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.

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4 Comments

  1. Northcote Primary School Board of Trustees submission to Auckland Transport re: Proposed T3 lane on South side of Onewa Road, Northcote, Auckland.

    The Northcote Primary school Board of Trustees is opposed to the proposed T3 lane on South side of Onewa Road. This proposed T3 lane negatively impacts on Northcote Primary School in the following ways:
    • Will decrease on street parking around the school and increase congestion
    • Road widening will reduce footpath size, therefore increase risk for small children (students of NPS)
    • Shared footpath with cyclists – increased hazard for students of NPS
    • Will increase traffic volumes on access streets leading to the school as motorists take alternate routes. Putting our children who walk (at our request) in danger.

    Northcote Primary School has had ongoing dialogue with Auckland Transport regarding safe access to the school for all children, parents and visitors. We continue to work with our school community to ensure safe solutions to traffic congestion around the school at peak times.
    We ask Auckland Transport to please talk directly to us regarding any changes that effect access ways to the school. And be ever mindful of the 460 children (as at 12 Sept 2012) children aged 5 – 10 years old who enter and exit our school everyday. Their safety is our utmost priority and concern.

  2. Another poorly thought out process by NZTA – who does this modelling OR is it in fact internal agenda driven?.

    This will cause further issues around Onewa Road with traffic merging and spilling down Onewa Rd and will not assist anyone but the buses which will cause traffic to build up all the way down Onewa.

    The fact that it starts at 3pm is ludicrous and will make exiting from around the Primary and Secondary school’s even more challenging – Peak time does not occur until at least around 4pm so why 3pm?

    Further reduction in parking around the school’s for pick ups further endangering children.

    Assume the sidewalk width will be reduced to accommodate lane in what is a high pedestrian area enhancing the risk of falling / pushing onto road in front of a bus.

    Will put more traffic volumes around Stafford, Maritime, Hinemoa as the traffic “short cuts” the Onewa traffic jam that is evitable

    WASTE OF TIME AND MONEY FOR AN AGENDA DRIVEN INITIATIVE!

  3. This proposal by NZTA will simply transfer the congestion to other roads. And will without doubt exacerbate the late afternoon congestion at the Birkenhead roundabout, with increased traffic through Little Shoal Bay, Martime Terrace and Hinemoa street through to Beachhaven, Birkdale, Glenfield and beyond.

    Far better use of tax payers money to reconfigure Onewa Road to elimiate the couple of tight spots (ie by the old dairy opposite Northcote Primary), make a clearway from 4-6pm. Problem solved. I think I should be a traffic engineer – no degree required!

  4. A T3 will not work. it will put even more traffic down Little Shole bay to avoid Onewa road.
    Think about a double lane option all the way up Onwwa open to all to move traffic flow.