Re Napier Hill's speed humps.
My thanks to Clive Squire for lighting this fire.
I was part of the Napier City Council roading team from 1998 (in Clive's time) to 2016 when "sustainable excellence" arrived.
Owen Mata (Letters, June 5) assisted the council with walking and cycle projects during the last of those years and I know he and I are on the same wavelength over the balance, or lack of it, between cars and people on foot.
Still, I'm not sure that lecturing Clive on the joys of the hill's walkways is all that helpful.
If the unthinkable were to happen (i.e. a serious or fatal crash involving a pedestrian) there is every chance the victim would have been walking in the traffic lane because the footpath was obstructed by a parked vehicle.
Residents park on the footpaths with impunity because they know they will never get a ticket – any serious parking enforcement on the hill (or any residential area for that matter) appears to have ended 30 years ago when Napier's traffic department was disbanded.
Early during my time at NCC I was allowed to commission a broad-ranging traffic study for Napier Hill.
This was completed by Traffic Design Group in 2002 but never presented to the council.
In 2008, the council found itself needing transport analysis for its response to an application for medium density housing on the Hukarere site in Napier Terrace.
An updated 2008 version of the 2002 study was prepared for this purpose, again by Traffic Design Group.
The core of the 2008 report is an analysis of the traffic capacity of various roads in relation the demands that could be placed on them by land development.
This may seem dry, and it is, but the thing that makes the report relevant to the current issues is that it only considers the available traffic capacity with streets first reconfigured to provide a fairer and safer re-allocation of road space between motor vehicles and "vulnerable road users".
This means ignoring the double-laned centre-lined, no room for parking layouts.
The report even includes plans showing how a variety of roads, including Shakespeare, Coote and Milton Rds, can be re-marked to achieve these aims.
Milton Rd has one the hill's worst mixes of traffic volume combined with insufficient road width.
The report's solution is to mark a parking lane on the footpath side of the road, to apply broken yellow lines on the non-footpath side, and to remove the centre line.
The footpath can then be reclaimed for people on foot and traffic speeds in the remaining "movement lane" will be naturally lower, as they always are without a centre line.
There would be no need for intrusive speed humps or other blunt speed reduction instruments.
Moving off the hill for a moment, Tom Parker Ave should not have a marked centre line.
A centre line, especially where there is also an edge line, says to the driver "this side of the road is all yours, you are safe here, step on it".
Back to the hill, after the Hukarere hearing, council managers again kicked the traffic can down the road, no doubt believing that change was not worth the inevitable backlash.
As the current furore shows, fuss is inevitable whatever you do, so if you are going to stir up some bother at least make sure that the proposed solutions will stand the test of time.
The current trend of engineering by Facebook needs to stop.
Finally, the full name of the 2008 report is the "Napier Hill Updated Traffic Study, Report on Physical Standards, September 2008".
Because it was presented in evidence to the Environment Court it is in the public domain and interested parties can and should ask the council to release it.