Dunedin City Council senior traffic engineer Ron Minnema
(left) hopes new signs and pedestrian-detecting radar units
will help keep order at the Thomas Burns St crossing. Photo
by Linda Robertson.
Trigger-happy Dunedin pedestrians that even
radar-controlled crossings cannot keep track of now face a
lower-tech adversary - council warning signs.
The Dunedin City Council has installed new signs urging
people to behave themselves at the Thomas Burns St pedestrian
crossing just over the tracks from the Dunedin Railway
The move came after the council spent about $10,000
installing pedestrian-detecting radar units at the crossing
earlier this year.
The radar units - the first of their kind in the city - were
designed to detect the departure of pedestrians who pressed
the crossing button to activate a red light, to stop traffic,
only to dash across the road early.
The radar would cancel the crossing signal if it detected
someone crossing the road after pressing the button but
before the crossing signal activated, council senior traffic
engineer Ron Minnema said.
The aim was to avoid unnecessary disruption for motorists,
but the change had created a new and unexpected complication,
''Not everyone is standing on the spot where the radar is
pointing at, you see,'' he said.
That meant pedestrians were left bashing the button without a
response, because the radar units were failing to detect
their presence, assuming they had departed early, and
cancelling the crossing signal, he said.
For that reason, the council had added new signs directing
pedestrians to stand in the tiled areas at the edges of the
crossing, and Mr Minnema urged pedestrians to use them.