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The Spinoff reviews New Zealand #4: Driving on Patteson Ave, Auckland

We review the entire country and culture of New Zealand, one thing at a time.

Of all the streets I regularly drive on, Patteson Ave is the worst. Not for its condition or quality, but for the danger it puts you in by combining off-street parking, a hill, poor visibility and double yellow lines.

I thought you weren’t supposed to cross yellow lines unless you were turning into a street or driveway or something. But, because you’re allowed to park on both sides of this busy street where BMW SUVs drive hurriedly between Mission Bay and Eastridge, the terrible mall at the top of the hill, you’re forced (forced!) to drive pretty much in the middle of the road, unsure how fast a car is approaching you because there’s a little rise that you’re coming over and you can’t see what’s on the other side.

Are cars crashing here? Or are people just slamming on brakes and then awkwardly trying to decide who gets to drive first, or, if the two cars are smallish, you drive slowly past one another wondering if you’re going to smash each others’ rearview mirrors off.

C’mon Auckland! Do we need parking on both sides of this suburban street lined with driveway-having houses? No. No we don’t. Or, if we need the parking, why not have some bright sign saying “Hey, this street is really fucking dangerous, cars coming towards you can’t see you and are usually driving over the speed limit, so look out. And, by the way, please let the vehicle coming up the hill have right of way because we’re trying to retain some semblance of a society here and somewhere along the line, our foreparents decided that you give way to the one going up the hill because it’s harder to go up hills than go down them. Okay? Okay.” / Henry Oliver

GOOD OR BAD? Bad. Real bad. Very bad. It brings out the grouchy old man in me bad. It makes me want to write a letter to the council bad.

Verdict: The worst street I regularly drive on.


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