New Pedestrian Space – where is it?

When I opened the 2WALKandCYCLE conference in July last year I challenged the then Mayor and CEO of Auckland Transport to create new pedestrian only spaces in Auckland and I said that means closing roads. We need to drive the car out from our streets and make them living streets. It’s people who spend money in our shops, not cars. We should have flânuers and sojourners in the streets, not startled people running across intersections as drivers wait till they have the road again. High Street should have no vehicles and deliveries made in the early morning. Parts of Queen Street should be pedestrianised boulevards. Block Queen St at The Civic up to Mayoral Drive and Victoria Street to Shortland Street. This is not a new idea and there are other streets, in other town centres that need the same treatment. It takes political will to do this − Kia kaha, kia toa Aucklanders. Let’s make a city for people.

The need for safer speeds in NZ

Did you see this article “NZ roads are too dangerous” by a Norwegian journalist recently in the NZ Herald?  It’s well worth a read:
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11774671

This kind of article provides valuable perspective beyond the complexity of NZTA’s new Speed Management Guide, please see our concerns attached at bottom.

Hence, we ask that AT helps ensure that the new Setting of Speed Limits Rule (to be implemented in 2017) is drafted to allow for the easier adoption of safer speed limits in order to achieve safe, efficient travel on our roads.

Bevan Woodward

safer-speeds-and-network-efficiency

Our Next Meeting is the AGM and Party Dec 20 5:30

The next gathering is the AGM of Walk Auckland and meeting of Living Streets Aotearoa Waitemata branch is Tuesday December 20 at 5:30pm at the Leys Institute. Upstairs in the Supper Room. That is on St Marys Rd at Three Lamps, Ponsonby.

Bring food and drinks for a Christmas Party.

Here is your Christmas present, a free pdf book on walking called Cities Alive

To find the minutes of last meeting go to our website 

The agenda. 
AGM
Christmas Party

Value of footpaths in New Zealand survey

Bridget Burdett is researching the value of footpaths in New Zealand, on behalf of the Road Controlling Authorities’ Forum.

This survey is about how people use and value footpaths in New Zealand. Please circulate the survey as widely as you are able, including to your friends, families, colleagues and any other groups you might be part of.

If anyone you know would like a paper copy of the survey please contact me on 027 5493219 or email bridget.burdett@tdg.co.nz

Fill in this survey here

Pedestrians, cars and trains don’t mix

Graeme Easte of Walk Auckland talks about level crossings

http://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/85167156/Three-accidents-in-four-years-another-reason-to-remove-Aucklands-level-crossings

The Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC) revealed its updated “watch-list” which includes concerns about the safety of railway crossings

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/85788154/railway-crossings-and-robinson-helicopters-added-to-list-of-nations-biggest-transport-safety-concerns

Walkability data about Auckland suburbs

Here is a report from Healthy Auckland Together via Helen Hayes

It has some nice breakdowns by local wards and ethnicity.

public-healths-walkability-data-for-auckland

Population walkability measures the proximity to a range of services and destinations from residential addresses. More destinations in walking range results in higher walkability scores. Conversely, fewer destinations, hilly terrain, and poor road/footpath connectivity (e.g. dead end streets) result in lower walkability scores.

Joe Clendon Footpath cycling Petition

The Select Committee will hear submissions on Joe Clendons petition asking for childern up to 14 and their adults to cycle on the footpath. Living Streets Aotearoa ,the pedestrian association, will be asking about the safety of people who currently walk on those footpaths.

It is asking the committee to not change the law as the footpaths already function well. Currently only children using small bikes can ride on footpaths.

Footpaths are a sanctuary for the people who walk, children skipping, the elderly, pram pushers, wheelchairs, the physically disabled, blind and those with hearing loss. A safe place to walk, stop, sojourn, run and skip. Lets not compromise the safety of one group for the safety of another when calming traffic will cater for the cyclists needs.

We have always cycled on the roads, why change now, what has changed? Is it that vehicles need more space to go faster in the town? When we walk and cycle we need calm traffic so we can cross the street and use the intersections. When there is a great number of people walking and cycling this shows a civilized , friendly, healthy town that has not become a sewer for vehicles.

At a glance, footpaths may appear like a place no one uses but they are filled with constantly changing users during the day, all with different purposes. Starting with early runners, walking commuters, school children, shoppers and the elderly, lunchtime strollers, afternoon walking groups, home from schoolers and work, then the after dinner walkers or runners. This piece of the road (footpath) is being used all day and walking is now the number one recreation in NZ.

Japan is trying to get cyclists off the footpaths as their people get older;  building segregated cycleways and slowing traffic is what has happened in Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands.

Reading the submissions (480 in total) we find others wanting no change to the law.  Blind and sight reduced citizens, Grey Power, Disabled associations, Town Councils, Road controlling Authorities, lots of Nelson people (who are experiencing narrow shared paths) and bike groups like Spokes in Christchurch

Its NOT OK to cycle on the footpath.