The intersection of Devonport Road and Elizabeth Street is getting a makeover by receiving the city’s first ‘Barnes Dance’ pedestrian crossing system.
The system stops all vehicle traffic and allows pedestrians to cross an intersection in every direction, including diagonally, at the same time.
This intersection is being changed so that pedestrians can cross in any direction with all vehicle traffic stopped.
Tauranga City Council transport operations manager Martin Parks says work on the change is underway.
Traffic will not be disrupted as only minor upgrades are required to the existing lights, push buttons, and painting of poles and road markings.
Martin says if all goes to plan, the new system should be operational by next week.
This intersection has the highest pedestrian usage in the city with an average of over 1200 pedestrian phases called every day resulting in up to 1500 people crossing.
Martin says the main reason for the change is pedestrian confusion with the existing system, causing some serious safety concerns.
“We wanted to improve pedestrian safety on the busiest intersection in the city,” says Martin.
“People were getting confused when the bleepers would go off as to whose bleeper it was and who had priority.”
The Barnes Dance system is used in most cities in New Zealand.