Wairere Dr pedestrian guard rail hiding people

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Pedestrian guard railings (PGRs) can be the right solution, at the right place and in the right amount with the right design. But if poorly sited or over-installed they can obscure children who may suddenly or unexpectedly enter the carriageway on a green light.

The presence of guard railing is likely to affect the visibility of pedestrians, particularly children, to vehicle drivers at a crossing point. It is recommended that, where a guardrail is to be used, high visibility designs should be installed, to ensure improved mutual visibility between pedestrians and drivers.

This photo, taken from the viewpoint of a driver on Wairere Drive, shows a no stopping sign, low visibility road markings for the pedestrian crossing, and railing influencing driver/driver and driver/road visibility, which increases tunnel vision and the “race track” feel of the road. This perception can result in a feeling of safety and higher speeds by drivers, particularly with two sets of green traffic lights in line with each other, and little sign of person wearing blue shirt waiting to cross the carriageway.

The Wairere Dr guard railing risks Hamilton’s pedestrians learning the very hard way that drivers can’t see you, the presence of guard railing affects the visibility, particularly of children. Care should have been taken in the design of pedestrian guardrailing to avoid obstructing inter-visibility between drivers and pedestrians of all ages and heights. They should not obscure visibility between road users

The above Clarkin Rd guard rail is older than Wairere railing, yet Clarkin Rd example meets the AT design guide: 12 Footpaths & Pedestrian Facilities – Auckland Transport

12.14 Pedestrian Railings – A railing is a fence-like barrier composed of one or more horizontal rails supported by widely spaced (vertical) uprights

The Clarkin Rd crossing also has continuous on-road cycle lane, this adds a 30% safety improvement for pedestrians, due to the buffer space provided (p50) between stepping away from waiting area and stepping into motor vehicle land.

Category: News, Safety

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