New signalised pedestrian crossings are being installed at sites around Hamilton, boosting safety for people walking and cycling around the city.
Approximately $450,000 will be spent upgrading existing pedestrian crossings and installing new traffic lights over the coming months. The work is being funded by the NZ Transport Agency and Hamilton City Council.
On State Highway 26-Morrinsville Road staggered traffic lights have been installed by the NZ Transport Agency to replace the existing zebra crossing near the Mullane Street intersection.
Staggered traffic lights allow pedestrians and cyclists to cross the road in two phases, first to the raised median in the middle of the road and then to the far side.
The Morrinsville Road pedestrian crossing is used by pupils attending Berkley Normal Middle School, Hillcrest Normal School and Hillcrest High School. These lights were switched on for fine tuning during the school holidays on Monday April 18. (Pictured)
On SH23, traffic lights will be installed on Massey Street and Whatawhata Road as part of a project jointly funded by the Transport Agency and city council.
Existing zebra crossings on Massey Street (SH23) outside Frankton Primary School and on Whatawhata Road (SH23) at Dinsdale Shopping Centre will be replaced by staggered traffic lights.
Changes to the SH23 Dinsdale roundabout and the SH23/Rifle Range Road intersection will also be made to improve pedestrian and cycle safety.
And on SH3, two existing zebra crossings at the Normandy Ave roundabout will be replaced with traffic lights as part of a $2 million shared pathway project that aims to connect pedestrians and cyclists to the Waikato Hospital and southern-most parts of Hamilton.
The Transport Agency’s principal safety engineer Michelle Te Wharau says the new pedestrian crossings will make a real difference to people wanting to cross Hamilton’s busy roads as they walk to school or work.
“The Transport Agency has always been committed to providing a range of transport options for people whether they choose to drive, walk, cycle, or use public transport.
“Building highways is just one part of what we do,” she says.
“In partnership with local government authorities such as Hamilton City Council we co-fund public transport, and have invested in a range of walking and cycling projects throughout the Waikato such as sections of the Te Awa cycleway and the upcoming Western Rail Trail.
“Getting more New Zealanders walking and cycling will relieve congestion during peak travel times, connect people with a greater range of employment, education and social opportunities and contribute to a more environmentally sustainable future for our transport network.”
Hamilton City Council transport manager Jason Harrison says: “This investment in safety will mean a major improvement for pedestrians and people on bikes.
“Active transport, such as walking or biking, is better for health and the environment, so making it easier and safer for people, especially young students, to cross roads is really important.”
While the SH26-Morrinsville Road pedestrian signals are finished, the remaining projects are expected to begin within the next two months.
Motorists are urged to be patient and understanding during the works, and when the traffic lights are initially switched on.
“Once the new traffic lights are switched on they will be monitored in case any slight adjustments are required to optimise the timing of the light phases,” Mrs Te Wharau says.