Accessible Streets road rules proposals
– quick read of Living Streets Wellington submission
1. We support safer streets for all people. When we go out we all expect to be able to return home safely, and have a pleasant experience using our key public space, the street. Our road rules should protect all users’ safety - that’s fair and changes need to improve safety for all.
2. We support changes that make the rules more clear, and more easily understood.
Many of these proposals meet neither of these two tests.
Living Streets Wellington supports these proposals
Proposal 4 - escooters and other vehicles can use bike lanes
Yes, bikes and escooters should be in the bike lanes, that’s the right place for these little vehicles to be used.
We support safer streets with improved bike networks and safer speeds.
Proposal 9 - require traffic to give way to buses leaving bus stops
What a great idea! This will make buses better.
We partially support these proposals
Proposal 5 - powered vehicles must have lights including escooters
Support this on the road, motorcars need to see them.
But pedestrians will be blinded by bright lights on footpaths, so vehicles should not be able to ride along footpaths with lights on (they shouldn’t be on footpaths at all!).
Proposal 6 - turning traffic gives way to other road users going straight ahead
Support turning traffic give way to buses in bus lanes, bikes and others in bike lanes.
The same rule for footpaths please, let’s treat pedestrians like they do in other countries.
Proposal 7 - there will be minimum overtaking gaps on the road (not on the footpath or shared paths)
Support minimum gaps on the road. This should apply on the footpath and shared paths too.
Proposal 8 - parking on road berms
This is confusing – surely we can’t park on the berm and grass verges now.
Living Streets Wellington don’t support these proposals
Proposal 1 - Definitions
Pedestrian - keep the status quo definition: we all know that ‘pedestrian’ means people out on foot, as well as babies in buggies. There is no issue with this.
Powered wheelchairs – it is unclear why this needs to change. Powered wheelchairs are most like mobility devices, both of which can already use the footpath. How about including powered wheelchairs in the mobility device class?
Other vehicle definitions are confusing and don’t help us know where they should go. More work is needed on this, with a proper public process.
Proposal 2 - More vehicles permitted on footpaths
Footpaths are for pedestrians: let’s keep the status quo as is. Small children on small bikes are already allowed on footpaths, as are mobility devices and wheelchairs. Safety for all pedestrians is the key - we want children, older folks and the disabled to get out walking independently and enjoy it. We want to encourage people to walk more, not put up barriers for them.
Proposed footpath speed limits and size restrictions won’t help, and the rules cannot be enforced.
Proposal 3 - Changes to what shared paths are (those places where both pedestrians and cyclists share the same path: usually not fun for either)
50km/hour speed limit on paths that pedestrians use is unsafe. There is no standard for what a shared path should be, or where they should be used. Back to the drawing board.
Share your submission with us:
Living Streets Aotearoa – Wellington
wellington (a) livingstreets.org.nz