Be courteous at crossings, says transport boss


19/03/2016 6:00:00 a.m.

19 March 2016 - Rotorua’s four red and white inner-city pedestrian crossings have created some interesting discussion which Rotorua Lakes Council is keen to provide further education around.

To add to the discussion, after Easter, there will be three new red courtesy crossings – next to roundabouts on Hinemaru, Hinemoa and Amohia Sts – and road users need to understand the road rules around them and the pedestrian crossings.

The red and white pedestrian crossings are both legal and reflect accepted road management practice, said Stavros Michael the council’s director of transport and waste solutions.

“But motorists, pedestrians and footpath users, as always, need to be watchful of the environment and take appropriate care in these shared spaces,” he said.

White on red is now common for pedestrian crossings both in New Zealand and overseas including in the United Kingdom.

Pedestrian crossings on New Zealand’s roads allow safer crossings for pedestrians, people using wheeled recreational vehicles like skateboards, roller skates and scooters and for those using mobility devices e.g. scooters or wheelchairs.

They are indicated by a sign. As vehicles approach the crossing, they must give way to pedestrians including those cyclists who have dismounted from their bike and are walking across the crossing.

If you use scooters, personal transporter (e.g. Segway) skateboards and inline skates on the footpath, you are still classified as a pedestrian. 

“A cyclist riding a bike does not have the same rights as a pedestrian and drivers are not legally required to stop for cyclists. The motorists must stop if cyclists are walking their bike,” said Mr Michael.

Several other courtesy crossings, which are made of bricks or paving and are slightly raised, are in place around Rotorua.

A courtesy crossing subtly directs pedestrians to attempt to cross in a specific place but does not have the same rights as a pedestrian crossing.

They do encourage motorists to slow down though and in some instances they allow pedestrians to cross as it is courteous to do so, hence the name.

Cycling, whether it’s to get you to work or school, for recreation or to experience Rotorua’s scenery, is a fun, safe, affordable and healthy way to travel. Walking too is an easy, healthy and safe way to travel.

Cycling, walking, scooting, skating or travelling on a mobility scooter are relatively easy activities because of Rotorua’s flat landscape.

Rotorua’s urban cycling programme CyWay is under construction and will link to existing cycleways on main routes and to the inner city and is part of an urban cycling strategy aimed at encouraging more people to ride bikes.

When finished, the CyWay network will comprise about 25km of additional cycleways. Routes have been identified in collaboration with the Rotorua Cycle Action Group and taking into consideration the advice of roading experts to make it as safe as possible.

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Page reviewed: 19 Mar 2016 6:00am