Councillor Darby is the Chair of Auckland Council’s Planning Committee.
He is encouraging Aucklanders to have their say on the proposed Speed Limit Bylaw.
What is your organisation doing to make streets safer?
The Regional Fuel Tax has been a major step enabling us to invest in road safety projects. $3.6m has been invested in the North Shore this financial year and we are working to grow that.
That has included delivery or funding of numerous road safety engineering projects: new raised pedestrian crossings on Jutland Road near Hauraki School; improvements to the Chartwell Ave/Bentley Ave intersection near Glenfield College; sixteen new pedestrian crossings; traffic signals; and the identification of the 100 Highest Risk Routes and 100 Highest Risk Intersections in Auckland so we can address the most urgent areas as priorities.
In our community, Onewa Road, Lake Road, the Bentley Ave/Chartwell Ave intersection, and the Wairau Rd/Tristram Ave intersection are all being targeted as priority areas.
Auckland Transport has adopted Vision Zero and introduced a Safe Speed Bylaw to limit speeds in the city centre, town centres, and some rural roads, to really target lowering our road toll. A pedestrian hit at 50km/h has an 80% chance of death; at 30km that chance is just 10%.
In 2017, 64 people died on our roads. Why is working towards a Vision Zero goal important to you? What does it mean for you personally?
Look, these aren’t statistics, these are people. It’s confronting when you start pulling these numbers out and converting them to our friends and neighbours, to a knock on the door that a loved one is in hospital or worse.
Taking an extra minute to move through the city centre is nothing in comparison. Car crashes should shock us. We’ve become used to them because they happen so frequently but they don’t need to and they shouldn’t.
Why are slower speeds important for your communities?
The death and serious injuries figures on Auckland roads are not moving down, they’re moving up. It used to be one death or serious injury a week in Auckland, it’s closer to three now. We need to turn this around.
What are the benefits of improving road safety for the region?
People are really asking for this. I hear from pedestrians, cyclists, and especially from parents daily asking for help in slowing down cars around schools and the routes they are walking home or to work.
Our town centres are public transport hubs where people move from one mode of transport to another. Prioritising safety is crucial as we continue to grow toward a genuine multi-modal public transport network.
Why are you encouraging people to make a submission on AT’s Safe Speeds Bylaw?
Auckland Transport have gathered data, identified risks, and presented their ideas. What they need now is the rest – the most important part – the experiences and thoughts of those who use these streets to live, work, play, commute, or send their children along to school. Changes will be made as a result of the feedback so please ensure your voice is heard.
This is your city and we need to hear from you to shape it.
Have your say
Auckland Transport’s consultation on its draft Speed Limit Bylaw closes this Sunday 31 March.
Visit the AT website for full information on the proposed changes and to have your say.