Traffic calming installations – Patumahoe Road July 2012

Feedback regarding these installations has been sought from the community. Thank you to those who have taken the time to discuss this topic.

Twelve signatures from local residents were collected at the Open Community workshop on Monday June 10th 2012, which were most of those attending.

Informal discussions with local community residents have been overwhelmingly against the installations.

Comments received via website and email include:
“… The response from Andy Baker defies belief, if this is the quality of thinking that is controlling the structures along our roadways we need to be very scared.
There is a good case for a narrowed crossing point in front of the school but all the other Kea crossings/narrowings are clear hazards, these pinch points are no different to negotiating parked cars, they are squeeze zones waiting to kill riders trying to compete with a car and a Kenworth.
There are several more enlightened & effective methods of calming traffic that have been proven in Europe, Andy’s response sounds more like scrambling for excuses for having spent thousands of ratepayers dollars on a clearly failed initiative rather than being willing to take a clear & open view of effective road safety, if Andy Baker and the Board were genuinely “concerned with road safety for children…” they would not have constructed these “killing zones” along our highways.”

“…I agree that the barriers are really tricky for cyclists, and we do get a lot of recreational cyclists and commuting children on this road given the push to move towards non-motorised means of transport or children and the community

A shame the barriers were just put there without consultation!! It does seem like a better approach would have been a visual barrier rather than one that puts cyclists and traffic in the same limited road space!!

Not a good move to make the barriers less visible either as motorists need a warning to take care and slow down anticipating cyclists and children on bikes or on foot in the village which is the key issue”

In the media

As an indication of timely relevance regarding traffic planning and installations, Closeup had an episode on Monday 23 July regarding the recent fatalities on the intersection of Glenbrook and Kingseat road.

Appearing in this segment are local residents:
Butch Williams – Patumahoe Deputy Fire Chief,
Toni Searle – recently injured in a crash at the intersection and
Paula Townley – involved in a crash two years ago and part of a residents group who has been campaigning for installation of a roundabout at this location.

Also, appearing is Local Board Chairman – Andy Baker to give his opinion on why – despite funding being allocated for implementation in 2011-2012 for the roundabout – it has not occurred. He stated that safety in the rural roads was the priority for the Franklin Local Board Submission to the RLTP, and that it remains a priority of the board.  A copy of the minutes from the hearings can be found here, Local Board submission is (Track Number: 88).

Patumahoe Village Inc has been requesting Auckland Transport review and strategic integrated planning and implementation of the traffic concerns raised by the community since August 2010.  We fully support any initiative that achieves this goal – we do not believe this to be the case at present.

ONE news also had a segment on Wednesday 25 July 2012 regarding the coroner’s recommendations following the death of a cyclist on Tamaki Drive.

This is relevant to Patumahoe and the use of the pinch points on Patumahoe Road, which Auckland Transport admits to being a hazard.

“A coroner has floated the idea of mandatory high visibility clothing and compulsory use of cycle lanes for cyclists.

The new safety ideas were raised at one of a series of nationwide inquests into a spate of cyclist deaths.

Jane Bishop, 27, was killed on Auckland’s Tamaki Drive in November after falling under a truck when she swerved as a car door was opened.

Coroner Gordon Matenga says her death could have been avoided if she had used a cycle lane.

Transport planner Bevan Woodward says that in his opinion the Auckland City Council’s actions “were a significant contributing cause of the death of Jane Bishop.”

He told ONE News that he had urged the council to remove car parks on the road in 2006 because they created a dangerous “pinch-point”.

“It became apparent, from my discussions with Auckland Council staff, that due to budget considerations they were not going to implement any of the recommendations in my report,” he says.

The council did remove the parking spaces two days after Bishop’s death, even though an independent review found road layout didn’t contribute to the crash.

Auckland Transport now has further plans to make Tamaki Drive safer including a city-bound cycling lane.

“Any modification beyond that will be extremely expensive and will require significant road widening,” says David Warburton of Auckland Transport.

The coroner is also considering new road rules for cyclists such as making it mandatory to use cycling lanes, where they are available and to wear high-visibility reflective gear.”

 

Email sent to Local Board – via chairman, Andy Baker

Following consultation feedback and recent media stories, this email in response to previous correspondence has been sent to our Local Board.

“Hi Andy

Thanks for the reply and taking our letter up at your forum with AT. My response is that I am not very satisfied with AT position. We have developed a draft response for wider circulation among our community to ensure that we are not expressing the views of just a few people. Already at a community meeting a few weeks ago all shared similar views as ours in terms of suggesting that there should be better solutions. Paula will be documenting and forwarding the wider community views to Local Board and also copy AT.

It is good to see the publicity on TV 3 at the moment re the hazard issues that parked cars and barriers create for cyclists. (Feature tonight on Campbell live). Internationally it is recognised that there are many tool options that can be used as alternatives to physical barriers. Also it is perhaps worth letting you know that over the last few weeks there have been at least 2 (possibly 3), further changes to the signage and barriers (at some cost), indicating that there is a level of reactionary planning occurring rather than proactive, consultative. Worth checking out Wikipedia definition about ‘traffic calming’ and see the interpretation of physical barriers.

On a more positive note the Walkway has been progressing very well with several working bees involving the community, the whole school, MIT Park Ranger students and Weck employees. It is most impressive with the track now formed and metalled and most plantings completed. We just have signage to complete which I am arranging with Andrew Moor. This is along with the marking the access through private land to connect the Patumahoe reserve with Henry’s Bush. We have opened up a great spring near the bottom of the walkway and a local Maori (Willy Smith) from Ngati ti ata who attended two of the working bees recognised this as Waahi Tapu. I am also going to contact George Flavell re the spring and it seems very appropriate that we commemorate it’s significance with some form of signage etc. Do you have suggestions on who else we should be contacting within AC re this?

Best Wishes

Andrew Sinclair”

Traffic calming installations – tell us your view….

Some background to this issue can be found on a previous post.

We have raised concerns about the installation of the Kea Crossings with Franklin Local Board and have had a contradictory response from them.

Given the expressed community concern about traffic, and more recently about the Kea Crossing installations the Patumahoe Village Inc committee believed it was important to generate discussion and comment from the community before taking this matter further.

In addition to general traffic concern, specific comments about the Kea Crossing installations came forward at the Community Open Day in October 2010.

The issue was that the narrowing of the roads actually created a hazard and also was a source of confusion for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers.  Especially for younger members of the community who seemed unsure  whether this was designated crossing or not and therefore acted inconsistently.  Drivers too, are not sure whether to respond to these crossings in a similar way to pedestrian crossings and will also behave inconsistently.

The signage created for use in a urban environment with other visual noise – is also inappropriate for a rural village and is a predominant urban feature in an otherwise rural landscape.  While visual impact is a fundamental purpose of these signs, we consider that a more appropriate method of traffic calming is available in Patumahoe and should have been considered – especially as no other alternative had been offered by ARTA.

Alternative proposal – Patumahoe village

From the first presentation in early 2011 to Auckland Council we have asked for the installation of traffic calming entrances on the four roads leading into Patumahoe – Woodhouse Road, Kingseat Road, Mauku Road and Patumahoe Road.

Given the rural village community, and the reference materials and direction we had received so far, we believed that an appropriate method of traffic calming for Patumahoe would be a combination of:

  • Individually designed welcome signs;
  • Appropriate planting to designate the entry to the village ( and required lower speeds).  This could mean that tree choices are deciduous trees with significant blossoms and leaf changes to create a constantly changing visual reminder.  Flower choices could include spring bulbs as well as flowering perennials and colourful annuals for the same reason.
  • Change in roading surface – approx 6m of cobblestones – to remind drivers that they are entering a residential area.

This solution was favourably reviewed by our Low Impact Design planner from Auckland Council and an Auckland Council spatial planner before being submitted to our Local Board.

Despite these submissions and ongoing contact with our Local Board and Auckland Council, we were not informed of the Legacy project for Kea Crossing in Franklin until we broached the community concern with council following the first installation.

Franklin Local Board 6 March 2012 presentation

This issue was specifically addressed at a Local Board presentation in March this year.  Due to a scheduling error (on my part) and a late start due to malfunctioning AV equipment – we went overtime and were given a further presentation time in May.

However, we did bring up the concerns regarding the traffic narrowing installation in Patumahoe.

The Local Board members received comprehensive notes and a summary from from this presentation and they included the two page document can be viewed and downloaded below:

Traffic Pages From Presentation Local Board 6 March 2012

During the presentation – Local Board members seemed to share our concerns about the issues we raised and we spent some time in discussion with them on this topic.

Following this – we received an email from the Local Board chairman on April 4th:
Andy Baker: “…Would it be possible for somebody to email me the presentation photos regarding the issues with the speed signs and encroachment onto the road that were presented to us. Am in discussions with Auckland Transport and they need convincing there is a problem and want to see the photos…”

These photos were sent as requested –  and no other communication was received on this topic.  However, during the period between April and our next presentation for the Local Board on Tuesday 15 May, further installations took place in Patumahoe. We made contact with Patumahoe Primary School to see whether the Travelwise programme had been kept informed on this implemention and also to ask if any other alternatives had been proposed.  They indicated that they were not informed until the installation was taking place and that no other option other than the Kea Crossing programme had been offered.

Franklin Local Board  May 15 2012 workshop

This was a question and answer session with the Local Board where we again raised concerns about the installations.  However, this time the response was dismissive – with the caveat that “we will not apologise for being concerned with road safety for children…”

PVI wholeheartedly agrees with this sentiment.  However, we do have some concerns that by rolling out a programme with no consideration or input from individual communities, there is danger of implementation not only failing to meet intent – but resulting in contradicting it.

We believe this to be the case in Patumahoe but ask for your views.

Following is the further correspondence with the Local Board that has prompted us to seek community input on this particular issue:

Email dated 28 May 2012:

Hi Andy

Just thought I would let you know that now there are even larger concrete structures in Patumahoe outside the School that form a total block and an even more narrowing of the road. This happened last week. Why could not options such as a zebra crossing outside the school and eg traffic cameras be looked at as much safer options for all. This development has been looked at in isolation to do with school and cars with no overall view taken to transport safety for all users.

What are we best to do from here if we think it is more likely to end up killing someone that what was in place before?

What are some other options that slow traffic down around schools but do not form bottlenecks? (It is well documented overseas that road safety for all it is best to make the area wider rather than narrower

Cheers, Andrew”

Email reply dated 29 May 2012:

Hi Andrew

We had a workshop on an unrelated matter today with the Road Safety Team from AT and I took the opportunity to discuss your concerns raised below with the senior managers who attended.

I also got scale plans of the kea crossing structures that have been recently changed and which you are obviously referring to. I am also waiting confirmation from the school as to what their position is or was during the discussions involved in their travel planning.

The response I have received and is one I find very difficult to argue with (and I did spend 5 years as a road safety coordinator so have a pretty good understanding of these types of things), is that the priority here is to provide the best possible safety for the pedestrian users and in particular the school children who use the kea crossing formally or as an informal crossing point. The changes were made as the belief was that what was initially installed did not provide adequate safety at a number of engineering and other levels. From what I am told, the school have been extremely supportive of this as a kea crossing. The positioning of this crossing has been done at what is believed by the expert safety engineers to be the safest point in regard to visibility of road users and logistical relevance to the school, which is the main purpose of its existence.

The interesting thing in regard to the design is that the width of the small raised islands is actually narrower (or meant to be ) than that of a car parked legally elsewhere on the side of the road. Which does create a conundrum in that if we were to accept that this type of structure or island is unacceptable on this road, then we would have to also accept that following your line of argument, that vehicles parking on the road verge as they can now are also as dangerous and should be prevented from doing so. I am not sure that this is a suggestion the community would think to be all that pragmatic or acceptable and certainly would not be one I would be willing to stand up in Patumahoe and champion. However you may be braver than I.

It is accepted that the road narrows at this point and that does naturally put those on cycles further into the lane. However the AT staff believe cyclists simply have to do what they do elsewhere with parked cars or similar issues by signalling and moving out safely into the lane for the few short metres it takes to pass the islands.

I guess the keys for me is that the priority must be for the pedestrians users and in particular the children and also that these structures are used all over the country and are designed to be less restricting that parked cars. I do not believe there is actually much of case for changing it and that all road users including vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians simply have to share the road and drive to the conditions.

Sorry there isn’t an outcome you desire but I have trust in the experience and expertise in the information provided on this one.

Regards, Andy”

Patumahoe Community workshop 11 June 2012

This issue was briefly discussed during the Open community workshop on Monday 11 June 2012, and the response was in line with our initial concerns rather than the Local Board viewpoint.

Given this anomaly we have sought to gather input from the community before continuing.

One of our committee members has drafted a letter to Auckland Council: Local Board, our representative councillor Des Morrison, Penny Hulse – Deputy Mayor (and Community Development Manager).  This draft is shown below and we invite your comments.

 

 

Making the Main Road in Patumahoe Safer – Draft for Community Review July 2012

 

 

Background to traffic calming discussions with Auckland Council

This post is a background to the current traffic calming discussions we are having with Auckland Council.

Community concerns

The traffic issue was raised as early as August 2010 when the initial community workshop identified the traffic speed throughout the village as being a priority concern for residents.  This concern was reinforced from feedback obtained from the street parties held in December 2010 – February 2011, and once again on the Open Day in May 2011.

Most comments expressed concern that no traffic planning had taken place to coordinate the integration of the new subdivisions with the existing roadworks.  This lack of planning by the then ARTA (Auckland Regional Transport Authority) and Franklin District Council – was further compounded by the knowledge that a Kingseat Structure Plan had been approved.  This Structure Plan when implemented would mean the growth of Kingseat to a community of 5,000.  As Patumahoe sits on the only direct commuter road to Pukekohe – even higher levels of traffic would be using our roads than would be anticipated by local Patumahoe development.

Patumahoe Primary School was already undergoing a Travelwise programme with ARTA, and had produced a comprehensive report in 2009 – Travelwise School Travel Report .  This primarily focussed on the modes of transport for pupils attending school and the options to encourage alternative methods of transport rather than vehicular.  As a result, and at this time, a group of parents began work on the Hunter Road pathway loop project which sought to extend both Patumahoe Road and Woodhouse Road pathways to their respective connections to Hunter Road.  Due to the high level of recreational users – this project would also benefit the wider community as well as Patumahoe School pupils.  As you will have noticed, the Patumahoe Road segment of this pathway was recently installed and we understand from the Local Board that the Woodhouse segment will be completed next year.

ARTA was also planning traffic calming instalments throughout Auckland.  Our current Local Board chairman, Andy Baker is well informed on this issue as at that time he was working for ARTA.  It was during this time – before amalgamation – that the decision to roll out Kea Crossings throughout Franklin was made.  These decisions formed part of the legacy packages handed over to the new Auckland Council and Auckland Transport when amalgamation took place in November 2010.  We were unaware of this Legacy project until late last 2011 when we asked about the first installation of traffic narrowing in 2011.

Legacy Project – Franklin District wide implementation

The criteria for the Kea Crossings in Franklin was that they would be implemented in Franklin in the vicinity of any school that had more than 200 enrolments. Patumahoe School – both as a member of Travelwise and with a large number of pupils was identified as a school requiring implementation.  It is important to note that we did contact Patumahoe School as a stakeholder right at the beginning of our process and we took note of the Travelwise programme when making submissions to Auckland Council.  As far as we are aware, no other option to control excessive speed around the school was offered as a solution to concerns – and there are others.

Alternative methods of traffic calming

A few months previously, I had spoken to former FDC staff members who were working on roading and traffic issues.  They had just attended a placemaking conference for Auckland district council and transport staff and were enthusiastic about topics discussed that had shown marked success in traffic calming and speed reduction that did not follow current policies.

The key speaker David Engwicht is an Australian consultant that had completed projects in both Australia and New Zealand and promotes grassworks community placemaking, as well as specifically addressing traffic taming measures.  Patumahoe Village Inc owns a copy of his Mental Speedbumps – The Smarter Way to Tame Traffic book, which is available for lending.  This book – and the ideas contained within – were recommended by FDC staff.

Mental Speed Bumps: The Smarter Way to Tame Traffic
A practical, down-to-earth guide for residents, parents, health
professionals and city planners that turns conventional wisdom
on its head.

  • Find out how to use mental speed bumps to instantly slow drivers without them being aware that they have slowed.
  • Learn why removing all traffic signs, white lines, speed humps and traffic lights dramatically slow traffic and makes  streets  safer.
  • Discover why building the social life of the street is the most effective way to tame traffic.

Now everyone has the power to tame traffic.

Proposal for Patumahoe village

Given the level of concern shown by the community, we sought the advice of the new Auckland Transport organisation on how the traffic issue could be addressed.  Due to the recent amalgamation – it has proven difficult to directly connect through to Auckland Transport staff and efforts to do so were unproductive.  Our Local Board member, Lance Gedge is the Franklin Local Board member liaising with Auckland Transport but he has been unable to take this issue on board.  We understand the dilemma as he is unfamiliar with the smaller communities of Franklin and their workload has been substantial, but this has left us in a particularly uninformed  place.

We liaised with the Travelwise programme at Patumahoe Primary School and only at that time did the first implementation of the Kea Crossings take place.  During our October 2011 Open Day, this implementation raised further concerns from the community that instead of improving traffic safety – a traffic hazard had been created.

We raised this with the Local Board during a presentation early this year- at which time we were informed that the Legacy Project of Kea Crossings from ARTA and FDC were now being implemented.  This was discouraging because we had met several times informally with Local Board members, and at least once – formally – and at no time was mention made of this project.

An alternative to Kea Crossings

From the first presentation to Auckland Council we have asked for the installation of traffic calming entrances on the four roads leading into Patumahoe – Woodhouse Road, Kingseat Road, Mauku Road and Patumahoe Road.

Given the rural village community, and the reference materials and direction we had received so far, we believed that an appropriate method of traffic calming for Patumahoe would be a combination of:

  • Individually designed welcome signs;
  • Appropriate planting to designate the entry to the village ( and required lower speeds).  This could mean that tree choices are deciduous trees with significant blossoms and leaf changes to create a constantly changing visual reminder.  Flower choices could include spring bulbs as well as flowering perennials and colourful annuals for the same reason.
  • Change in roading surface – approx 6m of cobblestones – to remind drivers that they are entering a residential area.

This solution was reviewed by our Low Impact Design planner from Auckland Council and an Auckland Council spatial planner before being submitted to our Local Board.

 

Submissions to Auckland Council to date:

Following the previous work we have submitted on this proposal to Auckland Council via the following methods:

  • Auckland Plan
  • Auckland Regional Transport Plan
  • Local Franklin Board Annual Plan
  • Auckland Long Term Plan 2012- 2022
  • We have also made presentations to the Local Board – formally three times and informally many times more.

This is the background to the concerns raised at present regarding the installation of the Kea Crossing programmes, and the concern we have that Patumahoe – along with other rural and smaller communities –  are not being adequately informed or considered when blanket implementations are planned and designed.

 

 

Hunter Road walking loop success!!

The roads surrounding Patumahoe village have been long regarded as dangerous for pedestrians given the high speed of traffic and lack of space on incoming roadsides.

Driven by these safety concerns, Patumahoe School’s TravelWise group initiated the footpath campaign in April 2010, and has since worked closely with local residents and community organisation, Patumahoe Village Inc., to lobby for safe multi-use paths on Patumahoe and Woodhouse Roads. As part of the community campaign more than 300 residents signed a petition in favour of the footpaths.

The great news is that the Franklin Local Board approved funds at its December meeting for the construction of a footpath between Clive Howe and Hunter Roads during the 2011/12 financial year. The footpath will be utilised by schoolchildren as a safe walking route to and from school, and also by those who regularly use the popular Hunter Road circuit for exercise.

contributed by Iris Tscharntke

Parenting Event provides foundations for great families

Searching for effective strategies to manage your family? Need new ideas for encouraging your kids to cooperate? A new parenting seminar promises to equip Franklin families with the right tools to help build a great family.

 

The ‘Hot Tips Family is Everything’ seminar is packed with practical ideas to encourage, inspire and motivate parents to make changes that build stronger and more confident families.

 

Hosted by the Patumahoe Positive Parenting Group, the one-off event is open to the wider community, and takes place at Patumahoe School Hall on Thursday 11 August.

 

Presented by Parents Inc CEO, Bruce Pilbrow, the event will cover a range of parenting areas, including hot tips for managing families and building relationships, building your child’s confidence, raising a happy and resilient child, understanding your child’s personality and top tips for engaging cooperation. The seminar is designed to provide heaps of fun and humour and will be suitable for all parents of children from toddlers to 18.

 

“You build a family the way you build a house,” says Bruce, “with good foundations of love and values, strong walls of boundaries and discipline to keep good things in and bad things out. And, most importantly, you put on a roof of parental ‘mana’ to keep the whole thing together. My aim is for parents to go home from this Hot Tips event with new skills and strategies they can use in their family immediately.”

 

Bruce will inspire parents with down-to-earth ideas on how to manage and grow their family. He says that a big part of good parenting is ‘tailoring’ your parenting to fit each child.

 

“It’s important that you understand your child’s personality to build up their confidence so you can bring out the best in them,” says Bruce.  “We all want our kids to be successful. This presentation will help to set your kids up to succeed in all sorts of ways; not just academically or in a career, but emotionally and relationally as well.”

 

Ron Gordon, Patumahoe School Principal and member of the Patumahoe Positive Parenting Group, says the seminar will appeal to those with thriving families as well as those struggling to cope with particular parenting challenges.

 

“Hot Tips seminars are fun, ‘feel good’ events and I’d encourage parents from all walks of life to attend,” says Ron.

 

The event begins at 7.15pm – 9.30pm (doors open 7pm). Early bird tickets are available until 4 August, priced at $15 single / $20 double. Tickets can be purchased online at www.theparentingplace.com or from Patumahoe School office, Liddells Pharmacy in Pukekohe or Deed Printing in Waiuku.

Ends

Notes to Editors:

  • Parents Inc. is a nationwide organisation of more than 60 staff and hundreds of volunteers who are dedicated to strengthening and equipping parents with practical parenting tools.
  • The Patumahoe Positive Parenting Group was formed by Patumahoe Community Church and Patumahoe and Mauku Schools, to bring positive parenting education to the community.

 

For further information contact:

Donna Davies, M: 021 804487

Planned Car Park Extension

Copies to Dr Paul Hutchison Member Parliament Hunua.

The Honourable Rodney Hide Beverly Holden Chairperson Patumahoe School Board of Trustees.

Greg Lowe Team Leader Local and Sports Park South.

Auckland Council.

Mr Des Morrison Elected Member Auckland Council.

Mr Len Brown Mayor Auckland City.

Mr Daniel Fulton Fulton of Swimming

Other I interested Parties.

Dear Mr Gordon,

Thank you for your letter of 26th November which has clarified several important matters. [Read more…]

Old Church project Calling for expressions of interest

Many of you will be aware of the old church on Mareretu Ave- the only public historic building left in Patumahoe. It has a rich local history, doubled as the first school (on a different site) and was built of swamp kauri milled from a local farm.

Since the Scout Movement (present owners/administrators) has lapsed in Patumahoe, there have been some efforts made by the Patumahoe Emergency Support Charitable Trust (largely because the trust has a protective infrastructure already set up) to negotiate moving the church to a new site so the scouts can deal with the sale of their section.

On 18 December 2006 the scouting Assoc. agreed to gift the church to the above trust .We understand the scouts intend to use the majority of the proceeds to upgrade the camp at Schlaepher Park , thus keeping the money in the local area and using it for community purposes, which continues the spirit of the original congregation/scout negotiation. They have also agreed in principle to contribute some funds towards the removal and re-establishment of the building on Clive Howe Reserve. [Read more…]

Schools, Pools & Automobiles…

November 26, 2010 18:00

(…perhaps a bit of a misnomer – but I couldn’t resist. Note: the following is almost sheer editorial comment)

During the last couple of weeks, as I have been driving past the Patumahoe Rugby clubrooms, I have occasionally noticed people hard at work. For some reason, I have made the assumption that those grafting away are not council driven, committee driven or otherwise. I have the impression that a job needed to be done, and they are getting on with it. Without fanfare, without interference, the work is getting done. This impression is reinforced by the contact I have had over the last week, regarding the concern over the unconsulted work on the domain fringes. This approach of – see the need – get it done, has a long and rich history in Patumahoe.

Along with the grafters, there have been the forward thinkers. The people who have seen possibilities and have endeavoured and succeeded in making ideas come to fruition. Again, often without public acknowledgement or need for it. I have been fortunate in having so many contact me with rich local history of the domain, the playground and more of the same over the last few days. So much of Patumahoe heritage is held in memories and anecdotes, and as a new resident, it is always interesting to be informed of the depth and breadth of community spirit that often lies invisibly at the heart of places. [Read more…]