One of the items on the agenda for a decision at tomorrow’s Auckland Transport board meeting is about the intersection of Tamaki Dr and Ngapipi Rd. This intersection has been discussed for quite some time as is quite dangerous with it considered by the NZTA the 10th highest risk intersection in NZ. AT say 31 crashes have been recorded at the intersection over the past five years (possibly more now as there was another one recently) with 25 of them resulting in injury.
To improve the intersection AT want to up-scale the intersection and signalise it which they say will provide the best outcomes in terms of improving safety and improving traffic flow. As part of the up-scaling it will see the sea wall pushed out quite a bit to create more space. AT’s preferred option is shown below
However as I understand it the Orakei Local Board have continued to push for an alternative roundabout option. I’m not entirely sure of their reasoning for this although I wonder if it isn’t about some kind of animosity towards stopping at lights. This option is shown below.
For me one of the big issues with the roundabout option is how it works for pedestrians and those on bikes. For example if you were coming from Ngapipi and wanted to walk anywhere on the northern side of the road you will need to
- be capable of dashing across two lanes of traffic approaching the roundabout to the traffic island
- cross a lane of traffic exiting from the roundabout including or turning left around a blind corner
- cross Tamaki Dr east of the intersection
At least with the signalised option this is controlled and you can cross in any direction with a wait for lights. This isn’t to say I think the signalised option is ideal. For example why go to the cost of extending out the seawall and not at least provide a protected cycle option that isn’t a shared path.
Other than safety there’s another area where AT say the signalised option works better, traffic flow. They have put online the results of their modelling in the AM and PM peak showing how long they think the traffic queues will be with either option vs the current layout. As you can see in the AM peak AT think the traffic queues will be almost non-existent with the signalised option – which seems almost too good to be true. The roundabout option is suggested to have traffic queued up way back down Kepa Rd.
In the PM peak the roundabout performs a little better for those heading away from the city but not but too much.
Based on this information it seems the signalised option is a far preferable solution. I’ll be watching with interest to see the outcome of the board meeting.