STUPIDLY EXPENSIVE crossings, legal status? —Not universally recognised road markings

zebra-crossing-by-marian-kamensky-caglecartoons-com-1The urban design team(?!) lost it before they ever got it.

At Facebook, Alan Wilson says: “My concern is the cost. $140,000 for two crossings. Too many other things need money spent on upgrading”

Tony McAuliffe says: “….The Zebra crossing works, in part, ’cause they’re universally recognised for what they are. But 3-D pedestrian crossings? While they look fantastic, how will they perform functionally? If they don’t – and (hypothetically) a pedestrian gets clobbered because a driver fails to perceive them for what they’re meant to be – who’s prepared to answer the awkward questions?”

Too right. Bullshit City: Walk this way: 3-D crossings set to dazzle (ODT)
“Crossing the road in Dunedin’s tertiary precinct will be much more fun from this week, with the installation of two 3-D pedestrian crossings in Clyde St.”

Nothing grey pavement paint can’t remove on a dark night.

The frigging murals like a hippy rash about town are bad enough. A couple of internationally-authored ones are ‘art’, but the rest count as amateur copyist dross (mostly by technically challenged locals) wrecking our unique urban vistas.

****

mural-applied-to-raw-red-brick-alley-next-to-104-bond-st-guy-mauve-at-flickr-comThanks to irresponsible building owners and ‘know-it-all-bend-the-rules’ city officials (friends of the irresponsible owners), this mural was applied to raw red brick in the side alley at 98 Bond St —contrary to the Dunedin City District Plan for listed precincts. This industrial building, a rare remnant, dates to the 1860s.
SHAME ON ALL INVOLVED.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

*Images: caglecartoons.com – Zebra Crossing by Marian Kamensky | flickr.com – mural at 98 Bond St by Guy Mauve

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17 responses to “STUPIDLY EXPENSIVE crossings, legal status? —Not universally recognised road markings

  1. Elizabeth

    At Facebook:

  2. In general I like the street art that now adorns many Dunedin buildings. It has given my home town a lift and an attitude it hasn’t had for many years. The street art does point to beyond the narrow provincialism so often evident in Dunedin. On my last visit back, I made a special effort to visit as many of these street art works as I could. I liked them all.

    That being said, I did wonder about the 3D pedestrian crossing and whether it would lead to increased risk when crossing. Maybe, maybe not. Perhaps we should see.

    I hadn’t realised that there were restrictions against painting on raw red brick and think you have a definite point.

    Nonetheless I prefer a city trying new things and experimenting with public art. Dunedin has a rich history and so much to be proud of. I’d like to think the new wave of street art adds to that tradition, rather than detracting from it – missteps notwithstanding.

  3. Hype O'Thermia

    We already have uncertainty around the tiled “crossings” that aren’t crossings in the CBD. They are, apparently, suggestions that drivers might perhaps like to give way to people crossing the street but they don’t have to. Some pedestrians, from their behaviour, appear to think the bands of tiles ARE pedestrian crossings therefore there is no need to look, nor to take the earplugs out. Do we really need more “is it or isn’t it” crossings? Least of all in the student area where there are so few young people who were taught how to cross a road, before their adoring families sent them to Otago University for higher education.
    And as for the cost of this road decor – there seem to be a few people in the DCC and Council who haven’t heard the city is in the carmine to scarlet pulsating red-for-$danger, so all cute ideas need to be stashed in a banana box under the bed for the foreseeable future.

  4. photonz

    How about the insanely stupid (to the point of being criminally negligent) council act of putting slippery smooth green paint right in front of the pedestrian crossings at Cargills Corner.

    It’s so slippery in the wet, that cars spin up on it just trying to take off.

    As the slippery area is right in front of the pedestrian crossing, you’d have to ask if they are deliberately trying to kill people.

    • Elizabeth

      Thanks photonz, will check these out and do followup with DCC.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      It’s the Dunedin Way, photonz. It’s our Culture.
      Why put cycle lanes along state highway? Why(2) when it involves narrowing vehicle lanes till a skilled truck driver can j-u-s-t fit their vehicle within the lines?
      Why build traffic islands so emergency vehicles can’t get past?
      It must be the 10,000 jobs plan – don’t do it once, right. Do it wrong, then more people get involved in the project, designing, doing, un-doing, re-designing, re-doing … and there’s always a chance of ambos and other emergency services getting some work out of it too.
      There are many bizarre things done in the name of “culture”. Let’s not even think about what’s claimed to be “student culture”!

  5. Pb

    The big paintings are nice, but normally public largesse follows wealth creation. Got cause and effect backwards Dunedin! When a big employer leaves we should dress the buildings in the black of mourning. Behave like we mean it.

    DCC mantra should be: How many sustainable long term jobs did I help generate today. If answer=none then keep deleting red tape till you do.

    Not fluff projects. All this stuff is fluff. Too many overheads. A visit to the tip in Queenstown $4. A visit to the tip in Dunedin $19. Overheads are killing us.

  6. Max

    I see in the paper today the DCC is trying to decide whether to spend 200k of a building maintenance fund on ‘environmental’ and ‘food resilience’ projects, as opposed to, well, building maintenance which will naturally be ‘deferred’.

    The details of the ‘food resilience’ project remain elusive but according to an Otago Daily Times article from January 28 2014 it seems to involves the following:

    The work would include co-ordinating a cross-council group to ensure ”more joined-up thinking” and decision-making around existing food-related council work, working with city ”stakeholders for food”, and developing options and mechanisms to address the challenges, risks and opportunities around food…..

    Ok, ok, enough. It’s like something Stalin might of broadcast to political prisoners as they waited to be shot. Suffice to say nothing seems to have come of it in the last 3 years except to cost more for, well, what exactly?

    Now, keeping food resilience in mind, I am a regular library user who is aware that the main staff lift breaks down on more than a weekly basis and has done so for many months. I am also aware that it is the view of at least one repair person that the lift is stuffed and needs to be replaced. I am aware of these things because I talk with people when I visit and most of these people keep saying the same thing. I am also aware that the lift occasionally traps people inside, including an incident within the last few weeks where a person was either having or about to have an asthma attack while trapped in the lift, reportedly without their inhaler. Needless to say, if you were a normal person you would probably think that something needed to be done. But no. no. Nanny DCC knows best. Under their watchful eye apparently nothing needs to be done except siphoning off the cash as discreetly as possibly and quickly spending it on some stupid little gig that produces absolutely nothing. Oh, and deferring building maintenance.

    https://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/council-decide-maintenance-fund-use

    • Elizabeth

      I just assumed the money siphoned today was to employ ex-councillor Jinty MacTavish within the environment strategy or the food resilience strategy – all of which are absolute shite and which she championed.

      But perhaps she’s earning too much per day as a councillor commissioner on the 2GP hearings panel.

      Nevertheless her name keeps cropping up for a DCC position by salary or contract. Mind you, other rumours are she wants to make babies as is her womanly right.

      I will pop in a LGOIMA request about the Library lift asap.

      Where does it end.
      DCC has no grip on Health and Safety whatsoever.

      I hope DCC has not tried to pay off the person who had his eye damaged by the (amateur? or less than H&S minded…) fireworks company used at New Year’s. Must print their name and details that I received via LGOIMA some time ago.

  7. Elizabeth

    Bravo David Cockerill – oh, but look at all the stupid responses got from the idiot authorities.

    [3D crossings just add to the dumb and blind DCC culture : No H&S for cyclists (see turning directions on the proposed cycleways), no H&S for Delta linesmen (and god forbid Aurora could publish any explicit practical and proven H&S safety guidelines for the general public), no H&S at DCC-led fireworks displays, no H&S at Wall Street or the Dunedin Town Hall complex (no building WoFs), etc etc]

    At Facebook:

    Sat, 25 Feb 2017
    ODT: Claim ‘rocky river’ crossing unsafe
    By Shawn McAvinue
    Fears have been raised that motorists might fail to recognise a 3-D crossing in North Dunedin, putting pedestrians at risk. […] 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. Cont/

    • Hype O'Thermia

      It is clearly not a pedestrian crossing. It lacks all the features that distinguish a pedestrian crossing from other road markings or surfaces. There is no reason for motorists to stop for pedestrians any more than on any other section of road or highway.

  8. Elizabeth

    At Facebook [Video]:

  9. I would risk losing my balance on a crossing painted like this. I don’t have stereoscopic vision, so no depth perception which can adversely affect my balance. It’s not uncommon for people with visual disability to have balance problems. A common one is to step off a kerb and not properly judge how high it is and so jar all your bones. I don’t need added visual hazards So DCC please keep the pictures on walls and off the ground!

  10. Further comment on pedestrian crossings in general. Since I nearly got killed today on a standard one, I feel a bit annoyed with the DCC for being all creative and not getting the basics right. Well, I need to check but I suspect they are not. I was walking along Princes St to the Octagon and crossed High St with the green pedestrian light. I did look to my right first and just as well – because a left turning car, which was supposed to give way to me, came tearing along Princes St and shot around the corner in front of me, with another car following close behind. Neither driver with any awareness that pedestrians might be crossing. I hate this ‘turning traffic give way to pedestrians’ system because, too often, it doesn’t. Barnes Dance is much safer. But, if the present system HAS to be used, maybe it would help not to phase ‘go’ for pedestrians at exactly the same time as ‘go’ for traffic turning in front of them. Maybe let the pedestrians go first. I think a pedestrian was killed here not along ago because the traffic signals gave a green light for the pedestrian and at the same time a green light for the vehicle which turned right into them. And I think the coroner disapproved of the traffic lights set-up.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Some crossings the pedestrian light turns green ahead of the motorists’ light. It’s not long, but it’s long enough for anyone waiting for the lights to change to see a person step out and get several steps – to about half way if a quick walker – before they can drive through or turn.
      It might be worth asking DCC if they can change the settings on the traffic lights you’ve had trouble at. Could be adjustable, or maybe not. No harm in asking.

  11. Yes, Hype, definitely worth trying. I guess I had better follow it up.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Give it a go Diane. I took special notice today, crossings at the Gardens Corner and Dundas-Cumberland both have quite complex settings for pedestrians and turning traffic, not simply All Go / All Stop.
      It’s funny that with this bunch of planet-savers designing “pedestrian friendly” areas – a.k.a. spending on tiles and titivations – and the war on motorists they haven’t done the one really easy brilliant thing that would make the CBD, South Dunedin, the Warehouse Precinct much better for pedestrians while usable but less convenient for motorists (leaving people to make their own choices of where they drive when they don’t really need to get to *those* places) would be to reinstate the Barnes Dance at crossings. The argument was that it slowed traffic. As a motorist who in town has to walk between parking place and retailers, offices etc, I liked the Barnes Dance. Yes the stops may have been longer, marginally, but there were no cars / no pedestrians to worry about and you didn’t have to wait twice for the lights to change if you needed to get to a destination across the street and on the opposite side of the block.

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