Invercargill leads the way.

Monday, August 30th, 2010

Quite alot happens at the edges of our roads. Cars park there, cyclists ride there, buses stop there, broken glass accumulates, and children jump out into the traffic from there.  But it doesn’t have to be this way.  It’s more than possible that many of these functions might be able to be moved to another part of the road – how about the centre?

This is where the comparable great cities of the world – such as Invercargill and Melbourne lead the way.

Invercargill with centre road car-parking on The Crescent and Clyde Street

The wide boulevards of New Zealand’s most southern city enable the centre of some roads to accommodate parallel parking.  Heaven for cyclists who fear for their lives when they pass roadside equivalents in Wellington.

Melbourne with tram stops along the centre of the road (cnr Elizabeth and Lonsdale Sts).

In Melbourne trams stop in the centre of roads (mind you they also have right-of-way).  It works there, so why not here?  Why can’t we re-design our roads so bus stops line the middle of streets.

It’s clear to me, as a commuter cyclist, that the morning weavings between bike and bus, alternating every bus stop, is just asking for trouble.  So how about?  Let’s take a bit of pressure of the busy roadside …




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Posted under: Comment, Exhibition, News, RANTING, urban design | 4 Comments »

4 Responses to “Invercargill leads the way.”

  1. Spencer Says:

    I feel that pedestrians might take more risks than other road users and encouraging them to be in the middle of it might be asking for trouble.
    How about having the cycle lanes in the middle of the road? There would need to be some sort of median barrier or kerb, car versus bike is never fun. Priority lights at intersections would allow you to ‘get off’ the centre lanes and take your chances with the traffic. Cycle lanes at the edges of roads will tend to be used and shared by pedestrians and cycling in the gutter really annoys me.

  2. John B Says:

    I’m never sure quite why it is that NZ gets cyclist so very wrong. It shouldn’t be that hard! And, as they say, now it’s not that hard.

    Invercargill just follows the rules laid down from bullock tracks from 100 years ago. What we need to do is follow the Dutch from the last 300 years… pedestrians mixing with dogs, next to cyclist mixing with other cyclists, and then a bloody great line of trees and grass and bollards and things and only then do we have a row of cars, whether parked or moving….

    Its also quite common through out Europe for Trams / Light Rail etc to run down the middle of the traffic corridor. Never ever mix bikes with trucks or buses, and hardly ever with cars. Who ever came up with the theory that the smallest and the biggest of the road users should ever share a lane? Certainly not a cyclist, that’s for sure!

  3. m-d Says:

    For all the smugness that we Wellingtonians like to hold over Aucklanders, it seems they will beat us to Trams/LR – even if their’s is only the very beginnings of a wider network: http://eyeonauckland.blogspot.com/2010/08/infrastructure-trams-set-to-make.html

    It’s all happening up there… (they continue building motorways too of course, just like us)…

  4. Guy Says:

    Thanks m-d – I hadn’t noticed that one hit the news.
    It’s interesting – the quoted “$6.3 million to $7.4 million from Auckland Regional Holdings to develop a 1.5km tram circuit.” works out at only $4.9mill per km, which is a very reasonable sum. Taking that as a possible model for Wellington, and a minimum of about 10km to get to the Airport from the train station, that gives us a total of only $50mill (not including tunnels). Seeing as the Council were talking of $140mill a couple of years ago, that sounds like it could be a bargain !!

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