Support The Cobham Drive Pedestrian Crossing Today
Kia ora tatou
Thanks for all your kind messages received about our dear President Andy Smith, he will be sadly missed. One of his special sayings was that Living Streets Aotearoa would always be here for another day to advocate for walking and more liveable streets, and so we take heart from that and move on.
Today I'm asking for your submissions in support of the Let's Get Wellington Moving proposal for a new pedestrian crossing along Cobham Drive in Wellington near the airport and for safer speeds along State Highway 1, also known as Ruahine St, Cobham Drive and Calabar Street. This route passes through and near to Hataitai, Kilbirnie, Evans Bay, Miramar and Strathmore. Currently these high speed busy roads cause significant severance for the adjoining suburbs, preventing safe or pleasant access to the Town Belt, the shops and the beach. The proposed crossing and safer speed limit is a step forward to address these issues.
We support improvements that make a more pleasant walk along Calabar Road, Cobham Drive and Ruahine Street and which will make this stretch of road safer for everyone. Surprisingly there are some people who do not agree with this, and want to maintain the car dominated high speed environment despite the supporting LGWM reports indicating there will be minimal impact on travel time on this route.
Please have your say today at LGWM - https://lgwm.nz/sh1safety/. Submissions close on 28 July.
Here are the highlights from the Living Streets Aotearoa submission - send us your comments:
Internationally 30km/h speed limits are seen as desirable for safer urban roads to minimise trauma caused by road crashes, while most Wellington roads are at 50km/h, 20km/h faster than this safer speed.
As noted in the Case for Change report there is significant severance for the communities in this area from their daily and desired routes. There is only one small section of this route that is even considered safe at 60km/h and that does not account for increased use by pedestrians and other more vulnerable road users. For this reason we recommend a continuous 50km/h safer speed limit for the entire route consistent with most of the rest of urban Wellington.
Cobham Drive crossing
Living Streets Aotearoa strongly support an at-grade (road level) crossing of Cobham Drive. We support this proposal in particular because of the speed and ease of implementation so it will get done soon.
We do NOT support a crossing that diverts pedestrians from the road surface and walking desire line via an underpass or bridge, neither of which are suitable at this site. One of our members has written to us to ask:
Speaking up for older people and also those with mobility problems and disabilities, I think that a pedestrian bridge is not a good idea, given the large number of steps you mention. Perhaps you could get a few words in for these groups of pedestrians.
We strongly support this proposal, and believe it could be even better with our recommended changes above. The positive benefits will be transformational for people wanting to walk and avoid the need to drive between Miramar shops, the ASB Sports Centre or Kilbirnie, and far outweigh any negative effects.
As the Ministry of Transport has noted, pedestrians [and cyclists] are legally entitled to be on the road. Motorists have a duty to pay for the facilities needed to keep them safe from motor vehicles.
Kaituitui a Whanganui a Tara - Living Streets Aotearoa