Motorists Need Re-educating


Some Auckland motorists will need some re-educating with trams heading across streets in the Wynyard Quarter - and the new Shared Spaces being open around the CBD.

These trams are very quiet and while they move relatively slowly they are obviously extremely heavy and can’t stop quickly to avoid a potential collision. Plus if the rails are wet they require a greater distance to slow down and stop.

The 48-long W2 tram weighs 17 tonnes, seats 52 people and has a driver and conductor onboard. The smaller X-1 tram IS 31 feet long, weighs 9 tonnes, seats 32 people and has one driver onboard.

Both trams have front and rear indicators and warning gongs that ring when the tram pulls out on to the road as it leaves each stop.

But someone sent in this photo of cars parked on the tracks the other day, halting the tram:

It will be interesting to monitor what happens down there.

I was critical the other day of Fort St.

I decided to check it out again to see if I was too harsh.
Fort St, as a Shared Space, is looking better with its Pohutakawas but there is still a serious flaw.

Jean Batten Place, between Shortland and Fort, itself a nice paved area now, must be closed to cars.
Again I watched yesterday as cars roar down it, put their vehicle nose out a way to check there was a gap in traffic going along Fort St towards Queen St.
And then they roar out of the side street at speed with the foot on the accelerator to turn right. To hell with any pedestrians or cyclists embracing Fort as a Shared Space.

Jean Batten Place

I don’t blame motorists completely.
Launching Shared Spaces is all very well - but where is the education process, the notices telling motorists to slow down and watch for walkers and cyclists?

I come across lots of motorists who look at me blankly when I mention Shared Space.
There needs to be a campaign to tell them what it means.




  1. Patrick R says:

    Jon the key to making the Fort St Shared Space work is to de-car Queen St not close Jean Batten. If there is no where to go at the end of Fort then there is no need for cars to go there, same for the very bottom of Shortland and Wyndam too. Make High St a Shared Space too. Car numbers will reduce across the whole inner CBD, and for those that really need to be there, including deliveries, emergency, and taxis, will find it works better. As will the humans.

  2. Matt L says:

    Its not just shared spaces that have occasional issues, this morning when I was crossing the Queen St/Customs St intersection there was a driver who decided to ignore the pedestrian phase and pushed his way through the crowds of people crossing the road

  3. Jon C says:

    @Patrick R I am at the front of the chorus for Queen St to be closed and not just as far as Wyndham thank you!

  4. Johans says:

    I haven’t been to these places - are there significant signage showing no parking and other whatnots?

  5. Jon C says:

    @Johans I havent seen any signage yet at Fort.
    The signage at Darby is shown in this earlier post but the problem is some motorists are unfamiliar with the term Shared Space

  6. Su Yin says:

    I had to shout ‘slow down’ into a taxi who had his windows down on Darby St today. Came barreling out of Jean Batten Place into Fort Street without stopping, much less giving way!

    Most of the other cars weren’t as bad but were still moving a little too fast for it to feel like a shared space.

    The construction workers were drilling holes along Fort Street, which I presume are for the street signs.

  7. joust says:

    the presence of barriers and cones doesn’t help, giving a false signal to drivers that the footpath is still separate.

  8. Simon Lyall says:

    It will be interesting to see if the Police keep using Fort St as a carpark. I often see 3 police vehicles parked there during the day.

  9. Nikolai says:

    New Zealanders lack the maturity in thier driving habits to make shared spaces work. Close them entirely to traffic, get cars out of the CBD, force people on to public transport.

  10. James F says:

    Tram should have just gently nudged the car out of the way.


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