Invercargill City Council trials new pedestrian crossing

Civil Works and Construction Ltd, of Christchurch, works on the new trial pedestrian crossing at James Hargest College ...
Robyn Edie/Stuff

Civil Works and Construction Ltd, of Christchurch, works on the new trial pedestrian crossing at James Hargest College junior campus, on Layard St, from left, company part-owner Jim Tawhara, Les Shailer, Kere Lyman, and Keegan McCormack. The apple green (for cycle lane) and red crossing is the first to be trailed in Invercargill.

Invercargill is trialling a bright new pedestrian crossing to assess its safety and durability.

On Monday, contractors Civil Works and Construction Ltd, of Christchurch, installed an initial trial crossing at James Hargest College junior campus, on Layard St.

Combining apple green for its cycle lane approaches, and red and white stripes for the crossing itself, it was hoped the innovation would enhance visibility and safety at the school zone crossing, Invercargill City Council roading manager Russell Pearson said.

"The material is called Durapave MMA, manufactured in Suffolk, England. We've decided to trial it because it should provide benefits in durability, skid resistance and colour differentiation between different traffic facilities. It's the first time we've used it, so we'll be interested to see the results."

Pearson declined to reveal the cost of the innovative surfacing but said if successful it would be considered for a wider roll-out across the city.

"Our trial has been offered at a very low cost so we can see what we think and consider its ongoing suitability."

That assessment would be made using a combination of technical and public feedback.

"We'll look at the amount of wear and deterioration that occurs, and whether we see any driver change through observations and feedback. We'll then look to assess the affordability across the network and determine in which situations the product performs best, and gives us the best results."

That could range from targeted locations to citywide roll-out, depending on the trial outcome.

The Layard St test location had been chosen for its unique combination of characteristics, Pearson said.

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"We considered the road hierarchy, number of vehicles, issues we've seen at the area, speeds and the mix of drivers. After considering a number of sites across the city, we decided this would be a good initial test bed.

"First feedback has been positive regarding the brightness and grip but it's reasonably early yet, so it will be interesting to hear what people think."

Intersection safety was an area in which Invercargill needed to improve, Pearson said.

"These products are helpful to assist drivers in their behaviour at intersections ... Sometimes something different is enough to remind drivers to take a little more care. Pedestrian crossings are an area where drivers need to make sure they comply and stop.

"Giving as many warning signals as possible that the crossing is there is critical."

 - Stuff

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