You will not pass (without a side step). Safety concerns have been expressed for the visually impaired and those who use mobility scooters. Photo / Supplied
Residents of the North Shore are outraged by the installation of new T3 cameras on Onewa Road which, according to them, presents a danger to the safety of pedestrians.
Concerns have been expressed over the camera poles, which some residents say will block the path, and their installation has been described as “incompetent” by a local politician – but Auckland Transport says installation is not yet complete and include additional safety features.
Photos shared online of the newly installed cameras show them sitting in the middle of the trail along the busy road, which is home to schools, churches and daycares.
The road, which is the primary access to the Harbor Bridge for residents of Northcote, Birkenhead and the surrounding suburbs, has long been plagued by slow commuter traffic.
A transit lane of one form or another has been operational on Onewa Rd since 1982, but was first strictly enforced in 2002, limiting one lane to mass transit and high-occupancy vehicles.
Since then it has become a strict two-way T3 lane during rush hour.
Until now, law enforcement has required Auckland Transport staff to stand by the side of the road in all weather to catch those breaking the rules.
Earlier this year, it was announced that the rules would be controlled by installing 68 new cameras spread across 17 “staging areas” on the road.
At the time, Kaipātiki local council chairman John Gillon said law enforcement was necessary, but he was “shocked at the size of the hammer they are using to crack this nut.”
He said residents of Onewa Rd who had a real need to enter and exit T3 lane would be adversely affected by the camera array, citing the case of an elderly resident who was already worried about leaving her home after being ticketed for being in the transit lane after pulling out of its lane.
The cameras are now in place and it is not the enforcement of traffic rules that is forcing locals to ask Auckland Transport to radically rethink.
“The location of these posts in the middle of the trail is both dangerous for the visually impaired and extremely inconvenient for walkers – the people for whom the trails are really intended,” one resident wrote on Facebook.
Other residents pointed out that the posts could pose a danger to people using mobility scooters and parents pushing twin strollers.
Several commentators called the layout “crazy” while others said “it looks like a third world country result” and described the poles as a “giant major for the community”.
Speaking to the Herald today, John Gillon said residents would “raise their hands in horror” at the location of the posts and described their installation as “incompetent.”
“The placement took no consideration for anyone walking or cycling the trail,” he said, noting that the trail on the south side of the road has been designated as a shared path and cyclists are encouraged to use it.
He said the local council had been pushing for the trail on the north side to also be converted to a shared path and that the installation of the poles was not supportive of the local council’s goal of improving the area for walkers. and cyclists.
Gillon said the placement of the poles was “really disappointing”, especially since Auckland Transport’s illustrations had already shown them placed at the very edge of the trail.
“There are already enough poles because there are all along Onewa Road without these extra poles and that they are out of place is just appalling.”
A spokesperson for Auckland Transport told the Herald that there are a number of factors to consider when setting up the poles and the installation is not yet complete.
“The delivery team worked with traffic engineering and a road safety audit was performed, to support the positioning of the equipment,” the spokesperson said, adding that they had to be built around the existing services. .
“The standards apply not only to the sidewalk, but also to underground services, power lines above, tree canopies and existing road equipment.
“The installation is not complete at the moment, as there are other items to add. We still need to install tactile warning strips near the poles for the visually impaired,” they said.