Visiting road safety engineer Paul Hambleton has some
suggestions for making Dunedin's streets safer for cyclists
and pedestrians. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
Cyclists and pedestrians are still at risk on Dunedin
roads and footpaths, but proposals to improve safety are
encouraging, an international road safety engineer says.
Paul Hambleton, who grew up in Dunedin, has been visiting
family and friends in the city while on holiday from his home
He had looked at the draft transport strategy for Dunedin and
said some proposed changes were in line with road safety
''The way they [engineers] are going about it is quite good.
They're on the right track.''
Proposed changes included having a cycle lane on the right
side of Dunedin's one-way system, as opposed to the left.
Mr Hambleton said it would also be better for traffic and
cycle lanes to be separated by parking where possible.
He suggested the left side footpath along Dunedin's one-way
system could be a full pedestrian path, and the right side
could be made into a cycle lane with some pedestrian access.
In general the city, like most in New Zealand, catered to
motor vehicles and therefore inherently posed risks to
pedestrians and cyclists, he said.
''It's a poor mix to have bicycles in the same place that
vehicles are travelling more than 30kmh and it's a very poor
mix to have bicycles on the left side of a fast-moving lane
because the left side is the side where trucks and cars have
the most blind spots.''
Mr Hambleton said there was a ''lot more'' which could be
done to optimise Dunedin's roads and make it a smart city.
''For instance, having a one-way system go straight through
the university at 50kmh with logging trucks is one area with
room for improvement.
"You could reduce traffic speeds there by changing the
phasing of the lights so platoons of vehicles went through at
30kmh without being stopped.''
Mr Hambleton said New Zealand was a signatory to the United
Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-20, which aimed
to halve the number of pedestrians killed on roads worldwide.
But improvements within New Zealand were not being made fast
enough, he said.
''Pedestrian safety is very poor in New Zealand, particularly
in cities, and the reason for that is New Zealand hasn't
adopted the concept of calm zones.
"Retailers are afraid they'll lose business by having
pedestrian malls, but the inner city is actually a pedestrian