Hamilton’s walking rankings 2001-2018

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Hamilton’s ranking for the numbers of people walking to work and education is improving compared to other cities in New Zealand. It is a credit to the council staff’s years of use of minor works projects, producing many small steps that over time have created positive change. You can see a map of the improvements in this post: ‘Hamilton: 10 years of removing barriers’

The adding of the question on travel to education in the 2018 census helped Hamilton’s ranking: at 22.3% this is pretty good, but if we look back to the 1980s, 43.9% walked and 32.7% biked to school. You can see the survey results on the post ‘Hamilton bike plan 1988’. The 1980s figure of 43% walking to education shows the potential for reducing the number of cars during school pick-up and drop-off times to benefit other road users in Hamilton. When it comes to walking to work, Hamilton is only average, because there are a few major roads that traffic engineers use to suppress walking, including Boundary Rd, Ulster St, Te Rapa Rd, Lorne St …

Lorne Street mid block pedestrian desire lines: one of the busiest crossings in Hamilton

The way Hamilton has used modern zoning, which over-separates land-uses also reduces walkability. What stands out as the worst example of this is Porirua, which is at bottom of the rankings for both biking and walking to work. Porirua was planned using modern town planning rules and it shows the outcome of exclusive zoning.

2 new pedestrian crossings in this minor works project; we need to keep doing this

The good news is that pedestrian crossings are coming back. Giving pedestrians priority is the quickest way to increase the percentage of people using this most efficient form of transport. However, we could do more; it isn’t hard. In Christchurch, as in many cities in the world, the pedestrian crossing lights default to green in line with green lights for motor vehicle traffic, meaning the pedestrian does not need to press the beg button at every light-controlled crossing. However, it is safer road crossings on school routes and near suburban centres that will increase the total number of people walking and reduce the number of car journeys. Let’s have more safe crossings!

Category: News

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