New Zealand’s first national Walking Summit inspired pedestrian advocates, disability groups, sustainability experts and politicians to propose workable solutions to get New Zealanders walking. An outcome of the Summit was this four point plan to significantly improve the position of pedestrians and walking in New Zealand.
My name is Murray Darroch and since the beginning of the 21st century I have been living in Tawa, Wellington. During the period 1973-1989 I lived in Hataitai at 14 Hepara Street.
Wellington’s major transport initiative -
Progress report from the Let’s Get Wellington Moving project
Another step forward for the major Wellington transport project shows some interesting results for pedestrians but will it follow through?
New Zealand’s road toll is too high. On a per capita basis it is double that of the UK, and among the highest in the world - alongside Cambodia, Malaysia, Lithuania and Slovenia.
Download this report from Victoria Walks (Australia) on how we can improve roads to make pedestrians safer.
See section 4 for the list of solutions. These will help all road users.
We have recently released the report Benchmarking Cycling and Walking in Six New Zealand Cities. This report compares Auckland, Tauranga, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin for important inputs (e.g. funding, policies, infrastructure) and outputs (e.g. extent of walking and cycling, population health and safety) with regards to active transport. The report and supplementary material are available here: http://sustainablecities.org.nz/resilient-urban-futures/benchmarking/
The local government election voting papers have gone out and now it is up to us to use our powerful voice and vote for a more walking friendly place. Walking is the human mode of transport that is much more than just a way to get from one place to the other – and this is how it rates on candidate election platforms.
Meanwhile, this just in from the "New Zealand history and natural heritage" Facebook page.
Line down the centre of the footpath.
From 1923 until the 1970s there was a bylaw requiring pedestrians to keep left on the major throughfares of the inner city.
The footpaths were painted with lines to facilitate this until the bylaw wasabolished in the early 1970s.
The elimination of the bylaw was due to the dramatic drop in the number of pedestrians in the inner city becuase so many daytime shoppers were favouring suburban malls.
Submission writing is one of our most effective ways to influence policy decisions to benefit pedestrians - that is everyone - and is one of the most important ways of shaping your community.
There have been a few such reports circulating around the Tweet sphere which starts to make it seem like a real problem.
Streetsblog have done a good job on some arguments against it - one 'survey' was done that used spurious data.
The Tuesday lunchtime walks have begun in Wellington for 2016. Ably led by Ron Ross these popular and regular sessions ramble around different parts of Wellington, from Aro Valley to the Stadium. Designed to get you out for an hour or less so they fit into a lunchtime, the walks all start from the bottom of Plimmer Steps.
Regular activity is shown to be the most beneficial for health and this is a great free way to see more of Wellington and meet new people too.
Ron you rock - walking star.
Living Streets Wellington is a group that really walks its talk, with a group out on the Grafton to Maidavale Road steps last Sunday giving them a good clean up. These steps are one of the many walkways that are iconic Wellington thoroughfares, and the group was highlighting the need for more maintenance on these routes to keep them safe for walkers to enjoy the great views. Many houses only have access from these steps so its important they are easy to use.
The Wellington Meeting series. June 23 and 24
Ellen Blake and I (AndySmith) started the day at the AA with Mike Noon. The AA have a great number of members and can survey for opinions. I was interesting to hear his opinion on our Law Change and hope one day to have the AA member surveyed on it.
We need more statistics on walking. Who out there can help us with that?
Andy Smith and Ellen Blake from the LSA exec have committed themselves to a week of meetings. Monday started with an LSA strategy meeting with Mike Mellor at the railway station.
Then it was off to the NZ Police and Superintendent Steve Greally who is the Manager Road Policing. We talked about our yellow feet, proposed law change and Vision Zero for road deaths.
The recent Government public consultation on a proposed target (or INDC) for the Paris round of talks on Climate Change highlights one of the most pressing issues of our time. Living Streets Aotearoa has recognised this with not one but two submissions on the proposal, one from the national executive and one from the Wellington group.
New Zealand may be a small part of the global GHG emission but we are a high per capita emitter. Living Streets Aotearoa has a clear position on where New Zealand should be aiming:
A 2009 report for the Wellington Regional council shows that walking trips increased for short journeys up to 2 kilometres - 54% of total short trips were done by walking, that is more than any other mode by a long stretch, including in cars - and that
The attached is an article recently published in Planning Quarterly 196 March 2015 (without it's nice photos sorry) on Planning for walking - time to make strides in measuring performance. The article sets out and proposes a new approach to measuring walk performance in local authority plans to enable a more rapid change to walk mode share and improve walkability, by making walking more visible.
The attached study on a sample of Wellington walkways was published today in the NZ Medical Journal. It shows that while lighting of street-connecting walkways at night is generally good – there was a quarter of walkways where it was inadequate (ie, it was too dark to see your feet or to see the steps).
In the “Discussion” section of the attached – various options for improving things are outlined, in case the Council wishes to consider these.
Hope this is of interest.
Walk2Work Day was celebrated this week by thousands of New Zealanders getting out on their feet (or in their wheelchair) and enjoying their daily trek to work, school or their daily activity. This special day is the national recognition of the important part walking plays in our lives, our urban fabric and our transport system. This year we highlighted the important, indeed essential, links between walking and public transport - they can not work without each other. Walking and use of public transport is the way to extend the range of your journey and carry those awkward packages.
I recently sent this letter to Minister Nick Smith following some comments from him about urban design and footpaths. High quality urban design that encourages walkable neighbourhoods around public transport nodes is essential for the future or our cities. Good urban design makes economic sense both for individuals and communities as a whole.
Here is the letter I sent. I will post the response when it arrives.
Andy Smith - Living Streets Aotearoa President