Urban Safety

Auckland, New Zealand ,2020

The intersection of Sale Street and Wellesley Street in Auckland was challenging in terms of road safety as it was a busy intersection for both cars and pedestrians.

The lanes were excessively wide, encouraging high speeds (in excess of 50km/h) and resulting in long crossing distances for pedestrians (35m from kerb to kerb) and long waiting times.

Therefore, in 2020 it was decided to act as follows:
– The lanes were narrowed and the turning radius sharpened by means of paint and heavy planters.
– In addition, a refuge island was created, which shortened the crossing distance for pedestrians by 63% to 19m.
– Seventeen parking spaces were eliminated.
– A second crossing to the west was made accessible, with tactile and temporary curb ramps for people with mobility problems. In this case the distance was reduced by 53% from 17m to 8m.
– Plants, specifically Bee friendly species, were planted in the planters to green an area with a shortage of trees.

The public space to be reclaimed is defined by a curved line (thermo-plastic), referring to the stream that used to cross it. 🏞

All this had surprising results:
– 85th percentile speeds were reduced by between 10% (eastbound) and 18% (westbound).
– Speeding above 50 km/h was reduced by 81% (from 1305 to 251).
– Average crossing time was reduced by 40% to 8 seconds.
– The maximum pedestrian waiting time dropped by 43% to 19 seconds.

Due to the great success of the project, it was scheduled to be made permanent in 2020.

Photos by: @aklcouncil

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