Random Pictures from Around Otautahi

This blog is a collection of pictures I’ve taken over the last few weeks that some of you may find interesting.

I’ve seen lots of strange gadgets popping up lately. I don’t even know what these are called…

Motorised seatless unicycle?
Single-wheeler motorised skateboard?
Finally a green option for tradies needing utes

The warm spell last week seemed to tempt more people out on foot and bike.

Pre-school bike shed over-subscribed

After trialling temporary bike parking at the Riverside Market for several months, it was deemed a success and made permanent. This is a great example of using a temporary trial to see if something is popular or not before making it permanent. I think this philosophy is something we should do more of in transport.

Riverside Market bike parking

Two weeks ago a person riding their bike across Brougham Street was tragically killed when another person drove their van into him. Article here. The way it’s written is diappointing, almost reading like a “how not to write about cycle crashes” as described in this article. I was happy to see that Waka Kotahi (new name for the NZ Transport Agency) has acted very quickly and remarked the crossing with bright red paint and dragon’s teeth. It doesn’t really address the fundamental problem of having a high-speed motorway feeding into an urban residential street, but it certainly can’t hurt to have such prominent markings.

Signalised crossing of Brougham Street at Collins/Simeon Streets

There was another tragedy just up the road, again when a person crossing the road was hit by someone else driving their motorcycle into them. Article is here. Again it’s disappointingly written, with the headline groundlessly heaping all blame on the victim.

This location has always irked me. I work on the south side of Moorhouse Ave and often nip over to Tower Junction shopping centre to buy things. It’s 400m as the crow flies, but the walk is double that because of the road design in this area. The overbridge has no footpath on the south side, only the north, meaning I have to perform two crossings of a heavily trafficked road that shouldn’t be necessary. Three of these have uncontrolled left-turn slip lanes, so there’s a total of six crossings and 400m of additional walking. That’s quite an ask for someone just quickly popping over to the shop little more than a stone’s throw away.

I don’t think it’s acceptable to just blame the guy who got run over here. The transport engineering industry as a whole needs to acknowledge its past faults and up its game to stamp out this sort of tragedy in future.

On the topic of unsafe crossings, people parking cars over them don’t help. The snap below is taken outside my daughter’s school gate where all the kids cross the road. That sign behind the SUV says “No Parking” at school pick-up drop-off times. Almost everyday someone illegally parks there. It makes it very dangerous for the kids trying to cross as they can’t see anything till they step out on the road. I got the bonus in this picture with the guy who’s parked his SUV half on the footpath so everyone has to walk around it. Chrsitchurch desperately needs more parking enforcement. Or maybe we just need to re-prioritse the existing enforcement away from people overstaying their ticket in town, and concentrate more on towing away the vehicles that are genuinely putting people’s lives at risk, of which there are plenty around the city on any given day.

Maryhill Road outside Hoon Hay Te Kura Koaka

That’s all for now – let me know if there’s anything you’ve spotted around town of interest.

2 thoughts on “Random Pictures from Around Otautahi

  1. I read the article. Nowhere does it heap needless blame on the pedestrian. Many, many times I have been driving along minding my own business and totally vulnerable, fragile pedestrians have leapt out and tried to injure and/or kill themselves using my vehicle to do so. When I drive on the footpath, I take absolutely ridiculous levels of care and attention to keep everyone I come across safe and well. Possibly pedestrians should do the same when they proceed on to the roadways,
    .

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    1. Being careful is great, but I think it’s crazy that we design our streets so that everyone has to be hyper-vigilant all the time, and the moment someone puts one foot wrong they are instantly killed. I reckon streets should be designed with footpaths and safe crossings as a minimum, and speed limits set at a level where a mistake only results in injury rather than death (30kmh). Maybe not everywhere, but certainly in urban areas like this where there are thousands of people living, working, shopping, playing and just milling about.

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