Community ‘delighted’ with crossing win after two year argument with AT

Community 'delighted' with crossing win after two year argument with AT

A potentially life-saving pedestrian crossing has been the cause of an 18-month-long debate between Auckland Transport and an Auckland North Shore community.

Now, the crossing has progressed to the public submission stage, which has left advocates delighted.

Birkenhead’s Hinemoa St is the main route from Highbury town centre to the Birkenhead Ferry Terminal and is on the Auckland cycle route.

But from the top of Hinemoa Street to the ferry terminal at the bottom, there are no pedestrian crossings.

The busy street is also home to Highbury House – a community facility with an early childhood centre, a preschool, and a group of shops and cafes.

Highbury House manager Angela Spooner said she wasn’t happy with AT’s rejection of the original proposal and so she appealed.

“The pedestrian crossing will slow the traffic down and make it safer for everyone.”

The proposal is to install a crossing at 100 Hinemoa St, outside Coffee General and just before Rugby Rd. Some street parking will be lost in the installation.

North Shore Ward Councillor Richard Hills has been another strong advocate for the crossing saying that from a pedestrian safety point of view, the crossing is essential.

Also, investing in these sorts of projects will encourage people to not use their cars when going on shorter journeys, Hills said.

Submissions are now open and can be lodged at at.govt.nz, search: Hinemoa St.

Article by Laine Moger
Published 06 October 2017 The North Shore Times – stuff.co.nz

The following content is from Auckland Transports website

https://at.govt.nz/about-us/have-your-say/north-auckland-consultations/hinemoa-st-birkenhead-zebra-crossing/

Hinemoa St, Birkenhead – Zebra crossing

Consultation status: closed 6 October 2017

Proposal reference: RTV-078

AT had proposed to install a zebra crossing at 100 Hinemoa St in Birkenhead, including the removal of some on street parking.

The proposed changes included:

  • Installation of a new zebra crossing, traffic islands and pram crossings.
  • Removal of existing pedestrian refuge island at 102-108 Hinemoa St.
  • Installation of broken yellow lines (no stopping parking restrictions) on the approach to the crossing.

Download the consultation drawing for Hinemoa St (PDF 613KB)

Why the changes are needed

We are proposing these changes in response to local requests for safer pedestrian facilities on Hinemoa St. The proposed crossing will also act as a traffic calming measure on this busy road.

Feedback

Thank you everyone for your feedback.

The proposal received mixed feedback with some concerns raised by respondents. After reviewing this feedback and all other supporting evidence, the proposal will proceed with minor changes to the next stage of detailed planning. These changes include raising the zebra crossing and reducing the width of the central traffic islands.

Specific feedback

  • Concern that the loss of on-street car parking will negatively affect local businesses. Our proposal aims to balance the demand for parking in this area with local requests for a safer pedestrian crossing. Whilst we appreciate the inconvenience of losing parking directly outside individual businesses, adequate parking still exists at a reasonable distance on Hinemoa Street, Rugby Road and Glade Place.
  • Suggestions that pedestrian demand is not high enough on Hinemoa Street to justify installing a crossing and removing car parking. Our surveys show that a high volume of pedestrians are crossing at multiple locations near 100 Hinemoa Street. We have concluded that this area requires a safer crossing that will also reduce vehicle speeds and create a more comfortable environment for all road users.
  • Concern that the proposed crossing will cause additional safety hazards and confusion for both drivers and pedestrians because it is located too close to the intersection with Rugby Road. We have surveyed the site of the proposed crossing and our calculations show that there will be adequate visibility for drivers and pedestrians approaching the new zebra crossing. Road signage will also be installed to notify drivers of the new crossing.
  • Requests to move the proposed crossing closer to the Highbury Community House and Crèche at 110 Hinemoa Street. Pedestrian surveys show us that most pedestrians are crossing between Rugby Road and Glade Place. We therefore believe that 100 Hinemoa Street will be the most effective location for a crossing facility.
  • Concern that the proposal will negatively affect nearby properties due to noise from vehicles required to break when approaching the crossing. Whilst we appreciate that our proposal involves changes to traffic movements at this location, we expect that noise from breaking cars will not be any louder than cars stopping to pull into parking spaces.
  • Concern that the removal of on-street parking will result in cars parking in residential driveways when visiting local businesses. Parking in driveways is prohibited. We recommend regularly reporting these parking infringements to our parking enforcement call centre, which operates 24 hours, 7 days a week. Please call 09 355 3553.
  • Requests to upgrade angle parking on Glade Place, near the intersection with Hinemoa Street (due to reports of these parking bays being muddy with potholes), include time restrictions and clear markings to identify the parking space boundary and prevent residential driveways from being blocked. We plan to tidy existing parking spaces in Glade Place when the new zebra crossing is constructed on Hinemoa Street. Our surveys show that time restrictions are not required for these parking spaces at this point in time. If parked cars are illegally blocking driveways, please contact our parking enforcement call centre, which operates 24 hours, 7 days a week on 09 355 3553.
  • Requests for speed calming measures along Hinemoa Street to address traffic safety, including chicanes and warning lights. Respondents also request that the speed limit be dropped to 40 or 30 km/h along this road. Whilst Hinemoa Street does not meet current criteria for a reduction of the speed limit, we have expanded our final plans to include a raised zebra crossing. The raised crossing will slow traffic speeds and create a safer environment for road users.
  • Concern that the proposed zebra crossing causes a pinch point for cyclists due to narrow road lanes. Respondents request that lane widths be extended to 4.2 metres to accommodate cyclists. Changes to our final plans include reducing the width of the traffic islands to 1.8 metres. This will allow for a kerb-to-kerb lane width of 4.2 metres which can safely accommodate cyclists.
  • Requests for cycle lanes along Hinemoa Street and through the proposed crossing. Respondents report that many cyclists use this road to access the ferry terminal and also refer to the Sky Path as a facility that will increase cyclist volumes in the area. We also received requests to address other cyclist pinch points caused by traffic islands, parked cars and planted medians along the length of Hinemoa Street.
    While these requests are out of scope of this proposal at 100 Hinemoa Street, we will undertake further investigations to expand cycle facilities along the length of the road. We have also amended our plans to increase kerb-to-kerb lane widths which will comfortably accommodate cyclists travelling through the crossing.
  • Request that the bus stops on Hinemoa Street be limited to specific times to allow car parking outside these hours. These restrictions will not be incorporated in our final plans because buses continue to use the stops at different times and any restrictions will not be feasible.
  • Requests to replicate the bus stop/pedestrian crossing arrangement at Birkenhead Avenue. This arrangement is reported to be successful in retaining on-street parking and meeting the needs of bus users. We investigated the arrangement of the pedestrian crossing on Birkenhead Avenue and have determined that it is not feasible to replicate at Hinemoa Street. There is not enough space between Rugby Road and Glade Place to safely accommodate this arrangement and we cannot move the crossing away from this location as pedestrian counts show that it will be less effective.
  • Requests to move bus stops to 100-110 Hinemoa Street and 105 Hinemoa Street respectively in order to establish additional on-street parking. We will not be incorporating these requests in our final plan as it would involve the removal of additional on-street parking.
  • A request for adequate street lighting in this area including an assurance that the proposed crossing will meet the requirements of the Auckland Transport Code of Practice (ATCOP) section 19.6.3. While lighting plans were not included in our consultation drawing, we can confirm that lighting facilities will meet the ATCOP standards.
  • Requests for more information regarding background research and surveys conducted in preparing this proposal. Our proposal to install a zebra crossing at 100 Hinemoa Street is in response to concerns from local residents who reported that the existing crossing facilities are unsafe for pedestrians. We surveyed the number of pedestrians crossing at different areas on Hinemoa Street and concluded that a zebra crossing was necessary at this specific location. Data relating to vehicle speeds and volumes was also taken into account during this investigation. We concluded that positioning the zebra crossing where most pedestrians are currently attempting to cross Hinemoa Street would create a safer environment for all road users.

Next steps

We expect to introduce this work in the 2018/2019 financial year, subject to any further changes in design or funding issues. Contractors will issue 48-hour notices to all affected residents prior to construction work.

Last updated 09 February 2018

Seven car parks are worth more than $1 million say business owners on Auckland’s North Shore

Seven car parks are worth more than $1 million

Business owners in Auckland’s North Shore would rather turn away Birkenhead’s $1 million upgrade, than lose seven car parks.

Kaipatiki Local Board voted on a design for the Birkenhead’s Highbury Corner upgrades at the April 19 board meeting.

The contentious plans to upgrade the area around the main roundabout, will shave seven car parks from the main street’s shops.

Birkenhead Town Centre Association chairman Pete Taylor said this result is really disappointing and concerning.

The association’s research found each main street car park is worth $3000, per week, to local businesses, and removing them would cost more than $1 million a year, Taylor said.

“We are talking around a million dollars in pure income per annum being taking out of the town centre’s revenue, for pedestrians and beautification, and I think that’s shocking,” Taylor said at the meeting.

“The members would rather the money was spent elsewhere, than to invest in something that will have a negative impact to local businesses,” he said.

Highbury Corner is where Birkenhead Ave, Hinemoa Street and Mokoia Rd meet at a roundabout.

Upgrades to Birkenhead’s Highbury Corner, follows on from the 129 parking space expansion to Rawene car park, and the building of lookout, Kaimataara o wai manawa.

North Shore Councillor Richard Hills said major community consultation was undertaken in the planning of these upgrades and showed 60 per cent of the public submissions were in favour of the upgrade plans.

Taylor said the objection against losing carparks has been consistent from the businesses from the start.

“In a survey conducted by the association, 54 out of 56 businesses say they don’t want any upgrades,” he said.

Taylor said that the design ignored expert advice and will damage the livelihood of businesses in the area.

Local board member Paula Gillon said she is “struggling” to see how this upgrade will be detrimental to businesses, with the amount of people it will encourage.

However, Taylor said the revenue lost can not be replaced by wide footpaths and trees alone.

“The extra parking added to Rawene car parks are not the issue here, as the businesses are concerned about main street car parks only,” he said.

Local board member Ann Hartley said the accusation that people won’t walk 100 metres from Rawene car park to the main centre is “nonsense”.

“Birkenhead does not have a parking problem,” she said.

“This is just a mess.”

OPTION ONE DESIGN

At the centre of a heated debate around the upgrades to North Shore’s Highbury Corner, stands a pine tree.

Alongside a loss of carparks, fears around pedestrian safety have also been raised.

Also, the decision to redesign the upgrade to include the tree has reignited the longstanding debate, between those who wish to keep the tree and those who don’t.

Option one, will increase public open space and seating areas, as well as introduce a new decked area at Highbury Corner.

Local board member Lindsay Waugh said the amount of effort the board had spent on keeping the tree is a “travesty of urban design”.

Equally concerned is Birkenhead Town Centre Association chairman Pete Taylor, who said that he is as worried about losing the seven car parks as he is pedestrian safety.

“The plans shows encouraging people to hop across the roundabout in an increasingly busy intersection,” Taylor said.

“I wonder when organisation members become liable for such decisions.”

Local Board chairwoman Danielle Grant said option one will deliver the main street its “much needed” facelift.

“These projects have been a significant part of the board’s focus for the past four years,” Grant said.

Option one will now go to tender and work is expected to start in June.

The final design vote was so contentious, members Ann Hartley and Lindsay Waugh abstained from voting.

Article by Laine Moger
Published 24 April 2017 > The North Shore Times – stuff.co.nz

Cycleway will affect carparks on Queen St

Cycleway will affect carparks on Queen St

A proposed cycleway through Northcote’s Queen St is dividing residents.

Auckland Transport says their 5.2 kilometre Northcote Safe Cycle Route will encourage more cycling.

But Auckland Transport’s plans would remove off-street parking from significant portions of the route between Northcote Point and Smales Farm, including Queen St.

Queen St resident Briar Walsh’s family of five would lose three car parks if a dedicated cycleway replaces parking on her side of the road, she says.

“It’s just the most illogical idea, there needs to be another plan,” she says.

Walsh estimates her family will face a 200 to 300 metre walk every day to find a car park “even if they’re lucky” and local businesses will suffer too.

Kaipatiki Local Board member Richard Hills says the plan, which the board supports, is out for public consultation and it is not “100 per cent clear how much parking will be taken out”.

Northcote MP Jonathan Coleman, who lives on Queen St, says he has received a “hell of a lot of correspondence from residents who have huge issues” with parking.

A recreational cyclist, Coleman rides the proposed route frequently, but says he cannot see the justification for it.

“I see very few cyclists along the route and there’s nothing in the consultation document about cost,” he says.

An Auckland Transport spokeswoman says the estimated cost of the cycle route is less than $4m.

Coleman believes the cycleway is a “trojan horse” to get the Skypath’s northern landfall from the Harbour Bridge built at Northcote Point.

Birkenhead resident and Cycle Action member Steve Southall says the cycleway plan has received “generally positive feedback” but it will not please everybody.

Auckland Transport has come up with “a good design, given the constraints along the route,” he says.

“There’s insufficient road width for everyone to get a slice of the pie,” the former roading engineer admits.

Southall, a commuter biker, cites Belmont Intermediate’s 30 per cent increase in student cyclists because of the Lake Rd cycleway.

“You really have to ask ‘what is the priority for our road space, is it giving people free off-street parking, or is it getting our kids to school?’ “.

Auckland Transport is holding open day consultations, starting August 9, at the Northcote Library. Construction on the route is planned to start in late 2015.

More: at.govt.nz/northcotecycleroute.

Credits:

Written by Simon Maude
Reprinted with permission: Auckland Now – North Shore Times 05 August 2014

Car parks proposed Onewa Road – bound end of Lake Road

Short-term car parking will replace 300 metres of transit lane if a new proposal for Northcote’s Lake Rd goes ahead.

Auckland Transport is gauging the views of residents and schools at the Onewa Rd-bound end of Lake Rd on removing most of the T3 transit lane.

The council-controlled organisation says schools and residents have little short-term parking for dropoffs and pickups.

In its place, 10- minute parking would be allowed, with 100 metres of T3 transit lane connecting commuters to Onewa Rd remaining.

“Drivers are currently pursuing various routes to drop off children at local schools and being affected by and affecting commuter traffic, particularly in the morning peak,” a letter sent to affected residents says.

Consultation ends on April 26.

Credits

Written by: Jess Etheridge
Published: Auckland Now / North Shore Times – 16 April 2013

Auckland’s great divide call for a new crossing

Former mayor says community groups are being kept in the dark about a proposal which follows at least six studies since 1986 and doubt about the longevity of the existing harbour bridge.

North Shore leaders will this year ramp up calls for a new Waitemata Harbour traffic crossing, even though the Transport Agency does not believe one will be needed before 2030.

Although the agency expects to update an application to protect a preferred route for tunnels under the harbour towards the end of the year, Auckland Council member and former North Shore mayor George Wood fears complacency setting in.

He says community groups such as the Northcote Residents Association want to be involved in planning for a new crossing but are being kept in the dark about a proposal which follows at least six studies since 1986 and doubt about the longevity of the existing harbour bridge.

Transport Agency regional director Stephen Town says that although a “notice of requirement” application for a tunnels route east of the bridge was lodged in 2009, his organisation decided to let it lie while the Super City was setting up.

“We agreed we would wait for the [30-year] Auckland Plan to be finished before we updated the notice of requirement,” he told the Herald.

“What we said was, we would go with the preference expressed in the Auckland Plan, and then seek guidance from the Government about the update.”

Now that the council had published the plan, with a preference for road tunnels instead of a new bridge to be built between 2021 and 2030 and “future-proofed” with room to carry trains as well, the agency was free to move ahead with route protection between Spaghetti Junction in central Auckland and Esmonde Rd in Takapuna.

It was likely to provide new information to the council late this year, including a discussion of environmental issues, with an aim of opening its application to public submissions “sometime in 2014”.

Although average daily traffic volumes across the harbour bridge declined by about 5 per cent between 2007 and 2011 to about 157,000 vehicles after the establishment of the Northern Busway, they rebounded by 7 per cent last year to almost 168,000 in November.

Mr Wood believes completion of the Victoria Park motorway tunnel in March is encouraging more commuters to get back in their cars after previously using the busway to beat congestion.

Having recently spent $86 million strengthening the bridge’s two clip-on structures, the agency is focused mainly on its ability to cope with increasing freight loads.

Mr Town said that with careful management, there was no reason why the 54-year-old bridge could not last for another 100 years. But he said the “critical path” for bridge loads was heavy vehicles travelling on the northbound clip-on lanes, for which forecasts indicated a new crossing would be needed by 2030.

Even so, the agency did not want to build the new crossing too early, for cost reasons.

“It’s expensive, so getting the timing right is the thing,” he said.

The agency in early 2011 estimated the cost of a pair of road tunnels at $5.3 billion compared with $3.9 billion for a new bridge, and the Auckland Plan cites a figure of $5.8 billion to include future provision for trains.

Mr Town acknowledged that technological advances were likely to reduce tunnelling costs, while those for a new bridge were unlikely to fall markedly.

But he said “one of the big unknowns” was what the completion in 2017 of the western ring route with its connection to the Upper Harbour Bridge at Greenhithe would do for heavy traffic movements.

“It will provide a genuine heavy traffic option – between 2017 and 2021 we will be looking really closely at travel patterns.”

Mr Wood said Auckland’s northern sector was due for a resurgence of development, for which a new crossing was needed urgently, regardless of the western route’s appeal as a bypass for some long-distance traffic.

“I’m just amazed it has started drifting in the way it has,” he said of the crossing debate. “I have a real concern – the upper part of Auckland would be paralysed if anything happened to the harbour bridge.”

Austerity’ bridge underestimated traffic demand

Plans for an Auckland harbour bridge were first hatched in 1860 by members of the farming community on the North Shore, then a sleepy backwater.

Engineer Fred Bell designed a drawbridge on floating pontoons, but the plans were deemed too expensive.

In 1928 another proposal was put forward, but it was 20 years later that pressure for new development space finally saw the Auckland Harbour Bridge Authority established.

In April 1954, after fierce lobbying, a loan of £5,002,000 (about $245 million in today’s terms) was approved.

That produced the “austerity” bridge, with plans for a pedestrian walkway and a fifth traffic lane dropped.

During construction the decision was made to ban cyclists from the bridge, resulting in a protest from the New Zealand Amateur Cycling Association.

Workmen within a pressurised steel chamber excavating the seafloor for the bridge’s caissons had to be “compressed” and “decompressed” so as to not get the bends.

A warning was issued to Auckland police and the public to treat suspected drunks with caution as they might actually be a worker with decompression sickness.

One motorist, stopped by who he thought was a drunk, refused to take the worker to the specialist medical unit at Westhaven. The bridge took four years to complete and was opened on May 30, 1959.

But by the early 1960s it became apparent that the bridge could not handle the amount of traffic needed.

Traffic flow was far above the royal commission’s prediction the bridge would be carrying three million vehicles annually by 1965, with the volume exceeding 10 million that year.

A Japanese company won the tender to add two lanes on either side, and the added lanes became known as the “Nippon clip-ons”, which were opened in 1969.

-Nicholas Jones

Credits

Written by: Mathew Dearnaley
Photo/s by: Brett Phibbs
Published by: The New Zealand Herald – 23 Jan 2013

MP zeroes in on Z

Controversial plans for a 24 hour Z service station on busy Onewa Rd are being slammed by Northcote MP Jonathan Coleman.

He says “it is a recipe for traffic mayhem” and safety for school children is his top concern.

In a letter to the North Shore Times, Dr Coleman acknowledges the public submission and hearing process Auckland Council must go through. He says he is “yet to meet anyone who is in favour of the proposal but there is strong opposition to the development”.

The service station would be built at 119 Onewa Rd, on the corner of Gladstone Rd and next to St Mary’s Catholic Church and primary school.

It would also be on the same side as the west-bound T3 transit lane.

A petition against it was created by St Mary’s.

Dr Coleman says: “Many vehicles travelling west up Onewa Rd turning right across two busy traffic lanes, it is a recipe for traffic mayhem.

“It is already a busy area seven days per week and a service station next door will only increase traffic congestion as extra vehicles are drawn to the site.

“There is no local demand for this development and it will not enhance the area. Indeed, I believe that the impact will be negative,” he says.

Kaipatiki Local Board confirmed in its last meeting it is opposed to the development.

Z Energy senior communications adviser Sheena Thomas says the company is listening to the public and one of its head engineers will make a submission at the hearings.

“We are going to listen to those concerns people have around us.”

The company’s top priority is also safety, she says, and policies are in place to mitigate risks.

If the proposal goes ahead it will also be a safe place for parents to drop their children off as opposed to pulling over on the road, she says.

Ms Thomas says research Z Energy conducted showed the service station would only add one new vehicle to peak traffic every two minutes.

Entry and exits for the proposed station would be left-hand turns only to avoid risks.

Ms Thomas says Z wants to meet with Dr Coleman directly “to show we’re aware” and give him a “sense of comfort”.

Auckland Council will hear public submissions on the proposal on November 29 and 30.

Credits

Written by: JESS ETHERIDGE
Photo/s by: JESS ETHERIDGE
Reprinted with permission: Auckland Now – North Shore Times

London-type bus network on cards

Auckland buses are facing a major shakeup in a new proposed plan

Shakeup plans include running feeder buses to transport hubs.

Auckland buses face a major shakeup, and the region could be divided into zones similar to London’s network as authorities look to streamline services and fares.

Changes to about 400 services proposed by Auckland Transport are being put up today for a month of public consultations.

Regular services could be cut to about 130, bolstered with 40 peak-only commuter runs, but the council body says there will be only minor changes to coverage. It says its priority is to simplify the network in return for service frequencies of 15 minutes or better between 7am and 7pm each day along about 30 bus corridors, and more often at peak times.

Click here for a closer look at the transport proposal.

These will be complemented by “connector” buses running every 30 minutes, and localised and targeted services.

It has created a Tube-style map showing services running in Auckland, and the “zones” fares could soon be linked to.

Network planning manager Anthony Cross said that although “some” people would have to walk further to bus stops, that was unlikely to be more than about 200m in most cases, and frequent bus services would be put within reach of many more Aucklanders.

Cutting out duplication would mean relying more on feeder buses for passenger transfers to high-frequency routes, including rail, and developing transport interchanges at key locations such as Otahuhu, Te Atatu and Lincoln Rd in Henderson.

Public transport operations manager Mark Lambert said getting passengers used to making easy transfers was an important step towards gaining maximum benefit from the proposed underground city rail link.

Passengers would gain a 50c discount for transfers until a new fare system could be introduced by the end of 2014, in which there would be no charge for swapping between services within each of six new zones.

Mr Lambert said Auckland Transport was seeking public comment only on the overall structure of the new system for now. There would be opportunities for more detailed consultation at each stage of a three-year rollout to 2016, starting next year with South Auckland, Titirangi-Green Bay and some parts of the central isthmus.

The draft plan also points to a Government requirement to increase the contribution of passenger fares to transport costs from 44.3 per cent now to 50 per cent.

Auckland Council transport chairman Mike Lee warned that higher fares would undermine the push for greater patronage, but welcomed the route restructuring, saying the region could not have a “more inefficient, expensive, ramshackle bus system” than at present.

Credits

Written by Mathew Dearnaly
Published in: The Zealand Herald – nzherald.co.nz

Central Auckland motorway link almost ready says NZTA

Final work is underway to have the Wellington Street on-ramp in central Auckland ready to re-open for traffic joining the northbound lanes of State Highway 1 motorway next Monday morning (8 October).

The on-ramp has been closed since May 2010 and rebuilt by the NZ Transport Agency as part of the Victoria Park Tunnel project

The final programme of work includes lane marking to help on-ramp and motorway traffic merge safely just before the entrance to the Victoria Park Tunnel. Ramp signals – to help regulate the flow of traffic joining the motorway – are already in place, and a new pedestrian crossing has been installed at the entrance to the on-ramp.

The NZTA’s acting State highways Manager for Auckland and Northland, Steve Mutton, says drivers will need to be alert and patient as on-ramp traffic joins the motorway.

“We expect that there will be delays and queuing, especially at peak times, as people adjust to the new driving conditions. With Wellington Street so close to the tunnel entrance, people using the motorway and the on-ramp will need to drive with care and patience to help ensure they merge safely,” Mr Mutton says.

To help people adjust to the new conditions, the NZTA will operate Wellington Street’s ramp signals from 8am to 8pm. Ramp signals normally operate automatically only when needed – if there is an incident on the motorway network, or motorway traffic is heavy.

“This is a safety measure we will use to help people. When drivers are used to the new layout, the ramp signals will only operate when needed as they do elsewhere on our network,” Mr Mutton says.

Mr Mutton reminds drivers of the pedestrian crossing located at the entrance to the on-ramp.

“The on-ramp will be busy and the crossing is there to provide safe access for the local community – those people who live there and children from the nearby Freemans Bay School.”

The NZTA and Auckland Transport agreed earlier this year to re-open motorway access at Welling ton street after a detailed investigation into the on-ramp’s future use, which involved community feedback and detailed analysis of traffic using the motorway and local roads.

Mr Mutton says re-opening Wellington Street means that drivers have the choice of using four central city on-ramps to join the motorway to access the Auckland Harbour Bridge, and the North Shore and beyond. The others are SH16 through Grafton Gully, Fanshawe Street and Curran Street.

Mr Mutton says the NZTA is advising them to select the on-ramp closest to them to help ensure that traffic joins the motorway as smoothly and as quickly as possible.

The re-opening of the Wellington Street on-ramp will coincide with another change for traffic joining the motorway from Fanshawe Street. From Monday, drivers using Beaumont Street in Wynyard Quarter will be allowed to turn right in to Fanshawe Street and access the motorway north through St Marys Bay. Access to Fanshawe Street from Halsey Street is not affected and remains the best access from the Wynyard Quarter.

For more information please contact:-

Ewart Barnsley
Auckland/Northland Media Manager
NZ Transport Agency
T +6499288720
M 64272137616
Ewart.barnsley@nzta.govt.nz

Anger over T3 lane extension

Onewa Rd business owners are angry at what they say is a lack of communication from Auckland Transport on the proposed T3 lane extension.

Public feedback is being sought over a proposal to turn the west-bound Onewa Rd lane into a T3.

The proposed T3 lane will run between Church St and Birkenhead Ave in the evening commuter peak between 4pm and 6pm. A T3 transit lane already operates east-bound on Onewa during morning peak.

Flowers on Onewa owner Ron Suyker has worked in the area for 21 years and says several retailers are angry about the proposal.

“It’s not a simple case of putting in a lane and going ‘that’s all well and good’.”

The former council made designated time-restricted car parking for Mr Suyker’s flower shop on Onewa Rd “for decades” but now plans to shift it into a side street between 4pm and 6pm.

He worries traffic diverted into Seaview Ave will perform three-point turns and block driveways in the narrow street where the designated parks will go.

“It’s putting them into a residential side street which is not designed for that carry-on.”

Commuters already use Seaview as a “pseudo park and ride”, he says, meaning even more traffic will block up the side street.

Auckland Transport media liaison Mark Hannan says: “The car parks on Onewa Rd will not be available between 4pm and 6pm but alternative time-restricted parking will be available in Seaview Ave and Wernham Place.”

Mr Hannan says Auckland Transport will consult with affected business owners.

Many have been given consultation packs outlining the proposed changes, he says.

Mr Suyker disputes Auckland Transport’s research on traffic use on Onewa Rd, saying 41 per cent of people commuting will travel in 7 per cent of the vehicles using the T3 lane.

Around 93 per cent of all vehicles travelling west-bound between 4pm and 6pm will be forced into the non-T3 lane, he says.

Mr Hannan responds: “A T3 lane moves the most people in the shortest time.

“Forty one per cent of the people who use Onewa Rd are in a bus and each bus has an average of 41 passengers. Add people in cars with three or more people and we account for 48 per cent of people who use Onewa Rd.”

Mr Suyker has started a petition against the T3 lane in his store.

Information on Auckland Transport’s website regarding the T3 lane has been updated.

Credits

Written by: JESS ETHERIDGE
Published: Auckland Now – North Shore Times

Onewa Road Transit Lane West

Auckland Transport proposes to introduce a T3 Transit lane Westbound on Onewa Road at Northcote during evening rush hour traffic. Feedback is sought from the public.

Onewa Road Transit Lane West
The proposed design solution intends to improve transport efficiency of Onewa Road in western direction during the evening peak period.

In brief:

The proposed T3 transit lane is part of building more efficient public transport network. This change will mean faster and more reliable travel time along Onewa Road because buses and carpool vehicles carrying three or more occupants are less likely to be stuck in traffic.

The existing westbound carriageway is 6.5m wide and provides space for on-street parking and a single traffic lane. The existing single-lane configuration, when transformed to two lanes, will provide for greater ease of travel.

The added lane will effectively serve as a means of prioritising higher occupancy vehicles along the proposed route. This will allow a more effective use of the available road space and improve efficiency and reliability of public transport system. The proposed scheme will also reduce travel time to most vehicles using the general traffic lane.

Submissions on the proposal close on September 12.

Resident feedback includes:

The intent of the proposal is stated to be to improve the efficiency of Onewa Road by introducing two lanes but restricting one of these lanes for the exclusive use of buses and T3 vehicles. Auckland Transport has provided design illustrations comparing the purported current road layout and the proposed layout incorporating a transit lane. Based on this, Auckland Transport has stated that single passenger cars (which account for 93% of the vehicle traffic) will experience reduced travel times as a result of being restricted to one lane in Onewa Road.

Unfortunately, the conclusions reached by Auckland Transport appear to be flawed. Fundamental to the flawed conclusion is the misleading illustration used by Auckland Transport depicting the current lane layout. This illustration shows that the existing layout of Onewa Road is a single lane in the section of Onewa Road subject to the proposal (Church Street to Birkenhead Avenue).

This is not correct. The section of westbound Onewa Road between Aorangi Place and Birkenhead Avenue is, in fact, two lanes – this covers about 25% of the identified route subject to the proposal. This double lane enables the single lane westbound traffic in Onewa Road, prior to the two-lane section, to effectively open out from a single lane into two lanes – this eases congestion and increases traffic flow capacity towards the lights at Birkenhead Ave and beyond.

The transit lane layout proposed by Auckland Transport dispenses with this two-lane capacity for the 93% of vehicles that use Onewa Road in the evening peak. Instead of these vehicles being able to spread over two lanes they will be restricted back to one lane which will result in restricted capacity which in turn will cause a ripple back effect increasing congestion further down Onewa Road.

The ramifications of this increased congestion for the vast majority (93%) of vehicles that use Onewa Road in the evening peak will mean that they will try and find an alternative route. This alternative route will almost certainly be via the Stafford Road off-ramp, through Little Shoal Bay (a reserve), up Maritime Terrace, Hinemoa Street and into either Birkenhead Avenue or Mokoia Road. This will have the undesirable effect of taking traffic from a Regional Arterial Road and forcing it onto Local Roads that already have capacity problems during the evening peak.

Accordingly, the proposal, as it is, is deficient in that it has not properly anticipated the detrimental effect on local roads. The proposal should, therefore, be withdrawn until a proper assessment has been made.