Back in November it was announced that Auckland Transport wanted to ‘upgrade’ Lincoln Rd. A road I travel on regularly and one that I consider the most soul destroying in all of Auckland. AT have had their proposal open to consultation and public feedback however that is closing today so if you want to have a say about it you need to get on with a submission quickly. Back in November I wrote:

It’s a road that doesn’t seem to do anything well. It’s a road that is quite wide with a minimum of five lanes (two each way and a full painted median), the major intersections are massive blowing the road out even wider to cater for turning in all directions including slip lanes yet can also get horribly congested, particularly for people heading towards the motorway – which the NZTA are currently upgrading into an absolute monstrosity. On top of that it has poor pedestrian amenity, no cycling amenity and the only bit of bus amenity being a small section northbound at the intersection with Triangle Rd/Central Park Dr to give buses a slight head start.

AT say the road carries about 42,000 vehicles per day and a poor safety record with 446 crashes reported between 2008 and 2012, over a third of which were from drivers exiting driveways or side roads failing to give way. The road has also been listed in various documents over the years as needing to be an RTN in the future as part of the primary route connecting the North Shore to West Auckland. The area surrounding the road is also home to around 8,500 residents, 9,000 jobs, a primary school and the Waitakere Hospital.

While I agree that the road seriously needs something done to it and definitely needs improved bus and cycling facilities, what is proposed feels like a massive amount of overkill while also not going far enough.

The upgrade seeks to

  • widen Lincoln Road to provide an additional bus and high occupancy vehicle (transit) lane on each side of the road to increase capacity and improve pasenger travel times.
  • upgrade existing intersections to reduce congestion and improve safety
  • build a solid raised and planted median to replace the existing painted median to improve vehicle and pedestrian safety
  • install shared paths for pedestrians and cyclists on both sides of the road
  • implement stormwater treatments to minimise surface flooding
  • relocate and upgrade existing utility services
  • integrate with the NZ Transport Agency’s current motorway interchange upgrade.

Here’s what the mid-block is meant to look like.

Lincoln Road cross section of proposed development

The biggest problems I have is that despite all of the widening that is proposed, buses still won’t even get their own dedicated lane despite the road being designated for a long time as an RTN route. On the sides of the road the shared path is a poor compromise to having proper walking and cycling facilities. If AT are going to the extent of widening the road then they should be doing it properly. Further according to CAA, the width of the proposed paths don’t even meet AT’s own proposed guidelines. Lastly the changes stop at Pomaria Rd meaning that south of there buses will be forced to squeeze back in with other traffic and cyclists are forced back on to the road with tens of thousands of vehicles. Lastly the intersections are a horrendous mess blowing out to over 9 lanes wide once again in a bid to try and cater for every traffic movement with its own lane.

Here’s a video fly-though

Also see Cycle Action Auckland’s post on the matter here.

So if you want to have your thoughts on the project heard make sure you go and make a submission.

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  1. Note part of the Congestion Free Network. Really needs full length busway, maybe a centreline busway would work well here given the hard median.
    Suffers from similar issues to which I identified in may post a few weeks back. The mid block bus stops lack pedestrian crossings, forcing people to make long detours, or run across the road and stand in the median. Of course the road layout means cars will be travelling at 70kmh so forget about that.
    The small intersections also lack any pedestrian crossings at all. Have prepared lengthy submission expanding on these points, will see what happens.

    1. much better than maybe even a year ago when these submissions periods slipped under the radar. AT won’t know how to deal with all these criticisms, until recently would have just been local business with uncritical enthusiasm.

    1. -Exactly, because AT lacks understanding of this at the highest levels, this is a leadership issue. AT are in fact undermining the high altitude aims of the Auckland Plan constantly at detail. This must be because they have no conception of their constitutional requirement to make its aims concrete in their every decision.

  2. Driving home via Central Park Drive to join Lincoln Road then onto the motorway just doesnt work these days. Some bright spark has adjusted the CPD and Triangle Rd phases down to 13 seconds each. I had spent more time trying to get through one set of lights (over multiple sets of phases) than the journey takes. I tend to no go via Te Atatu, which oddly, works out quicker. Calling AT directly doesnt appear to work either.. (rant mode off)

  3. The worst thing about this is that it won’t be finished until 2020,so it will be 8 years away as we start to understand the benefits of urbanism that this monstrosity destroys West Auckland

        1. Depends on where you see the “halfway” – construction start is several years off, and until the bulldozers roll, anything can be stopped.

          Witness Penlink. Or even Holiday Highway, which is already cut back a lot from the even more horrendous thing it used to be.

  4. I don’t understand your comment that buses don’t get their own lane. The cross section shows a bus/transit lane on each side.

  5. I would prefer to cycle on a shared path and think it’s is a good option. It’s long and straight and gives you heaps of visibility to slow down if you actually see a pedestrian on lincoln road which would be rare. The shops and carparks are so massive you usually drive from one to the next so the footpath is virutally unused by pedestrians. And i think it feels safer on a really complicated road like that to be on a raised area like a footpath than on some green paint in the thick of the traffic. So i think more types of cyclists would feel confident. I think a cyclist has more in common with a pedestrian than a bus.

    1. And apart from commuter cyclists, a lot of the people who did cycle along here would be kids and teens heading to te pai park. So for that second group shared path.

    2. I respectfully disagree with your viewpoint. Until we stop this bitzer approach to building bike infrastructure – shared paths for slow, road for faster – we will not get the increases in biking numbers that many cities overseas are seeing. In a high traffic volume, high speed (yes, 50 kmh is judged as high speed in this context) environment, separated bike paths are the only answer. The cities with the highest bike mode share have proven this. No contest.

    3. Do we really want to make our cycle facility quality be dependent on it being so horrible for pedestrians that they don’t even try walking there?

      Also, shared path proposed is too narrow – at 2.5m, once you deduct the space for street signs etc… and for the space that no one wants to walk/cycle in anyway (the first 0.5-1.0m next to the kerb where the faster transit lane traffic goes), then you are left with peds and cyclists sharing a mere metre, metre and a half. Great stuff, thanks for the idea AT – go back to the drawing board!

    1. That would be a step change for PT, but I don’t know whether they even considered it. They need to scrap this nonsense and restart, with a busway as the core idea.

  6. Online submissions still appear to be accepted. I hope that shared path doesn’t end up like Maioro St, where every driveway becomes a double set of judder bars, given this is a feeder for commuter cyclists to the NW cycleway.

  7. Hamish, I love your streetmix. I was recently in the US and surprised to find in many places the transit (multi occupant) lanes were in the centre lane. This does two things. Firstly as the centre lane on motorways and multi-lane roads is generally the ‘fast lane’ this sends the message that “multi occupant vehicles get to travel faster than others” and they did. Secondly, it prevents the danger we currently experience here where faster transit lane vehicles in the left lane speed along inside slow moving or stopped single occupant vehicles in lanes close to the centre line. To experience this try travelling south along Forest Hill Rd in morning rush-hour; it can be seriously scary when the speed differentials get up.

  8. The results of the online and postal submissions summarised
    Of the 162 people who made submissions, only 12 did not support any aspect of the proposals. Of the 162, 79 made a postal submission and none opposed the project overall.
    The major issues identified by submitters, were:

    AT’s proposal is to widen Lincoln Road to create include a bus/T3 lane in both directions. This would convert to a bus-only lane when demand is great enough
    23 submissions supported having bus lanes
    25 submissions suggested that if Lincoln Road is to be widened a bus lane should be installed immediately and not also be a T3.
    It may not be possible to make bus-only lanes immediately. This is being explored.

    17 submissions supported T3 lanes.
    27 submissions supported T2 instead of T3 lanes
    19 submissions suggested converting an existing road lane to T3
    Many more vehicles would use the transit lane if it is a T2 and this would interfere with the efficiency of the bus service.
    Converting an existing lane to T3 was explored and will cause greater congestion and delays because it will restrict the majority of vehicles to one lane

    AT’s proposal is to have off-road shared paths on either side of Lincoln Road, for pedestrians and cyclists.
    16 submissions appreciated improved cycling provisions and a further four supported improved pedestrian provisions.
    60 submissions favoured separated cycle-ways.
    A separated facility for cyclists will be investigated as part of the detailed design

    AT’s proposal is to have a raised solid median which would enable centreline planting and restrict right turn opportunities, including right turns to and from driveways.
    29 submissions supported a solid median and only six submissions opposed a solid median.
    With clear support for the solid median, AT will include this in the final design

    AT’s proposal included connecting Preston Avenue to Lincoln Road.
    31 submissions opposed this aspect of the proposal.
    Because of the clear majority opposed, AT will not make a vehicle connection between Preston Avenue to Lincoln Road.

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