Claudelands roundabout access improvements

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The roundabout at Grey St/ Te Aroha St has shops on all corners. When I looked to benchmark planned safety and access improvements, I went looking for a similar example. In Hamilton, Five Cross Roads has shops on each corner, but is missing a number of safe and accessible crossings. Having retail outlets on all corners does not happen as often as I thought it would; even when I looked overseas this was not a normal situation. It is what makes the Claudelands roundabout special.

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I like what the team from Gray Matter have designed for Hamilton City Council. Putting the raised table crossings where people want to cross is good, but ideally the back edge of the raised tables should be 8 to 9 m back from the give way signs; this allows pedestrians to walk behind a vehicle waiting to enter the roundabout (see references below). For an 8-year-old biking alongside an active 80-year-old, the ‘on-road cycle lane connection to off-road shared path’ looks easy to use, and at a quiet time of day the biking route around the roundabout using the shared paths looks to be usable (at busier times a 3m-wide path is too narrow).

Two areas need a bit more thought. Firstly, Te Aroha Street between Palmer & Grey Streets should be future-proofed; the kerb should be built flush or the table should be extended to Palmer Street, so the way we use this area can change. This is a special place; if this small section of road is temporarily used as a shared space or as a market-place, motor vehicles still have three options to drive to/from Claudelands Road/Grey Street.

The second area that needs more attention is how cyclists exit the shared path onto the road; are these points dangerous by design? Is there a problem with the design guide being used?

References on location of pedestrian crossings

The NZTA Pedestrian Design Guide tells us ‘the crossings should be located on the pedestrian desire line … Street furniture that may obscure visibility should be located well away from the crossing, and vegetation should be regularly trimmed. Parking should be prohibited for at least 15 m either side of the crossing point (although this can be six metres if there is a kerb extension at least two metres deep).’

From The Netherlands: Roundabouts – Application and design – A practical manual (p49) ‘Pedestrian crossings should be set back from the give way line by one vehicle lengths (5 m to 6 m), in order to … allow the second entering driver to devote full attention to crossing pedestrians while waiting for the driver ahead to enter the roundabout’

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One comment on “Claudelands roundabout access improvements

  1. The crossings should be 6m back, the crossing should also be on the desire line. The only way to achieve this is to buy and demolish buildings. Therefore, we should move the crossings closer, on the desire line.

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