The Wrong Side of my Car

The blog that wants to go obsolete

20 Mar 2021

They’ve actually closed some streets for cars

A few weeks ago, images like this started popping up in my Twitter feed.

It is called the Arthur Grey Low Traffic Area.

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9 Mar 2021

A Note about Sale Street

I noted the Sale Street / Wellesley Street intersection in the previous post. This intersection got sanitised recently.

Sale Street tactical urbanism treatment

A picture can tell you many things:

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That Epic Victoria Quarter Rant

If you’re here for the crappy pictuers of our city centre, don’t miss David R’s epic rant about Victoria Quarter (that is approximately the area in the city centre west of Hobson Street).

More recently he posted some progress:

You can tell right away a ton of work went into those posts. And into showing the local councillors around, and reporting issues. A petition. Maximum respect for putting in that effort.

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27 Feb 2021

Driveways: we’re Doing it Wrong

Robert Weetman has written a lot about footpath design on intersections, and why he prefers the Dutch design *1. I would also strongly prefer those designs over whatever is to be found here.

Streets are an example of the ‘everyday things’ that Don Norman writes about in his book Design of Everyday Things. You can definitely recognise similar thinking in that post. It shows the way good design helps people to intuitively do the right thing.

So, should we look at intersections in Auckland and see how these stack up? Eh, no. These are so uniformly bad it not worth bothering.

Let’s instead apply this line of thinking to driveways. Driveway crossings should be even less conspicuous than side streets. Since they are also places where turning car traffic gives way to pedestrians, you should see similar design features.

A common design in Auckland

And driveway crossings, even though they don’t see many cars per day, we have a lot of them so they’re quite important.

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22 Feb 2021

Pedestrian give way rules: “We’re thinking about it”, year 4

About four years ago I wrote a post on our investigation on priority rules for pedestrians on crossings.

Pedestrian give way rule — STILL current in 2021! *1
this Unique Piece of Kiwiana Heritage is going obsolete.

Nope, it did not.

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4 Jan 2021

Imagining something else for Birkenhead

After the Harbour Bridge opened in 1959 Onewa Road became the main arterial to the city. To cope with the traffic from Beach Haven and Birkdale (presumably), part of Mokoia Road was bypassed. This presents us now with an opportunity.

Image: Auckland Council, Aerial Photography 1959. Note the sketch of the bypass road.

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1 Dec 2020

Backyards

‘Backyard’ is one of those words that make a lot of urbanists full libtard. It is a taboo word and anyone who uses it is automatically an idiot and not worth listening to. *1

A backyard often comes up in discussions about high density living, and why it is necessary or not. Many people find it hard to imagine how anyone could ever tolerate life in a city without one. That is especially true for families — don’t miss that opportunity to howl the phrase “Won’t somebody please think of the children?”.

But is is said that having backyards is unsustainable, it takes too much space, so we should learn to live without one.

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Who's writing?

I'm Roeland, and I have been living in Auckland since 2011. As expected when migrating, it takes some time to get used to things. I find it interesting to observe the city around me, first as a yuppie, and now as member of a family.

One of the odd things about this city is the contrast between the fantastic natural setting on one hand — harbours, scoria cones, and the backdrop of the Waitakere ranges — and the city itself on the other hand — dominated by cars and not very welcoming to actual humans.