Two more Barnes Dance crossings for Dunedin

Kerb work under way at the Cumberland St/Albany St intersection. Photo: NZTA
Kerb work under way at the Cumberland St/Albany St intersection. Photo: NZTA
Dunedin is about to get two more “Barnes Dance” pedestrian crossings as the city's one-way system cycleway nears completion.

The NZ Transport Agency said its Fulton Hogan team had recently started the kerb work needed for a Barnes Dance at the Cumberland St/Albany St intersection. 

NZTA Senior Project Manager Simon Underwood said a second Barnes Dance being installed "in coming days" at the Great King St/Albany St intersection signalled the completion of the State Highway 1 cycleway.

"All the work on both intersections should be completed in about three weeks,” Mr Underwood said.

Barnes Dance crossings allow pedestrians to cross the road in all directions at once, including diagonally across intersections. A flashing counter allows people to see how many seconds they have left to cross so they can avoid taking chances and keep safe.

The change to Barnes Dance intersections was driven by a desire to increase the safety of pedestrians and cyclists, Mr Underwood said.

The nearby 'Captain Cook' intersection, also to become a Barnes Dance crossing. Photo: NZTA
The nearby 'Captain Cook' intersection, also to become a Barnes Dance crossing. Photo: NZTA
At the Great King St/Albany St intersection, a display image of a bicycle would show cyclists emerging from Great King St (the Captain Cook corner) that they could also use the Barnes Dance to cross diagonally to the northbound cycle lane to continue along Great King St, he said.

“At Cumberland St/Albany St, the change will provide better access for cyclists travelling south on the cycleway, as the south-bound lane switches from the left-hand side of the highway to the right. Currently, cyclists heading south have to cross at the pedestrian signals between the Link building and the Museum Reserve,” Mr Underwood said.

“We encourage everyone to be considerate at these crossing points and for cyclists to slow down, bearing in mind that pedestrians have the right of way at all pedestrian crossing points.

"Cyclists will still need to take care when crossing diagonally and we encourage everyone to be courteous and make the most of the new cycle lanes and safer crossing points.”

The Dunedin City Council has installed eight Barnes Dance crossings in the past 18 months.



There is no basis for claiming these crossings increase safety. Pedestrian accident rates at intersections are so low they are effectively in the margin of error (in lay terms). Therefore you need to measure non compliance with signals as a safety indicator. Barnes dances increase pedestrian risk seeking behaviour because they get sick of waiting. If anything Barnes dance crossing can be less safe, and case studies (e.g. Calgary in Canada) scientifically proved this to be the case. Why do our city planners persist in making bogus claims about our infrastructure? It is very bizarre. It is either deliberate engineering of consent with some other goal in mind, or repeated inability to research and understand basic science and statistics. This particular intersection is wide with heavy traffic flows, exactly the type of intersection where Barnes crossings should not be used. See

Buckle up for safety.


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