Safer crossings, slower traffic, better lighting, and aesthetic improvements that made greenways more welcoming were highly praised by the women’s focus group. They felt the changes were “good for the people”- they improved pride in the neighbourhood as well as safety for pedestrians. Wider footpaths and safer crossings also enabled older people and those with mobility impairments to move about more independently.
Negative changes included loss of parking, particularly around Nga Iwi school, and the concrete separators on the cycle lanes. The women thought the cycleways increased safety when walking but were not well used by cyclists and annoying when driving. The men saw the cycle lanes as the reason streets had been narrowed and vehicle turning lanes lost. These features annoyed them because buses stopping and cars waiting to turn into driveways were seen as causing delays and congestion at peak hours.
Views on the planted build-outs on Friesian Drive were mixed. Slower traffic and fewer trucks were generally seen positively, especially by women, but uncertainty over who had right of way when the road was single lane was a particular challenge raised. Signs like those before one-way bridges were suggested to indicate priority. Frustration at slower speeds and comments about irritable drivers were more common in the men’s than women’s groups. Women and disabled group participants were more inclined to criticise car drivers than the road designs, whereas the men’s group were more likely to be critical of the new street designs.
Antisocial behaviour was an issue raised through all focus groups. All groups felt youth drinking remains a problem that undermines safety and no one said they would allow a 12-year-old girl to move about the neighbourhood alone.