Claim 'rocky river' crossing unsafe

David Cockerill walks across the 3-D ’’river crossing’’ in North Dunedin yesterday. Photo: Peter...
David Cockerill walks across the 3-D ’’river crossing’’ in North Dunedin yesterday. Photo: Peter McIntosh.
Fears have been raised  that motorists might fail  to recognise a 3-D crossing in North Dunedin, putting  pedestrians at risk. 

The Dunedin City Council had two three-dimensional crossings painted on Clyde St this month.

The paintings create an optical illusion, appearing 3-D to motorists while being flat to pedestrians.The crossing at the intersection of Clyde St and Union St East appears as feet walking under zebra stripes, while the crossing north of the Leith River looks like  rocks in a river.

Dave Cockerill, of Dunedin, said he was happy with the crossing with the feet, as it looked similar to a traditional pedestrian crossing, with appropriate warning signs either side, and motorists were stopping to allow pedestrians to cross.

However, the absence of traditional lines and warning signs at the river crossing confused motorists and many were failing to stop for pedestrians.

"I wonder about the liability if somebody got hit."

The 3-D paintings were "beautiful work" but street art was better  suited to walls rather than roads, especially if it put the safety of pedestrians at risk.

NZ Transport Agency senior safety engineer Roy Johnston said the 3-D crossing with the feet met the requirements of the rules for zebra crossings in New Zealand.

"The rules set out the dimensions of the white lines and accompanying signs and road markings. They do not specify the background colours or textures."

The crossing with the image of rocks and water was designed to slow people down and met the agency’s requirements for courtesy crossings.

As the area was busy with students and users of Logan Park, Forsyth Barr Stadium and University Oval "it was good to see some proactive and creative ways of alerting drivers to the presence of people crossing the road and a way of alerting students to the safer places to cross the road".

A police spokeswoman said police were consulted about the new crossings.

Motorists must take care and drive defensively when they saw any pedestrian on a road or at any crossing.

"Any crashes involving a car and pedestrian are investigated, looking at all the facts no matter if it has occurred on a traditional pedestrian crossing or not."

Council transport acting group manager Richard Saunders said the crossings were part of safety improvements in Clyde St.

"The 3-D crossings are a great way of addressing safety concerns while adding some fun and interest at the same time."

Similar 3-D crossings had been used successfully overseas, he said.

The final cost was expected to be about $140,000 for speed humps and 3-D crossings in  Clyde St and safety work in Mercer St, he said.

shawn.mcavinue@odt.co.nz

Comments

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Nobody has denied they look good but sorry I don't believe all of this story 'A police spokeswoman said police were consulted about the new crossings.' why was the police spokeswoman not named like the other authorities in the story? where they really consulted prior? The DCC keeps on quoting 'safety improvements' how does this improve safety over a traditional crossing that all drivers in NZ know? The DCC has failed to explain ever. I believe the DCC are trying to justify the cost because not everybody is happy with the cost of $140000 which is a lot for a crossing that will be dug up at some time, if it was on a building it might be justifiable. The money could have gone to better uses around the city.

$140,000 of ratepayers money wasted.

We are so urbanised that no one remembers, or has ever seen, highway Fords, or water courses, where motorists 'give her the gun' to get through, 'her' being the car, 'gun' being accelerator, das boot.

We can only hope unreconstructed Rip van Winkle doesn't come in from the back country, and incidentally, lose his dipstick rag about cyclists.

Is there a committee in DCC whose task it is to waste a bucket of money each week? Its only $140k, just the rates of 70 or so households. A pittance if its not your money.

When someone gets run over on the blue splatters, DCC are liable to find themselves in court. Where in the road code does it say any pattern on the road without any signage suddenly becomes a safe place for pedestrians to cross with the onus on drivers to stop? Don't look, most of us know what the laws specify a pedestrian crossing to be. Just not DCC staff.

Just another example of the DCC wasting ratepayer money. The bloke on the video says it, possibly nice street art, but not a road safety measure. In fact it is the opposite of a road safety measure, it is only a matter of time before someone gets injured.

This was the dumbest decision ever. The artwork on this road have turned it into a dangerous area - for pedestrians and drivers. We drive this way every morning. When the speed humps were put in they didn't even have Speed Hump warning signs and at 6:30am we couldn't even tell that area of road was raised and my husband had to slam on the brakes (the road cones all looked to be at the same height). The 1st crossing has so many extra markings that it just looked like art-work on the road (it's only when you glance at it several times you notice white stripes) so I didn't even realise it was a crossing until someone told me (I didn't notice the poles at the sides because I was too busy looking down at the artwork). The second 'crossing' is in a stupid place (just metres away from the first crossing) and it doesn't even resemble a crossing so I have never given-way to people walking near it. I have always assumed it was just really cool artwork to celebrate O-Week.

I saw the one on the corner of Union and Clyde streets and thought someone had spilled a truckload of paint, and unfortunately the white stripes were rather obscured as a result. This is an odd choice by the DCC. Pedestrian crossings need to be obvious... these ones aren't. Those of us who live here will quickly learn where these are, but visitors will be confused and pedestrians put at risk. Also, can the DCC assure those of us who cycle as well as drive that the paint won't turn into a death trap when it's wet?

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