People travelling on Cobham Drive next week, near the Ākau Tangi (previously ASB) indoor sports stadium in Evans Bay, are advised that the new signalised pedestrian crossing starts operating on Tuesday 31 January at 10 am.
Sarah Gardner, Programme Director for Let’s Get Wellington Moving, says, “Wellingtonians have told us they want a liveable city that is easy and safe to move around using different transport modes – and the Cobham Crossing is part of delivering on that.”
“From Tuesday morning, if you are driving on Cobham Drive, please be aware of the new pedestrian crossing lights and take extra care and be ready to stop. And remember, speed limits on this road have been reduced to 60 kmph.
“If you are crossing this road and walking or biking or using a wheelchair, please use this crossing as it is the only safe place to cross for nearly 2 km along this busy four-lane stretch of road. Take extra care while everyone adjusts to this new crossing.”
Consultation in 2021 found that 50% of respondents believe it is important or very important to improve safety along this stretch of SH1. Three-quarters of people who cycle believe it is important to improve safety, along with two-thirds of people who walk.
Cobham Drive is the key route to and from the airport and the Miramar peninsula, as well as the shopping areas in Miramar, Kilbirnie, and Lyall Bay.
Speed limits have also been reduced to improve safety. Last year, on Cobham Drive, it was reduced from 70 km/h to 60 km/h, while on Ruahine Street, the speed limit was reduced from 70 km/h to 50 km/h.
Other safety measures have been introduced to improve awareness and visibility when approaching the crossing. These include road markings and advance warning signs to alert drivers, as well as anti-skid surfacing.
Let’s Get Wellington Moving will be monitoring the use and traffic impacts of the new signalised pedestrian crossing on an on-going basis to inform further investigations into alternative long-term options, for the eastern suburbs.
“This crossing provides a safer connection for the local community and visitors between the water and the facilities and residences of the local area. Combined with the reduction in speed limits, this means safer access to Tahitai, the new cycling and walking coastal paths between Miramar, Evans Bay and Oriental Bay to the central city. It also opens up transport mode options to this community that, due to the hazard of crossing Cobham Drive, they may have been reluctant to consider.”
This is the first construction project completed by Let’s Get Wellington Moving. This year, construction begins on the Golden Mile, and Thorndon Quay/Hutt Road project, and detailed investigation will start on Mass Rapid Transit, improvements at the Basin Reserve and an extra Mt Victoria Tunnel.