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Ask Phoebe: Profile of Queen St picked out in lights

By Phoebe Falconer

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On an early morning trip into the city recently, I noticed bands of green and red lights around the bottom of light standards on Queen St. They went out when the street lights went out. What are they for, and what does the green/red signify? Are they more widespread than just Queen St? Alice Neville, Devonport.

The coloured LED (light-emitting diode) lights at the bottom of the light poles are specific to Queen St, installed as part of the recent upgrade. Different coloured bands designate separate sections of Queen St.

They are, in order from north to south, the Reclaimed Zone, between Customs St and Fort St, blue; the Valley Zone, from Shortland St to Victoria St, green; the Transition/Civic Zone, between Victoria St and Wellesley St, red; and the Ridge Zone, from Wellesley St to Karangahape Rd, amber.

The council was unwilling to disclose the cost of the installation.

About six months ago small signs were placed on every third light standard on the Harbour Bridge in both directions. They were placed so that they faced away from the flow of traffic, and thus could not be read by motorists.

Recently I noticed that one had blown around, and I could see that the sign is about surveillance cameras being in use. Why are the signs facing so that motorists cannot read them? John Paull, North Shore.

Sometimes the answer to a traffic question is so remarkable you know it must be true.

The signs on the Harbour Bridge are positioned like this, parallel to the flow of traffic, to prevent drivers trying to read them as they go past at speed, because they are too small to be read easily from a moving vehicle.

Transit's logic tells them that if your car breaks down on the bridge, and stops, you are then in a perfect position to be able to read the sign, which will tell you to stay in your car until help arrives. This, of course, will be possible only if the breakdown occurs sufficiently close to a sign to make reading it an option.

Because there is no hard shoulder on the bridge, you are safer if you stay in your car. The camera operators in the transport monitoring centre keep an eye on things and arrange for you to be liberated from your defective vehicle.

Originally there were emergency telephones on the bridge, but they were removed after Transit found that most calls arrived after the incident had been spotted and the cavalry dispatched.

* Following on from last week's question about the lack of motorway signage for Otara before the Highbrook offramp, Transit tells me that Otara is signposted before the East Tamaki Rd offramp. Using this exit will take you directly to Otara Town Centre.

But Transit will continue to monitor traffic counts at both the offramps, to assess the need for additional signage.

- NZ Herald

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