WellUrban

Personal reflections on urbanism, urban life and sustainable urban design in Wellington, New Zealand.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Greening Ghuznee

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Tree pits in Ghuznee StThe pavements are still being dug up all along Ghuznee St, four months after the bypass was completed and a couple of months after the "remaining work" was supposed to be done. Some of it is finally starting to look like the pretty renders suggested, though it's hard to tell whether that will make up for the bits where the pavements have been sacrificed for more parking. On the plus side, the trees that were hinted at by those drawings seem to be on their way, as these recently-added tree pits suggest.

That should help the place feel more pleasant, and there seems to be at least one new café on the way to help out. It's also good to see that pedestrians can finally cross on both sides at the intersections with Cuba and Taranaki Streets, so perhaps the loathsome red poles and chains can be abolished now that they're no longer required to put pedestrians in their place. And with any luck, Budget Rentals will have to stop blocking the public footpath with their big ugly SUVs once the trees arrive.

Ghuznee St pavement blocked by rental SUV

11 Comments:

At 5:51 PM, July 23, 2007, Anonymous maximus said...

Yes, it is fantastic that WCC have finally got around to doing the corners on Cuba/Ghuznee, although they do appear to be aiming for a new record in slowness of response. The bypass opened in March? And its nearly August? and they STILL haven't finished the main pedestrian crossing point ?

Seems to me that WCC roading department needs a sharp wakeup call. Cars are NOT the most important thing in Wellington. People are. Its quite simple - people need ot come first. So that means things like Pedestrian crossings should not come last. And why, oh why does anyone in a car ever need to turn left at the Cuba St lights? They never have before. They don't need to now. They can go one block down and turn left on Marion.

Cuba St needs better Pedestrian Priority and it needs it now! Come on WCC, it only needs a little brain to figure that one out.....

 
At 6:53 PM, July 23, 2007, Anonymous erentz said...

Is anyone else a little bit surprised by the amount of traffic still using Ghuznee St? It still seems quite a lot. A lot more than I was expecting anyway (and a little dissapointing).

 
At 8:31 PM, July 23, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That left turn at the Cuba/Ghuznee St intersection has the potential to be downright hazardous to pedestrians. One day I witnessed a driver hoon straight threw a crop of pedestrians who were crossing on a green man - it was not an accident, it was obvious he was extremely impatient and rude to go with it. No-one was hurt, but that can be credited to luck alone.

 
At 10:47 PM, July 23, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the left turn at willis and ghuznee is worse. I'd like to know who the brain dead moron is who developed that light pattern. If you're traveling southbound on willis, you have two choices at ghuznee, either left or right.
Most traffic is turning left, however has to wait for a left green arrow, which just happens to coincide with the walk signal for the pedestrians crossing the path that the cars have been waiting for.
It really leads me to believe that the wellington traffic engineers have neither walked nor driven on any of the streets that they are supposedly designing.

 
At 9:27 AM, July 24, 2007, Blogger Evad Rehtona said...

Cuba Mall should be extended through to Vivian Street now the bypass is opened. I honestly thought this was the intention, having been sure I read it somewhere in the distant past.

As a pedestrian in the area, I find crossing Ghuznee St much more dangerous than pre-bypass because now the traffic is going faster and it is hurtling at you from both directions now.

 
At 11:57 AM, July 24, 2007, Blogger Seamonkey Madness said...

Talking of pedestrian initiatives, the bright sparks at Council have decided that painting "WAIT LOOK AND LIVE" (or something to that effect) at Boulcoutt/Willis and Victoria/Manners (and perhaps others??) will help stop people getting run over. Wouldn't have stopped the kindly blind gentleman and his seeing-eye dog I saw get nearly bowled over by a truck running a red. (unless they put it in braille as well, or teach seeing-eye dogs to read as well).

What would actually help (moreso @ GP corner) would be a red-light camera and drivers being issued fines. This way we would save lives and raise revenues.

 
At 1:16 PM, July 24, 2007, Blogger Tom said...

Maximus: "Seems to me that WCC roading department needs a sharp wakeup call. Cars are NOT the most important thing in Wellington. People are."

Not when John Morrison is on the council. Especially not in election year.

Erentz: "Is anyone else a little bit surprised by the amount of traffic still using Ghuznee St? It still seems quite a lot."

Disappointed, but perhaps not surprised. It would be interesting to see what the net effect has been on the total amount of traffic in Te Aro. It would seem too early for induced traffic effects to have kicked in, but you never know.

"the left turn at willis and ghuznee is worse. I'd like to know who the brain dead moron is who developed that light pattern."

What irritates me more is the pedestrian crossing at Victoria St: if you don't get to the button in time (and for so much of the last few months the button's been behind barriers) you miss the chance to cross as you have to give way to turning traffic. I agree with Jan Gehl on that aspect of pedestrian crossings: why should pedestrians have to "apply" for the right to cross the road? Why do we need buttons at all?

Evad: "Cuba Mall should be extended through to Vivian Street now the bypass is opened. I honestly thought this was the intention, having been sure I read it somewhere in the distant past."

I don't think I've come across that, at least not from any official source. Personally, I find the level of traffic on that block of Cuba not too bad: it's rare that I have to wait for more than a couple of seconds the cross.

"As a pedestrian in the area, I find crossing Ghuznee St much more dangerous than pre-bypass because now the traffic is going faster and it is hurtling at you from both directions now."

Exactly: gridlock can actually be good for pedestrians :-) And two-way streets are harder to cross than one-way ones.

Seamonkey: "What would actually help (moreso @ GP corner) would be a red-light camera and drivers being issued fines. This way we would save lives and raise revenues."

Hear hear. The number of cars that not just push the amber, but cynically and potentially murderously run the red at what used to be Perrett's corner, is criminal. Having said that, some pedestrians really need to unplug their MP3 players, put away their phones and pay some attention. I'm not sure if the signs will help, but something has to wake people up.

 
At 5:12 PM, July 24, 2007, Blogger Evad Rehtona said...

Personally, I find the level of traffic on that block of Cuba not too bad

What I'm getting at, is that extending the mall would improve the ambience of the area considerably, by giving it more of the feel of the existing mall.

Traffic doesn't need to be in that narrow street. Not IMO anyway.

 
At 10:08 AM, July 25, 2007, Anonymous Jimmy said...

One thing i've noticed - that must be incredibly frustrating for left turning motorists, straight ahead motorists and pedestrians alike - is the number of cars that seem to miss the lanes on the left hand side of Victoria St between Dixon & Ghuznee, and Ghuznee & Vivian.

At Vivian its particularly bad, as the left turn people have to wait for pedestrians (and sometimes don't) and the straight ahead traffic has to wait as well.

I've seen people just about die going across Ghuznee from Cuba too.

 
At 2:30 AM, July 26, 2007, Anonymous Kevyn Miller said...

Tom, I hope Christchurch City Council is monitoring the consequences of changing Ghuznee St to two-way. The council seems to be hell bent on getting rid of the one way system in Christchurch. These are just about the only roads in Christchurch where you can drive at the speed limit for more than a few hunderd metres before getting an amber light. And I agree with your comment that it is safer and easier to walk across a one way road. And since traffic moving at a steady speed is quieter, especially boy racer cars, it seems drivers, pedestrians and residents all benefit from one-way roads. In fact motorists and retailers seem to have the only complaint, that you have to know which block a shop is on if you don't want to have to drive all the way around the block in order to be able to park right outside.
Not exactly a case of putting cars first.

 
At 8:11 AM, July 27, 2007, Anonymous maximus said...

...someone from Council reading these and taking note? The people want action ! Some measures that could be done to improve pedestrians lives:

Give the pedestrians their own crossing signal

Make it no left turn into Ghuznee from Cuba

Raise the level of the intersection so it is more obviously a pedestrian area

Stop traffic exiting out here anyway, so that Ghuznee is 2 lengths of street, with no cars crossing over Cuba

Take those bloody stupid red bollards and chains away completely

Just do it now. Stop pissing us off.

 

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