What Does Design Have To Do With Traffic Control In Auckland?

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What Does Design Have To Do With Traffic Control In Auckland?

Design is often thought of as a word that describes a means of achieving an aesthetic outcome. But then how does good ‘design’ contribute towards a traffic control plan in Auckland?

What Is Design

When referring to design, it actually implies function more than form. When you see a new fang-dangled gadget of unknown purpose, your first question will most likely be “What is this for?” or “What does this do?”. You want to know what its function is. When you use the gadget for its purpose you will then conclude whether there was good design input based on the success of its function.

Design is a far-reaching subject and, arguably, has infinite facets as its application is infinite. A gadget that has a good design will relieve a pain point of a consumer e.g. a wine bottle opener that works supremely well. With temporary traffic management and traffic control, it means safety first followed by convenience, legislation and budget.

When Is Design Right Or Good?

A design that is right, however, doesn’t necessarily mean it is good. ‘Right’ would imply compliance with legislation and market norms. Good design could possibly stretch legislation limits and even involve engaging with the authorities for revisions or approved waivers of legislation that affect good design.

Good design of traffic control will find the ideal balance between safety, public convenience, the client’s budget and legislation. And this is why our designing engineers look at all the underlying factors of each situation to ensure the most comprehensively effective and functional design. Believe us when we say, there are no two situations that are ever alike.

Creating Hazards For Safety!

The primary design goal of traffic control is of course safety of pedestrians, vehicles, personnel working in the affected area and traffic control personnel. 

Ironically, while we are in the business of creating road safety, the execution of our traffic management and traffic control plans is in itself a safety hazard!  We have personnel interacting with live traffic, laying out equipment, setting up tools, installing signage and positioning equipment for workers on the road. So our safety plans need safety plans for the set up too!

What Is Good Traffic Control Design?

A good traffic management plan (TMP) and design will have clearly stated objectives right from the beginning. Every factor of the environment and context needs to be considered including projected behaviour of road users and pedestrians, treatment of emergency situations, contractor needs, flexible plans for varying scenarios or timeframes as well as needs if the project is mobile e.g. roadworks that progress along a road and are not static. 

A safe design will have hazards reduced to the maximum and prioritise user safety above all else – even convenience…lives versus travel time. No contest.

Categories: Traffic Control