Pedestrians in Manners Street

6 December 2010

Pedestrians need to take particular care crossing Manners and Willis streets until they
get used to the changes and buses coming two ways - a fact that has been starkly highlighted by accidents and near misses last week.

The 'look both ways' message is promoted to pedestrians in Manners Street

The 'look both ways' message is promoted to pedestrians in Manners Street

Bus drivers are aware that pedestrians may not remember to look both ways and are keeping their speed down while people adjust to the new environment, often driving below the new 30 km/h speed limit.

Council Infrastructure Director Stavros Michael says people getting hurt on city roads is always a concern and the potential risk obviously increases when traffic flows change.

"The fact these incidents weren't even more serious highlights the value of keeping vehicle and bus speeds low through these busy areas."

"People can ensure their safety by always crossing on a pedestrian phase at safe crossing points. However, the reality is large numbers of Wellingtonians jaywalk - if you are going to do this anywhere around the city you need to be totally focussed on the job in hand.

"The important thing to remember in Willis and Manners streets is to look both ways - buses are coming from both directions. Don't cross half way and hope there is going to be a gap - stop, look both ways and make sure you can get all the way across safely."

The traffic flow in lower Cuba Street has changed. Entry to this street is now via the Taranaki Street end of Manners Street. Cyclists also need to be aware that the changes that affect motorists also apply to them. Like the other central city bus lanes, the new Golden Mile bus lanes through Willis and Manners streets are for buses only.

Over the next few weeks the Council will continue to work with the bus companies to monitor the intersections that have been altered and fine-tune the traffic light phasing. Stavros says things are generally going very well with the new bus lanes but there is a running-in period for the fixtures, points, switches and joints on the overhead trolley network.

"This means that for the next few months, until these joints get smoother with use, bus drivers are having to remember to go through various points on the new network at less than 15 km/h. If they don't, there is the potential for the trolley poles to come off the wires and we have seen that happening at times this week as drivers adjust to the changes."