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Auckland Transport

Alford Street, Waterview – Pedestrian improvements Alford Street, Waterview – Pedestrian improvements

Proposal status: closed 10 December 2018

Reference number: MIP1718-024

We're proposing changes in your area

We are proposing a new raised pedestrian crossing on Alford Street in Waterview. The proposed raised zebra crosssing contains pedestrian side islands, improved signage, and facilities for the vision impaired. We are currently investigating the requirements needed to retain the tree at this site.

Download the proposal drawing for Alford Street (PDF 1.2MB) 

Why the changes are needed

Alford Street is a straight, wide road, which currently does not have any crossing facilities nearby. These changes are needed to improve safety and accessibility for pedestrians. We have picked this location because of its proximity to the nearby primary school and playground. The crossing would also be used by walking school buses.

Proposal outcome

This project will proceed without changes to the next stage of detailed planning. Thank you to everyone who submitted feedback. A summary of this feedback and answers to community questions and concerns is below.

Feedback received

  • This proposal received positive responses from community members and stakeholders who supported this speed pedestrian safety improvement, but expressed some concerns.
  • Some respondents really like this proposal but also want the tree to stay and they would like to know what will happen to the tree, as they do not want it to be removed.
    The plan is to be able to construct this crossing without having to remove this tree. Following consultation we will continue to develop the project in more detail in which the impact on the tree can be properly assessed. During this stage the decision to remove or retain the tree will be made.
  • The speeding in this street is unbelievable, please install judder bars further down the road from this table, or make this street a 30km/h road. This would be safer for residents and would allow more kids to play outside.
    The purpose of the table in this project is to create localised speed reduction where it is most needed: outside the park, near this new crossing. We are currently developing a plan to reduce speeds on Auckland’s roads. This plan will identify the highest priority areas for the initial roll out of speed reduction, on approximately 10 per cent of our road network, including residential areas. The new area-based focus recognises that traffic-calming changes on one street will lead to increased traffic on surrounding streets. We therefore can’t simply reduce the speed in one area, without treating the area as a whole.
    In addition to speed reduction, we also intend to make infrastructural changes to encourage drivers to slow down. We intend to carry out these changes over a three-year period from 2019, targeting delivery to a small number of residential areas each year. These areas have been prioritised to reduce the frequency and severity of crashes. This is based on several factors, including the number of crashes, safety risk, traffic speed, land use and concerns raised by local residents and their elected representatives. More information, including the residential areas that will be prioritised for further investigation will soon be available on the Auckland Transport website. Currently, Waterview is not in this programme.
  • Customer does not like the proposal because it is forcing all drivers to drive below the legal speed limit of 50.
    The purpose of the table in this project is to create localised speed reduction for the pedestrian crossing, and this area in front of the park. The probability of a person walking or cycling being seriously injured or killed increases rapidly with relatively small increases in speed. A reduction in vehicle speed from 50km/h to 30km/h can reduce the likelihood of a person walking being killed or seriously injured from 80% down to 10%.
  • Question about the vehicle count for this part of Alford Street and about AT's policy on the threshold for installing a crossing. Request to publish justification and risk analysis for this speed reduction.
    During the morning peak (8am – 9am) it was observed that 30 people crossed within this area along Alford St. Of these 30 pedestrians 63% were children. During this time it was also observed that 245 vehicles travelled through this section of Alford St. There is no policy or warrant that specifies a minimum requirement of volumes for the installation of a crossing. However the basis of this proposal is based on the following:
    • A relatively high percentage of children (vulnerable road users) crossing in this area.
    • Two key trip generators (local park and primary school).
    • The lack of a dedicated crossing facilities on Alford Street.
    • Vehicles being able to pick up speed in this specific area.
  • If the crossing is installed and the number of people using the crossing is less than the number not using the crossing - will the crossing be removed. Please ensure that this proposal is actually needed based on evidence.
    Currently there are no dedicated pedestrian facilities on Alford Street to protect vulnerable road users when they are walking to local destinations in the area such as the park or primary school. A pedestrian observation was carried out in this area during the morning peak where it was observed that a number of pedestrians including unaccompanied school aged children were crossing in the vicinity of the proposed raised zebra crossing. Alford Street needs to be safe for everyone who uses it. Safe streets support healthy and active modes of transportation. They are inclusive for old and young and unlock the potential of walking and cycling in the Alford Street area.
  • While Alford Street has no bike facilities as such, it is the key local route for people from the neighbourhood to ride to the new bike path. There are often only a few parked cars here, making this a de-facto bike path. The islands push these bikes into motor traffic. Question as to why this was designed so it’s a pinpoint.
    The lane reduction created by the proposed side islands in this project do not create a dangerous "pinch point" for cyclists, as cyclists and vehicles are not physically constrained through a localised narrowing. This situation arises when a central refuge island forces cyclists and cars to be adjacent to one another in a narrow space, if one road user does not give way. This is not the case in this project as cars are able to drive over the centreline through this section if they are wanting to overtake the cyclist, provided that there is no oncoming traffic. In most cases this will be the likely situation given that Alford Street is a low volume, local road. In addition, these cars will be travelling at a safe and appropriate speed of approximately 25kph in order to traverse the raised table comfortably. A comparable scenario is when two cars are parked opposite each on the street creating a localised narrowing which is not a rare occurrence on this road, however in our case the speed environment is lower as mentioned previously.
  • Drivers don't like cyclists pulling out into the lane and cyclists really don't like pulling out into the lane and therefore please install broken yellow lines here instead of islands.
    There are proposed broken yellow lines on both approaches to the crossing leading up to the side islands. In addition there are tapered edge lines which start well before the crossing that lead to the outside edge of the side islands. These function to both lead the cyclists gradually into the lane as it narrows and also give an indication to drivers that the lane is beginning to narrow.
  • Request to make the islands narrower.
    In order to sufficiently shorten the crossing distance and bring the pedestrians further onto the roadway to increase their visibility the installation of side islands are required. This will particularly benefit the younger and more vulnerable road users given the proximity of the park and the local primary school.
  • Request to make this less narrow to avoid sudden braking or swerving for drivers around this area.
    In order to sufficiently shorten the crossing distance and bring the pedestrians further onto the roadway to increase their visibility the installation of side islands are required. This will particularly benefit the younger and more vulnerable road users given the proximity of the park and the local primary school. 
    In regards to riders swerving into a vehicles path, there are tapered edge lines which start well before the crossing that lead to the outside edge of the side islands. These function to both lead the cyclists gradually into the lane as it narrows and also give an indication to drivers that the lane is beginning to narrow. In addition this movement can be compared to the scenario where cars are parked parallel to the kerb, which results in a similar manoeuvre of cyclists having to pull out further into the lane to pass these cars. However in the case of the raised zebra and side islands the speed environment will be slower.
  • Given the connection to new walking and cycling tracks and to the Waterview playground and skate park, riders of all ages should be expected and taken into account, just as much as drivers and pedestrians.
    The lane reduction created by the proposed side islands in this project do not create a dangerous "pinch point" for cyclists as cyclists and vehicles are not physically constrained through a localised narrowing. This situation arises when there is a central refuge island which forces cyclists and cars to be adjacent to one another in a narrow space if one road user does not give way. This is not the case in this project as cars are able to drive over the centreline through this section if they are wanting to overtake the cyclist, provided that there is no oncoming traffic. In most cases this will be the likely situation given that Alford St is a low volume, local road. In addition, these cars will be travelling at a safe and appropriate speed of approximately 25kph in order to traverse the raised table comfortably. A comparable scenario is when two cars are parked opposite each on the street creating a localised narrowing which is not a rare occurrence on this road, however in our case the speed environment is lower as mentioned previously.
  • Suggestion to look at an alternative in which a bike can ride through a space between the road edge and consider where the pedestrian would be standing if they were assessing whether to cross instead of implementing the current proposal.
    Directing cyclists down this path is not ideal as it guides cyclist into any parked vehicles ahead of the crossing or into an area in which "dooring" can occur. It is more favourable to put cyclists in a dominate position in the lane so they can avoid this those hazards.
  • Minor changes requested include adding broken yellow lines from the intersection of Alford and Saxon, and along Alford Street outside 45 Alford Street. This is requested as sometimes vehicles park too close to the intersection.
    This intersection is between two local roads which has had no reported crashes in the last 5 years. Cannot justify the installation of parking restrictions here. However parking within 6.0m of an intersection it is illegal and if you do observe this please contact AT parking enforcement on 09 355 3553 so they can address the issue.

Next steps

This work will happen before July 2019, and we will let you know if there are further changes or delays. Our contractors will send notices to affected residents 48-hours prior to construction starting.