Consultation status: updated 12 July 2018
Proposal reference: MIP1718-324
We are proposing to install a signalised pedestrian crossing on Hobson Street between Wellesley Street and Cook Street, including changes to road markings and signage.
Why the changes are needed
This section of Hobson Street is now the highest density residential area in Auckland, with an estimated 2,300 pedestrian crossings taking place daily within this block alone. The current environment poses significant safety risks, with several fatal and serious accidents involving pedestrians recorded.
This proposal aims to improve pedestrian safety at this location by providing a designated signalised pedestrian crossing mid-block.
The proposal received primarily positive feedback with some concerns raised by respondents. After reviewing this feedback and all other supporting evidence, the proposal will proceed with minor changes to the next stage of detailed planning.
During the public feedback period, a number of respondents requested that we implement safety measures aimed at targeting and reducing the number of red light runners. We recognise that red light running is a major hazard to pedestrian safety and are currently investigating opportunities to install additional measures to deter this behaviour.
- Enquiry into how the proposal was initiated. This proposal aims to address underlying issues that have recently resulted in injuries to a number of pedestrians attempting to cross at this location. Pedestrian counts indicate that the number of crossings occurring at this location is already extensive. Considering the significant demand and expected future demand due to development of residential housing projects, a crossing facility is needed at this location to better protect pedestrians from traffic on Hobson Street.
- Enquiry as to why this road safety proposal is being consulted on. We value public feedback as it provides important insights into how our proposals will impact the lives of those most affected by them. Collating and reviewing these submissions allows us to further refine our projects to best suit the changing needs of Aucklanders. As this proposal aims to address an important safety issue at this location, we need to ensure that we work with the community to develop the best possible solution to the problem.
- Concern that possible redevelopment of Auckland City Mission could lead to changes in pedestrian crossing patterns. We work closely with Auckland City Mission and will coordinate throughout the process.
- Concerns that vehicles may fail to stop on red lights at the crossing, and requests to install additional precautionary measures aimed at preventing red light runners at this location. CCTV cameras will be installed in order to enable us to better monitor the operation of this crossing. We are also currently in the process of reviewing the speed limit on Hobson Street and nearby streets within the city centre.
All treatments aimed at reducing the occurrence of red light running will meet the latest standards. We recognise that red light runners are a major hazard to pedestrian safety. We are currently investigating opportunities to install additional measures to deter this behaviour, including:
- In-ground flashing warning lights, similar to Fanshawe Street/Daldy Street intersection (subject to approval).
- Red carpet treatment at the crosswalk, with optimal coordinated signal phasing to minimise the occurrence.
- Request to bolster red light enforcement across Auckland. We will work with New Zealand Police to identify opportunities to bolster red light enforcement.
- Concern that vehicles frequently travel along Hobson at high speeds. We will continue to liaise with the New Zealand Police for further enforcement opportunities. We are currently in the process of reviewing the speed limit on Hobson Street and nearby streets within the city centre.
- Request that the proposed changes involve smooth kerb cut outs in order to improve ease of crossing for individuals in wheelchairs. All proposed pram crossings and ramps will be built according to the latest standards to achieve a universal design which will allow for safe crossing for all pedestrians.
- Request to install textured surfacing on either side of the crossing in order to assist pedestrians with visual impairments. Installation of both directional and hazard tactile pavers will raise awareness for all pedestrians, including those with visual impairments. Additional road markings will be installed along the crossing to provide further audio cues. All pavers will be installed in accordance with the latest standards.
- Concern that pedestrians often ignore signal-controlled crossings and will not wait for crossing signals to change before crossing. The main objective of this proposal is to create a safer environment for pedestrians to cross Hobson Street. Although not all pedestrians will utilise the safe crossing as is recommended, we expect that the changes will significantly reduce the likelihood of pedestrians coming into conflict with oncoming traffic.
- Request that the pedestrian crossing not be signal-controlled. This option was considered early on during the proposal design. However, due primarily to the extensive crossing distance at this location, it was ruled inappropriate as it would unnecessarily expose pedestrians to uncontrolled traffic.
- Request to install the pedestrian crossing slightly to the south of the proposed location. During design of the proposal, we took into consideration a number of factors including pedestrian crossing patterns, and the presence of accesses, driveways, and vegetation. The proposed location is the preferred crossing point for many pedestrians and implementation would not prohibit access to driveways or access points for local residents or businesses.
- Request to widen the proposed pedestrian crossing in order to increase capacity and to raise driver awareness. The proposal would involve installation of a crossing that is 3 metres wide, which is wider than existing standards. We expect that this will sufficiently accommodate pedestrian crossing demand at this location.
- Request that long term plans involve giving pedestrians and cyclists priority over vehicles in Central Auckland. Auckland Council’s City Centre Masterplan is a comprehensive guide highlighting long-term transformational changes for the city centre that will prioritise active road users, including people on foot and on bike. This involves a variety of changes to Hobson Street and nearby roads. For updates and information on how these changes will impact Hobson Street, please refer to the City Centre Masterplan.
- Request to install bike rails on approach to the intersection to allow bicyclists support as they are stopped at the traffic lights. We will investigate this option during the detailed design stage. As this is a double decker bus route, any street furniture would need to be offset away from the kerb.
- Enquiries as to the phasing of traffic lights and crossing signals. The phasing of traffic signals will be optimised. These traffic signals will work alongside those at nearby intersections in order to best suit changing traffic demands.
- Suggestion to synchronise the crossing signal with traffic lights at nearby intersections, rather than relying on a button-initiated system. The crossing signals will primarily be button-initiated, but they will work alongside those at intersections with Wellesley and Cook Streets in order to best suit changing traffic demands.
- Requests for crossing signals to be responsive to pedestrian demand and accommodate for the slowest walking pedestrians. During peak hours all traffic signals along the Hobson Street corridor and throughout the city centre are synchronised and coordinated, and proposed signalisation of the new crossing will run alongside this existing programme. During off-peak hours and depending on demand, we can coordinate optimisation of the signals in order to reduce wait time. We will continue to monitor the road corridor in order to provide sufficient phase times to accommodate slower pedestrians.
- Concern that the proposed changes will exacerbate traffic congestion along Hobson Street. We acknowledge that there is a potential that the proposal could contribute to traffic delays. We consider that these inconveniences are relatively minor compared to the hazards currently posed to pedestrians at this location.
- Concern that an increase in traffic congestion at this location will result in higher pollution levels. We acknowledge that there is a potential that the proposal could contribute to traffic delays, and in turn, slight increases in pollution. We consider that these inconveniences are relatively minor compared to the hazards currently posed to pedestrians at this location.
- Request to allow two-way traffic along Hobson Street. Given the existing traffic conditions at this location, this request would have considerable impacts on the operation of Hobson Street and all adjacent roads. For updates and information on planned changes that will impact Hobson Street, please refer to the City Centre Masterplan.
- Request to install signage prohibiting turns onto Hobson Street at intersections along this road corridor. We do not expect that this proposal will require any movements to be restricted.
- Concern that the proposal could make it increasingly difficult for vehicles to traverse between outermost western and eastern lanes along Hobson Street. Given the distance of this block of Hobson Street and the fact that the proposed mid-block crossing would occupy a relatively minor stretch in comparison, we do not expect that the proposal will have significant impacts to this type of movement.
- Concern that vehicles may stop over the crossing and block pedestrian access. We are currently investigating opportunities to install additional measures aimed at increasing driver awareness as mentioned above. We believe that these measures would significantly decrease the likelihood of this situation occurring.
- Concern that vehicles frequently stop in the centre of intersections along Cook and Wellesley Streets, obstructing access. We have a number of ongoing safety campaigns which promote safe driving behaviour throughout Auckland.
- Suggestion that traffic signals will need to be easily visible for vehicles exiting the parking structure at 134 Hobson Street. During the detailed design stage, we will be investigating ways of providing sufficient visibility for the vehicles exiting the parking facility.
- Concerns that the crossing would compromise the ability of vehicles to exit the parking structure at 134 Hobson Street. Tracking checks will be undertaken to ensure that access to and from the parking facility is not compromised by the proposal.
- Concern that judder bars will be a traffic hazard due to the sheer volume of traffic. The judder bars proposed along the edge of Hobson Street is an interim measure to prevent double decker buses from unintentionally hitting signs, buildings, and street furniture. Our observations of those already in place do not suggest that the judder bars cause any operational issues.
- Request to limit the amount of noise produced as a result of the proposed crossing facilities. The volume of the proposed signals will be refined in order to minimise noise pollution and account for surrounding environmental conditions.
- Request to plant additional trees along Hobson Street. Auckland Council’s City Centre Masterplan discusses plans to add additional vegetation and shrubbery to the Hobson Street corridor and nearby areas in order to upgrade streetscapes across Auckland.
- Request to install cameras overlooking the nearby carparks in order to monitor and deter illicit behaviour. We will work with New Zealand Police to identify opportunities to better monitor and deter illicit behaviours at this location.
- Requests additional works include:
- Request to install a designated bicycle lane along Hobson Street.
- Requests to build out the kerb along the west side of the crossing in order to reduce crossing distance and visually narrow the street.
- Request to implement designated bus lanes at this location to further prevent traffic congestion.
- Request to reduce the number and width of lanes operating along Hobson Street.
- Request to install a mid-block signalised pedestrian crossing on Hobson Street between Wellesley Street and Union Street.
- Request to install pedestrian crossing facilities on Cook Street between the off ramp of SH1 and Nelson Street.
- Request to implement four-way pedestrian crossings on Hobson Street at the intersections with Wellesley Street and Cook Street.
- Request to also install a mid-block pedestrian crossing on Hobson Street between Wellesley and Victoria Streets.
- Request to install a pedestrian crossing on the missing leg of the intersection of Hobson and Cook Streets.
- Request to introduce more pedestrian crossings on Hobson and Nelson Streets.
This proposal focuses on installation of a signalised pedestrian crossing on Hobson Street. While this request does not fall within the focus of this proposal, we have passed your concerns along to the relevant AT team for further investigation.
Auckland Council’s City Centre Masterplan is a comprehensive guide highlighting long-term transformational changes for the city centre that will prioritise active road users, including pedestrians and bicyclists. This involves a variety of changes to Hobson Street and nearby roads. For updates and information on how these changes will impact Hobson Street, please refer to the City Centre Masterplan.
This work will happen prior to June 2019, but we will let you know if there are further changes or delays. We will provide further updates once investigations into additional safety measures have been completed during the detailed design stage.
Our contractors will send notices to affected residents 48-hours prior to construction starting.