New Otaki pedestrian crossing up and running


A new signal controlled pedestrian crossing on State Highway 1 aimed at improving pedestrian safety and helping traffic flow more efficienctly through Otaki is now up and running.

NZTA Operations Manager Mark Owen says power was connected yesterday to the new Puffin pedestrian crossing, located in the middle of Otaki's shopping area, and the crossing is ready for use from today.

Located north of SH1's Arthur Street intersection, the new crossing replaces an existing pedestrian crossing. The 'pedestrian user-friendly intelligent' or Puffin crossing includes the latest in traffic signal technology, aiming to better manage traffic and people crossing this busy stretch of highway.

"With the number of vehicles and pedestrians using this stretch of highway continuing to rise we know a signalised pedestrian crossing will make crossing the road safer for pedestrians. It will also improve traffic flow during busy times as more vehicles can travel through as opposed to the frequent stops and starts that happen with a typical zebra crossing."

The new crossing has extra safety benefits beyond a normal signalised crossing as it includes built-in sensors that can detect when people are crossing and can delay lights turning green until everyone has fully crossed the road. It also includes:

  • Traffic lights that only turn red when the call button is pushed and when sensors identify someone is waiting to cross. This stops "ghost calls" from happening and minimises delays to traffic;
  • Locating the indicator unit which shows when it is safe to walk (the red and green man) next to the call button and positioned so crossing users are looking towards oncoming traffic;
  • No flashing red man phase which stops pedestrians trying to get across the road before traffic signals turn green.

Mr Owen says the NZTA will monitor the performance of the new crossing closely, particularly at busy holiday weekends.

"We want to thank the local community and road users for their patience while we installed the new crossing."