Can Auckland Transport get anything right?

Auckland Transport has stuffed up again, rooting up one of the simplest jobs they have, providing adequate and readable signage for motorists.

New signs peppering streets around Auckland’s Dominion Rd may have to be “re-skinned” to make them easier for motorists to read, the city’s transport authority admits.

Auckland Transport said yesterday that some drivers had complained lettering on the dark blue “way-finding” signs is not large enough for them to make out.

“Initial feedback is that the typeface … is too small, particularly if you are driving,” said marketing general manager Mike Loftus. “This is certainly something we will be reviewing.”

But he said the signs were designed so they could be re-skinned with larger type if necessary, rather than replaced at greater cost.

Although they were introduced primarily to point to a 12km network of routes developed for $5.9 million as safer cycling alternatives to busy Dominion Rd, they have replaced larger street signs in a number of locations. Those include four intersections along Dominion Rd.

The larger – more legible – versions will remain in storage during a trial by Auckland Transport and other council organisations to develop a standard wayfaring sign to point to community facilities throughout the Super City.

Mr Loftus said the budget covered about 100 signs and route maps installed along the Grafton Gully cycleway as well as two sets of routes parallel to Dominion Rd, for which contractors have also installed speed bumps, pathways and boardwalks, leaving only a bridge to be erected in Mt Roskill’s War Memorial Park.

How hard can it be, there are numerous studies world wide on the ideal sign colour and even fonts…but oh no Auckland Transport has to try and re-invent the wheel.

For readability of signs a quick google search shows that there are several option available for use on signs.

The two most effective are Transport, “which is a sans serif typeface first designed for road signs in the United Kingdom. It was created between 1957 and 1963 by Jock Kinneir and Margaret Calvert?as part of their work as designers for the Department of Transport’s Anderson and Worboys?committees.”

The second is?Highway Gothic (formally known as the FHWA Series fonts or the Standard Alphabets for Highway Signs) which “is a set of sans-serif typefaces developed by the United States Federal Highway Administration and used for road signage in the U.S., Canada, Turkey,Mexico, Australia, Norway, Spain, Venezuela, the Netherlands, Brazil, Argentina, China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Mongolia and New Zealand.”

Even though Highway Gothic is used in NZ it is clear that Auckland Transport didn’t use that font.

These muppets are for a large part responsible for many budget blow outs and a key cause of our ever increasing rates burden.

As usual they think they know best and when it turns to custard they claim it was only a trial…yeah perhaps that is what is needed with this out of control council…a few show trials holding some people to account.


– NZ Herald