Two pedestrian access points on Landing Road have had ‘red carpet’ crossings installed this week, including the section outside Gull Service Station. Improvements were made in this location last year to widen the median bay and enable increased maneuverability, especially for mobility scooters and wheelchairs.

The new ‘red carpet’ crossing points are identical to those installed in Ōhope, which have resulted in positive feedback from users. Whakatāne District Council Transportation Manager, Martin Taylor, says traditional zebra crossings must meet certain criteria regarding the volume of pedestrian use relative to vehicle traffic and therefore, are not suitable for such areas as Landing Road.

“The red carpet model has been successfully piloted internationally and within New Zealand,” he says. “The intention is to highlight visibility and risk, for both pedestrians and drivers, and encourage respect and courtesy between all users.”

The installation of the red paint was completed during the night to minimise disruption to road users.

The improvements are aligned with the Active Whakatāne initiative, for which a strategy is in development, to ensure infrastructure projects support the community’s desire for safe and easily-accessible travel routes for active modes of transport. The red carpet installation is funded by the Whakatāne District Council Low-Cost Low-Risk programme.