Submission to Wellington City Council on the Safer Roads Newtown and Berhampore Proposal - Jane Dawson

to Wellington City Council on the

Safer Roads Newtown and Berhampore


Submitted by Jane Dawson, July 2008



The proposals for 40 km/h areas are
good, but need to go further.

I would prefer to see them reduced to
30 km/h on the non-arterial routes plus the main shopping area on
Riddiford St, with the arterials set at 40 km/h.

Constable Street should be reduced to
40 km/h, and the phasing of the new lights should be set to encourage
that speed.

Luxford and Rintoul Streets should also
be reduced to 40 km/h, so there is an alternative to Adelaide Rd for
the less hardy cyclists to use.

Even if you don't reduce all
non-arterial roads to 30 km/h, please at least reduce the speed to
that around schools.


cycling route

For many years the Council has said
that Wilson St is a good (de facto) cycling route as an alternative
to going up Constable St, and it was marked as such on the Council's
cycling route map.

Please can we have that formalised,
with priority given to cyclists travelling up Wilson St at the
intersections with Daniel, Owen and Coromandel Sts.

This should be signed as a cycling
route, with information about where it leads. And it would also be
good to have it two-way, with good right-turning facilities for
cyclists coming from Kilbirnie (at the Constable-Coromandel
intersection lights).

The design would have to include ways
to stop cars from using it as a rat-run, e.g. by having road closures
with cycle bypasses.

And please do NOT put angle-parking on
Wilson St - it is lethal for cyclists.



Where there is a known problem with
rats (e.g. Mein-Coromandel Sts, Daniell-Normanby/Donald Mclean Sts,
and probably others), the roads should preferably be closed to
through traffic (with cycle bypasses) or maybe have single-lane
carriageway chicanes with cycle bypasses (which would enable
residents to get access but force opposing traffic to negotiate right
of way). Both of these solutions are used overseas.



These should be looked at very
carefully to make sure they are not creating a hazard for cyclists.
It is not acceptable to make the extensions stick out as far as a
parked car merely in order to enable car parking to be allowed right
up to the extension.

Also, a survey of parking should be
undertaken to determine whether an area is constantly filled with
parked cars or not. If not, then the extensions are very likely to
cause difficulties for cyclists because they will get squeezed into
riding in the parking area.

Where the extension is not adjacent to
a side street, it should have kerbs that are mountable by cycles so
the cyclists have some chance of getting out of the way if they do
get squeezed by a motor vehicle.


lane on Adelaide Rd

It is dangerous to put in a cycle lane
of 1.2m beside parked cars. That gives cyclists a false sense of
security, but puts them right in the path of car doors opening.

One possibility is to move the parking
from the western side of Adelaide Rd and reduce the lane width
(western side) from 3.5m to 3m, thus giving another 0.5m to add to
the cycle lane (to bring it up to the recommended width of 1.8m). The
lane beside the parked cars should be left at 3.5m.

Where the cycle lane crosses side
streets, it must be well-marked with cycle symbols and coloured



Alongside the engineering changes, a
high priority is to run a comprehensive 'share the road' campaign, to
educate motorists, cyclists and pedestrians to be aware of each
other's needs. A 'don't burst my bubble' campaign, police campaigns
targeting motorist behaviour, and speed cameras need to be an
integral part of the Safer Routes programme.


for cyclists at signals

Advance waiting boxes for cyclists at
traffic signals - with a lead-in cycle lane - should be installed as
a matter of course. Particular places to start are the
Constable-Riddiford intersection, Luxford-Adelaide intersection,
Waripori-Rintoul intersection (particularly on Waripori St where
there is a separate left turn lane), and Rintoul-Riddiford
intersection. Also at Constable-Coromandel intersection,
particularly for traffic heading west, to make it easier for cyclists
to turn right into Coromandel St to access Wilson St (and the cycle
route, as above).



The speed cushions as proposed for
Rintoul St near Blythe St, for example, are preferable to speed humps
for cyclists, as they give the option of riding between the lumps to
avoid bumping up and over.


Notes for oral submission to WCC, 4 Sept 2008

I support the concept of lowering
speed limits in the Newtown-Berhampore area, and I believe there are
big benefits for the community in doing so.

I would like to see the Safer Roads
project take a more visionary approach, though, and reduce the speed
limits to 30 km/hr (rather than 40). The reduction in risk levels
from lowering speeds have been well established:

[quote from paper from Accident
Research Centre at Monash University]

"At impact speeds under 30 km/h,
the probablility of pedestrian death is approx. 5-10 %. The
probablility of death at impact speeds greater than 40 km/h increases
rapidly, with almost certain death at impact speeds over 55-60 km/h."

A 1996 report by the TRL that
reviewed Britain's 20 mph zones concluded (inter alia) that:

  • Injury accidents were reduced by
    about 60%

  • There was no apparent overall
    accident migration onto surrounding roads

  • Public reaction to 20 mph zones
    has been generally favourable with residents feeling safer.

There has been quite a bit of
attention paid to the needs of children, and particularly their
journeys to/from school, but I would like to table the Australian
paper, called 'Creating a safe environment for older cyclists:
lessons learnt from a review of world's 'best-practice' measures'.
For those who don't want to read the whole thing, here is a short

"The safety of cyclists,
particularly older ones, is compromised, to a large extent, by the
design and operation of the road system."

"One of the major problems for
cyclists is high vehicle speed. The relation between speed and injury
risk is a powerful and well-understood phenomenon. Higher driving
speeds reduce the predictability of a driver, a driver's ability to
control the vehicle and increase the distance travelled while the
driver reacts to events."

As a less wordy way of demonstrating
the effect of speed on drivers, I have given you an illustration from
German researcher Carmen Hass-Klau, which demonstrates how much of
the surrounding environment a driver has time to absorb at various
speeds. I would like drivers in Newtown-Berhampore to have as wide a
field of vision as possible.

I am disturbed that the proposed
speed limit reductions leave out some key areas, and are not well
integrated with the rest of the Safer Roads project. Keeping
Constable St at 50 km/h, when it is leading straight to the
reduced-speed shopping area makes little sense to me. Reducing it to
40 km/h will not increase travel times for road users, as they just
end up waiting at the Riddiford St lights anyway. Besides which,
Constable St is a residential street!

And keeping Adelaide Rd, Rintoul St
and Russell Terrace all as 50 km/h roads gives cyclists absolutely no
option of using slower speed roads when travelling to/from southern
areas. I ask that Luxford, Rintoul and Waripori Sts are made 40 km/h,
which would have the advantage of lowering speeds around SWIS.

In the consultation meeting that I
attended, it was said that keeping these roads at 50 km/h would
encourage people to use them rather than rat-running (e.g. through
Mein St). Rats can be dealt with by other means, like closing roads
to through traffic, and I do not believe that is a good argument for
keeping an inappropriately high speed on a people-filled road.