Harbour crossing is biggest concern

A second harbour crossing is still one of Northcote resident’s biggest concerns for their neighbourhood.

The Northcote Residents Association held a meeting on December 6 and invited guest speakers to bring residents up to date with recent developments in the area.

Chairman Brian Plimmer says there have been some very positive comments about the nature and level of information given at the meeting.

The large majority of attendees voted for a tunnel from Esmonde Rd as a preferred option to a second bridge. But residents don’t want to wait 20 years for it.

The New Zealand Transport Authority has said it won’t ask the Kaipatiki Local Board to make a preference over the preferred form until it has heard what the Auckland Plan states as a firm preference.

NZTA regional director Stephen Town says it will be about 20 years before Auckland has a second harbour crossing.

“It’s not the first project off the blocks in the Auckland Plan,” he says.

NZTA senior transport planner Patrick Kelly says it is looking at the option of a combined tunnel with separate road and rail.

A report is due back about February that will confirm the feasibility, he says.

Residents were also told noise reduction measures will not be put into place after testing off the bridge showed it does not exceed levels in the noise guidelines.

A majority of residents are still concerned about the Onewa Rd T3 lane and voiced concerns that it should be reduced to a T2 lane to move more traffic.

Auckland Transport reviewed the situation during a region-wide study of transit and bus lanes and says it works and will remain.

It says changing to a T2 lane would mean more traffic in that lane than the general lane.

One resident says a trial of a T2 lane is needed to properly assess it against a T3.

If people have to wait another 20 years for a second harbour crossing, then something needs to be done now about congestion on Onewa Rd, he says.

Another resident says further studies should be undertaken about the feasibility of changing the T3 lane to a T2 when the Victoria Park project is complete.

Credits

Written by: LISA HONEYBONE
Reprinted with permission: Auckland Now – North Shore Times

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