that most of those suburbs have just been around for longer, so more likely through successive local and otherwise governments to have something nice done in them.

        2. I thought I posted this weeks ago, but guess I must have forgotten. But there’s been a lot of raised pedestrian crossings, along with speed humps etc out in the Lincoln Road area. I’ve also seen some in other areas of Henderson and I think some are coming in Te Atatu South. In fact, reading all the crazy complaints about these is one of the reason I largely ignore my local Facebook groups despite sometimes having other stuff of interest.

          I don’t know how much has been spent compared to other areas, but I definitely do not think it’s that disproportionate. As it turns out, I have family that lives in Balmoral so I’ve traveled often enough to certain streets off Dominion Road, Sandringham Road and St Lukes Road. The traffic calming measures I’m aware of are mostly not new and predated Vision Zero. From what I’ve seen there hasn’t been much recent investment in new trees etc. We can debate the fairness of the earlier investment, but it’s clearly not the case that the money was spent there rather than here. Of course, I don’t know how much was spent elsewhere around there other than in the areas I regularly travel to.

      1. Making the large residential area between Browns Road and Weymouth Road much calmer and safer for the high proportion of kids here who walk, scoot and ride to school. Good spend.

  3. I agree AT doesn’t get Vision Zero.

    Does AT put Vision Zero experts actually in charge of the safety decisions, or are they just accountants and managers? And spin doctors.

  4. It would also be good to highlight some reasonable concerns I’ve noticed with the new raised crossings on Pah Rd, Epsom, a main arterial route with two lanes each way.

    1. As I usually cycle to work, the drainage channel around raised crossings requires moving well into the lane to be sure to avoid the gap. Additionally, most channels are full of leaves and debris, and have been difficult to see when flooded when it is raining.

    2. A raised crossing means that, whether or not there are any pedestrians, vehicles need to slow and then resume speed, at the cost of fuel, noise, and wear-and-tear. There are several other crossings on the same road (and continuing on Manukau Rd), which are not raised but are still controlled by lights, and these appear to give the same benefits for pedestrians without the additional burden on vehicles.

    These comments are specific to arterial routes, and not to residential streets or side streets.

    1. There are ways to design road drainage that do not create a deep wheel-trap channel at ramps.
      There is very little fuel, noise or wear-and-tear effects so long as the peed reduction is properly balanced. This is why 1:15 for 50 km/h arterial roads is considered affective.

    2. “vehicles need to slow and then resume speed”

      Drivers don’t need to resume speed. The idea is to slow down and stay slow, so that the whole environment becomes safer. That’s how we return the opportunity of walking and cycling to everyone.

      “at the cost of fuel, noise, and wear-and-tear.”

      Making streets safe creates modeshift, reducing vehicle travel along with all the impacts of vehicle use, including those you’ve listed.

      Slower vehicles are less noisy. A bike is quieter again.

      1. Already it’s my vehicle not me that resumes speed to whatever it’s set at and slows down on its own to not hit things in front. And that’s probably true of anyone from about 2000 on with adaptive cruise control who actually uses it. Similarly being newer it’ll stop when a child lemmings out in front of it. All without raised humps in the road. Additionally it works for the other 80% of places away from crossings that pedestrians seem to like walking into cars from. As driver assistance packages improve and autonomy becomes mainstream you’ll start to see less and less ‘driver at fault’ accidents.

        1. Martin, sure and in 30kph ones too. The real question is why as long as you have adaptive cruise or a decent driver assistance package why you wouldn’t you? Surely you don’t want to be driving manually everywhere at 30kph?

        2. Adaptive cruise is far more recent than 2000. I first saw it on a very high-end car in 2006, on ‘normal’ cars only about three years ago. NZ has a very high average age in the ‘light vehicle’ fleet, and most imports from Japan don’t even have cruise as they seem typically not to specify it in their new vehicles so there’s no way we can rely on enough people having, and using, cruise with ‘driver assistance packages’ to replace actual engineered measures. Also, Kiwi drivers have completely the wrong attitude to even hope that they will adopt sensible, lower speeds unless they’re forced to.
          (I’ve used cruise in 50s where suitable since 2009 when I first owned a car with cruise fitted. It enables me to concentrate on the road environment ahead. My car in NZ doesn’t have any cruise, let alone ‘adaptive’.)

        3. Nonny Mouse it’s actually existed even longer than that. Automatic emergency braking is the important feature although that is usually combined with adaptive cruse control since the same underlying sensor package is required. For a modern implementation with automatic emergency braking you can go back to about 1999. For systems that just warned you of potential collision you can go all the way back to 1992.

          But in the US in 2015 vehicle manufacturers voluntarily committed to having it on as many vehicles as possible. And now in the US about 90% of vehicles there currently ship with some version of automatic emergency braking.

          The NHTSA is proposing making it mandatory rather than voluntary to close that last 10% and to also implement more stringent standards that systems must meet particularly with respect to cyclists and pedestrians.

          So lets not pretend its some magical technology for some distant future. It’s been widely deployed for a long time and is being very actively worked on and improved. Overseas agencies understand its benefits. There’s no reason New Zealand couldn’t look at applying similar standards to new and import vehicles.

          Raised crossing do nothing to address where 80% of pedestrian deaths occur. But driver assistance packages have the ability to make that difference everywhere (and deal with many other dangerous scenarios as well).

        4. I have no problem with NZ regs requiring tech like that on new cars. It would be harder on used imports as that would hurt the lower socio-economic groups who buy most of those, and most politicians wouldn’t be willing to do that (to be fair, I have professional friends whose dashboard buttons are covered in Japanese kanji so it’s not just the lower orders – what people are able to spend on transport these days is quite limited). So no, it’s not magical tech, but it will still take decades before all vehicles in NZ have them – assuming that they remain functional, too – so in the meantime, we need physical measures to force non-fatal speeds at marked crossings.

  5. In this era of AI, why not solve this problem everywhere for cheap. Put a camera on each crossing, use AI to detect anyone not giving way to pedestrians, and send them large fines (that would also pay for the camera). All of a sudden everyone will be very careful at every crossing. The idea that we need to spend billions to get people to drive carefully is crazy.

    1. Fines bounce off certain drivers: the wealthy, the oblivious, the unregistered, the work ute/van…

      but they all bounce off the headliner when there’s a 1:10 concrete insistence in the road.

        1. Demerit or fine, neither will impinge on the mind nearly as hard as a bump in the sump.

          Better to create immediate benefit to vulnerable road users, rather than nebulous anxiety and resentment of ‘revenue gathering’ for drivers.

          If your goal is lower speed, create a low speed environment.

        2. You don’t need AI for such detection, just video analytics.
          Demerit points can’t be applied for offences detected by cameras, I think? I do agree that massively-higher penalties are required for all driving offences – and the solutions to both of those problems are controlled from Wellington so there’s fat chance of making any progress with the current regime.

    2. Not a silly idea! It’s fascinating to see the difference in other countries eg Canada where traffic stops at the slightest suggestion that you want to cross!

      1. This would actually be solved by removing ACC and having a private right to sue for injuries instead. That’s what makes people crawl around near pedestrians in other countries, not any fine.

        There’s tradeoffs there too though.

        1. I’m unconvinced that will work. AFAIK, people don’t crawl around crossings in the US, and we all know how litigious they are. I’m fairly sure there at least, private liability insurance generally covers it, even when the driver is at fault. It might affect their premiums or perhaps even the insurances willingness to insure them in the future, but by then it’s too late. Of course those who can’t afford such insurance might be SoL and have to go bankrupt and anyone hit by them, likewise SoL. Although I think it’s generally covered by basic vehicle insurance which is compulsory in much of the US so it’s really only the extreme poor who are affected.

    3. Penalties plus the likelihood of being fined are key to people changing behaviour. Need to fund such enforcement out of savings to society by avoiding injuries and deaths, plus fines sufficient to cove that enforcement cost.

  6. The issue, I believe, is not whether raised crossings are safer and viable. The issue is the $500k+ cost. Is this fair value? Where is the cost transparency? Where is the breakdown? Is a a master contractor making extraordinary margins from sub-contrastors work?

    1. Nice segue there from “safer and viable” to some accusation of contractor rorting and value for money.
      You do realise that $500k is a fraction of the value used for a life in the modelling.

      1. I don’t view that segue as a contradiction at all. It’s entirely consistent (and not an unreasonable perspective) to support investment in pedestrian safety but have concerns about why the cost of delivery seems so high.

        Of course, some people will use the high cost as an excuse not to spend any money on pedestrian safety, when the reality is that they would oppose any spending on this regardless of whether delivery could be made more cost efficient. But I don’t think it’s fair to assume that this is the case for everyone who raises concerns about the cost of infrastructure.

    2. No, the issue is that AT and their predecessor have focused on traffic for rather than safety.

      Decades of building roads with a grossly inadequate number of pedestrian crossings, with slip lanes, without cycle lanes, with dangerous corner radii has created:

      – a poor driving culture, in which drivers drive to fast and expect not to have to slow down for other users
      – a poorly informed governance level who mistakenly think compromising on safety is necessary for business,
      – an utterly deficient transport network that now requires remedial safety work.

      There is a solution, and it is to rapidly improve safety by reallocating space and budget. Raised crossings are part of this solution.

    3. That’s the real issue. If the private sector can’t do it cheaply, do it inhouse rather than contracting out. The point of contracting out is that the private sector is so much more efficient that it can do it cheaper than doing it in-house while also making a profit. When you’re spending 500k on a crossing, with 172k on traffic management, that’s obviously not the case.

      Each component is far too expensive, but the traffic management aspect is the most glaring. Do the same project, just cut out the middle men clipping the ticket.

      https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/pedestrian-crossing-costs-auckland-mayor-wayne-brown-says-auckland-transport-is-wasting-money/GXZHYEPCAVG6LHUPWWSU5Y76YE/ from where I get the figures from.

      1. “Traffic control” is out of control.

        Sorting the recent shutdown of the water line, there were many, many days that saw 3 (sometimes 6) people sat near the Meadowbank train station to stop pedestrians and cyclists when a truck needed to enter the worksite…. sometimes with portable electric- lift barrier arms. The irony here is that the path they were stopping pedestrians and cyclists on actually had more space around the said truck than the road you’d just had to navigate to get there when the truck or one of the many rail buses was on it….

  7. Take a look at 4 crossings by Pupuke golf course a distance of less than a kilometre with 5 sets of lights in each direction along with CCTV cameras. The number of people crossing here is minimal. A total waste of ratepayers money.

    1. Five pedestrian activated crossings (i.e. they only go red when someone would like to cross) over the length of 1km, that covers a major 4 lane arterial near several of the largest schools in the country? Sounds ok to me.

      1. This area is nowhere near any school.
        I was commenting on the huge cost involved and no houses on one side of the road

    2. Street View must be very out of date, the only light controlled crossing I see is Forrest Hill Road just south of Mantura Ave.

      That serves the footy, skatepark, mountain bike trail, Forrest Hill Park and Greville Reserve.

      Are there new crossings on East Coast Road now?

      1. Yes and in keeping with the theme of the post, the cost of them also includes addding bus lanes, raised tables, and intersection improvements.
        (They run north from Greville Park to roundabout at Sunnynook Rd)

        1. I understand now why they are never ‘on’ , pedestrian controlled. But in contrast no matter how much we complain about having to stop often on Constellation Dr there is a long section with nothing for pedestrians and its frightening when you are on foot.

  8. Many members of this site would probably prefer every car to be proceeded by a man on foot carrying a red flag.
    What is wrong with education of drivers and a firmly policed practice to be aware and alert to pedestrian crossings and hazards in general? When in Australia, one ALWAYS looks carefully for their funny round yellow signs with a pair of legs on them, because being caught by their zealous police force for not stopping when a pedestrian is even looking at a zebra crossing, will result in an eye watering fine.
    The massive concrete constructions of AT are a massive overkill, which uses money that could be spent better elsewhere and results in more brake dust, exhaust pollution in urban areas; the accumulated costs to vehicle owners of increased suspension wear and tear would also be significant.
    You never hear of driver education as a key to better road safety from AT. These car haters are obviously not going to have any interest or motivation to improve their own driving knowledge and skills, therefore not understanding what could be achieved by a long term broad campaign, starting in schools.

    1. We definitely need a fundamental shift in driver culture here in NZ, it’s shocking what you see on a daily basis—red light running, no stopping at stop signs, no indicating, speeding, etc. So driver education (possibly mandatory re-testing every X years? Mandatory driver training during the licensing stages?) is sorely needed.

      However, driver education alone isn’t enough to ensure a safe transport system. Take it from aviation: think about how many redundancies and physical & organisational safety stops are in place. We don’t only rely on skilled pilots, we rely on cockpit automation, checklists, redundancies for everything, external controls and checks, physical infrastructure and equipment, etc.

      The understanding in aviation, as with Vision Zero, is that people will always make mistakes and sometimes not follow the rules, and when they do so, death should not be the result.

      Not to mention what another commenter said that certain segments are immune to fines. Maybe it’s time to consider a day fine system like Finland so low income people aren’t pushed into further hardship and wealthy people can’t ignore the rules which lead to fines.

      1. The largest cause of aviation accidents remains human error despite all these safeguards, with about 50% being attributed to pilots messing up and 30% more attributed to someone else messing up. This is despite pilots being extremely highly trained compared to car drivers. And even then the result in commercial aviation is not zero deaths, It is number consistently above zero with no indication that anyone believes it can be driven to zero even with those extremely expensive investments in each pilot, the aircraft and infrastructure.

        Would it be cost effective to require that all vehicles have a driver and a co-driver in addition to automation? Or that even driver, pedestrian and cyclists spends hundreds of hours in simulator training being challenged by uncommon driving situations, with a failure to certify the person for driving/walking/cycling if they don’t meet rigorous standards? There’s no doubt it’d be effective in reducing accidents. But would it be within the means of many to pay for that much training and certification? Probably not. Would there be significant pushback on that requirement? Probably. We can’t currently even get to a point of requiring cyclist licensing and registration, let alone them actually being trained in any way before jumping on a bike.

        Modern driver assist packages detect red lights, stop signs, crossing traffic that may have run a red light, vehicles in adjacent lanes, drivers wandering in lanes and react as best they can to correct the situation. Airbus pilots are already nannied by the computers to help reduce mistakes and most drivers soon will be.

    2. “These car haters are obviously not going to have any interest or motivation to improve their own driving knowledge and skills,”

      How can they be car haters AND drive?

        1. So, what are you – a motor vehicle ignoramus?
          People who have taken an interest in driving/motoring have also undertaken to equip themselves with knowledge and skills built up from both education and constant attention to improving both the safety and enjoyment of what they are doing.
          Things that create real hazards such as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or reckless and foolish driving are an anathema to these people.
          What also constitutes an anathema, is the attitude of the (mainly) leftists who have no such interests, knowledge, skills or enthusiasm, who just want to put in place mindless blanket speed limits and such hideous raised zebra crossings wherever they think that they may create maximum nuisance for motorists as against places where they may actually make a difference.
          People with the understanding of what constitutes safe and efficient driving standards will clearly not fit within the neo Marxism of AT or probably the mindsets of those on this site.

        2. Chris B – ‘People who have taken an interest in driving/motoring’ include the hoons who lash about everywhere at max speed. They demonstrably have no interest in ‘equipping themselves with knowledge and skills built up from both education and constant attention to improvement’, so your logic fails entirely. Raised crossings might be hideous, but Kiwi drivers – including your favoured ‘people who have taken an interest’ – don’t give a rat’s @r53 about giving way to people crossing unless they’re forced to.

        3. Nonny to be fair raised crossings don’t force people to give way, they just encourage people to slow down as they drive through (unless they have sufficient in the way of Baja racing suspension upgrades to just keep going at the speed limit).

        4. A fair comment, @Tradeoffs – I hope you all realised that when I said ‘forced to’, I was thinking ‘forced to slow down’, rather than ‘forced actually to stop and give way’. Sadly there are now far too many monster trucks being used as ‘family cars’ which do have an approximation of dirt-racing suspension and ground clearance. They should never have been allowed into the country in the first place.

    3. Perhaps you should be writing to the NZTA, NZ police, and the associated Ministers, as they are the enforcement arm of the road network.
      AT can install transit/bus lane cameras, but they don’t enforce red light running, not stopping at pedestrian crossings etc.

    4. “The massive concrete constructions of AT are a massive overkill, which uses money that could be spent better elsewhere and results in more brake dust, exhaust pollution in urban areas; the accumulated costs to vehicle owners of increased suspension wear and tear would also be significant.”

      Not to mention the extra fuel used accelerating away from the ramps

    5. I find Aussie drivers to be even worse then kiwi ones. 90% of Kiwi and Aussie drivers would never get licences in Europe.

      1. I got a UK license first time, Martin. Did the test in Aylesbury, Bucks. Early 80s.

        Saying that 90% of Kiwi and Aussie drivers would never get licences in Europe is hyperbole. The bad ones would get it if they tried enough times. Might take a few years though.

        I agree that Australian driver behaviour is similar (in general) to NZ. I have driven in Vic, NSW, QLD and WA; all similar to NZ. The Ford Rangers tailgate there just the same as they do here.

      2. I don’t hold out much hope for improving drivers much past where they are today. Improving vehicle’s ability to compensate for bad drivers, override dangerous control inputs, be more situationally aware than most drivers and react more quickly than a human could when faced with the actions of other road users has much greater chance of success.

        And before you reply again that this is future spaceship technology that will never be deployed in sufficient numbers to make a difference and will only ever appear on expensive cars as one example all currently shipping New Zealand corollas have a fairly decent version of it. And the benefits go well beyond just stopping for pedestrians and cyclists.

    6. “What is wrong with education of drivers and a firmly policed practice to be aware and alert to pedestrian crossings and hazards in general”

      SOLUTION: Install cameras at road level pedestrian crossings. Introduce $1000 fines and three months loss of license if you are caught running through a pedestrian crossing that is in use. Add a sign to each pedestrian crossing pole that says “$1000 Instant Fine.”

      1. Let’s attack multiple sides of the problem rather than just one. Also add a crime, “Jaywalking within 300m of a crossing” with a similar $1000 instant fine, add $1000 instant fine to the crime of letting your child under 14 out on the street unsupervised to help fund the police costs of detaining them for collection and the building of child containment pens to hold them while waiting for their parents to pay the fine. Have some affirmative arm signal a pedestrian needs to make when cars are at least 100m away to indicate they want to cross so motorists can tell they’re not just loitering near a crossing. Make sure there’s a $1000 fine for those who cross without giving the signal. Institute a blood alcohol limit for walking, random breath testing of pedestrians when on footpaths or pedestrian crossings and the crime of walking while drunk. And we shouldn’t forget a $1000 ticket for cycling on the road or footpath where a cycle lane has been provided, $1000 fine for not dismounting when crossing a normal pedestrian crossing (vs a priority controlled multi use path). Another $1000 for riding more than single file except when passing. Add a $1000 fine for cycling into a car door causing damage for those who don’t proceed at a speed at which they could safely stop under all circumstances when overtaking stopped or parked vehicles. $1000 fines should be added for running red lights and rolling through stop signs while cycling to highlight the heightened risk of that behaviour for cyclists vs cars.

        Since much of this enforcement will need to be automated with cyclist cameras we’ll have to add cycle registration, cyclist licensing and license plates. Do all that and we might make some progress.

  9. Yeah, it’s interesting to see the push back against these crossings.
    I can understand the costs look high. $170k on cones?? AT does need to see what it can do to install them more cheaply.

    AI won’t stop a distracted driver from running over a person by accident. But speed cameras EVERYWHERE could be very cost effective solution that pays for itself. There isn’t enough enforcement happening…

      1. No question our approach to policing cars is so much softer than Oz, and its been like that for 25yrs.

        I lived there back at the turn of the century and it was fairly common to see breath testing at 8:30am in the morning, and not just during the festive season. Their alcohol limit is still lower than ours isn’t it? And demerit points fiercer in application?

        Try promoting that here. You’ll be accused of being a “car hater” and that it’s all about “revenue raising”

        1. Yep. Enforcement is lacking from the Police, WK and AT. It’s so unprofessional and unethical.

  10. Auckland Transport has completely failed to understand Vision Zero.

    “Auckland Transport will continue to roll out raised safety platforms to achieve survivable speeds at high-risk locations, while balancing the need for the efficient operation of the network.”

    For AT’s information, you do not “balance” a traffic model with people’s lives. That’s not how Vision Zero works. At best, this is poor messaging. At worst, it is an utter failure of leadership.

    Similarly, if you don’t have community buy-in, you work out how to obtain it. There is always a way to engage with people. Hiding behind a facade of “balance” in the face of loud compaints is a thoroughly timid approach.

    1. Vision Zero is a fool’s errand. Everywhere else it’s been tried for any period of time eventually progress stalls somewhere significantly above zero.

      Even on best in class infrastructure cycling and walking remain an order of magnitude or so worse than driving in terms of injuries and deaths per km travelled. So we can look to overseas for where all this money will get us: not even close to zero.

      So given that some deaths will always occur it does eventually become a tradeoff. Every day governments calculate the value of lives in dollars in terms of any program they fund. Do we keep trying to slow cars down, with the associated economic costs? Do we approach the problem from a different angle, reduce the number of cyclists and pedestrians on main roads thereby saving their lives? Do we put that money somewhere else altogether that will offer a greater number of lives saved for dollars spent?

      Ultimately raised platforms will be rendered moot by much smarter driver assistance packages that won’t let vehicles run over pedestrians even on flat road. They only come into play when the pedestrians do randomly jump out in front of vehicles and even work between crossings which is where the vast majority of pedestrian deaths actually happen. That is achieved without the negative effect on vehicle speed, efficiency, comfort and longevity for the 99.9999%+ of times a vehicle drives across a crossing and no pedestrian is at that moment jumping out in front of the vehicle.

      1. “Vision Zero is a fool’s errand. Everywhere else it’s been tried for any period of time eventually progress stalls somewhere significantly above zero.”

        Let’s conduct a thought experiment, “tradeoffs”.

        You say that it is a given that some deaths will occur. How many deaths (and we should include serious injuries here) is an acceptable number to you?

        Once we have all agreed on that number we can have a sensible target to aim for, spend sufficient funds to achieve that target and then relax and spend not a cent more. After all, it’s only people that you don’t know getting killed or injured isn’t it. It’s not as though it is one of your loved ones that was one of the “givens”.

        It is also very very unlikely that you, yourself would be killed. Who cares? You won’t even know about it after you are dead. It’s the serious injury thing though. Paraplegic maybe? Brain injury? Burden on your loved ones and the health system for, maybe decades.

        Yes, we know it costs money to preserve life and limb. That is the beauty of lower vehicle speeds. The consequences of crashes are so much less and it is low cost. Speed cameras everywhere, Police everywhere. Massive fines that will pay for the police and the cameras. Fine transgressors until they bleed (figuratively, of course. Actual bleeding is what people involved in crashes do),

        1. “You say that it is a given that some deaths will occur. How many deaths (and we should include serious injuries here) is an acceptable number to you?”

          Assuming you will spend asymptotically to avoid that last death, just how much as a percentage GDP can you commit to this goal of yours?

          A billion a death? A trillion? Even then you’re not going to stop someone tripping over and hitting their head while out walking and you’re not going to have many other public services.

          In the real world you have a problem of allocating finite funds to gain maximum benefit, not infinite funds for ever decreasing benefit per dollar spent. The question is not whether an average of half a million dollars on a crossing might save a life there one day, but whether that half million dollars spent in some other way might save more lives and whether that half million is money well spent given the number of people it’s expected to save. Also people are asking, WTF why does a crossing cost an average of half a million dollars, could you get 99% of the same benefit for 50k?

          As far as assessing the value of a life, those methodologies are quite well established. To NZTA you are worth 12.5 million, up from 4.88 million in 2020. Somewhat arbitrary values some might say given the big jump. But government departments routinely calculate the benefit they expect from increased spend (or negative results they expect from reduced spend). Morbid as it sounds it will come down to valuing lives in dollar terms.

        2. So even an expensive raised crossing at 1/2 a million dollars that may save a single life some time in it’s 50 year expected life span sounds worth it to me if that life is worth $12.5 million.

        3. Grant the number of people killed on New Zealand pedestrian crossings each year is so low that it is highly unlikely that within a 50 year period any randomly chosen crossing would see a fatality (although of course some do every year). You’ve got about the same chance of being struck by lighting in New Zealand as being killed on a pedestrian crossing.

      2. “Even on best in class infrastructure cycling and walking remain an order of magnitude or so worse than driving in terms of injuries and deaths per km travelled.”
        I would love to see a citation on this.

        1. Just look at any of the Netherlands statistics. They are widely agreed to have best in class infrastructure. Yet despite their best efforts over quite some years they have not been able to close that gap or get anywhere close to zero deaths. They are oft cited as the model we should follow. But if we do that we should just accept that cycling and walking will always be ~10x more dangerous than driving. That’s absolutely not the future cycleway proponents are selling anyone even though the numbers are quite clear.

      3. “Do we approach the problem from a different angle, reduce the number of cyclists and pedestrians on main roads thereby saving their lives?”

        I’ve been on the site since the beginning and this might be the single most car-shaped-brain comment I’ve seen.

        1. Car, bus, something with a substantial metal exoskeleton, crumple zones and airbags protecting the traveller rather than a squishy biped balanced on a light metal frame doing 50kph. The car is safer for its occupants in a crash for a reason. Not recognising the problems for what they are and promoting a more deadly mode of transport just because you are emotionally invested in it makes you a science denier.

        2. KLK, true but trains and ferries are not last mile solutions, unless you have quite a canal digging and track laying program in mind. I for one welcome your canal proposal but in some suburbs the number of locks needed are going to slow the ferries down quite a bit. And if you think a 500k crossing is expensive wait until you see what an Auckland wide canal network costs.

        3. Streetguy, 80% of pedestrian deaths occur away from crossings, there’s no reason to suggest absent any education or improved jaywalking enforcement program that that will change. Usually they occur on the footpath side of the road where the pedestrian has just stepped out into the street presumably without looking both ways as we were taught in the old days.

          It’s a question of tradeoffs, you can implement a good crossing with a median refuge without it being a raised crossing and get the substantial portion of the benefit of a crossing for a fraction of that 500k/crossing spend and few negative effects on traffic when pedestrians are not around. But that doesn’t help you much if 80% of fatalities are not using crossings to begin with.

        4. The fact that 80% of pedestrian deaths do not occur on pedestrian crossings is irrelevant.
          Pedestrian crossings are only provided where there is considerable demand, and where there is expected demand from less able pedestrians.
          This is far far short of all of the locations where pedestrians need to cross the road to get to where they are going.
          Even on our arterial city roads, with highly used buses, it is rare to see the paired bus stops, one each side of the road, to be adjacent to a pedestrian crossing. So each return bus trip requires a crossing the road on either the inbound and outbound journey.
          So no wonder a lot more people are killed crossing roads when not on a pedestrian crossing, Just a lot lot more people have to cross roads where there are no pedestrian crossings.
          Raised tables very considerably reduce the risk of being hit, on one specific type of pedestrian crossing only.
          The non signalised pedestrian priority crossing.
          These handle only a small portion, but never the less a very significant of the required daily pedestrian crossing vehicle carriageway movements.
          It is easy to eliminate accidents at all pedestrian crossings.
          Just eliminate the lot!!
          The objective of reducing death and injuries at just this one subset of pedestrian crossings is only one of the practicable steps in the much larger need to reduce death and injury rates to people when part of their journey requires that they cross vehicle paths while they are on foot.

        5. “part of their journey requires that they cross vehicle paths while they are on foot.”

          Well maybe that’s your problem right there. Nothing requires that you lemming out into the road at random places hoping drivers will sucessfully avoid you. Your chances of coming up with an engineering solution that saves humans from injury when they jump out in front of a car at 50kph or even 30kph are quite minimal. What’s next? pushing arterial speeds down to 20kph when you realise 30kph doesn’t get you remotely close to zero deaths or injuries?

          Any Auckland driver will tell you they’ve seen pedestrians run across the road within easy walking distance from a controlled pedestrian crossing. Even if you build glorious gold plated crossings it seems a fairly high proportion of people are just too darned lazy to walk the extra distance to it and are prepared to roll the dice.

          Also eliminate walking while drunk and you’ve eliminated about a third of all pedestrian deaths. Treating it as a car only problem where speed reduction is the only lever you have to pull is not likely to address the true root causes in most deaths (poor choice of place to cross, poor judgment of speed of oncoming traffic, pedestrian inattentiveness or lack of mental maturity to assess risks, pedestrian intoxication).

        6. “True but trains and ferries are not last mile solutions”

          Bikes, scooters, walking…they are too.

          Can’t we all just play together, safely?

        7. “Also eliminate walking while drunk and you’ve eliminated about a third of all pedestrian deaths”

          What’s wrong with being drunk? Some of the best times of my life occurred when I was drunk. Why should drunk people be killed when they are having a good time? Far better that they walk then drive home.

          Seems to me that if I use industrial mitigation hierarchy (elimination, substitution, engineering controls, administrative controls and personal protective equipment) we should start by considering whether we should eliminate the vehicle in this hazardous interaction.

        8. Avery the problem is not being drunk and staying on the footpath, it’s being drunk, and having insufficient judgement to avoid stepping out into the path of a car. That is just irresponsible as well as being traumatic for the poor driver. Just as we don’t expect drivers to drive drunk, best you get drunk in a space where your diminished capacity does not have such severe consequences for yourself and others.

        9. Avery also does your workplace design around people turning up drunk and on other drugs. I know if it is local government it probably does given the speed and quality of a lot of decision making. But elsewhere in the private sector?

          And KLK it’s a tradeoff. The specific discussion here is to what difference a $500,000 raised crossing makes compared to say the same flat crossing with a centre refuge for a fraction of the cost. (or arguably the same raised crossing for a fraction of the cost). Would 5-10 more flat crossing with refuges be better than one gold plated raised crossing with 170k of traffic management costed in?

        10. No one is suggesting a raised table should cost $500k.

          Yes,a raised crossing at a fraction of the cost. And more of them.

          Center refuge. No.

        11. Autonomous vehicles running over pedestrians are already quite rare per km driven compared to humans doing it You only hear about it because it’s somewhat novel and new.

          And an autonomous vehicle driving safely down a separated busway is largely a solved problem. Most of the issues at the moment come down to dealing with other vehicles and road users behaving erratically.

          And shared ridership buses, people movers and car sized vehicles will be just some types of autonomous vehicles. It’s not an either or. The point is, we should make PT plans that easily accomodate more point to point autonomous solutions rather than dumping money into those like heavy rail that really don’t. This is especially true for projects that have a 10 year plus timeframe to be delivered.

          When it comes to what is ‘Impossible’ physics still apply. A vehicle with a modern safety package has a much faster reaction time than a human and is never drunk, tired, distracted or unskilled. But it still won’t prevent injuries in every ‘dart out’ accident. The benchmark is would a human do better rather than some unrealistic benchmark of zero accidents being achieved or the technology needing to be ‘perfect’ before it can usably be deployed. News flash, human drivers, even professional ones, are far from perfect.

          And I wouldn’t judge the current state of product development by taking a spin around the block in a Tesla. If you did that you might conclude that work in the field is less far along than it is.

          It’s also a continuum. These kind of safety packages have been being deployed for 15+ years, and already account for no small percentage of the decreases in injuries AT might be ascribing to other interventions. The newer ones are more pedestrian and cyclist aware but it won’t be 15 years before they start making a difference, the difference is being made today, one new vehicle or modern Japanese import sale at a time.

          And come back to why do you even need busways at all if vehicles were capable of safely coordinating and driving very close to each other and the reasons that traffic slows down on arterials were removed? Part of the answer is you need busways today as an extremely expensive workaround to the fact that it only takes a few humans doing stupid or erratic things to have quite a detrimental effect on throughput. Another reason is established businesses get quite upset when you tell them that them having parking in front of their store is ruining the arterial road for everyone and they should move to the strip mall down the road. Finally you need it to be a space free of pedestrians and cyclists to provide greater safety of those road users and achieving that on existing roads seems to be quite hard.

        12. @Tradeoffs: you’re obsessed with moving humans out of the way of cars; and with technology as the solution to everything. I don’t care how many times you claim that ‘driver assistance packages’ are a panacea and coming right now to everyone, you’re talking nonsense. If as you said further up that ‘even new Corollas have a decent version’ or something like that, it will still take decades for that tech to spread around enough of the NZ vehicle fleet – this country drives old cars.
          “why do you even need busways at all if vehicles were capable of safely coordinating and driving very close to each other”? Because no city can possibly transport enough people in car-sized, or even in minibus-sized vehicles – buses (and trams please) are critically important to move enough people down arterial and cross-town corridors. That’s why you need busways, and bus lanes. Do you want to try to accommodate 90 individual person-pods across the harbour bridge, or along Mount Eden Road or Great north road, in place of each double-decker bus? Where are you going to put them all when they get to where they’re going? What’s it going to cost ($$ and material resources) to make enough of your precious autonomous vehicles? If you’re going to try to insist that all cars will behave as autonomous person-carrying devices, then the movement space and especially the storage question multiplies again: without busways and bus lanes, how are you going to get all of these autonomous vehicles on to the road, and where are they going to park when they get there? Or are you going to claim that they’ll all autonomously return home? (in case you haven’t noticed, that would double the wear on the vehicles and roads, and double the number of trips that you’re trying to squeeze on to the network.)

        13. Trams are not really important at all. They’re very much a legacy technology with much less flexibility than an eventually autonomous electric bus fleet.

          Buses will become autonomous too and will become part of the mix of autonomous vehicles where their capacity is needed.

          BRT even with human drivers is conclusively proven to outperform light rail. And busways can handle a mix of traffic: autonomous vehicles, people movers and buses. It’s not either or. They also mesh much better with point to point solutions where the busway may form part of the journey but you don’t need to switch vehicles to take advantage of them. It’s a flexibility that trains, trams, light rail and anything else that runs on fixed tracks can’t really match.

          And you’re going to say, well some of the technical elements for fully autonomous busways don’t exist in production yet. That’s true. But many do and the others exist in labs and testing grounds already. Infrastructure in New Zealand takes decades to put in place. Look at CRL, after a century long gestational period it’s arriving at just the time technology is about to make trains obsolete for a city with Auckland’s level of potential ridership. It’ll be being paid for long after these other options become commonplace. And it’s all kinda moot when non autonomous BRT systems can still get to the capacity Auckland needs with the future expansion just being the icing on the cake and the underling BRT roadway is substantially the same piece of infrastructure.

          In case you don’t know the expectation for a single lane platooned autonomous vehicle lane is about 10k vehicles/hr. Even with only one passenger that’s 10k/people hour. Full cars, 50k/hr. Moving to double decker buses you handily exceed any heavy rail system in existence without even really pushing the boundaries of lane capacity. Add a second bus lane and you’re off to the races.The bottleneck isn’t the busway. It’s how you load and unload that many people effectively (and where you get that many buses or riders). And also you need to get every other distraction out of that ‘busway’. No bikes, no shops on the side of them, no cycleways in the same space, no pedestrians trying to cross on raised crossings, grade separated so no conflict with other cross traffic. The more you can achieve all these things the greater capacity you get. But perfection isn’t required. There’s still improvements from getting partway there. Compared to that many other solutions are an all or nothing investment.

          Trains don’t come close because so much track space is wasted to headway between trains and the stations become the bottleneck for loading and unloading. Even with bypasses in the station you can’t do what you can with buses and people movers and load and unload outside the ‘busway’ then merge into it at speed for the journey. The roading network already provides the capability for decentralised loading in a way that heavy rail can’t match combined with the fact that people will be much more inclined to use services that pick them up and drop them off much closer to the endpoints of their journeys if the changing vehicles is minimised. As noted the ultimate capacity of the busway or train track isn’t the problem. It’s how effectively you load and unload people that matters.

          You mention parking. Autonomous vehicles can take themselves to parking spaces or in the case of shared use vehicles pick up more passengers and continue with a different trip. The most retrograde option that people have already had to consider is that owners may simply command the vehicles to circle the streets waiting for them. Cities need to plan to have sufficient nearby parking at the right cost that that behaviour doesn’t happen and easy ways for vehicles to get from where people want to be picked up nd dropped off to where the vehicle needs to park. On street parking isn’t the future here when that space can be better used to improve capacity.

          And when it comes to adoption, I don’t share your pessimism. All vehicles don’t need the technology for substantial gains to be made. And the government could legislate tomorrow that any Japanese import used car needed to include an automatic emergency braking system of some kind (much as they already have safety standards vehicle must meet and are still using penalties to drive high emission vehicles from the market). Since high end models started incorporating these features around 2000, and more generally across the range in 2010 or so the selection of decade old vehicles so equipped remains quite wide. Every five years or so tighten the spec to require higher performance with respect to cyclists and pedestrians as those features flow down more into the Japanese used market. The Toyota system specifically has been standard worldwide on most models for the last 7 years for a fairly decent cyclist and pedestrian aware system. Buy a 7 year old Japanese import Toyota and you likely have the tech. ~$10k Too rich for your blood? It’s below the median price kiwis pay for a used car. Wait another few years for the price point of the tech to drop even further. But it’ll be nowhere near 15 years.

          And when it comes to autonomous vehicles, if they have access to bus lanes, they’ll basically sell themselves on the reduced trip times with a renewal cycle substantially quicker than normal.

          The current state of the art for shipping autonomous vehicles is Level 3 autonomy. If you’re looking at a level 2 autonomous Tesla you’re looking at far from the state of the art. Level 4 vehicles or above would be best suited to running in busways. It’s not that far away.

          The point about 10 or 20 year plans is AT should already be thinking about which corridors will start to get autonomous lanes over the next decades, whether it should be investing in busways or rail. You can build the lane space today having it ready to be used in the future vs building some other infrastructure that will reach end of life much sooner and need to be removed. e.g will a cycleway really be practical on a particular road in 10yrs or does it have to go somewhere else? Can you remove large amounts of inner city parking if the cost of doing so is drivers just tell their cars to drive in circles until they find a park? The driver is already out of the car, the attempt to change their behaviour by parking being awkward and slow has no power over them any more.

          The technology will have quite profound impacts and isn’t waiting for AT to get its stuff together, of for late adopters and laggards to realise it exists. It is coming regardless.

      4. The problem is “ultimately” is still very far away. Let’s remember, we’re talking about safety improvements which are being installed right now. Not stuff planned for 5-10 years from now. Even if new Corollas never hit a pedestrian unless the pedestrian is insane, which I quite doubt given the reports of fully autonomous vehicles still screwing up, most vehicles in NZ do not have such technology and it’s going to take many years before most vehicles do.

        If 15 years from now, most vehicles are incapable of hitting a pedestrian unless the pedestrian is insane then sure we can talk about getting rid of the raised crossings then. But not before then.

        At most, if you’re absolutely sure that most of the vehicle fleet in 15 years will be incapable of hitting a pedestrian unless they’re insane, then it’s fine to only plan the calming measures to last 15 years. But I quite doubt that will make any real difference to what we’re doing now.

        So we get back to the same point that, we should be proceeding as things are now not what they will hypothetically be like in 2040.

        I mean at least the crazy idea we shouldn’t bother with long term PT plans because 20 years from now fully autonomous vehicles will magically solve all congestion problems makes a tiny amount of sense. Since we’re often talking about medium terms plans with massive investments which might only become operational 10 years from now which will generally only be cost effective if they’re useful for decades. So if 10 years from that time they’re irrelevant then yeah perhaps we made a mistake. They’re still dumb because they’re based on questionable modelling and assumptions of stuff that will happen that probably won’t. I mean I’m fairly sure if you go back to what people were promising around 8 years in say 10 years, the current generation of fully autonomous vehicles definitely isn’t it and it’s fairly certain we’re not going to get there. But at least they’re not suggesting we shouldn’t do something which is happening now and intended for the here and now and for which what happens in 10 years is mostly irrelevant.

  11. This article is well researched into the technical aspects of speed tables and the safety outcomes but people are most concerned about the cost.

    Throughout auckland suburban local roads ashplatic speed humps were installed in the mid 2015’s that were cheap and cost effective at reducing speeds and improving safety. These latest versions are a feat of engineering but don’t appear to be effectively scale-able or cost efficient.

    I suspect AT will refine the design and more cost effective version will appear in the future that achieve the same safety outcomes.

    1. The cost, for starters, was given by AT in an earlier article as $100k not $500k, and is hugely inflated because AT are so fixated on keeping traffic moving, instead of closing the road and doing it efficiently. With a steady, logical programme, the cost cam be reduced significantly.

      But also, this cost comes from having created such an unsafe system in the first place. The focus on traffic flow is taking its toll, as we’ve been blogging for years.

      Safety and VKT reduction measures tame the traffic and reduce the need for expensive infrastructure. Whereas the system we now have, a result of constantly widening intersections and focusing on easing congestion, is one so unsafe this is a cost we simply have to pay.

      Great example of why the a total transformation in approach, using the TERP’s VKT reduction and safety focus, is the only affordable way forward.

      1. Thanks for the response Heidi. The factors you have listed do contribute to the costs but unfortunately the design is likely the biggest factor here.

        I understand the principles of speed table with priortising of pedestrians but it creates complexity and costs escalate rapidly.

        Ashpaltic speed bumps are a fraction of the cost and achieve the same primary outcome of slowing vehicles down.

  12. If lowering the speed limit and hence cutting down serious injury or death is the goal why not just lower the speed limit as in Ponsonby Rd?

    1. That would be a good start, and AT had the opportunity to bring in Vision Zero speeds across the city after the safety review in January 2018. The author of the review confirmed to AT in 2022 that they should not be waiting on these built environment changes before lowering the speed limits. Even without enforcement, this lowers the speed somewhat, as it empowers people wanting to drive more slowly to do so, and shoes others that it’s fine to drive at a safe speed.

      If the police were effectively enforcing the 30 km/hr limit a new driving culture could become established.

      However, driver attitude has been worsened by a street layout that encourages higher speeds, lax enforcement and unsafe regulations. In this world we’ve created, changing the built environment is a key modifier of driver behaviour.

      Raised crossings are also simply easier to use for many people with pushchairs, wheelchairs, or pain when they step down, etc.

      1. Correct, for some people certain transport choices and their devotion to them are more akin to a cult. Ironically when cult members are doing things that put their children at risk the courts step in. There are laws on the books that could be used to prosecute parents who allow (or even encourage or force) children under 14 on the streets unsupervised.

        Perhaps it is time to start enforcing those before we consider other measures. A child under 14 in New Zealand isn’t even legally deemed capable of sitting on a couch alone in a house. Why given that would someone be expecting them to safely navigate a complex urban environment alone?

        1. The rules on children doing anything independently in this country are quite shocking. 14? 14????? At 11, I travelled to school in another town on foot, by train and by bus, every day, alone. NZ seems to have extreme ‘nanny state’ attitudes in some things, but extreme ‘don’t even try to fix the problem’ attitudes in others. It should be a human right to move safely and independently around your own neighbourhood at least, preferably your entire town, from at least the age of 10. That means all of us have to look out for the interests of those more vulnerable than us, always.

        2. Making neighbourhoods vs arterial roads safe for children is a different discussion and the gated community approach with slow residential cul de sacs is quite a good idea there. There is a big difference between expecting a child to walk to the house next door in a no exit residential street vs expecting them to walk or cycle on a major road alone.

          Still by law in New Zealand if they are under 14 your child shouldn’t be unsupervised on a road or any other place. If you want the law changed probably it’s time to start writing your politicians and extolling how careful and responsible 11yr olds are.

          Also looking after the more vulnerable can include not encouraging them to do things beyond what they are currently capable of safely doing and not leaving them alone in an environment where they might hurt themselves. And the number one ‘we’ with an actual legal responsibility in that area are the child’s parents.

        3. I’m well aware of the (in my view ridiculous) sub-14 rule, that was my point. (And yet there are some who campaign for people only two years out of cotton wool to be allowed to vote! There really is no logic in so many things in NZ.)
          I despise gated communities – they’re not communities, they’re segregated enclaves that tell the rest of us we’re not welcome. Even cul-de-sacs shouldn’t be necessary for children to visit their friends in the same street. They should also be able to get to their local town centre independently, or the diary and the park at the very least.
          The problem is that we’ve built an environment that enables, indeed encourages, behaviour that endangers people on foot. Streets have been built far wider than is necessary in residential areas, which leads drivers naturally to travel faster. Look at any place that’s high on ‘nice to live’ indices and you’ll find narrower streets and lower speeds. We just have to choose to stop prioritising fatal speeds over people’s ability to move around their own neighbourhood.

        4. One point of gated communities is to keep people who have no business driving through them from driving through them. You’re always welcome in one if somebody who lives there invites you and not if you’re just passing through to somewhere else or casing places to rob. And they’re linked by faster roads without driveways. No child need play on those roads because of the amenities in the community. These are good things. If they want to hang out at a ‘town centre’ thats what malls are for, a protected shopping environment completely dedicated to people on foot where they may walk easily and safely from store to store. Similarly cut de sacs stop your neighbourhood being a through street to somewhere. Again a good thing.

        5. yeah, you’re definitely American. You’re promoting the dystopia that is the ‘American suburban dream’. A hellscape.

        6. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it, No need to knock concepts that work just because they were popularised in America. Even in Europe down through the centuries a nice country estate has generally been preferred by those that can afford it. There’s a lot to be said for living in a community where the only vehicles belong to residents and visitors with good recreational facilities that you can easily walk to through the community’s green space with nearby shopping centres reserved for pedestrians only. Actually it sounds a lot like the vision others try to promote but without the focus on closet sized apartments in 180m high buildings and attempts to retain the relevance of the centuries old concept of the ‘CBD’ and the ‘high street’. If you asked most kiwis to tell you what was a hellscape, Queen Street especially as the sun falls, a nice suburb after dark or a good suburban mall in the evening I think they’d let you know pretty quickly which one of the three is dystopian.

      2. “Safety” is not an absolute or tangible entity. It is a management tool to reduce a real or perceived risk.
        As such it is open to the thinking, persuasions and attitudes of those designing and implementing such tools.
        This comes back to the most fundamental ideological differences between the left and right themes of government. The left always want to have everyone as part of their amorphous “collective” and dumb everything down to suit the lowest common denominator. Hence the idiotic “road to zero” and having to put in place massively expensive raised crossings, because they assume that everyone is an idiot who will not be able to apply good discipline and skill to driving a motor car.
        A better way is to respect individuals who will learn and apply such skills with disciplining /removing those who can’t/won’t/don’t want to comply.
        As usual, the loony left way just costs huge amount of money for little or no return; Auckland is broke and the dopey raised crossings are a huge financial burden which is resulting in better safety measures (like fixing broken roads) being ignored.

        1. so you encourage much higher driving standards and much tougher enforcement. I agree, we need both. How will you pay for them? You need a lot more driving instructors and examiners, and many more Police, and their cars; and automated enforcement cameras which must be allowed to issue demerit points as well as fines; which must be much higher than today.
          Do you really think that doing all of those things would be cheaper – and particularly any easier – to get through Wellington, the media and comment threads like this one?

  13. What happened in Tamaki during our last election? We elected quite a few GOLD Card holders to our council.

    Then what did Aotearoa do last year? Elected a backward government that although with only one GOLD Carded leader involved; most definitely does not believe that lives have more value than velocity.

    And here we have a newspaper, although with some very excellent journalists, always focuses on the money.

    As Jarvis Cocker sang a while back: ([^#$ are still running the world.

    Yes everything is expensive and will only become more expensive, but as Bill Hicks so famously used to rant about, THE ECONOMY is made up.

    What matters to us is feeding our children, ensuring that our grandchildren are not hurt, and taking care of our elders.

    But for many born into neo-colonialist capitalism, they know no other way than dog eat dog, kick the broken people with steel toed boots, stand on our fellow humans; do what we must to protect our nazi gold.

    And we wonder why our politics is so Victorian, so racist, so violent?

    We are famous for women’s suffrage, but what good has 131 years of voting done for women?

    What good has it done for our children?

    DEFEND THE AUTOMOBILE…it was invented by a plunderer of foreign lands and resources, and yet making our city safe for its inhabitants is wasting our budget.
    Baaaaaaah humbug

  14. Posts like these and the Upper harbour “drama” seem to bring out all the motorists who cannot stand a few seconds of delay in their life.

    Even with raised tables people still fly through pedestrian crossings, Hinemoa st is a shocker for this especially downhill with huge numbers of children walking. The crossing outside Standing room espresso is a nightmare (cars are actually allowed to park right up to crossing on one side so pedestrians are hidden from the speeding cars).

    So anything to try slow people down is great.

    1. Unfortunately there are utes that can (and do) fly over those raised tables.
      An example from my life: I regularly ferry my kid to school on our e-cargo bike. One fabulous gent had to give way to us as he was coming out of a side road. Oh the horror of a few seconds waiting. His solution was to then overtake us, at speed, over the raised table of a school pedestrian crossing at drop off time.
      I’m not generally despairing of humanity but that guy did make me wonder.

  15. I live in Ranui. There has been two raised crossings put in last week. They need more, the two crossings are on separate roads. A few months ago, the roads were made thirty KM per hour area, but it never policed. A lot of the traffic travel through well above the speed limit, even some busses exceed the limit. One raised crossing is not enough on a road a kilometre long is not enough.

    1. There are several along Rathgar Road. The old ones which were installed first and so are nearer to the schools allow close to 50 km/h even with fairly ordinary suspension. The new ones closer to the Universal Drive junction are require speeds closer to new 30 km/h limit with a more normal suspension. But even these don’t stop people traveling close to 50 km/h between them. You really need that enforcement plus attitude change IMO. Still I think average speeds have gone down since they were installed.

  16. Finding cost effective solutions and cheaper and better way to do things is sensible. This rule should apply also to roading projects, motorway widening and public transport infrastructure. The Puhoi Warkworth motorway cost $877m leaving the old state highway to be maintained forever by AT (whatever that costs) to enable more housing far from employment areas that will cost residents many hundreds of dollars to get to and from. $1.25 billion for Transmission Gully etc etc. I am most infuriated about the not giving a stuff about kids getting to and from school safely on their own so they can build their street smarts and sense of belonging) and forcing their parents/carers to chauffeur them. Primary carers need to get to work on time to succeed and I have asked, but have yet to be told, what analysis on economic improvement there might be on freeing up those carers’ time to work an extra hour or two a day if society encouraged kids to have more independent mobility.

  17. Autonomous vehicles will free carers from having to drive children anywhere soon enough. That is a short term problem at best. Then given the poor judgement of children in traffic situations you’d have to be a particular kind of ideologue to be deliberately forcing them into dangerous pedestrian or cycling situations vs just having the car or bus drop them off.

    1. Great, it’s only a short term problem. How many more children will die crossing the street because they have such poor judgement?

      1. Take a little personal responsibility. Presumably you don’t let your children play with sharp knives, rat poison, swim alone on surf beaches or do any number of other things that may harm them. Why when it comes to letting them walk or cycle to school in an environment where they may not yet have the level of judgement required to keep themselves safe would you suddenly decide that it’s a societal failing that the activity is beyond their current cognitive level so it’s someone else’s responsibility to keep them safe?

        1. KLK that’s right. If you send your child alone into a dangerous environment that they are not yet cognitively able to handle you certainly bear some responsibility at least morally for that choice. Now legally it depends on the circumstances. The child may be at fault, or the driver may be at fault. You cannot leave a child under 14 on their own without making adequate provision for their care and supervision. Arguably them being run over in a child at fault accident would be prima facie evidence that you haven’t met that responsibility.

          If you want your child to walk to school I would suggest a supervised activity like a walking school bus rather than leaving it up to your child’s judgment. The benefits of that are well documented in terms of improving safety and training good behaviours among children.

        2. I think walking buses are a great idea. And of course, it makes it even more imperative we have raised tables and alpt more of them.

        3. “If you want your child to walk to school I would suggest a supervised activity like a walking school bus rather than leaving it up to your child’s judgment. ”

          Hey buddy, this isn’t a parenting website. This is a website where we discuss how to improve the SYSTEMIC shortcoming that make it dangerous to send our kids into traffic.

          And how we change these network-wide issues so that it is SAFE(er), rather than telling parents how to keep their kids safe by telling them to drive them to school, or only allow them to walk in supervised groups.

          You are literally not seeing the forest because of the cars by making it about the individual. That’s the whole point of safe road design. Improve the system, not depend on individual’s actions.

        4. Damien if the root cause of the problem is your child lacks the cognitive capacity to stay safe in the environment unless cars move at 10kph in their presence, and if they do get hit that their otherwise unprotected body can’t sustain the impact in the way another vehicle can then no reasonable tweaking of the world is going to save them.

          Your child probably isn’t walking away from a 30kph collision on a table pedestrian crossing, sorry about that if you thought that they would.

          If the systemic problem turns out to be that children have poor judgment as to where and when to cross roads including ignoring available pedestrian crossings yet their parents let them wander unsupervised what is your solution to that? Stop the unsupervised wandering? Kiddie airbags? Put them in stronger vehicles? make everyone drive 10kph? Something else?

        5. Walking and cycling to school SHOULD be safe for a child, and if our transport network was designed in a way to enable that, the better off the parents (less stress, fuel, time etc) and the better off the child (healthier, exploration, independence etc). Crossing the street at safely designed crossings should be safe, a zebra crossing used to suffice.
          Drivers are the ones putting pedestrians at risk, so now, pedestrian crossings ‘have’ to be raised., and IMO there should be plenty more pedestrian crossings installed in many more locations.

          Yes I agree with you regarding automation about safety, but I disagree that this technology is a short time away, there’s a lot of complexity and legislation that will come into play before the roads are safe because humans aren’t driving.

        6. Tom you have a child and then immediately set about putting covers in the powers sockets so they won’t put a fork in, put locks on the cupboards to keep them out of things that will hurt them and take hundreds of other actions designed to increase their chance of survival to adulthood.

          Then they turn 5 and suddenly it’s safe to send them off on their own to walk to school, because that SHOULD be OK? Not that it is actually OK, but that you believe it should be. And where even if all the things people wish would be done are done it’s still not OK? Something there doesn’t add up.

          Also vehicles that will stop for children are shipping today, no additional regulation needed. You’re confusing a goal of full autonomy with better driver assistance packages.

        7. and you, Tradeoffs, are still expecting everyone to be driving the latest hi-tech vehicles with automated anti-collision systems – which won’t be the case for at least 30 years, even if every vehicle sold new today has them.
          The root cause of ‘the problem’ is not children choosing to cross roads, it’s drivers choosing not to respect priority crossing points – that’s what we’re discussing here. There’s a time and place to consider human behaviour away from crossings – this debate is about crossing points, the places where the infrastructure encourages people on foot to meet people driving vehicles. Until people can be trusted to drive at a speed that doesn’t threaten death to other people, they have to be forced to slow down by physical measures.

        8. Nanny Mouse the point remains most pedestrians who are injured or die are not at those crossing points. As a percentage the adoption of the tech is already well over 20% adoption of crossings by pedestrian fatalities. It doesn’t have to hit 100% to be effective when it is competing with another intervention (crossings) that only have a 20% adoption rate among fatalities.

          15 year old Japanese imports have versions of that tech. We are years down the adoption curve, not just starting out.

        9. Tradeoff: You can “arguably” all you want, unless you have the case law behind you, it’s irrelevant. And I quite doubt the NZ judiciary would agree with you that allowing an ordinary 13 year old to walk to school in the vast majority of cases is inadequate supervision. NZ is a common law country, so it doesn’t matter what you or I think the law says, it’s matters what judges say.

        10. I think you’re confusing common law with precedent. In New Zealand judges do interpret the law. In a judge-alone trial they are also the finder of fact. They do not get to make up arbitrary laws or ignore laws they don’t like, but they may use some latitude in a law’s interpretation. This is a feature of most legal systems. Lawmakers can not practically specify all circumstances a law applies to (or laws would read like war and peace) and the judiciary time fills in the lines and boundaries with case law. If the lawmakers don’t like where judges and juries end up, it’s their job to go back and be more specific.

          The law in question is:

          “10B Leaving child without reasonable supervision and care
          Every person is liable to a fine not exceeding $2,000 who, being a parent or guardian or a person for the time being having the care of a child under the age of 14 years, leaves that child, without making reasonable provision for the supervision and care of the child, for a time that is unreasonable or under conditions that are unreasonable having regard to all the circumstances.”

          So the wiggle room here is the definition of reasonable, given the totality of the circumstances.

          Allowing a 5yr old to walk to school alone would likely be decided to be “under conditions that are unreasonable having regard to all the circumstances” in almost all cases (unless perhaps you lived next door to the school). For a 13yr old, a serious injury to or death of the child would on the face of it suggest adequate supervision may not have been arranged and should lead to an investigation as to whether the parent’s lack of supervision was reasonable. Allowing them to walk to a bus stop on a quiet suburban street may be considered reasonable. Requiring them to make a complex hour long journey in a busy urban environment including several major road crossings may not. Note that this law applies in all situations where child may be in danger, not just travelling to school. Absent a death, injury or a concerned call from a 3rd party and lack of resources to enforce such things (the police having bigger fish to fry) mean you’re unlikely to get a knock on the door if you left your child home alone after school. In the case of a death however the police will get involved and the reasonableness of your actions will be questioned.

        11. You’re missing my point. I never said judges get to ignore the law. What I said is the since judges interpret the law, they are the ones who get to decide if allowing a 13 year old to walk to school is reasonable. That’s the heart of the issue. You keep insisting it’s unreasonable but this seem to only be your opinion, and you’ve given no indication that you’re a judge the only person in NZ who gets to decide such things. Not you and not me. Not even the police. They can investigate, but their opinion is also ultimately irrelevant if the judge who has the case disagrees with their opinion, as they may disagree with you opinion that it wasn’t reasonable. And it will be a judge alone trial because as you yourself said, the maximum possible sentence is a $2000 fine which is not serious enough to warrant a jury trial in NZ.

          (Although the police aren’t irrelevant. While private prosecutions are possible in some cases in NZ, they’re so extremely rare and also need permission that we can pretty much dismiss them. So if police also disagree, and never investigate such things, and there’s never a decision to prosecute then even if judges would find it unreasonable it’s a moot point because it never reaches them. However this is something which can change with e.g. a direction from government which means it’s a bit more iffy. Note that in the other case no such thing matters. If parliamentarians aren’t happy with how judges are interpreting the law, they’re free to amend the law to better specify what is unreasonable and so they could make it illegal if they wanted to, but the government is self cannot just order judges to start interpreting the law different.)

          And who’s talking about an hour long walk to school in an urban setting? That’s pretty much impossible in Auckland or throughout New Zealand. There are simply no urban environment that big. Even a 13 year child can reasonably walk from one end of central Auckland to the other within 45 minutes at most. Likewise for Takapuna or any other area which can reasonably be called urban. Of course for better or worse, most of Auckland is still fairly suburban so a large percentage of walks to school are in suburban environments not urban ones. (Although frankly I personally suspect suburban environments are riskier than urban ones in general.) And that’s also were a large percentage of the recent crossings that have been installed are.

          And again, you can talk all you want about how you think the law should work. Show me actual examples of where a parent has been successfully prosecuted for allowing their 13 year old child to walk to school in an ordinary suburban setting in Auckland where there wasn’t some other factor at play. (E.g. a child with significant limitations or you hypothetical example of a child walking 1 hour to school in some mystical urban environment which has such long urban settings.)

          The media likes to beatup on stuff, likewise this is the social media age. If this is something that actually happens to any reasonable degree, you should be able to find actual examples not just talk theory and how you think it’s unreasonable. The whole reason we’re discussing this is because children are dying, and I’m certain some of them must be 13. Or I’ll be generous, and allow any examples 11-13. (I’m not going to allow 5 years old though, again, I never suggested that it would be considered reasonable in most circumstances to allow a 5 year old to walk to school.)

          If you cannot find any examples, then I’m going to stick by my point. In my opinion, you are wrong, no judge is going to find such a thing and therefore it’s not unreasonable in the only way that matters in the legal sense in NZ. You are free to think it’s unreasonable, but your opinion carries as much weight as mine when it comes to the law i.e. zero.

    2. I would have thought autonomous vehicles are going to make driving more inconvenient than a few raised tables. For liability and insurance purposes, they are going to have to be so risk averse in an urban setting. They will drive slow, to give ample to time to address the hazards; children running out, bikes, balls, dogs, etc. The idea that they will just hum along at a constant 55km/h with no issues – sounds like a TV advert.

      On a motorway, sure. But like many claims about autonomous (and electric) vehicles, they will be there to save the auto industry, anything else is a bonus, and questionable.

      1. Also we need to remember that these types of autonomous vehicles are not yet available and when they are it will take 20 to 30 years before we would have enough of them on the road to make a difference. So are we supposed to accept all these deaths and injuries doing nothing in the mean time?

        1. Driver assistance packages are much further along than you seem to think and are part of any modern reasonably configured vehicle shipped today. The basic tech is over 20 years old and improves every year. A vehicle does not need to be fully autonomous to brake for a child or a cyclist stepping out in front of them. Some practical examples of that level of driver assistance are now over 15 years old.

          Autonomy will bring even more benefits, when use it will largely eliminating the ‘driver error’ category of accidents. In the interim the question is how one makes reasonable investments understanding that future vs spending hundreds of millions in areas you would later reverse.

    3. Wait, what?

      Won’t the flawless autonomous vehicles make all motoring harmless to other users?

      We can all have roads smooth enough to rollerskate to work, because robot cars will just drive like human lives matter.

      1. Yes, I have much more faith in humans teaching technology to drive better vs humans teaching humans to drive better. The former has been going pretty well, the latter has kinda stalled out.

  18. In the photos, all the raised crossings are pedestrian crossings (zebra stripes, Belisha beacons), but the one in the rendering is not.

    Is this an Auckland thing – are all raised crossings in Auckland pedestrian crossings?

    In the rest of the country there is a mixture & it’s very confusing

      1. And the confusion it creates is an entire safety risk in itself. Utterly unnecessary. These should all be zebra crossings, but it shows just how far from Vision Zero AT’s management is.

  19. It would be disingenuous, disappointing and tragic for CEO Dean Kimpton to lead AT into diluting AT’s own safety standards and commitment to Vision Zero in response to a Bernard Orsman beat up (a Herald journalist well known for misrepresenting project costs and click bait headlines). The political pressure is real but this is the time for the CEO and AT Board to calmly present the evidence, explain the actual costs across all projects and back their own safety programme.

    In my experience over many years, nearly all requests for safer crossings on busy roads come from local residents, most often parents who just want their kids to be able to walk and ride safely to school. Take for example the Marist school kids in the before and after photos. A mum contacted me about the need for a crossing because children travelling the 1.1km from her street to school were not able to do so independently or safely. One raised pedestrian crossing designed and built by AT after pressure from the school, parents and the local board has transformed the school run for a much wider catchment.

    It is exhausting for the community, businesses and schools to have to repeatedly tell AT and council that road safety matters. It shouldn’t be necessary, after countless consultations and public surveys (backed up by a heap of evidence), but I would encourage GA readers to contact Dean Kimpton, the Mayor, your councillor(s) and local board and let them know you value being able to walk and cycle around your neighbourhood safely and log where new crossings are needed.

    Ward councillors and Local Board details are on the council website

    1. Wayne Brown is taking the correct, pragmatic approach to Labour’s “Vision Zero” and the massively expensive raised crossings.
      We can wish for zero heart attacks and zero cancer as well, but it ain’t going to happen. The building of raised crossings in some critical locations like the Marist school example goes to enhance the message that a special hazard exists in these locations. However these things are sprouting like mushrooms, including in locations where traffic lights have also been installed; what an expensive piece of redundancy!
      One wonders whether in many cases, the objective of AT is merely to annoy motorists.
      Meanwhile we have roads with potholes in dangerous locations, such as on the apex of corners on rural roads, that remain unfixed or temporarily patched.
      AT needs a complete clean out of it’s management.

      1. “We can wish for zero heart attacks and zero cancer as well, but it ain’t going to happen.”

        So basically you support stopping proven cancer treatments, because zero cancer is not an option?

        Because that’s where you are standing. Raised tables are a proven method. Not necessarily cheap, and CLEARLY they piss some drivers (and hatchet journalists) off. But they WORK.

        Ah, wait, they reduce the car dominated nature of our roads. Can’t have that. Better make some spurious claims about how vision zero is nonsense, because it’s unattainable blah blah blah.

        1. “including in locations where traffic lights have also been installed; what an expensive piece of redundancy!”

          Ugh. That’s the kind of lack of understanding that holds us all back. Have you ever heard of red-light running (intentional or accidental)? Red lights do NOTHING against that. And red light crashes are often at dangerously high speeds, because drivers simply don’t slow down at all (or even speed up).

          Raised tables at signals work the same way as a zebra crossings: They SLOW DRIVERS DOWN. And that pisses the (currently ascendant) faction of car-fans off big time.

        2. Damien Yes anyone promising Cancer Zero would be called a quack without some fairly compelling real world evidence of a new treatment to back up their claims of total elimination of all cancer deaths and injuries.

          But it’s wrong to call the Vision Zeroers quacks because what they promise will never be achieved?

      2. @Chrisb The objective is to eliminate serious harm and death using the same safe systems thinking that applies to your work place and every time you get on a plane. Suggest you read up about Vision Zero and the benefits it will bring to you, your family and your community.

        1. Sure, just have every vehicle follow a man with a red flag.
          The command and control thinking of socialists is all about bringing everyone down to a low common denominator, with no recognition of individual responsibility, or attainment of knowledge and skills.
          Treating everyone as stupid and incompetent will have the result of everyone behaving in just that manner.
          What is wrong with setting standards for individuals as a prerequisite for holding (and keeping) a driver’s license?
          If you are of the leftist persuasion and hate cars, then the concept of attaining driver skill, knowledge and enjoyment of the safe and efficient use of a car is probably way beyond your comprehension

        2. The better comparison in the aviation sector is general aviation. That still involves pilots that have significantly more training than the average driver but is about 20 times more dangerous than driving per km travelled.

          And if we go with the commercial aviation analogy, now we’re equating a child standing at the side of road deciding whether to step out onto a crossing with a crew of two trained commercial pilots and all the supporting people, airline and air traffic control infrastructure, redundant computerised systems, maintenance, cross checks and balances that stop them making mistakes. really? Do we think we can get that child to show the same level of judgement as those pilots? Even the pilot’s judgement is cross checked by another pilot or in the case of control inputs by the aircraft’s computer systems.

          A closer analogy would be the walking school bus with the ‘expert’ pilots taking the child ‘passengers’ to school.

          Vision Zero is a fantasy that has not been achieved anywhere nor is likely to be. Therefore it’s hard to evaluate the value of things that will not be delivered. It’d be much more realistic if it was sold as a reduction in injuries and deaths rather than an elimination of them.

        3. @Tradeoffs – Vision Zero is sold as a reduction in injuries and deaths. Its a target towards which we should be working, not a binary success/failure judgement. Your logic is that because we can’t achieve perfection, we shouldn’t even try to do anything to make the streets safer than they are today. You don’t apply that to anything else in life, do you? Why should we give up trying to safe any lives just because it’s unlikely that we can save every life?

        4. Nonny the goals of vision zero are right there in the name and it’s marketing materials back that up. I’d be much less cynical about its goals or likelihood of success if it was sold as you say it is. But that zero number is why it’s a fools errand. Probably it needs to be ditched in favour of Vision x where x>0

          And once you do that you’re discussing tradeoffs.

        5. Because once again, you’re prepared to sacrifice anyone for your own obsession with cars and technology, @Tradeoffs.
          ‘Vision Zero’ > looking towards a future where no-one would be killed nor seriously injured on the roads. To get as close to that as we can, we have to make roads safer. They’ll never be perfectly safe because of the simple fact of kinetic energy, but safer. Do you really want to promote ‘Vision Only Ten Dead People’? No – you aim for the ideal to get as close to is as you reasonably can.

        6. Nonny I think you’re making the same point I am. ‘Zero’ is an unreasonable goal and there’s always a tradeoff somewhere. Technology not ‘better trained humans’ has a much greater chance of improving those numbers.

          And yes, I’d much rather we had an achievable goal of reducing road deaths by some percentage. You can always revise and refine that when you get there.

          And finally what you’re not recognising in your obsession with the fact that ‘cars are the problem’ is that in the Netherlands half of cycling deaths are bicycle only accidents. Kinetic energy still comes into play there. You can collapse on the ground from standing hit your head and kill yourself or fall over while stationary on your bike and do the same. And consider what happens when you come off an e-bike at 30kph and hit something solid in the process.

          As we move towards that ‘Zero’ vision we’re probably going to have to see recumbent tricycles or quadracycles become the safer kind of bike allowed since bicycles are already proven to be simply too dangerous to keep allowing people to use them even in the complete absence of cars. But even recumbent trikes will only eliminate certain classes of accident, they won’t get them all. Probably to finally get bike deaths to zero they’ll have to go too. At least with a recumbent e-trike there’s more scope to add some air bags, a decent roll cage and crumple zones and add some automation to compensate for pilot inadequacies.

    2. Seems unfair AT would need to consult with it’s customers, justify the cost and effectiveness of what it is doing and balance the wishes and interests of ‘A Mum’ with those of other road users.

  20. Tradeoff. Abolute nonsense.
    The bulk of urban streets have no pedestrian crossings at all.

    I will give you an example
    St Andrew’s Road Epsom between Greenlane and St Albert’s Road.
    2 bus routes and busy during peak periods.
    1 .9 k between pedestrian crossings!

    Are you really suggesting that people alighting from their bus halfway down should face a well over Ik extra walk to use the pedestrian crossing?

    Even at the Mt Albert Road end a pedestrian walking on the North side of Mt Albert Road faces a 300m detour just to cross St Andrew’s Road on a pedestrian crossing.

    NZ is actully an outlier, In that in most countries pedestrians, walking straight ahead crossing a road junction, have priority over turning vehicular traffic.

    1. 300m (150m each way) doesn’t sound like an unreasonable detour on a major road, so there’s my point exactly. As an experiment perhaps every time you alight your bus on St Andrew’s road, walk 50 meters down the road before crossing, pretending there’s a half million dollar crossing there then walk back to the original point on the other side. Let us all know how many continuous days you do that for before reverting to lemming mode.

    2. I wouldn’t bother arguing with Tradeoffs – he is happy to let his son/daughter/brother/sister fight it out on the streets with a ute and die in a car accident just so everyone can get around quickly

      1. Barry the vast number of pedestrian deaths don’t occur at crossings. And if you’re sending your children out alone to “fight” with utes and taking risks in that battle that a more sensible person wouldn’t just to make a point you’re doing it wrong. Probably best you adopt a less aggressive attitude towards other road users and a more protective attitude towards your family’s lives.

        1. KLK of course sometimes the car driver is at fault. But if you can’t recognise that sometimes it’s the kid’s judgement that is the problem you’ll actually never reach a safe solution. Not every child vs vehicle accident is deemed to be the fault of the car driver. And even if it is the fault of the car driver the parent has failed their child by putting them in that situation. That’s especially true if they have some bloody minded insistence that the activity should be safe and within the capabilities of a child without adult supervision despite copious evidence to the contrary. Of course not every parent who loads their kid in a cargo bike and heads off to school is deliberately trying to injure them to make a point about road safety. But knowing the much greater injury rates that come with that activity the parent’s life skills are probably a bit lacking. Should incidents arise history shows the parent will likely express their lack of life skills as rage against the driver, or all drivers, rather than accepting they are part in the problem.

        2. KLK

          It’s not the simple single dimensional problem you think it is.

          If it was you could make the environment safer by nobody ever leaving their house.

          Or you could choose other measures like banning cycling on major roads that if properly enforced would quickly drop the number of deaths there to zero. (Ironically achieving that element of Vision Zero).

          You could require all vulnerable pedestrians have the supervision of a competent adult at all times.

          But are those tradeoffs you’re willing to make? Or are you looking for a different set?

        3. Given that nothing else is properly enforced on any road, let alone major ones, why do you think your insane idea of banning people from riding along normal roads (because that’s what you’re calling ‘major’ in Auckland – no-one tries to ride on an actual major road) would be enforced any more strongly?
          The only trade-off you seem willing to make is that everyone else should stop doing anything that would make you drive ever so slightly slower from time to time.

        4. “it’s the kid’s judgement that is the problem you’ll actually never reach a safe solution. Not every child vs vehicle accident is deemed to be the fault of the car driver”

          Forget fault and consider result. In a serious accident between a child and a car there is a dead child. Not good. People make mistakes, especially children as they are so immature. Being immature should not result in a death sentence.

          A driver’s desire to get from A to B a minute or 2 sooner is economically comical. I accept, however, that if the driver wants to go to B, C or some letter further through the alphabet it may be ever so slightly more significant because, of course they are further away…and of course they generally have to come back so it becomes B to A etc.

          Anyway, who cares about economics anyway? It’s just all about money and the ways in which people behave in order to get more. I have so much now that chasing any more is a waste of time; at my age I’ve got to spend, spend, spend!
          Avery T. Deacon-Harry®: Making the world a better place, one sarcastic comment at a time.

        5. We agree a child’s death is a tragedy. What we don’t agree on is why the parent let them be there alone, unsupervised in the first place.

          We don’t let immature children pilot commercial aircraft, drive cars or do any of a hundred other things that might injure them. We know we can’t make it safe for an immature child to pilot a commercial aircraft (short of totally automating the aircraft so the child is just another passenger) so we simply don’t allow it, end of story. And nobody finds that strange.

          But when it comes to roads suddenly we’re like, well I want my 5 yr old child to be able to walk and bike everywhere on their own and we must somehow find a way regardless of cost or effect on other road users to achieve that. Odd.

          My cynical comment about banning bikes is just that. You know the solution, you know it will bring cycling accidents to zero for those who comply with the ban. Why are you not prepared to adopt it? It is because it affects you while the other solutions you propose affect someone else.

        6. Ari sadly children will still fall off bikes injuring themselves leading to a complete bike ban. Then they’ll trip and hit their heads on sidewalks and we’ll have to ban sidewalks. Children drown in buckets in fairly large numbers so the have to go along with baths, sinks and toilets. Burns are another significant cause so ovens and stoves likely need to be banned too. We’ve already addressed fridges which absolutely need to go to get us to Fridge Zero. Stairs and windows are simply too dangerous to keep, as are any form of sports equipment. Medicine is quite a problem so medicine needs to go too as do any household chemicals. Children die in quite large numbers at preschool and school so education needs to be immediately eliminated.

          I’ve probably forgotten quite a few other things on the list that we need to eliminate to ensure that no child ever dies from one of them ever again.

        7. Your arguments are absurd.
          We can eliminate child deaths at pedestrian crossings by eliminating, just one of:
          Pedestrian Crossings
          Motor Vehicles.

          Clearly elimination of child deaths, at pedestrian crossings, is not possible.
          The goal is to minimise pedestrian deaths and injuries whilst crossing roads.

          Actually vastly increasing the number of pedestrian crossings would be effective in achieving this, even though it could well increase the number of pedestrian deaths and injuries occuring at pedestrian crossings.
          And putting speed tables under pedestrian crossings has proved effective in reducing the number of pedestrian deaths and injuries at existing crossings.
          It makes those crossings more efficient in achieving what they are designed to do.
          The argument about cost should simply be.
          What is more effective in reducing the total pedestrian deaths and injuries?
          Fewer more expensive crossings, with speed tables, or using the same amount of money to create a lot more crossings?

        8. DonR “Clearly elimination of child deaths, at pedestrian crossings, is not possible.”

          It sounds like you’re finally agreeing with me. I’m simply pointing out the absurdity of what would happen to the modern world is we applied ‘Zero’ goals to all sorts of risks of injury. Instead it is always a tradeoff, the value of medicine to society vs the number of kids who accidentally overdose, The desirableness of windows compared to the number of children who fall out them each year, The usefulness of refrigerators for food safety compared to the number of children who die in them, etc.. Now I guess you understand it’s about taking reasonable protective measures and making reasonable Tradeoffs not the impossible goal of ‘Zero at any cost’

          ‘The argument about cost should simply be. ”
          What is more effective in reducing the total pedestrian deaths and injuries? Fewer more expensive crossings, with speed tables, or using the same amount of money to create a lot more crossings?”‘

          Ironically I actually suggested that was one of the tradeoffs. But you also miss ‘some other intervention that might save more than either’ That spend might not even be in transport.

        9. We are starting to see cities that have years with actually zero pedestrian or cycling fatalities. Oslo reached this point in 2019. And they did not do it by ensuring everyone is always in a car.

        10. And, since we are talking about children: you can argue for a system where we accept that car traffic on streets is too dangerous for children to go out by themselves. Because they can’t process all the traffic around them yet. Due to how brain development works, this will be at least until they are in high school — there is a good reason why we don’t allow kids to drive cars.

          But: having kids locked inside unless parents can bring them outside is by itself a HUGE cost of that system, and is part of the trade-off. Just like windows in a house, kids being able to go out by themselves is a very desirable feature of a city, and to achieve this, it is worth making some compromises when it comes to speed and convenience of car drivers.

        11. Roeland as noted anyone in New Zealand who lets a child under 14 out unsupervised is breaking the law. If you don’t like that, lobby your politicians, don’t just be a lawbreaker. Until that law changes designing cities to cope with unsupervised children under 14 would seem to be redundant compared to just putting resources into prosecuting parents who break the law especially if their children get injured or killed while unsupervised.

          And as to the zero deaths thing. Deaths on pedestrian crossings in New Zealand are already quite rare, in the low single digits nationwide. If you break it down on a per municipality basis you’re already find suburbs and towns in New Zealand that in any given year experience zero pedestrian deaths in crossings without redesigning the crossings. Would you use that as an argument for or against modifications or just claim I’m mis-using statistics?

          Over the last 20 years in all of Finland not just Helsinki deaths in road crossings have typically been in the single digits every year, much like New Zealand actually. it’s not so surprising you might get one year which is zero in a particular municipality. In fact that would be quite a common occurrence. Given the numbers it’s actually quite possible that it’s a random result not due to any particular planned intervention. I guess you’d have to look at the next five years as well to see if there was any consistent trend there.

          Also as a note the statistical presentation in the article cunningly uses choice of a break point in the graphs and an outlier to argue for the existence of trends that are nowhere near as marked as it might seem especially given hardly anybody was leaving their houses for much of the the second part of the dataset. Extra points for including the same outlier in both graphs to make the line go where they wanted it to go. Over the entire dataset the trend is downwards which might point to something else causing the reduction. An alternative hypothesis given the dataset and its timeframe is maybe the intervention that actually works is locking both kids and parents in their houses? I know you consider that a bad thing, but maybe it is what actually works? Do you think you can get support for Auckland wide lockdowns to be reinstated?

        12. Roeland the law states that somebody over 14 supervising that child would be considered reasonable supervision. Also short unsupervised periods may be OK depending on the situation. But a child being run over on traffic would also be prima facie evidence that they were not being reasonably supervised. That is unless you consider having your child being run over in traffic while you or someone you delegate is not looking after their safety is good parenting.

          And from your own dataset there are plenty of suburbs that are zero death in any given year and all would be low single digits.

          But also if we use the dataset you provided it the trend of deaths over nearly a decade seems to indicate that pedestrian deaths are getting worse not better. I wonder if Vision Zero is responsible for that increase? Bears some looking in to…

        13. “But a child being run over on traffic would also be prima facie evidence that they were not being reasonably supervised.”

          Complete load of nonsense. Someone could be looking after their child and doing all the right things but still get run over by some speeding idiot or other factor like they had stopped at a crossing then lost control of their vehicle.

        14. Grant, that’s largely the point, the parent is not doing the right things.

          Maybe the child is walking alone.

          Maybe the child doesn’t understand to look left and right and NOT step out in front of the car they see speeding towards them from the distance. Maybe the parent gets careless putting too much faith in drivers stopping or is distracted and not taking the normal amount of care. Or the parent may feel they have the moral right to step out child in hand and hope the car stops. But common sense says don’t do that. Better to watch a car or two go by and wait for one to stop than drag your kid out into a road just so you can get a TikTok video of yourself being outraged as they’re run over.

          Finally just how often does it happen that someone comes to a full stop at a crossing, then wildly loses control and plunges into the pedestrians? I think you’re clutching at straws a bit there.

          Just because a driver doesn’t slow or stop even where they are legally obliged to doesn’t mean you need to disconnect your common sense and lemming out into the road.

          The presumption for an unsupervised child should be that had the parent been present they likely could have done something to avoid the accident. I can think of very few scenarios where you can’t identify an action from the parent that would have saved the child.

          And even when the parent is present and it was the driver’s obligation to stop, better parenting likely could still have avoided the situation becoming much much worse.

  21. Well written article.

    Interesting that personal experience is backed up by the data.

    My staff and I used to use the old non raised crossing on Henderson Valley Road near the council buildings on our morning commute. We all found that motorists seldomly stopped.

    Just up the road near the shops they installed a slightly raised crossing in recent years and motorists mostly stop.

    Goes to show that physics works better than law.

  22. This is not all about kids getting to and from school and focusing on that only is a bit pointless. I live near a raised crossing that I use to cross Te Atatu Road twice a day minimum. The strike rate for cars stopping for me prior to the raised crossing was about 1/3 i.e. 2/3rds of the time cars just kept on going through when they are required by law to stop. The strike rate after the raised crossing is 100% stopping … a much safer environment and drivers actually obeying the law. The argument is that it slows drivers from getting around … what about pedestrians desire to get around quickly? why should they have to wait until a driver decides to do what they are legally required to do. Paint alone does not provide any protection at all. as for people complaining about traffic cones … I will paraphrase Jack Nicholson from the movie A few good Men and urge them to do a shift as a road worker without them for a while. Cones save road workers lives… simple as that.

    1. Yes Steve. Exactly a good example of how they work and we have had too much emphasis on vehicle speed and not pedestrian speed. Try crossing at our Mount Wellington light controlled intersection, it takes potentially minutes to get across each leg.

      1. And what is the ratio of numbers of people in cars to numbers of pedestrians? 1000 to 1 or 10,000 to 1?
        The members of this site seem to want the whole city grinding to a halt for the sake of a) a very small minority of pedestrians, b)lack of education and discipline of drivers and c) a police force whose only interest is in writing out tickets for going 5 kph over the speed limit.
        Just spend some time in Australia and see how their drivers respect painted zebra crossings without spending a half million dollars per site that we don’t have.

        1. the abject failure of the Police actually to Police driver misbehaviour is scandalous. Ludicrously poor levels of driver training are a consequence of mum’n’dad driving lessons, teaching all the bad habits that they have built up – presumably with stern words about things to avoid doing on your driving test. Appalling driver behaviour in NZ is a consequence of both of the above, plus the general attitude of ‘me first, me fastest’ among seemingly 90% of drivers. There’s a total lack of courtesy to other drivers, let alone to people who wouldn’t damage your car if you hit them.
          Therefore, physical engineering measures are required to force drivers to slow down where they meet people crossing roads.
          The ratio of people driving to people walking is affected hugely by how unpleasant it is to walk in many places. Children are often forced into cars to be driven to school because their parents are scared to walk with them due to all the other parents in cars – a vicious circle. And don’t forget that every person driving has to get out and walk somewhere at one end of most trips.

        2. For starters, let me know what Australian fines are then? I Know most are much higher than ours. Seems NSW example: “Not give way to pedestrian on pedestrian crossing”: $464, back in July 2020. NZ it’s only $150.

        3. Things like traffic counts, censuses and travel surveys exist so we can actually estimate this.

          In the city centre there are definitely much more pedestrians than car drivers. This is probably also true for inner suburbs like Newmarket.

          From the New Zealand Household Travel Survey you could estimate a ratio of cars vs pedestrians of 6:1 across NZ (look for time spend travelling per mode). Of course it will differ depending on where you are. The census reports that all the local boards in the urban parts of Auckland have well over 1 in 10 students walking to school/education. So it would be very unlikely to be as extreme as 100:1 anywhere.

  23. Interesting that the Carrington Road crossing is used as an example here. I was nearly taken out by a car on that crossing this morning.

    We really need to improve signage that raised crossings such as the one at Carrington Road are for both people on bikes and people walking. I’ve had numerous instances where cars do not stop for bikes, sometimes shouting that the crossing is not for cyclists!

      1. Not in this case. AT have done something special there to allow bikes to cycle across – and there are special ‘Give Way to cyclists and pedestrians’ for the crossing. In general sure, but in terms of Carrington Rd you’ve got to give way to both cyclists and pedestrians. I asked AT after our old cleaner managed to hit a bike on the crossing.

        That said, that is crying out for an underpass or overpass for the NW cycleway traffic, there is just too much. It might be better to just connect the two parts of the cycleway, but I’m not quite sure how they’d make it work affordably.

  24. Agree with your comments on police, driver training and driving attitude, but when we build “physical engineering measures” that start to look like a Saturn 5 moon rocket launch pad (example of new installation on cross roads in Takanini), there has to be better and more efficient ways to make everyone safer on the roads.
    If the Aussies can achieve this, why can’t we?

  25. The trouble with relying on road engineering to stop pedestrians being injured or killed (and drivers causing collisions) is that roundabouts, raised crossings and other humps have to be installed at almost all intersections and crossing places. Fairly obvious we cant afford all of them so some suburbs and towns are going to be luckier than others.

  26. “Avery also does your workplace design around people turning up drunk and on other drugs”.

    I operate a home-based business. Creative stuff. I positively encourage my employees (me) to partake as required. Cannabis is generally better for my more “artistic” work but please keep that under your hat as it is still illegal.

    On another matter, I am in the midst of a stoush with Council and need a transport engineer to appear as a witness at a hearing. We have a barrister who will do most of the talking but we need someone who can do some scenario modelling with SIDRA before the hearing. Provide the certified evidence and let the barrister present. Top dollar. Dipshits need not apply.

    BTW I’m quite the car guy. I have had all sorts from a 1 litre turbo 3 to a 351 Mustang with a WRX (and 6 other subies), BMW 3000CS, Volvo, Honda, Renault and Toyota MPV kid haulers, Golf GTi, Alfa 33 Veloce, old school Hilux and a bunch of boring stuff that I have forgotten…all crap.

    Like Bob Dylan at the Newport Folk Festival, I have gone electric and I am not going back.
    My EV is like a refrigerator; cool, reliable, white, electric and the light comes on when you open the door. It’s like a refrigerator that seats 5 people without suffocating them and it has handles on the inside of the doors.

    Lordy, Lordy I have repented of my automotive sins and have seen the light! I am saved.

    Avery T. Deacon-Harry®: Male, Pale, Stale and Proud!

    1. Avery I’m sure you well know that refrigerators sold in the US have not been able to have door latches since the 1950’s precisely to let kids escape from inside.

      I know that some pundits will point out that it’s only been 70 years since latch free refrigerators have been mandated and it’ll probably take at least another 140 years before all consumers have them, largely negating the practical usefulness of the technology.

      After initial reductions sadly after all that time we have still not reached Refrigerator Zero.

      But also some of the most effective methods to deal with remaining cases have been education about the dangers, proper parental supervision and keeping fridges in areas children can’t access.

      I wonder what lessons if any we might learn from the push towards Refrigerator Zero?

      1. Analogies are funny old things; Some people understand them, Others not so much.

        I still think refrigerators are cool.
        I still think my Polestar is cool.

        PS: I care about children locked in fridges, especially my beer fridge. Don’t want them drinking my best craft APAs then dying and stinking the fridge up.
        Avery T. Deacon-Harry®: Championing refrigerators and the 2nd law of thermodynamics since 1979.

      2. if you really cared you’d cut a large breathing hole in the front of your beer fridge to totally eliminate the possibility of a child suffocating in it. This seems like a reasonable modification to make to all fridges given the number of children who don’t die in them every year.

  27. Loads of rubbish. Why you need bump on Remuera road (the only main road from St Johns to Newmarket) , understand the concept around school zones or bus stops but main road, not so much.

    1. Bit of a story behind that bump, Peter. Goes back to when I had a house in Remmers and invited an old leftie friend, Eric Blair, round for spliff or 2.

      Now Eric is a bit of a country bumpkin (has an animal farm out Drury way) but he is good with tractors (And growing weed). Eric being a real socialist figured out that what pisses rich people off most is there fancy BMWs and Audis getting damaged so he built that hump overnight using his tractor and some stuff he nicked from a building site.

      Sad part of the story is that I helped him. Strange the shit you get up to when you’re stoned. Regretted it in the morning BUT it was quite an experience riding Eric’s tractor down Remuera Road to Newmarket at 2 am to deal with an attack of the munchies.

      I have lost touch with Eric. His mind is gone. Must be all the drugs. Used to claim that he had fought in the Spanish civil war. Lefties – they just make stuff up. Can’t help themselves.
      Avery T. Deacon-Harry®: Life is not a race. Slow down, you’ll get to the end soon enough.

  28. It may not be totally in their remit, but AT should be a lot more proactive with respect to finding out what the needs of other council and utilities providers are so we don’t keep finding ourselves in the vexingly stupid position of digging up recently installed crossings.

    Its unforgiveable stupidity and a shameful waste of money.

  29. Thanks for collating background information surrounding raised pedestrian crossings. Much of the opposition to them comes from motorists, but the pedestrian voice has not been heard. So many kerb crossings are dangerous for some pedestrians using mobility devices as they have a steep descent/ascent, difficult for many wheelchair users. I have worked with traffic engineers who wanted to determine the suitability of kerb crossings for wheelchair users whilst sitting in a wheelchair and sometimes they have fallen out. It is such a pleasure – and relief – to encounter a raised crossing enabling a quick and safe entry and exit.

  30. The issue at the centre of this argument is the installations of raised crossings. There are almost always occurring in the suburbs.
    I would defy you to stand on any suburban street at any time of day and say that you have counted 6 cars for every pedestrian!
    There are some critical locations where raised crossings give a better visual signal of a special hazard, but these locations are invariably linked to schools and have been managed for decades by schools themselves with very few incidents.
    For 99+% of a day raised crossings are doing nothing for the Lesser Spotted Pedestrian, but merely adding to the neo Marxists campaign against those who need the freedom of a car to get around a city and region, that was developed around the freedoms that Henry Ford’s invention provided for the first time in history

    1. Henry Ford did not invent the automobile. He was a union buster, a fascist and an overt nazi sympathiser.

      As for Marxists; some of my best friends are Marxists. Groucho Marxists rather than Karl Marxists but Marxists never-the-less (weren’t they brothers?).

      Avery T. Deacon-Harry®: Over 78% of what I write is true!

  31. If you read about Henry Ford’s development of the Model T, you will realise that whatever else he was, the man was a brilliant Engineer. He obviously did not invent the automobile, but made it accessible to much of society, whereas hitherto it had been exclusively for the seriously rich.
    The forces at work today, will aim to return the automobile to its former status.
    Perhaps you should also read Karl Marx’s “manifesto” and his strategy of “inch by inch – step by step”
    Those at AT and our former smiling PM are not working for the benefit of the ordinary people.

    1. The man was a brilliant engineer? So am I. In fact it is one of my many claims to fame. That doesn’t make me a good person, in fact I am the most selfish greedy person I know (and I should know!).

      “The forces at work today, will aim to return the automobile to its former status.” Cars don’t care about status; we rich folks do though. I am really concerned that Chinese manufacturers such a BYD will come in with cheap EVs and undermine our status as wealthy EV owners. Damn commies!

      As for my Marxist friends; you don’t think that it is funny that they are Groucho Marxists?

      “Those at AT and our former smiling PM are not working for the benefit of the ordinary people.”

      Former PM; incapable of implementing anything.
      Current PM; dangerous.
      Ordinary people; I am extraordinary! Why should I care about the peasants?

      Avery T. Deacon-Harry®: ^Supersizing sarcasm since Friday!

    2. Marxism and Vision Zero, I’ll take ‘ideologies that failed in the real world’ for 100, Alex.

      I know, I know Real Vision Zero has never been tried…

      1. There are only 7 registered Karl Marxists in the whole of NZ, Tradeoffs.
        Not much of a threat to the likes of you and me.
        Maybe lie down for a bit and have a rest.

        Avery T. Deacon-Harry®: Lifelong looser lampooner (and alliteration aficionado).

      2. It’s good that we’ve established a Karl Marxist registry to protect the public from Karl Marxists in their neighbourhoods.

        Prior to that they could only be easily recognised by their abject failure to get anything useful done for society meanwhile spouting lines like you’ll be first against the wall the revolution comes or using the words cis white male, single source of truth and decolonisation in sentences. But given that small number formally registered I suspect we have a fairly large problem of people choosing not to register their Karl Marxists.

  32. Oh dear these comments really off topic & degenerating into common forum rubbish. Not sure a few physical safety measures amount to Marxism.
    For me, the Vision Zero idea just sets the value of a life very high & so we should do all that we can to prevent unnecessary deaths. It’s a high goal that you wouldn’t necessarily obtain but setting these lower ones are kind of obscene. This is all off the top of my head, not having re-read the philosophy etc but I do remember that countries that have adopted it have had success in bringing down their DSI rates.

    1. There’s nothing obscene about setting reasonable goals and objectives and taking reasonable and balanced steps to bring down deaths.

      And I’ll repeat the question, how much are you prepared to pay to eliminate that last yearly death? A billion? a trillion? because 25 crossings a year at a cost of 12.5 million isn’t going to do it.

      There is something obscene about selling snake oil.

      1. So Vision Zero when implemented properly is shown to significantly reduce the road toll more than pretty much any other approach. Only an old person at the bowling club with nothing better to argue about would get get into a debate about the semantics of the name.

      2. Don’t be silly, there’s. huge difference between promising to eliminate all deaths from something and taking a pragmatic and balanced approach to reducing them with a reasonable expectation of meeting that goal.

        If I were to sell any other products claiming it would completely eliminate something and it actually was never going to eliminate that thing the commerce commission would be wanting to have a word with me.

        “Whenever you advertise your product or service you must not use words, imagery or any unfair sales practices which are likely to mislead or deceive consumers.”

        It’s fairly clear Vision Zeroers are setting out to mislead consumers by selling a “product” that has essentially zero chance of meeting its advertising.

        Further Vision Zeroers demand ever increasing spend and other changes when the product fails to deliver. The failure to deliver is apparently not due to a flawed premise but simply that you are not yet dedicated enough to the cause and must do more to show your piety. Which makes it a lot like a cult.

        1. Maybe a term like “sustainable safety” is better.

          Auckland Transport could have a sign in its office. “We have operated the street grid for XX days without fatal accidents”, like in factories. Obviously, like in those factories, that number would ideally go up as high as possible. They would have to think about which measures to take to avoid resetting that count to zero so often.

          (Here in NZ, if any company were as lax with this as Auckland is with its streets, Health&Safety would absolutely destroy them)

        2. Vision Zero was aspirational and you can see it all the wording around it on WK’s website. Its also why they refer to the term “Towards Zero” which is used on other countries.

        3. Roeland perhaps they could do this for every pedestrian crossing, intersection and street segment, days since last fatality and total fatalities within the last 365 days. Provide it virtually of course to avoid AT/NZTA driving everywhere installing signs and do it in a way people can easily browse. That would help citizens understand the need for a crossing upgrade or other intervention in any particular street.

        4. Vision Zero hasn’t succeed yet because the previous government has failed miserably to deliver the key planks – especially rolling out median barriers.

          Regarding your comment about the Commerce Commission I’ll refer again to my previous comment. ‘Only an old person at the bowling club with nothing better to argue about would get get into a debate about the semantics of the name’.

        5. Jezza thanks for confirming that that problem is insufficient piety and lack of devotion to the cause. If only more money is spent I’m sure success will be achieved. And if it’s not, I’m sure the answer will be to spend even more money or drop speeds even lower.

          And I’m sure old people at the bowling club understand the difference between them having one or more bowls closer to the jack than you or zero bowls closer to the jack. I know math is hard for some, but understanding the difference between Zero and Not Zero isn’t too tough to come to grips with.

  33. “promising to eliminate all deaths”

    Reductio ad absurdum – NZTA uses the term “road to zero”. It’s the journey. The destination is aspirational.

    Industry recognised this long ago. The standard that you walk past is the standard that you set. Once you accept a level of death and serious injury that, by definition, becomes acceptable.

    1. How can you have a road to zero that’s destination is not zero? And to suggest that Vision Zero’s goal is not actually zero fatalities and that the entire concept is just ‘aspirational’ and not likely to be achieved would obviously be a revelation for those reading the marketing materials. If the goal isn’t really zero, just be honest about it and state what it is.

      Otherwise you can out it on the same aspirational level of ‘World Peace’ or ‘Ending World Hunger’ that beauty contest contesters state they would use their titles to achieve.

      1. Two words; limit and asymptote. Limit theory is the basis of integral calculus and an asymptote describes a target that you can get closer and closer to but never reach.

        Just because the marginal cost to avoid each additional death becomes greater is no reason not to start the journey and go as far as you can towards the target while gains can be made for relatively little cost.

        Crazy expensive raised tables are not the answer…but low-cost effective rubber ones may be.

        My view is that if it is a safety gain to slow vehicles for a zebra crossing than the whole street should have a lower speed limit, say 30.

        Speed cameras, police enforcement and, to get around a disproportionate effect on the poor. Moderate fine> big fine> 1 week vehicle impoundment > 1 month > 6 month> vehicle forfeiture and sale.

        Simple, self-funding, effective road to zero mitigation. Slow cars down. Emergency vehicles can go 50 provided they have trained drivers and the standard siren and lights. Driver’s call as to whether 50 warranted.

        1. Rubber speed bumps do not do the same as raised tables. Please notice the difference for pedestrians getting on and off the footpaths.

        2. Yes see my earlier comments how asymptotical spending or asymptotically more draconian restrictions on other road users are needed to continue approaching but never getting to zero. But hey thanks for confirming Zero is not a reasonable goal in the real world.

        3. “Or in short, it’s all about finding the right set of tradeoffs.”

          Quite right…and you haven’t found the right ones.

          Your work here is done. Step away from the keyboard and take a break. Maybe reflect on why you have so much animosity towards children.

        4. MFD Of course nobody wants to see children hurt. But it’s also unrealistic to expect that a 5 yr old will safely navigate a complex urban environment alone no matter how safe you try to make it. At some point you have to accept the limitations of the child’s cognitive ability at various ages. Part of the solution is appropriate supervision of children in that or any dangerous environment where they may lack the judgement and skills to avoid injury. There’s reasons parents of old told their children not to play on the road. There’s also reasons we don’t let children drive cars, pilot commercial airliners or juggle chainsaws. And it’s not because somehow we dislike children. It is actually about keeping them and others safe.

        5. Japan does pretty well with children getting around safely. Along with many other countries. If our roads were not dangerous environments, then it is less of a problem isn’t it?

          It seems like some people can’t possibly conceive of the possibility of changing the status quo no imagining a place where roads are safe for children.

          A victim blaming mentality is a result of a fixed mindset, a mind stuck in the past with no room for growth or new ideas.

        6. Ari pedestrian deaths in Japan as percentage of road deaths are one of the highest in the OECD with over half of traffic deaths being pedestrians and cyclists.

          Additionally statistics for children vastly improved recently with an over 50% reduction in deaths. This was largely attributed to children staying home during Covid. So we go come back to the unsurprising finding that even in Japan one of the best ways to keep children safe is not let them out on the road unsupervised.

          Given those numbers I’m not sure what point you’re trying to make. Maybe the Japanese have made a different set of tradeoffs.

          Also it is possible to understand that a driver is in the wrong for driving through a crossing where they were supposed to yield while simultaneously knowing a more situationally aware individual may not have stepped out in front of the vehicle and died. New ideas involve understanding the entirety of the problem vs just repeating a ‘cars bad, pedestrians blameless’ mantra.

        7. Many of these deaths and injuries could be prevented if drivers took more care when using our roads. Please look out for pedestrians whenever you’re behind the wheel.

          Pedestrian safety for drivers
          Always be ready to stop near schools, bus stops and pedestrian crossings.
          Be careful when driving past parked vehicles. Pedestrians may walk out without warning.
          Slow down to 20km/h when passing or coming towards a school bus that’s stopped to let children on or off, no matter which side of the road you’re on.
          Watch out for elderly people or people with disabilities.
          Take care near roadside stalls and parked vendors. Pedestrians visiting these may forget to watch for traffic when crossing the road.

          …..etc etc etc

          When coming up to pedestrian crossings:

          slow down and be ready to stop for any pedestrians on or stepping onto the crossing – this also includes people obviously waiting to use the crossing
          if there’s no raised traffic island in the middle of the crossing, stop and give way to pedestrians on any part of the crossing
          wait until the pedestrian has crossed in front of you and is clear of your vehicle before you proceed.

          Source: https://www.nzta.govt.nz/roadcode/general-road-code/about-other-road-users/sharing-the-road/sharing-the-road-with-pedestrians/

        8. Things to know about children
          Children aren’t little adults, so don’t expect them to act like adults.
          Children, especially those under the age of 9, may not have the skills and abilities needed to be safe in traffic. Be very careful when driving near them.
          Young children have narrow vision and may not see vehicles as easily as adults do.
          Children have trouble judging the speed of moving vehicles. They may let a slow vehicle pass and try to cross in front of a fast one.
          Children often don’t understand that it takes time for a vehicle to stop.
          Children may have difficulty working out where sounds are coming from.
          Because children are small, they often can’t see over bushes and parked vehicles. This also means they can’t be seen easily by drivers.
          Children may have trouble stopping at a kerb and could dart out into traffic.
          Children can freeze when they find themselves in danger, instead of taking quick action as an adult might.
          Keep a lookout for children at all times. Take special care when driving during 8–9am and 3–4pm, when children are travelling to and from school.

        9. Grant, you could publish that list in a parenting article entitled “Why is it a bad idea to let your young children out on busy streets unsupervised”

    1. All three.

      Drivers will be increasingly nannied by ever more sophisticated electronic systems and eventually totally eliminated from the role of driving.

      Given neural implants are only in their infancy it’ll be a while before pedestrians and parent’s capabilities are similarly augmented.

      So if I was considering education that will be needed for most of their lifetime It’d have to be Parents and Pedestrians.

      For Drivers I’d focus on teaching vehicles rather than drivers to drive. But for re-educating drivers the US model where moving violations get you traffic school is one possibility.

      1. we’ve found something on which to agree! Yes, mandatory re-training for driving offences would be a good thing. The Brits do that for some offences, too – although there, rather than driving lessons it’s a requirement to sit an extended driving test (hopefully also more severe although it might just be that they have to prove good behaviour over a longer-duration test)

  34. Biggest cause of urban deaths would seem to be toddlers wiped out in driveways and intermediate school students aged 10/11 -12 yrs who walk/bike to school seem to act safely ( yes, a lot of them are still driven to school but my observation of the behaviour of the many independent ones is they are careful.)

  35. “Given neural implants are only in their infancy…”

    And that, dear reader, is the point where “Tradeoffs” jumped the shark. Watching too many re-runs of the “Six Million Dollar Man”, Tradeoffs?

    1. “Given neural implants are only in their infancy…” Clearly being a bit sarcastic. There’s lot of technologies currently being deployed that will interrupt the driver’s control inputs and stop vehicles running over pedestrians, cyclists and children playing driveways,

      There’s no tech on the medium term horizon that will perform the same job for cyclists and pedestrians behaving erratically in traffic or showing poor judgment.

      On the other hand there is research in that area. Cycling helmets that will tell you about vehicles you may not have had the situational awareness to spot yourself exist in prototype form. But they require that someone take note of an auditory or vibrational warning and take action to avoid an incident. As the tech matures and drops in price you could imagine it eventually being mandated for pedestrians and cyclists operating in urban environments especially those whose situational awareness may not be so good to begin with.

      But the biological implant space is definitely in the ‘Wright Flier’ stage right now. But we are at the point where we can have monkeys play video games with their brains and make paralysed people walk in a very rudimentary way while reading their brain waves to asses their intent. So we already are starting to put together the building blocks of a systems that could augment the immature child’s ability to navigate the environment and to safely shut down their motor functions or walk them away from the danger should they try to do something dangerous to themselves. I fully expect the Zero Deaths at Any Cost group will jump on this bandwagon /s. However is that tradeoff worth it vs just showing them how to get into an autonomous vehicle?

      1. Yeah, why should we invest in EVIL raised pedestrian crossings when can have GOOD remote controlled brain implants? It is about freedom, so the choice is easy!

      2. As I said that’s not a tradeoff I’d be prepared to make. But on the other hand to get to zero it’s not enough to make cars safer, you have to make children safer near them. Given they lack the cognitive capacity for that and people are really unhappy with just letting evolution run its’s course with the less traffic aware ones the only reasonable answers are to augment the child’s cognitive capacity somehow or not put them in situations they are not yet ready to handle.

        1. Grant the ability to stop emails from any thread on this site is within your control. Do you perpetually rely on others to solve your problems rather than take a little personal responsibility?

          I get it, from your responses seems like you think it is someone else’s problem to coddle you and wrap you in cotton wool even if a few simple changes to your behaviour would do the trick.

        2. Or we can have something that is not invasive and creates like 90% of the benefits?

          You are like these people who exclaimed during Covid “So we just stay home FOREVER and NEVER meet people again? That is ridiculous!”.
          Well yes, that and brain implants are ridiculous. That is why people usually not argue for “safety at all costs”, but for reasonable measures to improve safety. In terms of transport decisions, these can include low traffic neighbourhoods, speed limits, speed bumps and other traffic calming solutions, and promotion of viable alternatives to cars. Babys are less likely to be crushed in the driveway if you only walk to the bus or take the bike to work.

      3. What we appear to have established is a level of measures you are not prepared to go to to achieve zero deaths. I agree, I’d make the same tradeoff.

        But as I noted elsewhere Japan achieved very good results in reducing child pedestrian deaths while they were locked up in their houses. You can’t deny it actually works. But of course in real life it’s always a set of tradeoffs. That’s another one you don’t seem to be willing to make.

        Babies and toddlers are also substantially less likely to be crushed in your driveway if you have a vehicle with driver assitance systems designed to avoid exactly that class of accident. Given how often this happens you’re think parents would demand such systems on any vehicle they purchase. After all how much is your child’s life worth to you. (not to the government, not to some other arbitrary nanny organisation, personally to you). How much would you pay to minimise the chances of that kind of accident happening to your child? And it’s not a type of accident you can generally blame some other driver outside your friends and family group for. Of course better parenting is also an answer that doesn’t need the technology. But the tech helps avoid a tragedy if you screw up the parenting side of things.

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