Rode the new’ish New Lynn to Avondale Pathway today and saw how an inadequate road crossing is going to injure/kill people. It was this “crossing” (red on map) at St Jude Street, close to a road intersection and near to the rail crossing. St Jude Street is the connector between Great North Rd and New North Road with additional traffic from Blockhouse Bay Rd. All of these are major urban corridors and can be very busy. If not the nature of the road leads to reasonable speeds as people ‘race the railway crossing’.
The crossing was slightly changed, for the new path, from this dated map image with a fence to redirect people to the new, slightly longer but no wider, central reservation about the same location the small old one in the map occupies. Other than that, there are no markings, no speed table, or any signage to indicate pedestrian or traffic priority.
Today I was riding from the city, heading west, and as I approached the crossing (path on right of photo below) a Mum with two toddlers in hand was waiting to cross (to the path in foreground left).
A car coming up the hill, from the railway crossing, slowed and being polite, but acting illegally, beckoned her to cross. After hesitating she did, then had to scuttle across the second lane ahead of another car barrelling down the hill at full (50km/h at least) speed. It showed no sign of slowing, why should they it is NOT a crossing, meanwhile the other car was beeped by a car which had arrived behind wondering why they had slowed.
On a bike this central reservation is too narrow to use. For drivers and pedestrians this crossing is a confusing unregulated mess on one of West Auckland’s busier corridor connections. On a straight flat road, it would be inadequate. Being by an intersection, just 50m from a railway level crossing and where both angle and gradient (plus sunstrike in the morning/evening) combine to hinder visibility on approach it is criminal.
Sadly, it’s not the only poorly designed crossing on this path as uncontrolled crossings on Chalmers St and Ward St (New Lynn) are also borderline lethal, accidents waiting to happen. It’s just the worst and whoever signed this off should be appearing in court when the inevitable happens.