Signs for walkers needed
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.
Clear signs: Walk Auckland president Andy Smith.