Auckland Transport are currently consulting on what could be quite a transformative project for the people living around the Mangere Town centre through what is effectively a series of traffic calming measures and improved connections that looks to make it safer and easier to walk or cycle around the area. Known as known as Te Ara Mua – Future Streets, the changes are part of a wider research project being conducted by a number of different organisations on how to design our streets better and highlight the economic benefits of safer roads. The research is being funded by the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) while Auckland Transport are paying for the physical changes to the streets. Once complete and assuming the changes are a success the research has the potential to really help in changing the focus of how our streets are developed.

The research also builds on previous research by some of the same organisations on what they call Self Explaining Roads (SER). An area wide trial in Point England had impressive results and saw the introduction of traffic calming measures including the removal of centre lines on some roads. One of the outcomes from the Pt England trial was a dramatic improvement in the speed of drivers. Prior to the changes both local streets and larger collector roads saw some travelling at over 80km/h. After the changes you can see the speeds travelled are in a much narrower and lower band, especially for local roads.

Self Explaining Roads - Pt England speed changes

For the Te Ara Mua – Future Streets project the area being looked at is below and is a bit of an island being bordered by motorways on its sides and busy arterials to the north and south. It also happens to be one of the most dangerous in Auckland with it ranking 4th out of 275 Auckland communities for fatal and serious crashes.

Future Streets Area

By and large the changes that are being suggested are good, although it does seem like they could go a little further in some places. Below is an example of some of the kinds of changes that will be made.

Arterial Roads – Bader Dr and Massey Rd/Kirkbride Rd (Purple)

The focus seems to be on the installation of more pedestrian crossings (some of which will be controlled by lights) and cycle lanes. Below is an example of how Bader Dr might changed.

Te-Ara-Mua-Future-Streets-Bader-Drive

Where I think they could go further would be to look at using Dutch style roundabouts with cycle lanes around the roundabout such as from this post.

Roundabout

Collector Roads – Mascot Ave and Orly Rd/Thomas Rd (yellow)

These roads are likely to see the most change and overall the aim is to reduce speeds through pedestrian crossings, cycle lanes, speed tables and better bus stops. I particularly like how they are suggesting carrying on the cycle lanes behind the bus stops rather than just ending them at the bus stop like AT typically do in other places.

Te-Ara-Mua-Future-Streets-Speed-table

Te-Ara-Mua-Future-Streets-Bus Stop

The artist impressions even show protected cycle lanes which would be great if it happens.

Te-Ara-Mua-Future-Streets-protected cycle lane

Local Roads (Red)

Again the intention is to slow traffic and make the roads safer for people to be on. This is time it appears to be through narrowing the lanes in addition to speed tables. Speed tables would be at the entrances to local roads to help encourage slower speeds. Below is an example of what’s proposed for Friesian Dr

Te-Ara-Mua-Future-Streets-Friesian-DriveThere’s quite a bit more being done than what I’ve described however you can find out all the details about the project here (if you can get in). I’m looking forward to seeing the results.

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29 comments

  1. Fascinating how that fashion for curving roads and streets turned out to be lethal when combined with ever more powerful vehicles and total auto-dependency. How much would a Jeffersonian grid pattern with its straight lines and frequent intersections have influenced those crash stats i wonder? And of course it’s much easier to run efficient and legible bus services through a grid too…

    Anyway, good to see this work going on.

    1. Yeah, it’s nearly perfect artefact of 1960’s traffic design: functional street hierarchy, offset intersections, and topped off with a “centre” that’s not in the centre.

  2. I’m really glad to see this is happening. There is a culture of speed among some drivers, and it hasn’t been dissuaded sufficiently. Planter boxes and raised pacification tables will help. Mangere has a large population (high occupancy rates) and is also one of the areas of substantial future growth in Auckland (relatively cheap land prices and more permissive regulation under the Auckland Plan), so the area will need these upgrades sooner or later.

    It’s also nice to see a focus on improving urban place outside the former Auckland City Council area. Let’s hope this is implemented successfully, and other places around the wider city are given the resources and attention to follow.

    1. Despite a high level of car-dependency in Mangere, there is a large amount of off-street parking. This should mean that these changes are relatively uncontroversial, particularly if they’re backed by local leadership.

  3. In terms of cycling spend, what a total waste of money. Whoever comes up with these idiotic ideas should be fired. Have they ever lived in Mangere? It’s full of poor people who work multiple jobs and need a car to get to those jobs. They don’t have the time or money to cycle anywhere like the “rich people” do.

    I would point out though that south aucklanders do tend to walk more because they are poor so any improvements for walking is a good investment. Especially around schools because they have high rates of young children walking to school alone.

    1. Dunno if I agree. Yeah, many residents probably can’t commute by bike…but doing every tasks like going to see friends, going to the dairy or whatever else – the bike lanes would be great for that. Sure there are higher priority cycling projects, and I’d hope this didn’t come out of a ‘cycling budget’ when it’s patently a roading project, but I’m not sure I agree that it’ a waste of money.

    2. People are dying.

      This may not have been sufficiently communicated here, but it was the central justification given by those behind this project. It is not being done because people like curb-cruft.

      Those deaths and serious injuries impose very real costs on the people of Mangere. Specifically, $18 million. The project is expected to reduce death and injury by 50-70% over ten years, and save $25 million in costs to the people of Mangere. That isn’t a cost. That’s a very large saving. (These figures are all prominent in the AT page linked to from the post).

      Also, I’m from Mangere, and have a lot of family who live there. Don’t speak for us. Mangere is filled with people who live, play, go to school, attend training, work, shop, and retire there. Those people are on lower incomes, and middle incomes. We deserve the same safety and quality of life as people anywhere else in Auckland. Stop patronising us.

      1. Mangere, or Mangere Bridge? Huge demographic differences between the two areas. Also you presume I’m not from Mangere. Regardless, like I said, poor people walk around more so investment for pedestrians is good, especially around schools. Pedestrian safety is one thing. I’m talking about cycling investment. Cyclists are vehicles, not pedestrians. The people who I talk to in the area can’t afford a bike because “that’s for rich people”. Most adults don’t own bikes because they cost too much and they don’t have the time to use them. Kids don’t take bikes to school because they get stolen. I do know two senior citizens who did cycle to the shopping centre, but they had their bikes stolen more than once and couldn’t afford to replace them.

        Cycle spending on projects in areas like this will give poor results and only give ammunition to those who say that cycle spending is a waste of money. Cycle investment should be in areas where there are lots of people who already own bikes and need encouragement to use them more, ie more affluent central areas, not in the fringe suburbs.

        1. Crazy comments Ari. I think that is a real insult to the people who live in that area. Cycling is just a faster form of walking – a wheeled pedestrian – again you are thinking of cycling as a kind of pseudo sport. It is not, it is a form of transport which is ideal for an urban environment.

          You must have lived in a very narrow range of places if you believe cycling is only for rich people. People in Asia, South America or Europe would just laugh at that statement. Cars are for rich people, not bicycles.

          If Mangere had really good cycle infrastructure, people there would cycle. No doubt about it. You are insulting the intelligence of people in that area to say otherwise as you are saying they can’t make rational transport choices, but people in wealthy areas can. What proof do you have of that?

          Things are changing and this is part of it.

    3. People in my office from Mangere think this is a great idea (after I told them because they hadn’t heard about it).

      Despite the stereotyping that you have made, many lower income people in NZ do cycle – it is juts that they are dressed like normal people, not in lycra and on carbon bikes, so Aucklanders don’t count them as “cyclists”.

      Even if what you said was true, I imagine (like many Aucklanders) there are no other options so they drive everywhere. At the very least these changes might get more kids cycling to school and lower some of the education related ferrying around in the mornings.

      1. +1 There are more cyclists in Otahuhu and Mangere than you think. (I used to be one)They disappear into the background or jump on the footpaths to escape the driving masses. There are more pedestrians than some more affluent dormitory suburbs too, since the buses are frequent enough or cheap enough or don’t go to the right places.

    4. “They don’t have the time or money to cycle anywhere like the “rich people” do”
      “any improvements for walking is a good investment. Especially around schools because they have high rates of young children walking to school alone”..

      Contenders for the most ignorant, fatuous and patronising comments on TB this year.

    5. Ari, they’ve done a lot of talking to locals, listening to their issues and explaining whT they propose. Stop trying to talk for these residents.

    6. Wait, so they don’t have time or money to ride a bike, but do have the time to sit in traffic and have the money to buy and run a car?

      You can get a functional bike for less than a hundred dollars, with practically nil operating costs. Even the most basic legal car is about a grand to buy, and a couple grand a year to fuel and run.


  4. Mangere Central ranks 4th out 275 Auckland communities for fatal and serious crashes, including a high number of pedestrian accidents. 26% Of all crashes in the area involve pedestrians. The social costs of these incidents in Mangere Central is estimated to be $18.2m.

    MBIE funded research teams worked with the Mangere community to understand key issues involved with getting around safely on foot or by bike. They have developed and tested potential design concepts.

    The Future Streets project includes improving streets, pathways, crossings as well as accesses to the Mangere Town Centre and schools. The improvements will also include cultural elements to reflect the identity of Mangere people.

    Benefits

    Mãngere Future Streets has the potential to transform the urban environment. Design changes to local roads and connections in Mangere Central will provide better infrastructure for walking and cycling to school. This will increase safety in identified risk areas. It will also promote positive health, recreation and social benefits at a neighbourhood level.

    The Future Streets project expects to reduce the casualty social cost of crashes by 50-70% (or $18-25m over 10 years).

    There’s the justification. It’s well planned, well designed, and has an extremely compelling case.

  5. The people of Mangere will be just like people else where in Auckland who want to cycle but don’t, due to lack of infrastructure. Give them infrastructure and the cycling numbers will go through the roof. I have seen it happen many times in other places.

  6. where should I start to advocate for a way to cycle from Takanini to Manurewa via Great South Road. A recent attempt to get from Manuroa Road to Mahia Road was a frightening experience? In the end i started to use the footpath on the east side of Great South Road but that is not very good for pedestrians let alone as a shared footpath.
    Any suggestions would be gratefully received!

      1. Thank you Goosoid! I will do that, I remembered reading about the Auckland Transport Feedback form and have filled in one of thse now but it won’t hurt to see if other CAN members have noticed the problem? and maybe support it, so thank you!

  7. Not sure what to think of all these closely spaced Armadillos especially with the high number of high posts as the image Mascot Ave shows.
    For this to work the cycle lanes would need to be at least 2.5m wide so cyclist travelling at different speeds can pass. Does anyone know of a comparable cycle infrastructure in Demark or the Netherlands.

    1. Yeah. I don’t quite get that either. It appears the works are substantial so just extend the kerb and build Copenhagen lanes. Unless they’re not changing the actual road so much, n which case, I think the armadillos are a pretty good choice. Certainly better than paint. Agree that more width would be a great idea. Regular parking spot width of 2.4 or so metres feels pretty good.

  8. It’s hard to really see what’s proposed in that tiny picture, but I think those Bader Drive roundabouts are starting to edge gradually closer to the Dutch style. If you look at the PDF, you can get a slightly closer view:

    http://i.imgur.com/g9cEThz.png

    Which looks like they’ve tried a layout that continues the cycle lanes through the roundabout at footpath level. The cycle lanes ramp up onto a little bit of “shared path” footpath, then have painted lanes at footpath level.

    It’s a more awkward geometry, with tight corners rather than the nice arc in the Dutch version, but it looks like they’ve (illegally?) tried to provide cyclist priority across the traffic lanes, with a sort of white-on-green zebra crossing thing next to the normal pedestrian zebra crossing. I haven’t seen anything like that proposed in New Zealand before.

    1. You’re right about the awkward geometry – very tight corners for cyclists. It would be nice if they just copied the dutch roundabouts outright, rather than just pinching elements.

      Still, it’s a step in the right direction.

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