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Wairere Dr pedestrian guard rail hiding people

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Pedestrian guard railings (PGRs) can be the right solution, at the right place and in the right amount with the right design. But if poorly sited or over-installed they can obscure children who may suddenly or unexpectedly enter the carriageway on a green light.

The presence of guard railing is likely to affect the visibility of pedestrians, particularly children, to vehicle drivers at a crossing point. It is recommended that, where a guardrail is to be used, high visibility designs should be installed, to ensure improved mutual visibility between pedestrians and drivers.

This photo, taken from the viewpoint of a driver on Wairere Drive, shows a no stopping sign, low visibility road markings for the pedestrian crossing, and railing influencing driver/driver and driver/road visibility, which increases tunnel vision and the “race track” feel of the road. This perception can result in a feeling of safety and higher speeds by drivers, particularly with two sets of green traffic lights in line with each other, and little sign of person wearing blue shirt waiting to cross the carriageway.

The Wairere Dr guard railing risks Hamilton’s pedestrians learning the very hard way that drivers can’t see you, the presence of guard railing affects the visibility, particularly of children. Care should have been taken in the design of pedestrian guardrailing to avoid obstructing inter-visibility between drivers and pedestrians of all ages and heights. They should not obscure visibility between road users

The above Clarkin Rd guard rail is older than Wairere railing, yet Clarkin Rd example meets the AT design guide: 12 Footpaths & Pedestrian Facilities – Auckland Transport

12.14 Pedestrian Railings – A railing is a fence-like barrier composed of one or more horizontal rails supported by widely spaced (vertical) uprights

The Clarkin Rd crossing also has continuous on-road cycle lane, this adds a 30% safety improvement for pedestrians, due to the buffer space provided (p50) between stepping away from waiting area and stepping into motor vehicle land.

Category: News, Safety

Zoning and forgiving roads in Raalte NL

In the centre of Raalte, a town of about 20,000 people, is the Booijink pig feed factory. In Hamilton the district plan (ODP) states under 2.2.4 Central City, Business and Industry.

(i) The Central City is the primary business centre, serving the City and wider region, and is the preferred location for commercial, civic and social activities

In Raalte the town’s most central activity is an industry making pig food. Next to this factory is a shopping centre and a good number of supermarkets.

All the heavy traffic going to/from the factory and supermarkets travels through the centre of Raalte.


In Hamilton the ODP states at 9.1 that the purpose of land being zoned industrial includes

b) … reducing the potential for non-industrial activities establishing in industrial locations

The Hamilton ODP also states 9.3 Rules – Activity Status 

9.3 Rules – Activity Status – New supermarkets, is a Non Complying activity in an industrial zone

In Raatle, supermarkets and non-industrial land use are all around this factory; this is not normal but it was regarded as manageable before zoning was over-used by town planers. There was a time in Hamilton when “*Barton and Ross operated a large joinery shop in connection with their furniture business ; Mullen and Noys a foundry”; and other industries were in the city centre. A second thing to note is that even though heavy traffic is travelling through the centre of Raatle, the road width is narrow, the kerbs are near flush and where there are bollards they are used to a minimum. The two photos below were taken across the road from the factory.


Moving further to the east, we have the Intersection of Burgemeester Kerssemakersstraa and Kerkstraat. Everything about this/these intersection/s is ‘forgiving’ and one can see the Dutch ‘Sustainable safety’ design elements demonstrating that ‘obstacle-free zones are the most important in this respect’.

On the busy Intersection through Raalte, kerbs, separators and an informal round-about exist; they are placed to maintain wide, separated cycle lanes with the car route scaled to allow for two-directional light vehicular traffic, and because the heights of the obstacles (kerbs, separators and islands) are kept to a minimum, heavy vehicles can still travel through. But here the speed of the heavy vehicles is equal to or lower than that of weaker road users. This means everyone has time to stop and be forgiving when mistakes happen, which they do.End

*1970 November – The Southern Sector of Hamilton’s Central Business Area – Town Planning Office – REF-S-711-552-209-931-151-HAM

Page 3, The two major non-conforming uses are ‘heavy’ industries

Category: News