Portsmouth drive southern crossing

Update from meeting with DCC 22/3/22:

  • DCC’s expectation is that in about 5 years time there will be a multi-million dollar revamp of the whole junction. This must be part of why they appear reluctant to make changes. But of course the “5 years” might be much longer, given how projects get postponed.

  • Ian Martin proposed a type of sign that has been deployed in chch that consists of a beg button to trigger an illuminated sign that warns drivers that cyclists wish to cross. There is no compulsion for drivers to do anything. it would cost about $20k. We shot this idea down in flames rather quickly: It would cause more confusion as to who has right of way; some cyclists might assume they can cross once the sign is lit; some drivers might suddenly stop; All-in-all a very poor idea.

  • We reiterated our position: for such an important route into town, it should be safely navigable by a 10 year old. No route that relies on crossing a 50-60kph road without lights is going to meet that criteria.

  • In the absence of a light controlled crossing at that point, @mjenks (Hospital BUG) proposed an alternative would be to move the crossing point. How about, for example, a crossing point at the lights at midland street, and upgrade the path on the east side of Portsmouth drive. There would be the crossing of Teviot Street to deal with, but that could be dealt with in the way that has been done at Robert st and Wharf st junction, with recessed and raised crossings.

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That seems to be a really good idea to me. I can see it solving a lot of problems in one swoop.

From my dad-with-three-children-cyclist perspective, it would also be nice for access to the Edgar Centre. The Edgar centre is a centrepiece of school sport, and suffers from too-many-car-itis significantly.

@mjenks’s re-rooting suggestions:

They look like really good ideas that should be cost effective to do!

When Nathan and I biked through there a few days ago, I suggested an overpass (with long, gently graded ramps). If done tastefully and with a bit of creativity, it could become something kind of iconic.

We rode @mjenks’ Option 1 - there are a few driveways and it definitely isn’t as pleasant as riding on the other side of Portsmouth Dr.

Both options really need to be enacted in order to remove the existing (dangerous) crossing. And I suspect that both would frustrate ‘fast riders’, who would go over the median strip where the crossing currently is.

An overpass would be the ideal solution, but clearly only as part of a complete overhaul of the whole intersection and plenty of $$$ in the bank. There seems to be space for one.

What is wrong with an on-demand crossing? As in a proper pedestrian crossing, not a “cyclist wants to cross” one? As long as it was sensible with timings / sequencing, it could work very well without pissing off drivers unnecessarily.