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Making Ponsonby Road safer for pedestrians

Making Ponsonby Road safer for pedestrians

Reducing the speed limit on Ponsonby Road is not the best answer to improving pedestrian safety Auckland City’s Transport and Urban Linkages Committee agreed today.

Rather, it’s more pedestrian crossings and refuges that will improve safety.

Councillor Richard Simpson, the council’s Transport and Urban Linkages Committee chairperson says a recent study on Ponsonby Road shows that there have been no crashes at pedestrian “refuges” or crossing sites.

As with other arterial roads across the city, the speed limit on Ponsonby Road is 50km/h. A common perception is that reducing the speed limit would improve safety for pedestrians.

“We are aware of the perception that speed is the main factor in crashes involving pedestrians. But the evidence shows, it’s the number of crossings and ‘refuges’ that can make it safer by providing more opportunities to cross the road safely,” says Mr Simpson.

The council has recently upgraded two pedestrian refuge islands and installed three new refuge islands on Ponsonby Road.

“Creating a city where it is safe for people to get around is a top priority for this council,” says Mr Simpson.

“That’s why we intend to investigate installing more pedestrian crossings at points where people tend to cross, extending the time for pedestrians at crossings, a road safety education campaign and advocate for increased police enforcement in the area.

“It is the council’s responsibility to make it safe for people out and about on foot in the city, as well as balancing the needs of moving people and goods efficiently on our main roads.

“We’re working closely with the Ponsonby community on these issues,” says Mr Simpson.

“We are also committed to making residential streets safe while we’re protecting the integrity of the city’s regional arterial road network. If the arterial network is compromised, it could see more vehicles squeezed on to local roads, impacting residential streets.”

Over the last five years, there have been 27 pedestrians involved in accidents on Ponsonby Road. Two of these were fatal accidents.

Ends

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