Earlier this year, the Herald ran a series of articles amounting to a sustained campaign against raised pedestrian crossings, by reporter Bernard Orsman. A key part of that campaign concerned the raised crossings being installed as part of the Pt Chevalier to Westmere project, with at least 10 articles over a period of just over two weeks. The coverage was completely one-sided and sensationalist against the crossings, repeatedly implying that they cost $500,000 per crossing – despite AT having told Orsman that the cost per crossing for this specific project was less than 10% of that figure.

The main article in question was also quickly and widely shared by other media, including Stuff and RNZ. The misleading headline in the NZ Herald was “quietly corrected” online, on the day of publication, as covered by Mediawatch.

All of this resulted in a number of complaints to the Media Council – and late last week the Council released its ruling, upholding the complaints under Principle 12: Corrections. Among other criticisms of the reporting, the Media Council described it as’poor journalism’.

The Herald quietly noted this with a story published online. If you missed it, that might be because it was published online at 4.59am on Friday and as of 9am that morning, wasn’t visible via the homepage. As of today, the story about the ruling doesn’t seem to have made it into print yet.

Here’s how the Herald reported it online on Friday:

The Media Council has upheld three complaints which arose from a NZ Herald story about the number and cost of pedestrian crossings in an infrastructure project in the Auckland suburb of Point Chevalier. The story published online and in print on 13 February was headlined AT pushes on with project building $500k crossings.

Richard Easther, Linda Price and Heather MacBride complained the $500K figure in the headline and body of the story referred to crossings elsewhere, not Pt Chevalier. The figure was wrong and “egregiously misleading”. They said reporter Bernard Orsman had the correct, cheaper estimates of between $19-31K for the Pt Chevalier crossings which were supplied by Auckland Transport (AT) but he failed to include these in the story. The complainants also said the NZ Herald’s subsequent corrections in print and online were not sufficient or given fair prominence.

…..

The Media Council says the use of the $500,000 figure and omission of the much lower estimates was poor journalism and a mistake of this magnitude deserves a more thorough online correction. Despite the swiftness of the online correction, it failed to capture the gravity of the errors in the story. It only addresses the missing estimates without giving any context or explanation of the true facts. The homepage headline had been wrong and this was not acknowledged.

The ruling itself contains a few other notable findings; these are some of the most damning (emphasis added):

It’s telling that the story was so badly written and made the past revelations of $500,000 crossing so prominent that even the print headline writer got the wrong end of the stick. The original headlines on the online homepage and for the print story and standfirst were clearly inaccurate.

…..

As swift as the online correction was, it failed to capture the gravity of the errors in the story. It only addresses the missing estimates without giving any context or explanation of the true facts. The homepage headline had been wrong and this was not acknowledged. Neither was the fact that the NZ Herald says it also edited the story to “point out that the $500,000 figure – and criticism of it – related to other crossing projects”. A mistake of this magnitude deserves a more thorough correction if that correction is to own the error and be useful to future readers of the story understanding where the paper went wrong. Despite other parts of the correction process being managed well the Media Council upholds the complaints under Principle (12) Corrections.

…..

However, the complainants reflect a dissenting view and the Media Council does not see their arguments reflected in Bernard Orsman’s stories. Where clearly a range of community views exist, the reporter is not reporting some of those views and is whipping the horse in just one direction.

…..

In multiple stories the reporter has chosen to merely cut and paste criticisms reported in earlier stories, while giving less context around the spending and fewer words about how the money is being spent. The justification is that these stories hold a major public body to account; to fulfil that role the NZ Herald needs to do a better job explaining how and where the money is being spent, laying out the pros and cons of that spending and the crossings themselves, and presenting a range of views. Voices presenting the arguments made by the complainants do not appear.

The Media Council notes: “By a fine margin, the positives of these stories outweigh their imperfections“. One issue I have with the response, and perhaps this is due to the constraints of the complaint process, is that it does feel like they treat this this as a one-time issue rather than just the latest in a long line of deliberately misleading articles about urban issues from this journalist.

While I haven’t posted the whole of the response above, some of it also feels a bit like circling the wagons of fellow media industry participants. They note that it’s important to be “holding a powerful organisation [presumably Auckland Transport] to account“, which is true. From our perspective, there is plenty to criticise AT about, although the media tends to focus its attention on other angles, often focusing on small potatoes and low-cost work with high benefits, when larger issues are at stake. AT also seems to be an easy target, given they don’t seem to push back much, and appear to mainly take the strategy of waiting for the headlines to go away, including in this instance.

Another thing that isn’t easily accounted for in the Media Council response and any published correction is the ongoing ripple of misinformation resulting from these stories – which have also been syndicated in other outlets including RNZ and Stuff. The Herald’s comments section on the original story published with the misleading headline was full of people taking the inaccurate costings as read. Likewise, the comments on social media posts.

As the old saying goes, a lie (including one of omission) can run halfway around the world before the truth even gets its boots on (or, in the original form, “Falsehood flies, and the Truth comes limping after it.”)

The wider problem is that this string of articles, along with previous reporting on the topic, have resulted in real world changes to projects and policies that will likely have safety implications on the ground. For example:

  • Likely at least somewhat based on earlier reporting by the NZ Herald, the Mayor has repeatedly been publicly critical of raised crossings (and Auckland Transport itself), and has pushed for them to be scaled back or stopped by Auckland Transport – including in the Mayoral Proposal for the LTP, describing raised crossings are “low value initiatives.”
  • AT has since put its raised crossing programme under review, resulting in at least a third of planned crossings being cancelled or downgraded.
  • The Minister for Transport has used these NZ Herald articles (including in at least one instance, waving a copy of an article in the house while citing it) as justification for cutting funding to Auckland and changing government policy around road safety. A recent OIA by a member of the public has surfaced a list of raised crossings around the motu that have been cancelled by NZTA due to this new funding direction, and there will no doubt be others on the lists of local authorities.

Note that, as reported in a story shared by 1News, RNZ, and the NZH, this shift in safety policy comes “after criticism” of AT, and in the context of 2035 pedestrians killed or seriously injured just walking on footpaths or crossing roads in Auckland over the last five years – with AT leadership knowing that “raised crossing facilities reduce the likelihood of a death or serious injury.”

A reasonable question is, who will be responsible if or when someone is injured or dies at a location that would have had a raised pedestrian crossing, if not for this ongoing criticism of basic safety treatments?

Finally, it is likely this is not the end of the Herald’s focus on raised crossings, with the Media Council noting:

The NZ Herald says its coverage of this issue will continue, which means there is an opportunity for better balance over time. It is hoped these complaints and the errors the complainants have exposed will mean the NZ Herald provides readers with better balanced coverage over time and improved accuracy and detail when it comes to public spending on infrastructure.

Header image: a raised pedestrian crossing on Meola Road that survived the media scrutiny and is already delivering much safer travels for the hundreds of local school students who petitioned for it. 

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87 comments

  1. Is this correct: “in the context of 2035 pedestrians killed or seriously injured just walking on footpaths or crossing roads in Auckland over the last five years.”

    That would be roughly an average of just over one per day, or eleven such deaths or serious injuries every ten days, or almost 8 people every 7-day week.

    What is the split between deaths and injuries? Is this trend getting better or worse? And somehow I have had no impression that it is actually this bad, so again, is it true? Why is this number not in the headlines every week?

    1. Because a) not everyone dies – lots “only” spend months hobbling on crutches, have permanent after-effects etc. But they live, so…

      b) Because a lot of people consider it the “road toll”. As if it was something that we have to pay as a society for a good transport network. Rubbish, but try telling my neighbour why it makes sense to reduce speed limits by 10-20kph, and he will tell you what he considers overreach and nanny-statism. “We can’t make things perfectly safe – shall we all just stay home!”

      c) A lot of people feel that road deaths are, at the end, the fault of drivers or even the fault of victims. NOT the fault of the roads or our system. So it’s easy to argue that it doesn’t / shouldn’t affect THEM because they are good drivers…

      1. Love [current year] where a sensationalist ‘wasteful spending’ headlines are more shocking,

        than over 2000 people dying or getting paralysed over the past 5 years from walking from point A to point B.

    2. Great questions, because Auckland is indeed in a safety crisis that should be in the headlines every week and shaping the Herald’s “investigations”. Instead, the Herald has been “whipping the horse in one direction”, as the Media Council puts it. The paper’s constant undermining of safety improvements has hidden the extremely abnormal safety stats and car ownership stats from thousands of Aucklanders.

      The 2018 Safety Review laid the safety problem out for all to see; this wasn’t the first exposure. The OECD’s ITF had shown Auckland is so deficient it was shown to be the second most dangerous city for walking amongst 20-something cities studied.

      Yet, when AT created its Budget last year they revised the DSI reduction targets so more people are likely to die and be seriously injured. There was no good reason for this; it resulted from inadequate oversight by the Board and Council, who failed to require the TERP and Vision Zero to be sued to create the Budget.

      1. Crikey.
        Safety crisis. Climate crisis. Cost of living crisis. Energy and Natural Gas crisis. Crime and ram raid crisis.
        Can we add Credibility crisis to the list?
        Seems that Aesop and the wolf is alive and well.

    3. Also how many of these were actually on pedestrian crossings where a raised crossing would have made a difference? How many just tripped over and fell with no vehicle involved or got hit by a bike or a scooter? It would probably be best to just highlight the number of pedestrians injured by vehicles while crossing on pedestrian crossings when discussing if they would help or not.

      1. Thankfully there is extensive research, such as by our WOKE agencies like NZTA, which showed that raised crossings reduce fatal and serious injuries for pedestrians by over 60% compared to ped crossings without a raised platform.

        [see Pedestrian Planning and Design Guide document]

      2. Still a percentage of a tiny number is still a tiny number. Do you know how many of the supposed two thousand actually die in crossings? Here’s your answer in 2022 34 pedestrians actually died. the vast majority of them were not in crossings or at intersections. A much better result could have been had by training pedestrians to use existing crossings than building new raised ones.

        So taking that 60% number as a fact the marvellous raised crossings (across all New Zealand) would have saved about three people a year. Now I know somebody’s going to say ‘we have to do it, even one death is too much’. But the reality is assuming a finite amount of money to throw at the problem and that decisions of where to spend it for best effect need to be made, more than three people could have been saved spending the same amount of money some other way.

        1. Or training drivers to drive more carefully, be more aware of their surroundings, and not to run people over?

          That doesn’t seem to be working so far, so perhaps forcing them to slow down with raised crossings is a good way to turn what would be deaths into injuries and would be injuries into near-misses.

        2. Training pedestrians? Yes, and how about prosecuting “jay walkers?

          NZ law says that pedestrians must use a pedestrian crossing, footbridge, underpass or traffic signal if within 20 m.
          At intersections controlled by signals, pedestrians should wait for the green man to display and may not begin crossing when the static or the flashing red man is displayed. The fine for jaywalking is up to $35.

          But how about motorists? In the US and some other countries traffic will come to a stop if a pedestrian steps onto the street. That’s because they face substantial fines and/or being sued if they injure a pedestrian, even a jay walking one.
          And you don’t see a series of raised crossings in those countries.

        3. @ Black fan. That law mention is here in the UK where I live.

          Most are not even aware it is a law so don’t stop even at pedestrian crossings.

          Directly in front of my house is a raised pedestrian platform which is a bugger to drive over but due to the road narrowing as it comes up to it, is so much safer then your bog standard kiwi black and white paint job which I was nearly killed twice on as a teenager in the Waikato.

        4. Or build even more pedestrian crossings so that simple tasks like getting from one side of the street to the other are not so darned dangerous.
          We still have heavily used bus stops, on busy roads that are far from an adjacent pedestrian crossing, necessitating either a hazardous road crossing on the way to the bus, or from the bus.
          No wonder so many cars and parents are then involved in ferrying children to and from school.
          A task that significantly contributes to congestion, emissions, and non productive use of parental time.
          But it is good for vehicle sales and servicing, and roading provision services.

        5. Logan the raised crossing doesn’t actually force you to slow down unless you’re already doing substantially over the speed limit. Nor does it look any different when a pedestrian is using it or not. In fact a vehicle realising they need to do a panic stop is less able to brake in a controlled manner as they hit the table crossing.

          Those flashing lights embedded in the road that let drivers know 100m out that somebody is entering the crossing have much greater potential.

          And given the minuscule number of pedestrians in crossings killed each year arguably the driver training works quite well. But also driver assistance packages will solve the remainder of that problem of inattentive drivers.

          So a focus on pedestrian behaviour is a more forward looking strategy.

          In the US it’s mostly civil liability that stops people running over other people (and the tales of people who jump out in front of cars for the insurance payout). When sued the driver almost always loses. But also in some states like California at every intersection a pedestrian has right of way whether it has a marked crossing or not. That’s why you’ll see Californians stop for pedestrians even remotely close to a curb by an intersection. And if they see someone loitering near the curb the middle of the block they’re afraid they’ll rush blindly into the road, get hit and sue. I guess you could say drivers have been educated to expect pedestrians to be erratic and with the financial cost of hitting them being quite high they have adapted their driving style accordingly.

        6. I’m not sure educating pedestrians to not get run over on pedestrian crossings would be a terribly productive forward strategy.

      3. Riccardo when I was young they taught us all “cross at the crossing and look left and right before stepping out into the road”. That is actually quite effective advice because 80% of pedestrian deaths happen some place other than crossings. Also you won’t get hit by a car that isn’t slowing down if you don’t step out in front of it thinking you’re wearing some magical suit of armour just because you have the legal right of way.

        Nowadays I guess they teach the kids ‘you’re a special unique snowflake and even if you see a car coming, don’t worry, just step on out there, it has to stop for you’

        So I can see how if you’re a child of that generation you might think application of a little common sense can’t save you, but you’d be wrong.

        And as for the cars, they’re being ‘educated’ (the cars themselves through their driver assistance packages not the drivers) to always emergency brake for any pedestrian they see that are in danger. So the car side is covered going forward even if drivers remain as bad as today and that entire class of accidents will cease to exist. But the car can’t do anything about dart out accidents where it ‘sees’ the pedestrian too late within the distance where it can’t physically stop itself fast enough. For that there is no choice but to train the pedestrian not to do that.

        1. Or slow the car down, hence the 30km/h zones.

          It will be great when all cars have automatic stopping, speed limiters that stop them going above the posted limit, and a pile of liability insurance to go with. However, until then, telling children it’s their fault when they get run over might not be the most proactive way to stop them getting run over.

          Just yesterday I saw a driver overtake a car that had slowed down for a pedestrian crossing, driving on the wrong side of the road through a zebra. It was pure luck the woman walking across was two steps short of the hospital. Perhaps the education of drivers to not overtake at a crossing and drive the wrong way up the oncoming lane is lacking, but maybe ‘education’ isn’t actually that effective?

        2. Riccardo I disagree, if the child is at fault one of the best things you can do is educate them that they are at fault and how to avoid the problem. Even if they’re not at fault teaching them how to be safe is still valuable.

          If a child does get run over in a child at fault accident tell all their classmates that little Johnny got squashed because he did not look both ways, or didn’t use the nearby crossing and don’t be like little Johnny. But modern political correctness would probably stop that learning being shared.

          And I doubt the situation you describe involved ‘luck’. It sounds like it involved a bad choice by the driver and a better choice by the pedestrian.

          Any time you’re on the road stubbornly sticking to ‘I have right of way’ is going to cause accidents. Most drivers understand sometimes when you see a bad situation developing the safer option is just to yield. Cyclists and pedestrians, especially staunch advocates of such activities are often afflicted by a more stubborn mindset when it comes to ‘muh rights’

          And I’ll reiterate just how uncommon deaths of pedestrians in marked crossings are are so the education as to what they are is obviously working fairly well. That doesn’t mean every driver always without fail yields to pedestrians in the crossing or every pedestrian always waits until vehicles stop as are both supposed to. You’ll always be able to find an anecdotal counterexample.

          And there’s no question reducing the speed limit to 1kph or having a person walk in front of all cars with a red flag would help reduce accidents (except the number of incidents of red flag holders getting run over might go up). But there’s an element of pragmatism in any law. When 30kph doesn’t save everyone, as it won’t, where do you go next? 20kph, 10kph, 5kph?

        3. My god give it a rest. Clearly don’t have children. Your mantra is all about personal responsibility when it suits your position. Where is the personal responsibility for cars slowing down and looking at crossings, most people don’t even bother to slow down

          And it’s not just about deaths at crossings, how about just general confidence and independence for people to feel safe doing so. People in wheelchairs, parents with prams and dogs, elderly etc not having to feel scared that some huge ute going at 50km + in blazing through a pedestrian crossing.

          Ironically this would give children more opportunities to actually walk the streets and be independent. As opposed to your nonsense of children deaths being a great example for others of how not to cross a road.

        4. Jerry, I fully advocate that vehicles follow the law. But the law also states that pedestrians should wait for vehicles to stop before stepping out into the crossing and the only place pedestrians actually have right of way are true pedestrian crossings, school crossings, at driveway thresholds and in shared space zones. A pedestrian who steps off the curb into the path of a vehicle anywhere else is as much a scofflaw as the ranger who had adequate time to stop driving through a crossing.

          If everyone was obeying the law what do you think the chances of pedestrians getting run over would be? I can tell you now if pedestrians always yielded or showed good judgement when the onus is on them to then around 80% of pedestrian deaths would be eliminated overnight.

          if only pedestrians were obeying the law (basically waiting for cars to stop even if scofflaw rangers were driving past and always yielding to vehicles places they don’t have right of way), what would the chances be? Common sense tells you that pedestrian accidents would be all but eliminated. That may stick in your craw, but what do you want to be? In the right and dead? Or angry at a ranger thumbing their nose at the law and alive?

          50k is only ‘blazing’ if the comparison is a snail and any relatively new ranger will first warn the driver then automatically brake if a pedestrian is in the crossing or darts out. Of course we should be training training drivers to be better, but there’s actually more scope in training the cars to take up the slack when the driver is inattentive or driving badly.

          There’s no such similar ‘Automated Pedestrian braking’ on the horizon to stop pedestrians darting out, so you for the pedestrian side of the equation you have no choice but to train the pedestrians better. You seem to say nope, pedestrians are essentially untrainable and should be able to do whatever they want, legal or not, and drivers just need to adapt to that.

          And if a child dies due to a dart out accident at a point between crossings, sad to say that is a perfect example for other children of what not to do. If a child steps out in front of a ranger that saw the child and had plenty of time to stop but didn’t that’s also a great example of something not to do even though in the first case the child is in the wrong and the second case the driver is.

        5. “When 30kph doesn’t save everyone, as it won’t, where do you go next? 20kph, 10kph, 5kph?”
          Look, there is good science to support the 30km/hr, go look up the studies, sure won’t save everyone but is significantly less damaging as it’s not a linear factor.

          See the links in the last two weekly roundups where provincial towns have voted in favour of going ahead with lower speed limits because they understand the issue & it’s cheaper than a variable setup: eg:

          https://www.stuff.co.nz/nz-news/350263036/stratford-district-council-lowers-speed-limits-around-schools

          Also:
          https://www.nzherald.co.nz/whanganui-chronicle/news/whanganui-district-council-signs-off-speed-limit-reductions-around-schools/G3PCB3ODDBC2TKCBLCZ4Z3MNDA/

          “The new speed limits are fixed, meaning that drivers will need to observe the limits 24 hours a day, council roading asset manager Steve Bowden said.”

          ““Many families are taking advantage of school playgrounds and facilities outside of school hours and it’s great to know that these community spaces will be a little safer 24/7,” he said.

          Variable speed limits, which lower speeds during school drop-off and pick-up times only, would have come at a much higher cost for ratepayers, with the price for a single electronic variable speed sign, reaching up to $10,000.”

        6. But Grant the 1kph has even more science and even more physics behind it. So we’re not debating that there’s a ridiculous point of slowdown, just where it is.

          The reality is let’s see how those changes are reacted to by public who are ticketed for 41kph in a 30kph zone 2am in the morning on a stretch that used to be a 100kph country road. or for 21kph in a 10kph zone in a retirement village. And any councillor who justifies a change by asserting how good it is that children in playgrounds will be safer at 2am in the morning is a numpty who should never have been elected to any form of office. The submissions and complaints might just then take on a different real world flavour once the changes are in place. And if there’s no enforcement well there really isn’t a limit is there?

        7. 30 km/hr still gets people to where they are going in a pretty good time (in local areas) but gives a magnitude of safety benefits for that slight inconvenience. Stop arguing with stupid extremes. So you might have to slow at 2 am, so what, during normal waking hours you will be more conditioned to driving slow in that specific area.

        8. The extremes merely indicate that you’re picking a point on a continuum. For example if the ‘magic’ number is 30kph, why? Why not 35 or 25? If 25 is better, why not 20, 10, or 5?

          If we can clearly agree that at 2am there’s highly unlikely to be any children around and playing in the school playground then we recognise there are times the limit is inappropriate. So that moves us on to the question what would be the right time range and value for a variable limit? Just the hours that children are going to and from school? An hour before sunrise dawn to an hour after sunset? Some other number pulled out of the butt of a regional councillor?

        9. JohnBGoode the sweet spot on the very first curve they presented was about 40-60kph yet they quote 30 as their preference. After that I guess the video devolves into opinion as to the right speed and a rant against trucks and SUVs rather than science.

          Engine noise is a transitory problem at best as EVs replace ICE vehicles so no basis to be making speed laws around. Laws are now coming in to make EVs play an artificially elevated amount of noise so people can hear them.

        10. Hey, you watched at least some of the video.
          Noise: Mainly from tires at 50 kph. Therefore there is a significant reduction in noise levels of both ICE cars and EVs when reducing the speed to 30kph.
          Mass: A factor in the kinetic energy E = 0.5*m*v^2. If cars become (roughly) 4 times heavier than previous cars (like modern utes versus older smaller vehicles), it makes sense to roughly half the velocity to keep the impact energy equal (mind you: not reduced). Of course, higher vehicle fronts are also dangerous to pedestrians or cyclists.

          Sweet spot: if you consider a 20% fatality risk acceptable in urban environments, that is just you. 30kph has the benefit of having some leeway when people are actually speeding (what many drivers often do) to not kill people. The video also points out factors like reaction time or the distance traveled after hitting the brakes or the reduced field of vision one has at higher speeds. All good arguments for a lower than 50kph speed limit.

          The video also quotes numbers that the number of accidents has been reduced in various places by the introduction of lower speed limits and that effective travel speeds are often much lower than the the speed limit in urban environment due to, for example, more traffic lights being necessary for turning cars and other road users.

        11. JohnBGoode you’re still stuck in the past. driver assistance systems don’t have a reaction time our field of view deficit like humans do.

          An EV at 50kph is adequately quiet.

          When it comes to light passenger vehicles stopping distances, the fastest cars in the world generate the shortest stopping distances. So that argues that we should all be driving 335kph supercars that can stop from 100kph in less distance than some cars take to stop from 60kph. There is on average less than a 2m difference or less than 10% difference in stopping distance between a midsize pickup like a ranger and a typical compact passenger car from 100kph and it’s even less of a difference at 50kph. Cheap compact hybrids with their skinny tires can be worse than midsize utes. Because tires and brakes get upgraded on heavier vehicles the larger vehicle can often bring its speed down at a comparable rate. A good automatic emergency braking system will make more of a difference than the vehicle mass because it reduces the critical reaction distance.

          One video from an anti car wing nut does not a convincing case make.

        12. @JohnBGoode – ahhh yes thank you, that’s the video I watched where it explained things well re that “magic number”. Knew there was something I heard or read recently.

        13. Grant the point is on the video’s own data you could easily pick 40kph impact speed or 50kph with very little difference in outcomes. Approaching 60kph and above is where you start to see the substantial increase. And that is impact speed, after usually the car has scrubbed off quite some speed braking, not the speed limit for the road. So a 30kph limit if adhered to would generate much lower typical impact speeds. That makes it someone’s preferred value not some particularly magical number.

        14. …or they may not have slowed at all and that average 50km/hr speed limit would have some going 40 and some 60. Then there are those that hit the gas instead of the brake in a panic or to try and get past before the pedestrian get to their side of the road. IIRC this happened in a recent death near/on the Hamilton bridge.

          “Cheap compact hybrids with their skinny tires can be worse than midsize utes.”
          ….
          “A good automatic emergency braking system …”
          Hence why we should change the road design instead of relying on people buying more expensive vehicles or systems to improve safety.

        15. Grant Even though you don’t see the value, outside lil ole New Zealand driver assistance packages are regarded one of the best ways to save lives. Heck even NZTA agrees with that. You sound like the kind of person who would have argued against seatbelts, ABS and airbags.

          The point is if you do absolutely nothing the car still stops or considerably slows.

          It’s like everyone in these forums is driving a 60’s morris minor or something like that and thinks a used 2018 corolla is some sort of exotic, out of their price range starship technology.

          And if your argument is ‘we need 30kph limits because everyone ignores speed limits anyway’ then does it really matter what number you pick?

          And it’s not an either or or a singe dimensional problem This is especially true because crossings only account for about 20% of pedestrian deaths. In the other 80% driver assistance packages have the ability to intervene and change the outcome. A surprising number of deaths are parents backing over their children in driveways which a good driver assistance package will help put a stop to. In other cases the vehicle will take control from the driver and brake, quickly pulling the vehicle under a 30kph impact speed or steer away from the obstruction avoiding the accident totally.

          The fact is the active features work regardless of what the posted limit is. They help even if the driver isn’t complying with that limit or is inattentive or a pedestrian isn’t yielding when they’re supposed to. The same bold claim can’t be made of speed limit signs or table crossings.

        16. OMG this guy.

          > “Nowadays I guess they teach the kids ‘you’re a special unique snowflake and even if you see a car coming, don’t worry, just step on out there, it has to stop for you’”

          What planet are you on? Just last month my kids primary school had “road safety week” with police and AT staff visiting, and all the kids going through various lessons and practical exercises about being safe around roads.

          Why? Because its FLIPPING DANGEROUS out there.

          None of these lessons matters when drivers are hooning past schools, disregarding the few zebra crossings, using their phones, and parking like VIPs outside the school gate.

          Kids brains are not developed enough to safely deal with the average kiwi driver on the average kiwi street. And good luck educating drivers, people have been banging on about that for decades without progress.

          So the best things to do, as evidence shows from around the world, is change the street environment until kids can be independent, out and about like the “boomers” nostalgically talk about.

        17. ChrisW You clearly understand that kids can’t handle the environment yet your approach is to put them in it anyway. That sounds a lot like you endorse the approach of my slightly sarcastic snowflake comment.

          What makes you think they show any more judgement around cars doing 30kph vs cars doing 50kph bearing in mind that in places other than crossings and and few other spots it’s their job to stay out off the way of cars, not the other way around? It’s not their job to ‘deal’ with drivers, just to give them right of way as the road code requires. The education for drivers is basically obey posted limits and stop at crossings when you see a pedestrian preparing to cross. Optionally but a reasonable moral requirement: drive defensively, that is that even though you have legal right of way most other places a child may dart out in front of you, it’s not your fault if they do that, but hey you might want be on the lookout for it and be ready to brake or avoid them. But I do agree teaching cars to always be attentive and brake for pedestrians is actually easier than teaching all humans to.

          Driver assistance systems actually do help compensate for drivers speeding through crossings and inattentively looking at cellphones because even if the driver isn’t paying attention to the road the car is. Many systems will also monitor driver fatigue and attentiveness. As to parking in front of schools I’m not sure what the safety concern is there unless they’re actually parking on children. Driver assistance systems help with that too.

          So the point remains, if every crossing in New Zealand was upgraded to a table crossing and it’s speed limit dropped to 30kph, on the numbers presented perhaps three extra lives a year would be saved across all of New Zealand. Driver assistance systems have much greater potential than that.

    4. In answer to the question about 2000+ pedestrians seriously injured or killed in the past five years: that’s from a study I was involved in that used hospital admission data to work out how much standard Police crash data under-reports injuries to vulnerable road users like pedestrians and cyclists. Short answer: roughly a factor of 8:1 for people walking. Two-thirds of that though doesn’t involve motor vehicles; it is simply people slipping, tripping and falling either on paths or kerbs – many of them due to poor surfaces or maintenance. Similar risk factors for cycling too. More info: https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/local-government/300842926/cyclist-injuries-estimated-to-be-7-times-higher-than-official-figures

  2. Having the pleasure if travelling with 3 young novice drivers recently, I don’t know if the raised crossings actually make things safer. All 3 did similar things, they identified the raised crossing, braked and slowed, then drove across. Presumably their eyes were focused on the raised crossing – the obstacle in the road. They did not see pedestrians crossing from the right hand side of the road who were either narrowly avoided or had to jump out of the way.

    1. The difference is in the speed of any crash. The “braked and slowed” that you noted as seeing.

      Dropping the actual impact speed makes a more than linear difference – i.e. reducing impact speeds by 10kmh from 50 to 40 already drops the likelihood of death from 80% to 30%.

      https://at.govt.nz/projects-roadworks/vision-zero-for-the-greater-good/safe-speeds-programme/safe-speeds-the-reasons

      You can well argue that the drivers you saw need some remedial enforcement and education about giving way to a zebra crossing. But that isn’t the fault of the raised table. If there was none, they’d probably have done the same, but at anything from 5-15kph faster.

    2. Raised crossings should help novice drivers, keeping vehicles at a speed that makes driving easier as well as people safer. That some people in Auckland interpret raised crossings as a way to bring vehicles down to a safe speed for just a few seconds is a real worry.

    3. It is your job to educate them as they are clearly still deficient as learner drivers.

      It’s likely they are still looking directly ahead as they are still learning to recognise hazards.

  3. “Journalism” and The Herald? Surely, you jest! All they seem to have these days are “opinionists”. One of the many reasons why I won’t have it in the house.

  4. Reading the decision, it is clear that if Aucklanders are going to receive the full support of the Media Council to successfully hold the Herald to account, AT will need to be less “satisfied” with pathetic corrections to inaccuracy, and will need to ask for apologies.

  5. We should at least be thankful,that the Herald didn’t get its hands on 3 News.TBF, l find the journalists, that have opted out of main stream,to have more rationale thought processes . We are as nation,rapidly moving on from ZB,Herald, style “news” reporting. The PM turning up to “patsy” interviews on ZB, are old news.
    If you want “bums on seats”,eyeballs on print,ears on airwaves,you need some balance. That there is a social cost to misleading reporting seems not to bother many” journalists.

    1. We should be thankful certain news outlets are shuffling off this mortal coil and those journalists that would tell us to get stuffed while peddling unbalanced misinformation are getting stuffed themselves. Letting the free market run a bit longer and take out some more of the journalistic trash will be a good thing.

      1. Also when it comes to ‘“bums on seats”,eyeballs on print,ears on airwaves,you need some balance.’

        No you just need to own several different outlets designed to elicit rage clicks from different demographics and with content tailored to the comfortable echo chamber each demographic wants to be part of. Balance yes, but in your overall portfolio of outlets so you have the market for outrageous clickbait covered, not necessarily balance within any one outlet. If there was a market for unbiased journalism then we’d find organisations springing up to meet that demand. Instead the market’s gone a different way.

  6. AT also appears to have cancelled a proposed raised crossing at the Three Lamps end of Ponsonby Road. It was marked out but apparently pulled from the project after the Mayor’s meltdown. It was part of a suite of relatively minor changes to reduce speeds at the Pompallier/Redmond Street corner where numerous crashes have occurred. These have included, in the last 2 years alone, at least seven impacts on the current power pole (by 5 vehicles and 2 motorcycles, the pole itself was destroyed in a previous crash); one on the next power pole; a 360-degree spin which took out a sign on the footpath across the road; and a critical pedestrian injury.

  7. The original, inaccurate article is still online. NZ Herald quetly sticking to its guns.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/pedestrian-crossing-costs-auckland-mayor-wayne-brown-says-auckland-transport-is-wasting-money/GXZHYEPCAVG6LHUPWWSU5Y76YE/

    ““That’s not a new pedestrian crossing. It’s taking an old pedestrian crossing and spending $490,000 turning it from a pedestrian crossing into a pedestrian crossing, which was working fine.”

    Does the NZ Media Council ruling not extend to slapping a big “CORRECTION” at the top of the article???

    1. This particular article is factual: the Williamson Ave pedestrian crossing really did cost $490,000. There were several others in the same price range. The Media Council decision is in respect of a different project with less expensive crossings. Orsman’s error was conflating the cheaper crossings on Meola Rd with the expensive ones elsewhere.

  8. This post is so welcome. Herald loves to protect Bernard and stir contention, publishing all the ranting comments by readers as well as continuing the one-sided presentation and hiding Simon Wilson behind the pay wall. Clearly Simeon Brown cannot afford to read any balance reporting or find time to look for corrections. The kind of blindness that is getting Julie-Ann Genter in trouble, trying to show people a wider perspective.
    Meanwhile, Truth limps on steadily, gathering data on how well properly-constructed raised crossings do their job of protecting life and health. Repeating the DSI statistics, especially for crossings treated and crossings not treated, can keep the public informed of the scale of the harm resulting from this debate.
    Nobody likes driving over bumps in the road, but almost everyone would feel much worse if it were their turn to hit a pedestrian and their speed caused serious harm.

    1. Since when did drivers start taking turns at hitting pedestrians? Also in New Zealand the chances of any one driver hitting a pedestrian in a pedestrian crossing and killing them are exceedingly low.

      And crashes on pedestrian crossings that kill pedestrians are already quite rare. So numbers that state there were no fatal accidents after adding a crossing disingenuously hides the fact that the location probably had no fatal accidents before it was added or if it did that was the only one it was likely to have in the next decade.

      The flashing lights embedded in the road as used overseas that give you warning of a pedestrian in the crossing are quite effective at drawing attention to them and slowing vehicles down, without the always present penalty of a speed hump.

    2. “Herald loves to protect Bernard and stir contention, publishing all the ranting comments by readers as well as continuing the one-sided presentation and hiding Simon Wilson behind the pay wall”

      Very good point.

    1. From that link: “Several key people in Auckland local government now refuse to talk to Bernard Orsman, the Herald’s so-called Auckland City Reporter, because he twists words given to him, fabricates stories, and seems determined not to report the news, but to try to create it. ”
      Interesting, and that was back in 2009.

  9. Very happy to see a raised crossing going in outside Panmure Library over the last week. On a downward slope to a T intersection with lights that – being Auckland – people love to ignore when red and drive straight on through.

  10. I don’t read the NZ Herald at all these days for their terrible writing and awful click-baity website. Horrid experience.

    The UK newspaper The Guardian offers a far better news coverage of NZ politics and events, than anything that a newspaper based in NZ manages.

  11. The media are describing the new CBD parking charges using emotive terms like “hit” and “stung”. Also linking it the end of half priced PT instead of the removal of the RFT with no replacement funding.

  12. A good reminder to cancel your NZ Herald subscriptions.

    This isn’t the first story they’ve made up and it won’t be the last.

  13. A New Zealand Herald journalist with 40 years experience made a mistake. I don’t know how it happened.
    The biggest single influence on national news on the 6pm TV news and from some radio stations is material published in the NZH. Some outlets failed their listeners and viewers by not doing their own checks on someone else’s reporting- which should never happen.

    1. Bernard Orsman was seeking figures about the costs of pedestrian crossings. AT provided them within a short email. Orsman clearly read the email, because he quoted from it. Indeed, he quoted words from the adjacent sentence in the same paragraph. Eyes are usually drawn towards dollars signs and figures, within a paragraph of words, and as Orsman was asking for the figures, we can assume he would’ve been interested in the answers.

      Let’s not confuse whether it’s believable that Orsman failed to notice the figures with the need to give him the benefit of the doubt due to the lack of proof and the seriousness of the alternative. As the Media Council notes: “The complainants’ claims that the reporter deliberately chose to mislead readers and use false figures is perhaps the most serious accusation a journalist can face. If true it would likely lead to dismissal. The complainants provide no evidence to substantiate the claim and it is much more likely that the reporter made a mistake.”

      Rather than requiring the claimants to attempt to prove something they cannot, the Media Council would have done well to have required the Herald to provide a statement from Orsman. In the statement, he would be required to admit that he’d failed to read the email, explaining how it occurred. It would be an admission of being unable to read the most simple of emails, and one he’d probably read at least a second time, as he would’ve returned to it later when deciding to quote from it.

      Should anyone wish to look into this topic of Orsman and the pedestrian crossings more deeply, I’d recommend a LGOIMA of his questions to each of the larger councils in the country, including what follow-up queries he made to establish a set of comparable figures. His articles include a lot of outlandish comparisons between councils and even between the costs of pedestrian crossings and houses.

      This exercise would establish whether Orsman’s position at the Herald is appropriate to the quality of his journalism. The most basic of investigative journalism skills would be on display. Or not.

  14. Thanks Matt.
    Your question – will NZHeralds poor journalism cost lives? is timely.
    How many lives has NZHeralds journalism taken? follows.

    NZME’s newstalkZB’s “Rats in Lycra” commentary spurred many “punishment passes” and much hatred of cyclists in our land. No deaths but a noticeable increase in angry drivers.

    I note many commenters above took your article as something to do with pedestrian crossings. It has very little, if anything.

    The “horse that’s being whipped in one direction” – is us. Why? to make us angry with AT, or this or that – wasting our money, or a bigger sin these days, slowing us down. Distrust of our institutions is the specific reason for Mr Orsman’s tirade.

    The media complaint is a good read, but by a slim margin, finds the lesser charge of not misleading, but only in not correcting the error item (12) not the nasty item (1).

    Where to from here ? more of the same, except NZTA is missing its crash investigation team (12 redundancies), Half our paid journalists have lost their jobs recently, and it looks like blogs (thanks Matt and team) and reddit are the most coherent news outlets available.

    We need to clone RadioNZ’s Phil Pennington 10 times over

  15. I wonder if the Minister of Transport has issued a correction to the House. Because he has demonstrably lied…

  16. I think there are a lot of angry motorists who are attracted to this type of journalism. NZME’s Rotorua Daily Post has also been running stories criticising emergency and social housing in Rotorua and stating that with fewer poor people and less new housing prices might reach Queenstown levels. Somehow this has been seen as positive, and ignores the benefits of population growth for boosting demand by locals. These stories are invariably illustrated with a picture of the same upturned supermarket trolley. Stuff’s Waikato Times, which my parents get, has been running stories critical of urban intensification and road safety measures to focus on the perceived views of subscribers in outer suburbs. E.g. “Our much loathed traffic humps and bumps are now a threat to life and limb, firefighters say” (editor, 17/4).
    I thought that when NZME was predicting its financial future earlier this year that some of its forecasts (real estate advertising will recover, we are in discussions about printing another major paper on contract) were extremely optimistic to the point where investors could legitimately query whether they were getting accurate information.

    1. The most recent story I read (with actual stats backing it up) said the new reputation of Rotorua as a ghetto had depressed house prices and lead to the perception that it was an undesirable place to move to.

      Yimbyisim is all well and good until ‘Homes and Communities’ move a bunch of antisocial drug dealers and users into your neighbourhood and will never evict them no matter what they do short of actual beatings and murders. Even then it’s ‘Ara Poutama Aotearoa’ not ‘Homes and Communities’ dealing with the issue.

      1. If you look at the Restore Rotorua Facebook page you will see they are against all public and emergency and affordable housing, including all 2-storey housing. Most of the residents are not antisocial drug dealers. Some of the objectors also own rental properties. In addition, having a larger population would boost domestic demand for hospitality products in Rotorua, and also the labour supply.
        By running negative stories about people in emergency housing in Rotorua the Rotorua Daily Post and NZH are probably creating negative perceptions about Rotorua. But if the emergency housing was not there Rotorua would have more homeless people and this would not make Rotorua inviting to tourists. Most of the people in Rotorua in emergency housing do have some links to Rotorua.

      2. ‘Most of the residents are not antisocial drug dealers’

        No, but many are violent, antisocial, drug dealers, drug users or other kinds of criminals and about a third of people were not living in Rotorua in the month before being put in a motel there. The increase in crime and antisocial behaviour is fairly well documented.

        The way to boost demand for hospitality in Rotorua is for people to feel they are not doing to be unintentionally staying in a KO ghetto when they visit. And I applaud your suggestion for some of the residents to go get jobs if they can avoid being drug addled or violent towards customers for long enough to make it through the working day.

  17. Gone are the days of journalism being some kind of public service. Journalism is a product, just like any other and the different brands tailor their product to different audiences just like Huggies and Depends are targeted at different customer groups.

    Without clickbait headlines the clicks don’t happen, the advertising revenue doesn’t flow and the content creators, of which journalists are now just one example, don’t get paid.

    On the other hand the democratisation of content creation is a good thing. It used to be in the old days you needed to be a Jeff Bezos, Rupert Murdoch or a Sinead Boucher to see biased opinion pieces that match your political views published as news. Now just about anyone can directly publish their opinions.

    1. The number of journalists is now really low, with papers like Rotorua’s Daily Post and Hamilton’s Waikato Times now having only 4-5 staff, if that. The journalists look at where their paper’s subscribers live, and focus on their perceived interests.
      With the Internet some good sources like the Spinoff and Newsroom have emerged. However, many people are now dependent on social media pages that are unfiltered by journalistic ethics. Hence you will see social media pages arguing that lower road speeds are bad for the environment and safety, and that urban sprawl is cheaper than urban intensification. Often everyone using these pages has similar views, creating an echo chamber.

    2. Spinoff seems unfiltered by journalistic ethics being largely opinion blogs and also an echo chamber. I suspect it’s just an echo chamber you like the sound of so don’t see the reality of it. I’d rate it about as useful journalistically as random X (twitter) rants. Nevertheless the power of the Internet does give people an easy and low cost way to publish their opinions. That remains a good thing even if you don’t agree with the opinions.

      it’s also ironic that you’re calling out echo chambers in the comment section of one.

      1. I go to a big effort to read a number of different sources. Here the Media Council decided Orsman’s article was highly inaccurate. Many of his other articles have also been very selective. For instance, in 2013 he was campaigning against “shoe box apartments” that most Herald readers would not want to live in, but are popular with those who can’t afford anything else. And being criticised for mis-representing what was going to happen. Unfortunately social media posts are not subject to the Media Council.

      2. Read the actual report rather than GA’s somewhat biased summary of it.

        In fact AT has spent 500,000 on raised crossings on many occasions. That’s fairly newsworthy. And the error was not that crossings have cost 500,000 but which particular crossings have cost 500,000. The error acknowledged was in the headline not the article. Also it seems the Herald corrected the headline within 4 minutes of AT contacting them. Further there’s no evidence that was presented of a deliberate intention to mislead. The story was determined by NZMC to be balanced in its viewpoint even if the complainants didn’t like what was being said. The only part of the complaint that was actually upheld was around the correction process.

        Essentially the story presented here would be less likely to meet NZMC’s standards for reporting than the original story. Fortunately the writer here is an opinion blogger and not held to such lofty standards.

        1. Orsman could and should have reported:

          1/ that raised zebra crossings are much cheaper to build and operate than signalised crossings, so a cost effective programme of safety improvements would use the former, not the latter.
          2/ that raised crossings are much cheaper to put in as part of a streetscape renewal project than as a custom retrofit, so AT should be including them throughout streetscape renewal projects. This will save us significantly over the long run.
          3/ that these costs are very small compared to all the infrastructure required to accommodate vehicles, such as road and intersection widening, overbridges, and the accompanying property acquisition.

          He didn’t because he doesn’t report in a balanced way, and is trying to stop progress towards a less car dependent system. The sectors that provide the Herald’s advertising revenue are of relevance in understanding this.

          As for the complaints that were not upheld: complaints have a word limit. Perhaps if each complainant had laid multiple complaints to ensure the whole issue was fully covered they would have been successful. But there’s only so much citizens should have to do.

          The issue is one of ethics at editor level. The low quality of the NZH has serious negative impacts on democracy and civic engagement. This was only one way of many to address the problem.

        2. The crossings don’t need to be signalised. But also from a drivers perspective crossings that employ flashing lights embedded in the road that flash when a pedestrian presses a button are much more visually distinctive than a table crossing that looks the same all the time. Some here seem to assume drivers are actively trying to run over pedestrians. In reality drivers don’t want to run over pedestrians so anything that alerts them to their presence is a plus. Table crossings do nothing to achieve that. Also driver assistance systems care not about the table. They will stop whether it is there or not. And if you can achieve the same result without the table, why go to the expense and disruption of adding it?

          And NZMC determined the reporting was balanced. They went as far as to suggest the complainants were perhaps unbalanced in their views. As to complaints having a word limit, they mentioned specific objections as to bias and accuracy and NZMC addressed them said they were meritless.

          And now Granny Herald is the enemy of democracy? Hyperbole much? Just because you don’t agree with someone’s opinion they’re not automatically an enemy of democracy.

        3. “In fact AT has spent 500,000 on raised crossings on many occasions.”
          I think there were only two exceptional cases where stormwater work and other such things put the price up.
          The normal price for the raised crossings themselves are more like $19-31K.

        4. Grant if you read the journalist’s articles rather than just guessing what crossings have cost you’ll note that 6 million was spent on 12 crossings with 15 more in progress for 7 million. That is 27 crossings for 13 million total, far from an isolated incident. One for example included 172k of traffic management. And in many cases there wouldn’t be a stormwater problem but for the crossing being added so it’s part of the cost of putting the crossing in. It is not just the materials cost of the crossing itself to consider.

          We have this journalist to thank for AT now being publicly shamed into changing their approach to how they construct them with an eye to keeping them in the lower price range that you mention.

          Seems like on balance thats good thing and we could forgive a minor quickly corrected error in identifying which particular crossings cost half a million or so a pop. Not even AT is contesting that they’ve routinely spent that much on crossings.

        5. I stand corrected. The traffic management sure got out of control (maybe a bit of monopoly going on there?). I see that at Pt Chev they have saved a ton of $$$ by fully closing the road to through traffic for longer to get things done quicker and reduced traffic management.
          In saying that, there is often a lot of street upgrade, in general, they have done around these projects that has put the price up. So naming a project a “raised crossing” is a bit like those “cycleway” projects where they also include, seawall strengthening and raising, tree planting, drainage upgrades & storm resilience, lighting upgrades & road resurfacing etc etc etc. Politically speaking they should call the project “street upgrade” so as to not call attention from the “anti-anything that make car go fast department”.

  18. Cars are lethal weapons. That we do not classify them as such, is simply because the law takes time, as does science, as do people, to accept realities.

    It is correct that we are waging war on the private motor vehicle. This is our battle to fight.
    In the provinces, cow farts are the problem, but in the city, it is car farts.
    Farts are very funny, but not these climate affecting versions.

    If pedestrian deaths and injuries are costing our health system, which they are, then there is zero justification for reducing pedestrian safety, be it a social or financial perspective.

    bah humbug

    1. There are quite some offences on the book that relate to using a vehicle in a way that causes death. But they all rightly focus on the intentions and actions of the driver. Just about anything can be used to kill in the wrong hands. Kitchen knives and blunt weapons feature quite highly in homicide statistics. Eventually if you start banning things that when used improperly might kill you get to the point where you outlaw sporks. And then only outlaws will have sporks…

  19. So pleased that you have revealed this skullduggery and am appalled at the NZ Herald’s lack of transparency. The needs of pedestrians have been totally suppressed and particularly those with disabilities. Some feedback I received when surveying the sector included:
    • As a power-chair user raised crossings are my preferred crossing spaces as most vehicles are forced to slow down or else possibly bottom out, giving me more time to cross or react to any unexpected decisions made by the driver/s before reaching the perceived safety of the footpath. I feel more visible to the driver/s and am able to better see them for eye-to-eye contact, which is often when they decide what to do next and mostly that happens before they enter the raised level, and it all happens at that raised height which usually signals to most drivers who drive regularly within the city of the need to beware of people possibly crossing here.

    • I support the use of Platform Pedestrian Crossings. I am a wheelchair user and find crossing roads can be extremely hazardous. I always feel lot safer when I can cross on a raised pedestrian crossing, being a little higher off the main road surface, means that I feel I am more in line of drivers’ sight, and feel a-lot safer.

    • As a wheelchair user with severely brittle bones living in a very hilly city, standard kerb cuts with bouncy/unsettling tactile indicators on the steepest angles, I am one very small misjudgement away from a serious injury, long rehab and extended leave from work.
    Even if built to the correct NZ standards, I often find myself choosing to push further along the path to use a driveway to drop down on to the road. While this has an added risk of then needing to navigate myself along the road, while dodging traffic, to find an easier/safer junction back to the footpath.
    When I am lucky enough to be crossing the road at a raised platform crossing, it ultimately removes my disability! I simply look to ensure traffic is slowing down and very easily traverse across the road.
    • As an ageing wheelchair user I was delighted when raised platform crossings were installed. So many kerb ramps are dangerous often because of the way they are constructed.
    eg.
    1) steep gradients – even 1:8 is too steep and can be impossible to negotiate when TGSIs add to the difficulties. There was an occasion when I was trapped on the road unable to get up the kerb ramp and luckily a passing motorist helped me up.
    2) often I have to descend backwards and wait in the road for the appropriate time to cross for fear that the steepness of the gradient will tip me out – and often several layers of tar seal bog the wheelchair casters in the gutter. This can be difficult to escape from.

    I am also aware of tall wheelchair users getting their footrests snagged into a steep kerb ramp because of how much they protrude in front of the chair.
    Platform crossings remove all these difficulties and anxieties, making navigating the streets so much safer – and stress-free.

    • These raised crossings in our area (Mangere Bridge Village). They have made the walk to school and the shops much safer because it’s much easier for drivers to look out for us when they are slowing down for the raised area. Some of the installation is a bit wonky so they can be tricky to drive over, but the bumps are a small price for the extra safety.

    • People ignore me at Zebra crossings and school crossings so raised crossings give me hope that maybe Ill have better luck at crossing the road

    • As a blind person raised crossings give me confidence that I’ll be seen by drivers! We need more not less of them!

    • As a wheelchair user I find using the crossing at the Pitt St/Hobson St intersection much easier and safer to get to the island in the middle to cross the Hobson St/Union St/Pitt St intersection. The importance of raised crossings as a visual aid for drivers and a safety aid for pedestrians should not be underestimated. I agree…they should be constructed and used more not less.

    • If they could be constructed at a cheaper cost they would be great. I am trying to get a pedestrian crossing put in at the intersection of Old Mill and Garnet Roads but Auckland Transport have basically said no

    • Many drivers appear ignorant the law requires them to stop for pedestrians at crossings. The more visibility the better.

    1. Thanks Vivian. You lay the issues out very well.

      Auckland Transport’s reluctance to install raised pedestrian crossings when doing streetscape renewals in completely lacking in any evidential basis. And as you’ve laid out, the impact on people is significant.

    2. Heidi this seems like such a niche use case it could barely be described as ‘extremely rare’ let alone ‘significant’.

      1. Grant getting out of bed in the morning includes a risk of dying as does taking a shower or walking up a flight of stairs. If you found out how likely you were to die just sleeping in a bed you’d soon stop that.

  20. NZ Media have sent millions into eternal Hell.

    How more evil can that be.. They push such evil they do it to many

    so many worries are mostly because of them.

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