Posted by: Gregory | May 26, 2014

Easy Bits: Hutchison Road Crossing


Easy Bits will hopefully become a series of posts describing simple changes that would result in nothing-but-benefits. This one is in my neighbourhood, so is etched into my awareness. Any readers with issues like this are more than welcome to recommend a post, either by commenting below or preparing a guest-post.

Intersection of Hutchison Rd with Wallace St and John St

This is the most recent satellite image of the area around John St, Wallace St and Hutchison Rd. There are a few bus stops in the vicinity and an increasing amount of pedestrian traffic, partly due to the new Countdown store less than 100m away. The majority of the vehicle traffic follows the bend between John St and Wallace St, but a small number of vehicles take Hutchison Rd to or from Vogeltown. So with all that in mind, I’m completely baffled why the pedestrian crossing stops short of getting pedestrians all the way across from the north side of John St to the south side of Hutchison Rd. Extending the crossing would keep pedestrians in a single context all the way across the road. In the current situation, pedestrians get across to a median and have to watch for downhill cars that would be stopping approximately 2 meters further on and then watching again for uphill cars leaving John St. The cars may be few in number, but it’s easy for anyone to be inattentive to their surroundings.

As near as I can tell, the net result to vehicle traffic would be negligible and the result to pedestrians would be increased safety. Why hasn’t this been done? I’m tempted to think that it’s not been done because no one has suggested it.




  1. Good thinking, Greg, and I’d be a little more radical. Making Hutchison Rd one way westbound from John St to the slip road by the bus stops would mean that the road at your proposed crossing could be narrowed to a single lane, making life easier for pedestrians and making little difference to vehicles.

    I’d be more radical and suggest closing Hutchison Rd to vehicles there so that all vehicles used the slip road, but that would present problems for buses terminating here, proposed to increase in the draft Regional Public Transport Plan. Through buses could be speeded up by building a bus-stop layby on the main John St-Wallace St route, avoiding the time-consuming detour via the existing bus stops.

    • Making that area a one-way loop makes a lot of sense. I’ve sense a few cases where cars coming from Vogeltown have to push through John St traffic at that awkward angle. Using the skip lane would clear that up.

      • I’d leave the short link road between Wallace and Hutchison two-way rather than going for a full one-way loop, otherwise it would be a very awkward sharp right turn just about on the pedestrian crossing, particularly difficult for buses.

      • Of course. Perspective bias on my part. I was only imagining half the uses.

  2. For those not familiar with the area, the two links to Hutchison St are confusing. I’ve rarely, if ever, used them until recently and found the road markings and general ‘readability’ of the road to be poor. With the curves and gradients involved it should be far simpler than it is.

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