Way back at the end of 2013 Auckland Transport started a consultation on supersizing Lincoln Rd in Henderson – a road that in my view as a regular user is one of the most soul destroying in all of Auckland. It’s a road that’s almost completely automobile focused in its design and land-use yet seems to perform poorly for cars too, a textbook Stroad.
AT’s basic plan back then for Lincoln Rd was to once again widen it – this time to three lanes each way with the additional lanes being T3. Each direction would be separated by a solid raised median. At the big intersections that six-lane road would blow out to 9-10 lanes wide to cater for various turning movements while pedestrians and cyclists were to only have shared paths which from memory didn’t even meet AT’s low standards of the time. Here’s a video of what was proposed.
When they released the outcome of the consultation almost a year later one of the strongest pieces of feedback was around the cycle infrastructure and wanting separated cycleways, after-all if AT were going to the cost and bother of buying land they should at least cater for all modes properly. Their response to that was “A separated facility for cyclists will be investigated as part of the detailed design”
But following that I had heard almost nothing about the project till this week when on the closed session agenda at the Auckland Transport board meeting this item was listed – “Lodgement of Lincoln Rd NoR” [notice of requirement]. This surprised me given that AT normally at least show their designs and often have a second (or even third) round of consultation before embarking on lodging a notice of requirement. Recent examples include Mill Rd, the Newmarket Crossing and seemingly most cycling projects.
A quick look at AT’s page for the project found they had uploaded some new details about the project in February but that they only alerted a narrow range of people. I would certainly count us and our friends at Bike Auckland in that last category.
February/ March 2016
Property owners individually notified of whether AT intends to purchase some or all of their property.
The latest version of the Lincoln Road upgrade incorporating feedback from previous consultation rounds will be shared with:
- Affected property owners.
- The wider catchment around Lincoln Road deemed to be indirectly affected by or interested in the proposals.
AT will also seek feedback from these stakeholders.
As for what’s now proposed, most of the project seems pretty much identical to what was proposed back in 2013 with the main change being that they have added separated bike lanes in.
The proposed upgrade of Lincoln Road seeks to:
- Widen the road to provide an additional bus/T3 transit lane on each side.
- Install an on-road kerbside cycleway segregated from the transit lane on both sides of the road.
- Upgrade existing intersections.
- Build a solid raised and planted median to replace the existing painted median.
- Upgrade traffic signals and implement stormwater treatments.
- Relocate and upgrade existing utility services.
- Integrate with the NZ Transport Agency’s motorway interchange upgrade at Lincoln Road.
And the preliminary design (4.2MB) indicates what the road will look like. Below I’ll step through it with my observations, click the images to enlarge. In all cases North is to the left of the image.
The Triangle Rd/Central Park Dr intersection
As you can see the Lincoln Rd splays out over 10 lanes wide here if you count the space for the cycle lanes and central raised median. You can also see the cycle lanes that have been added which will be segregated – although this plan doesn’t say how yet.
One big new addition here is what appears to be a new road which presumably AT want to build to allow for driveways to be taken out. This may be for traffic reasons or that widening the road will make driveways physically impossible. There also seems to be a small island of houses being left that with this new road will effectively be surrounded by roads. I wonder if this is a case where AT and Panuku Development Auckland need to work together to come up with a better outcome. One potential positive though is that road also seems to open up the local park which is currently only accessed by a few walkways.
A few other things you can notice are a new possible shared path on the North-western side of the intersection which will presumably lead to an extension of the NW cycleway as part of the Royal Rd motorway widening. There also appear to be raised tables on each of the slip lanes which is at least positive and it adds the missing pedestrian crossing on the northern side of the intersection
Universal Dr intersectoin
Continuing on from the image above you can see a mid-block pedestrian crossing being proposed. One good thing is it appears that side streets such as Paramount Dr and Datyona Rd will get raised tables at their intersections with Lincoln Rd.
At Universal Dr the road once again splays out to a wide beast with 9 traffic lanes on either side. Most of the changes here are not too dissimilar to those at the Triangle/Central Park intersection. The left turn for cars to head north on Lincoln Rd has also been narrowed to a single lane which might upset some drivers. I’d also like to see a cycle lane on the western side of Universal Dr right up to the intersection as especially with that left turn being narrowed as there’s not much space there.
Pomaria Rd intersection
Pomaria Rd represents the end of this project and the image shows one of the aspects that concern me the most with the current incarnation of it. As you can see just after the intersection for coming out of the Pak n Save and Mitre 10 carpark (on left of image), the cycle lanes on either side just stop dead and there’s no indication of how bikes will be accommodated after that. In my view, AT need to find a way to extend those cycle lanes right to the Pomaria Rd intersection where it can at least there join with the existing cycle infrastructure.
Overall the design has improved but regardless it still represents a massive supersizing of the road and one that won’t come cheap. There is no indication of any changes south of Pomaria where ideally at least protected cycle lanes would be extended in the future.
While AT are about to go through the NoR for the project it seems it could be quite some time before anything is actually built. based on this timeline.
- February 2016 to May 2016 – Project update with affected property owners and affected/interested parties.
- May 2016 to June 2017 – Notice of Requirement (NoR) processes.
- July 2017 to June 2020 – Hold up period (due to lack of funds).
- July 2020 to December 2022 – Detailed design and land-take.
- July 2020 to June 2022 – Consenting processes.
- April 2023 to April 2025 – Construction.
All future dates are projections. Final timelines are to be confirmed and are subject to availability of funds.