Signs for walk­ers needed

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By KA­RINA ABADIA

ANDY Smith is a be­liever that road aren’t just for driv­ers.

That’s why the Walk Auck­land pres­i­dent is pleased that walk­ways be­tween streets are com­ing un­der the spot­light.

Auck­land Trans­port is con­duct­ing a wayfind­ing project which in­cludes Wyn­yard Quar­ter and the Grafton Gully Cy­cle­way.

An up­date on the trial re­leased by Auck­land Trans­port ac­knowl­edges that di­rec­tional and place sig­nage is in­con­sis­tent across the city.

‘‘Work is un­der way to iden­tify a re­gion­wide wayfind­ing sys­tem that bet­ter serves the needs of all cus­tomers,’’ it says.

‘‘By im­prov­ing the con­sis­tency of de­sign, it will be eas­ier for lo­cals and vis­i­tors firm signs to ex­plore the city.’’ Smith couldn’t agree more. The Free­mans Bay res­i­dent has been ad­vo­cat­ing for bet­ter sig­nage for pedes­trian con­nec­tions for the past 10 years.

‘‘It’s not about roads for cars or trucks, it’s about roads and paths for peo­ple.

‘‘It’s im­por­tant we know where we’re go­ing and about the hid­den con­nec­tions and short­cuts,’’ Smith says.

A no exit sign doesn’t al­ways tell the full story, he says.

‘‘Signs for cul-de-sacs have no exit writ­ten on them, mean­ing no exit for cars.

‘‘But of course they of­ten have a path at the end which you can con­tinue walk­ing or cy­cling through.

‘‘We should have sig­nage in­di­cat­ing where a walk­way is, how long it will take and if there are stairs.’’

It’s all been done be­fore, he says.

‘‘Why do we have to rein­vent it? Just go to Trans­port for Lon­don. Also, why isn’t it a New Zealand-wide ini­tia­tive?’’

Waitem­ata Lo­cal Board deputy chair­woman Pippa Coom has been ad­vo­cat­ing for bet­ter pedes­trian and cy­cle­way sig­nage since Smith brought it to her at­ten­tion two years ago.

‘‘There are places that I’ve dis­cov­ered and then thought: ‘Oh I never knew what was down there’, be­cause there’s noth­ing to tell you there’s some­where to walk.’’

The Do­min­ion Rd

Safe Cy­cle­way is an­other part of Auck­land’s Wayfind­ing Project. It’s good to see street signs along that route now in­clude a bike sym­bol, but the no exit mark­ers need to be up­dated, Coom says.

Cy­cle Ac­tion Auck­land chair­woman Bar­bara Cuth­bert says it’s a case of mak­ing the best use of public land.

‘‘It’s im­por­tant be­cause each lo­cal com­mu­nity has lit­tle walk­ways which are not im­me­di­ately ap­par­ent.

‘‘Peo­ple are very cau­tious about us­ing a piece of ground that they are not sure is ac­tu­ally public land.

‘‘By putting a sim­ple sign up, it’s im­me­di­ately giv­ing a li­cence to use the path.’’

Auck­land Trans­port will be seek­ing feed­back from in­ter­est groups and will be us­ing fo­cus groups to pro­vide feed­back, spokesman Mark Han­nan says.

Com­mon sense: Waitem­ata Lo­cal Board deputy Pippa Coom wants bet­ter sig­nage.

Photo: KA­RINA ABADIA

Clear signs: Walk Auck­land pres­i­dent Andy Smith.

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