Signs and Street Junk

West Coast rd. 1951 No signs. Drivers just looked at the road to recognise a corner!

So signs were the hot topic at the Waitakere Ranges Combined Residents and Ratepayers  meeting. Road signs. Real Estate signs. Business signs. Heritage signs. Our road signs are multiplying,  and our hand-painted rural farmers’ signs are being replaced with large commercial signs and overscale road signage.  Traditional thinking is – if there is a road problem put in a sign.  Straighten the road. But is it working? The tyre tracks on the grass and the number of times this sign is knocked over suggests maybe not. This UK booklet  about rural laneways suggests that over-engineering our roads is having the opposite effect. It’s making our roads look like motorways and that perception makes drivers go faster. Instead of looking at the roads they are now looking at signs. Food for thought. The UK example has decided that traffic calming comes from less not more; that strong placemaking in the rural village will slow people down – not signs. Perhaps plant a tree or let your grassy verges grow, or put some fruit for sale at the end of your driveway.  Signs in Oratia – what do you think?  Leave a comment.  by Penny Sparks

A country road

A country road – enjoy the view. This is an example of the kind of road West Coast rd and Oratia could look like.  Hans Monderman believes a strong sense of place has a traffic calming effect.

And this is what West Coast rd now looks like. The number and size of the signs tells us it’s a motorway – put your foot down. But it used to be an orchard less than 7 years ago. Perhaps remove the signs and plant some trees along the council strip would indicate it’s a place to slow down and enjoy not a motorway or a thoroughfare to somewhere else more attractive.