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Pedestrians lead the way in the CBD

AUCKLAND CITY COUNCIL

MEDIA RELEASE

4 December 2006

Pedestrians lead the way in the CBD

New pedestrian countdown clocks in Queen Street are part of a package of pedestrian improvements designed to transform the CBD into a thriving, world class destination.

The countdown clocks, which are used in cities overseas, stem from Auckland City’s commitment to reclaim and develop the central area for pedestrians.

The technology is the latest innovation in a package of planned improvements including traffic light phasing, raised mid-block crossings and red light cameras.

Councillor Richard Simpson, Transport and Urban Linkages Committee chairperson, says one in every four people who suffer fatal or serious injury while moving about Auckland city are pedestrians.

“This innovative project will take the guesswork out of crossing some of Auckland’s busiest intersections and will help stop people racing across the road when they’ve run out of time to cross.”

Mr Simpson says Queen Street has more than 40,000 pedestrians walking along it each weekday.

“That’s a significant number of people crossing the road. It’s vital we give them priority,” says Mr Simpson.

The countdown timer trial is part of Auckland City’s Queen Street upgrade and partly funded through the CBD targeted rate.

Based on Auckland City’s six-month trial, Land Transport New Zealand (LTNZ) will decide whether the technology should be introduced nationally.

Other initiatives for improving pedestrian connections in the CBD include changing traffic light phases on Queen Street to coordinate with pedestrian movements and installing raised mid-block crossings at side street intersections to slow traffic.

Auckland City is also working with key stakeholders to establish better walking links in and around the university precinct (University of Auckland and AUT University). These improvements include safer crossing points along the central transit corridor route and a proposal to transform Alfred Street into a pedestrian mall.

In a collaborative trial project between Auckland’s transport agencies, red light cameras are planned for the CBD in early 2007. The cameras will encourage motorists to avoid running red lights, endangering pedestrians and other road users.

Ends

Note to editor:

The countdown timer trial is a key action from Auckland’s CBD Into the Future strategy, which aims to transform Auckland’s CBD into one of the world’s most vibrant and dynamic business and cultural centres.

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