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Karangahape Road footpath safety awareness.

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During June 2018 this surface has been sand blasted to take the gloss off it. With a public notice attached to street poles saying “Less slip, better grip”

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If you would like to contact me click here; Footpath feedback,You may even be the first lucky one to give me feedback.

Introduction, To get a quick concept of this story, just read the bold highlighted font of the first section. Most people in Auckland say “K Road” as they can not pronounce “Karangahape”. Because of my experience with Karangahape Road I say “Karangahape Argh” The aim of this web page is not to present my dry humor I have, but to bring awareness when you are walking along Karangahape Road just how dangerous the footpath is when it gets wet, while you are wearing shoes that fails to meet the standards of Auckland City Council footpath slip factor.
(Question: Where are the shoe shops that sells shoes by “slip factor”? ....
Answer: Good question.

Just because your shoes pass Auckland City Council slip factor on most days does not mean to say the shoes are completely safe on Karangahape R.

As I found out on my trusted $199 shoes that replace near new and hardly used. On a previous incident I was wearing $60 shoes when I lost traction. The $60 shoes had a much more dangerous slip factor.

This is it!Amnesty International (was Westpac Bank when the photo was taken.) Corner Queen Street & Karangahape Argh
Once again I say this page is for safety awareness, this is why there is no copyright providing the content is not changed without my approval, (I might even help you change it to your liking.)

It all started with the buses to work, when the buses came they would come in a group of three that could take me to Pakuranga Shopping center (and I worked about five minutes walk from there). If you missed one of those buses you would have to wait half a hour for the next three, over the months I got sick of waiting and waiting and waiting, so I think why waste my life at bus stops, when I could walk, so I started walking from where I live to work, I was going through a new pair of shoes per month at just over 700 Kilometers per shoes. The only problem I had on my hundred and ten minute walk each trip, was motorist thinking I was invisible as they raced out of driveways, also motorist parking over the footpaths. Then the big winds came one day and lots of signs came down, it made me think there is no standards when it come to erecting signs around Auckland, or else nobody knows about it, what if a pedestrian got whacked by a flying sign, would Auckland city council care? I doudt it.
Then I found a new job closer to home that only took forty minutes per trip between home and work, after six months at my new job “they” came (between about the start 2004 and end 2005) and ripped up a perfectly safe footpath along Karangahape Argh and replaced it with something that can get dangerously slippery when wet. Then one day I slipped on it, in fact I slipped on it more than one day, perfectly flat concrete, this is not a footpath when it gets wet but a slip pad, This replacement footpath along Karangahape Argh has given more trouble per meter than hundreds of meters of other footpaths I have walked on. Now I am not sure what came next, my letter to the city council or the front page story in the local newspaper where someone else had footpath trouble in their part of Auckland. So I sent my story into “letters to the editor” and the only feedback I got from Auckland City Council was “, it meets our slip factor”. Well I have learned by experience there our a lot of shoes sold out there that don´t meet Auckland City Council slip factor, I just hate buying shoes now, it is like playing Russian Roulette, a new pair of shoes, the same old problem, Then I thought I wonder if I could ring Accident Compensation Cooperation after all I now know about this problem, maybe a elderly citizen might not be so lucky, death could come within days, So my first call to Accident Compensation Cooperation did not achieve anything on the accident prevention scene, but a email some weeks later got things moving, many more emails and letters got written and passed around, but that was all. Then Auckland walk organisation found one steep corner I slipped on was outside the specification for safe footpaths.
I must say I have enjoyed putting this web page together, it has taken a bit of pain out of my “slipping overs” (maybe I should of put more humor in my correspondence, it might of achieved more, or maybe not)

· Looks can be deceiving with Karangahape Argh footpath.

This photo was taken outside number 238 Karangahape Argh, Corner of Karangahape Argh & Mercury Lane one morning.

As you can see, while the path you would normally walk is near horizontal, as you would expect has the small drop from the shops to the gutter. Now you might say "What is wrong with that?", well I can not tell a lie, I have had slipped on wet Karangahape Argh footpaths wearing shoes that do not measure up to Auckland City Council slip factor, just like this one. I felt I was safer to walk along the road just near the gutter on wet days along with the cars of the morning traffic, and that is exactly what I did! While I have only slipped over on the footpath twice, once at the steep Queen Street / Karangahape Argh corner one morning on my way to work when it was raining, and on the flat footpath, again on my way to work after it got washed and had a deeper amount of water on it, there has been other days were the new shoes have lost traction.

Example of what looks like safe footpath, looks can deceive when it is wet
A night sleepers bed?· This photo was taken outside number 461 Karangahape Argh.

Oh! what could this be? Could it be a rest spot?, a first aid post while you are waiting for the ambulance? It is good to see the bed is so flat, it means the injured person can lie in the recovery position if needed. Hay Auckland City Council you have put it in the wrong spot, you really are a classic, it should be at the corner of Karangahape Argh & Queen Street. where I slipped on my back one morning.


I heard at a first aid refresher course, someone moved a injured person, then someone else said “You are not suppose to move injured people”, so they put the person back to the original spot, well what can you say?

· This is a photo of the old Ponsonby fire station on number 1 Williamson Avenue, now a cafe, restaurant.

I think this old building should be moved to across the road from Auckland hospital, it would be great to see as you look out the hospital window from your bed after you have slipped over on the dangerous footpath to see a lovely old building such as this. Internet tells me broken bones can take anything from four weeks to three months to heal, then when the hospital takes off the cast after the bones have mended and you are given the all clear to return to work, Accident Compensation Cooperation (ACC) could ring the bells and then everyone hearing the bells ringing can all rejoice, like dance and sing (e.g. “Happiness” a Ken Dodd song I would strongly recommend that would suit any victim situation) in the streets knowing a accident victim has got off ACC payments, One small step for us paying ACC levys ~ One giant step forward for the victim.

The fire station in the good old days
slippery when wet· On the left is a “slippery when wet” sign motorist have, I think pedestrians should also have a sign (only on Karangahape Argh).
On the right is “something” I quickly made.

Now I am not suggesting Auckland City Council should place my “Argh” sign on every lamppost along Karangahape Argh to warn all pedestrians, but if you are more artistic than what I am, whip up a sign yourself and submit it to Auckland City Council, using the keyword “Better Safety Procrastinators”.
Karangahape Argh warning sign


a what?
What is this at the Newmarket end of Khyber Pass? This photo came out very good, well I did it on a angle for a reason, to see if it means more to the mind. The photo in fact does it justice, believe me you would not want to see a close up picture of this, as it becomes obvious birds fly over it! and someone poked rubbish in the cracks, but then what do I know, it could have been made that way to save on rubbish bins. Unfortunately some times when I walk that way I have to go passed it on the way to work. I think I got it now, Auckland City Council got paid to take away sub standard paving, as the paving company was paying out too much rent on the real estate to hold it, as none of their other customers wanted the slippery paving, so Auckland City Council in their wisdom used that money to get a “a what?”
I bet the paving company was laughing all the way to the bank. Personally I would prefer the old cannon that used to be near there where the “a what?” is now, it was a lot smaller so a lot less obvious, a lot less ugly, more meaningful and maybe even cheaper than the “a what?”.

· Beware of the growing footpath cancer!


OK maybe that comment is a little bit uncalled for, this photo was taken from Davis Crescent, it was used for the entry/exit to a temporary train station while Newmarket train station was rebuild, the train station has been taken away now, but no doubt this was left there because people love having or love causing accidents.

Personally I avoid walking on them even in dry weather, I am training for when it is raining. I strongly recommend you should avoid them too, to avoid a slip up, yep you´ave got it “slippery”. Yes I bet the city council have got specially made wallpaper in their office with “We love slippery-n-e-s, slippery, slippery, slippery, if in doubt make it slippery.” quotes printed all over it. They even have shiny metal looking ones. Do I have to keep telling all the time? SLIPPERY!! I bet the plastics industry spent millions of dollars Research and Development (R&D) looking for cheap bright yellow plastic that is ultra slippery so to make the city councils happy, and the fact that most of these are placed on a slope, what a bonus!

Now I can not help thinking, “Are Visually Impaired Pedestrian (VIP) in deep poo or what?” as I stood at a pedestrian crossing one day and heard the pedestrian buzzer for the other road telling pedestrians they could “cross now”, it made me think “If I was visually impaired and lacked some kind of extrasensory perception that visually impaired people need to have, I would get run over”, maybe this is why we never or hardly see any visually impaired pedestrians, they have all been run over, because all the buzzers for all the roads sound the same! Are there not any night time sailors at the city council, thank goodness the city council do not make lighthouses or equivalent beacons they would all flash at the same “mark — space” timing.

Growing footpath cancer - Footnote: (Oh what a great analogy) While I have not slipped over from this footpath cancer, but I have lost traction a couple of times, In less than a week I have included this, I have heard two reports of other people who have lost more than shoe traction, making it a bigger problem than I first thought.

Oh good thinking?

This curb is highlighted so Visually Impaired Pedestrians who are sick of slipping on the bright domes can step up without tripping on the curb, all we need is a lot more paint used and a lot more of them. I hear you say “I don´t think so, it is not a stepping curb, nobody is clever enough to think of that, why do you think the council have spent a fortune on slippery domes, so everyone can slip on them.”

So if you are walking from the western end of Karangahape Argh towards Grafton bridge and need to cross Upper Queen Street, at least there is a option on one corner you can avoid slipping on, all you need to do as you walk at the pedestrian crossing, is to veer off to the right a little and if you do not see the highlighted curb as seen in the picture on the right you have a problem.

This photo taken from Upper Queen Street, just near Karangahape Argh.
The curb step for Visually Impaired Pedestrians

Now I have to be completely honest here, Karangahape Argh is not the only footpath I have run into trouble, or walked on I should say. The sharp corner of George Street & Carlton Gore Road using those very slippery paving stones the Auckland City Council loves, and I am sure the gradient is outside the limits for safe footpaths, but it has never been a problem like Karangahape Argh is. Now I just walk around the steep part when it gets wet, maybe I should bring this to the attention of ........... I have a better idea, why don´t I just bang my head against a brick wall, it would be less painful and get it over with quicker.

· The epilogue.

With a long winded drama like this, I just can not resist in having a epilogue and what better to do it in what I think is Incipient pedestrian crossings I have to ask what is the point in not finishing the job? does it save the local city council millions or even thousands of dollars per crossing? I don't think so! Could it be a right hassle for people on wheel chairs? (just to give one example), and when it is raining are you happy to standing in the rain up to three times waiting for a crossing when only one would do if this practice was not so incipient? Does it improve traffic flow? One would quickly think it does not after all most often the traffic lights are integrated with neighboring lights, or is it that someone in the system just hates pedestrians and their motto “Lets give pedestrians hell!”

I really feel this system is one step forward and two slips backwards, we should be encouraging pedestrians to use electronic crossings whenever possible and I am sure most sensible motorist would prefer that as well, not to mention the police, however when I come to a crossing that fails pedestrians such as this incipient idea I am not interested in waiting three times when once will do. So I use one of two other options, think about it. And it works brilliant, as I walk up to cross roads, I can not be bothered to wait and see if it has incipient pedestrian crossings, I cross early if I can.

Honestly motorist would not tolerate this kind of abuse, there would be higher road deaths.

So here we are we would like to go on our walk and follow path “C” ,

But because some KIND person has not put a crossing on road 1 (dark blue) we have to follow path “a” . Waiting to cross and crossing the road three times when once should be enough.

Just because you may of walked the last ½ a hour and still have about another ½ hour to go, does not mean you like waste more parts of ½ hours going or using these pedestrian crossing that have not been finished off because there are incipient workers at the local city council.

That is why it is better to use the path “b” all the time just in case the crossing at “C” is missing.
the BIG trip.

Examples of incipient pedestrian crossings.

A three street corner. “T” Intersection. 
Road 1Road 2Road 3 
Great North Road
(Karangahape R side)
Bond Street.
Great North Road.
Remurea Road
(on the Newmarket shopping side)
Middleton Road.
Remurea Road
Tamaki Drive.The Strand.Quay Street. 
Victoria Street westBeaumont Street.College Road. 
A four street corner. 
Road 1Road 2Road 3Road 4 
Hobson Street.
(Motorway - Pitt Street side)
Cook Street.
Hobson Street
Cook Street.
Khyber Pass
(Symonds Street side)
Boston Road.
Khyber Pass.
Parkfield Terrace.
Symonds Street
(city side)
North going
Motorway exit. 
Symonds Street.
Ian McKinnon Drive.
Upper Queen Street
(Queen Street side)
Ian McKinnon Drive.
Upper Queen Street.
Ian McKinnon Drive.
Why not have two crossings missing, to save even more money. 
Khyber Pass
(Symonds Street side)
Suiter Street
Khyber Pass.
Crowhurst Street.
A five street corner.
Road 1Road 2Road 3Road 4Road 5
Kitchener StreetWaterloo Quadrant.Princess Street.Bowden Avenue.Princess Street.

· Appendix.

(1) Land Transport (Road Users) Rule 2004 - SR 2004/427 - Rule 61001
There is some very good reading in there, that would surprise a lot of motorist.
(2) Give someone a Road Code for a birthday, Christmas day present, it might save your life.
(3) This file in PDF format. footpath.pdf