Matthew Martin is a senior reporter at the Rotorua Daily Post

Red the new black for crossings

An artist's impression of the new red and white crossings.
An artist's impression of the new red and white crossings.

Parts of Rotorua's inner city Green Corridor have been painted red with plans to turn four road crossings into pedestrian crossings.

The changes come as news to the Rotorua Lakes Council's Inner City Revitalisation portfolio leader, but they were put in place during the weekend to improve safety and highlight the corridor, council staff say.

Council transport and waste solutions director Stavros Michael said in a statement that a safety audit of the Green Corridor, and subsequent technical assessments, highlighted two areas where minor improvements needed to be made.

He described those as "directional information and visual clues", such as more and better signage and green markings, and "better clarity on priority of transport mode when crossing a carriageway".

The new pedestrian crossings along the Green Corridor will be put in on Ranolf and Pukuatua streets, and two on Tutanekai St, with green blocks painted at the start of each crossing.

An Artist's impression of the new red painted Green Corridor.
An Artist's impression of the new red painted Green Corridor.

Work to re-paint existing Green Corridor road crossings with red paint only is already under way on Ranolf, Amohia, Pukuatua, Tutanekai, Hinemoa and Hinemaru streets. The crossings will also have green blocks painted at the start of each crossing.

"We take this opportunity to remind all Green Corridor traffic and footpath users that when you are in the city centre where there is a lot of activity please be safety conscious and courteous to other road and footpath users," Mr Michael said.

The decision to paint the crossings red and white, instead of the internationally recognised black and white (zebra crossings), was developed "with technical and Road Controlling Authorities (RCA) input ... to use red colour markings for road crossings instead of green to highlight visibility and risk", he said.

"... [We] will convert some crossings to fulltime pedestrian zebra crossings underlain with red road markings, while others will be simply red with a thin green line to provide continuity."

The RCA is a group of representatives from local authorities, TransFund New Zealand, Local Government New Zealand, and the Land Transport Safety Authority.

Inner City Revitalisation portfolio leader and councillor Karen Hunt said she was unaware parts of the corridor had been painted red.

"Our job in governance is not to know every breath the operations teams take. I understand there were discussions about who gives right of way, and it has been made very clear that cars [crossing the original Green Corridor] have right of way.

"Drivers are able to slow down and stop. The whole idea about the inner city is to slow traffic down and help pedestrian movement, and that's a good trend because it makes it safer."

Ms Hunt said councillors were not involved in day-to-day operations.

"That's not what we are elected for. There is some confusion in the community about where those roles begin and end," she said.

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