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Pedestrians win out with Grafton Gully layout


Pedestrians win out with Grafton Gully layout

Since the opening of a new stretch of state highway, Auckland’s Grafton Gully, is increasingly getting noticed for its pedestrian-friendly layout in the making.

In the past, people travelling on foot who wanted to cross ‘the gully’, had to contend with heavy motorway traffic, heading to and from the port. With the recent opening of the new northbound alignment, Transit New Zealand has delivered the first step of a new road layout that successfully integrates the needs of pedestrians and cyclists with those of motorists.

The new Grafton Road Bridge - a key element of the new layout already effectively isolates city bound motorway traffic, enabling pedestrians to safely cross the gully while traffic exits the motorway below the bridge.

Walkable Communities representative, Graeme Easte, comments, “It’s much safer and more pleasant to cross the gully now. When you’re on the bridge it’s as if the motorway isn’t there at all as the high speed traffic is completely separated.”

With its extra-wide footpath, walkers are finding the route, which is important for people accessing the university and the city from Parnell, very comfortable even though it has still to be completed.

The pedestrian route will be completed midyear when the southbound motorway alignment is opened. When this happens, pedestrians will cross local traffic only and until then, they will still have to contend with traffic accessing the motorway.

The informal, Auckland-based Cobley Walking Group, which organises walks once a month for its 24 members, recently visited the Grafton Gully Project to view progress and improvements including the new Grafton Road Bridge, the new signalised intersection at Alten St/Stanley St and the new Tranz Rail bridge.

Transit Regional Manager Wayne McDonald says that while the new, safer pedestrian routes in the gully are important to the local community, they also have wider implications. “As part of the Coast-to-Coast walkway, the Grafton Gully Project is successfully contributing the flagship walking route for the many national and international walkers who annually experience the Auckland isthmus by foot.

ends

For further information contact Transit New Zealand Regional Manager Wayne McDonald tel 368 2000

www.transit.govt.nz


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