Auckland’s city centre is already starting to see the impacts of the early works for the City Rail Link but in coming months that will step up a gear. In preparation AT have already advertising about the next phase of works and the changes that will occur. They say the advertising is designed to:
- Raise awareness of traffic delays in the central city that are likely to happen once the build begins
- To get motorists to reconsider their transport options into the city, to consider; public transport, walking, cycling, carpooling or other options
- To inform bus users of changes to bus stops in the central city that are moving as a result of CRL early construction.
Of the next round of changes, one of the first to be seen will be the closure of the underpass from Britomart to QE2 Square at the end of this month. The tunnel is being fully removed as part of the CRL works which will see the area outside of Britomart is being turned into a public space.
The biggest change will prior to works will be the change in bus stops for many services – this follows a raft of changes late last year prior to the enabling works starting. The routes/bus stops will change on April 17 and AT have done a better job this time in communicating these changes. For all routes affected there is a brief description of the changes for each of the routes impacted but more importantly they’ve created some maps to show this more clearly.
The first map shows how inbound buses will travel l to their destinations in the city while the second map shows the routes of they will take to get out of the city. As you can see, all services that currently use lower Queen St (outside Britomart) will be shifted.
The 020 and 005
991 & 992
They’ve even created an interactive map which allows you to select a stop and a service using that stop, the map will then highlight where the bus stop has moved to by way of a green pin.
With all of the changes happening both in the city and coming up on the New Network it seems like a useful tool for AT to have.
As mentioned we’ve already started to see the impact from the works that are happening. In the latest AT board report they note that they’ve set up a Tactical Response Team come up with an operations plan to deliver interventions to improve how the network is managed.
City Centre Tactical Operations Plan
With the level of new development and new transport projects occurring in the City Centre a co-ordinated approach to the management of the roading network is required. Development of a Tactical Operations Plan is underway, which will provide a framework for the operation of the network including construction planning, incident management, traffic management and customer communications. Over the last month two teams have become operational – the tactical response team and the working group. The working group is a proactive planning team from across AT and the NZ Transport Agency looking at upcoming projects, developments and events on the network to plan interventions in advance and manage travel demand in the city centre.
The tactical response team manage daily operations in the city centre, responding to traffic delays and issues and has additional support from two SCATS (Sydney Co-ordinated Adaptive Traffic System) intersection control operators providing 7am-7pm coverage. Travel times and traffic delays are monitored in the city centre on six key routes: Quay Street, Customs Street, Victoria Street, Wellesley Street, Queen Street and Hobson/Nelson Street. During February traffic entering the city increased from the January holiday period. Delays have been experienced particularly at Quay Street (3 minutes in the evening peak and 1-2 minutes across the whole day) and Customs Street (increase of 1-2 minutes across the day). With the works at Victoria Street delays have increased with average speed being as low as 12.5 km/h however, interventions by the Tactical Response Team have increased these speeds by up to 25 percent.
I hope they’re also ensuring that to achieve improvements in the road network, that they aren’t doing so by compromising pedestrians through things like longer waits for pedestrian phases.