Improving road safety is now a large part of Auckland Transport’s plans with $700 million to be invested over the next decade in a bid to reduce deaths and serious injuries on Auckland’s roads. AT’s safety programme includes improvements to rural roads, town centres, such as Glen Eden, the City Centre as well as area wide improvements in residential areas. The first of these to be consulted on is in Te Atatu South – they plan to do Rosehill in Papakura soon too.
Auckland Transport will make streets in Te Atatū South’s residential area safer for all road users by installing speed-calming measures that will help to slow vehicles. The area will also be subject to a future lower speed limit of 30km/h.
AT is seeking feedback on its proposal, which includes installing speed tables, speed humps and raised intersections. The area is southwest of the Northwestern Motorway, bounded by Te Atatū and Edmonton Roads to the south, and Central Park Drive and Henderson Creek to the west.
The project is part of AT’s commitment to reducing death and serious injuries on our roads by 60 per cent in the next 10 years.
Randhir Karma, AT’s Group Manager Network Management and Safety, says the proposal will improve road safety for everyone.
“We want to make our residential streets safer for everyone, whether they walk, ride bikes or motorcycles, or drive,” he says.
“If a person is hit by a vehicle travelling at 50km/h, the risk of death is 80 per cent. If they are hit at 30km/h, that risk reduces to 10 per cent. We want to create a slower speed environment in Te Atatū South based on what our analysis of local crash data and vehicle speeds is telling us, the number of schools, parks and shops in the area, and safety concerns from residents,” he says.
Feedback on the proposal will help to confirm the locations of traffic calming measures, including speed tables and humps. Construction is expected to be complete in mid-2019.
AT say there have been 31 crashes in the area and that the fastest speeds recorded have been in excess of 121km/h on School Road and Flanshaw Road.
Overall this is good to see, especially that what is proposed is fairly comprehensive and not just a few speed limit signs. But like with Glen Eden, we do think some of the treatments could be better.
Three intersections are proposed to have raised tables installed, which they say will make it “easier for vulnerable road users to cross”. This is the image they show with it
The table is good but just how effective it will be will depend on how steep the ramps are. I know of some installed recently that are basically flat and so don’t do what they’re intended to do. Then there’s still that large radius curve for cars to swing around. Our friend Cornelius has pulled this image together showing a potential improvement to further slow cars exiting the side street. Perhaps the extra space could have some planter boxes even.
Going further, if the goal is about making it easier for pedestrians to cross, how about this version.
Entry into the area off Central Park Dr, Edmonton Rd or Te Atatu Rd will have a red patch painted on the road as the first visual cue “that they are entering a slow speed area and they must proceed with more caution”.
This is good but why not go a step further by adding raised tables to the entry. This would be the same as they’ve done on the side roads off Ponsonby Rd and has really helped improve the pedestrian environment.
The treatments primarily consist of creating vertical change to slow traffic with speed humps and tables. It would be good to see some other options included in the mix too, such as blocking some streets to through traffic or mixing in horizontal change by narrowing some sections to a single lane with build-outs. Those build-outs could be planted too, helping to add street trees to an area that has very few of them.
One thing I am liking is how AT are improving their comms about this process. I really like the term ‘Survivable Speeds’ and highlighting some of the key evidence behind why this is needed, such as below. Their website even uses the phrase “We can’t outrun physics” which I think is a good way of putting it.
The consultation on Te Atatu South is open until Sunday 18 November and there’s an open day in a few weeks for those interested.
Date: Saturday 10 November 2018
Time: 12:30pm to 2:30pm
Location: Te Atatu South Community Centre, 247 Edmonton Road, Te Atatu South.