Auckland Transport’s Creepy Green Man – To Help You Cross a Road

Misguided attempt when emphasis should be on our crap driving and crap road infrastructure design?

Auckland Transport were already getting pilloried yesterday on their announcement of their “The Green Man is here to help pedestrians” campaign and it is not hard to see why.

From Auckland Transport:

The Green Man is here to help pedestrians

If a Green Man holds your hand while crossing an intersection in Auckland’s CBD, don’t be alarmed. He’s there to help you keep safe and to emphasise the green man featured in the pedestrian “cross now” light.

Auckland Transport has launched the “Cross Safely with the Green Man” campaign to remind pedestrians that it’s safer to cross intersections on a green signal. Part funded by the NZ Transport Agency, the campaign aims to improve safety and reduce serious injuries for pedestrians in the CBD.

In addition to the Green Man assisting shoppers and city workers to cross the road, there are posters, giveaways, advertising in bus shelters and green footprints on the approach to intersections to reinforce the message.

Walking and Cycling Manager at Auckland Transport, Kathryn King says it’s a fun and novel way of highlighting a serious issue.

“People in the city are often busy and can be distracted, so we just want to remind them to not cross in the middle of the block or on a red, but to go to an intersection and wait for the green light.

“The statistics confirm that crossing on a green light at a signalised intersection is a lot safer, especially in busy pedestrian areas like Queen St and Karangahape Rd,” she says.

There were 50 serious or fatal pedestrian crashes in the period from 2009-2013 in Auckland’s city centre, nine of those were on Queen St or Karangahape Rd.

A recent survey of seven locations on Queen St found that in just one hour, 2250 people crossed the road away from the lights, placing themselves at much higher risk of injury or death. Pedestrians were seen running from behind parked vehicles without looking, dodging moving traffic and walking out into the road only to have to turn around and return to the kerb.

The campaign will run until the end of July.

The total social cost of motor vehicle injury crashes in 2013 is estimated at approximately $3.14 billion at June 2014 prices. This estimate covers all injuries recorded by NZ Police, hospitals and Accident Compensation Corporation:


Right so pedestrians rather than crap driving (need to look no further than the motorways with daily accidents as well as frequent reports of road traffic “collecting” people) and just as crap infrastructure that is hostile to people (you know people who long made a city before the car) get the blame according to Auckland Transport.


Rather than improve driver behaviour through

  • increased punitive measures and better designed streetscapes (like no slip lanes, and wide multi lane traffic sewers that have just a single refuge island in the middle for pedestrians wanting to cross the road with cars doing 60km/h + (yes looking at you Mill Road)) that calm road traffic
  • and make the environment more “friendly” to pedestrians we have a creepy Green Man to hold your hand while crossing a four lane road.

And apparently the Creepy Green Men are costing the Ratepayer some $76,000 for this misguided campaign.

The Green Man helping YOU cross the Road Source: Auckland Transport
The Green Man helping YOU cross the Road
Source: Auckland Transport

While Auckland Transport are being paternalistic in teaching people how to cross a road I am not quite sure if they have really lost their marbles with this latest campaign.

But then again Auckland Transport are continuing with more designs and construction of de-facto expressways, multi lane roundabouts, painted cycle lanes, and those ever so wonderful slip lanes with no pedestrian crossings on them.

And we wonder why we have accidents with pedestrians like this:

A City That Is Equitable to All our Citizens


Millwater: We Are Not Achieving The World’s Most Liveable (nor equitable) City

Maybe Andy Baird from Twitter is right, Auckland Transport should:

Focus HERE Not HERE Source: Andy Baird
Focus HERE
Source: Andy Baird

One thought on “Auckland Transport’s Creepy Green Man – To Help You Cross a Road

  1. Wow! That is outrageous. The best use of $76,000 was to have a creepy green man in central auckland business district. Teaching grown adults to cross the road at the lights. It’s just Auckland Transport more interested in visibly promoting itself at downtown rather than quietly tidying up a piece of infrastructure that would improve the place. $76,000 Fix a footpath, plant a roundabout, fix a crossing at a school, pave a bit of road in Rodney. Would love to see some statistics – number of unsafe crossings before the campaign and number of unsafe crossings after. My guess no change.

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