After months of delays, next week the Auckland Transport board are set to make a decision on the proposal to change the speed limits on 700km of roads that they consulted on earlier this year. That 700km of roads was largely in rural areas but also included the proposal to make the entire city centre 30km/h.
There is a substantial amount of information that they’ve now published in about the consultation and analysis they’ve subsequently conducted with multiple reports totalling over 300 pages of information and a similar number again for draft bylaws for two of the three options they’re presenting to the board. The three options are:
Option 1 –
Defer the decision on the bylaw and direct a reassessment of the speed limits proposed and/or other travel speed measures.
Choosing one would represent gross negligence from the board. Given everything that’s happened up to this point I simply can’t imagine they would choose it.
Make the bylaw in a form that implements the proposed speed limit changes on all roads with minor modifications and staged implementation – as drafted in Attachment 8;
This option would see the original proposal implemented with just some minor changes. These changes include some slight tweaks to where a new speed limit zones start and end on a few roads. For example it would now extend the 10km/h zone on Federal St across Wellesley St to cover the shared space being constructed. The biggest change appears to be the timing. Instead of implementing all speed limit changes across the region on the same day, these would now be spread out and AT say:
Rather than one single date of implementation a staged implementation is proposed to enable successful execution of implementation, more focussed enforcement activities and take account of work being done with resident and business associations in St Heliers and Mission Bay to review the need and design of proposed low speed zones. The dates for any speed limit changes for these town centres takes account of the work currently in progress.
It appears from the bylaw we won’t see any implementation until the end of June 2020 with some areas not completed till 2021.
They also say that this option provides the maximum safety outcomes and has the advantage of being consistent
Make the bylaw in a form that implements, on a staged basis, all proposed speed limit changes except for on roads not categorised as high risk and where there is significant preference for the status quo, with adjustments to the speed limits to take account of implementation of enhanced engineered safety features on key arterials in the City Centre to make those roads safe and appropriate (as drafted in Attachment 9). This option will deliver broadly equivalent DSI outcomes to the Option 2 DSI outcomes
During the consultation there was a lot of noise from some corners about having blanket 30km/h speed limits in the city centre. The AA were particularly vocal about this and were calling for the large central city streets of Fanshawe, Hobson and Nelson Streets to remain at 50km/h – even though AT research showed that with all the traffic lights, most people were only able to average about 30km/h anyway. Six other ‘key stakeholders’ also opposed the proposal including courier companies, trucking organisations and Ports of Auckland – who also claim Beach Road and Tangihua St should be ‘higher speed environments’.
Despite being large not very attractive arterials, Fanshawe, Hobson and Nelson Streets also have high numbers of pedestrians, especially on the latter two which sit either side of the densest residential population in the country. Given the deaths and serious injuries that have occurred on these streets in the past, AT simply can’t ignore them. Option 3 is therefore the compromise option and proposes those streets instead be changed to 40km/h. There are no changes to other streets in the overall proposal other than some slightly different implementation timing for a few locations.
This option also costs $5-10 million more as they will need more engineering solutions to achieve the safety benefits – a 30-60% increase on implementation costs for Option 2 while in the city it delivers 96.8% of the benefits.
The three options above were whittled down from an initial long list of 49 options following the consultation. AT say every single road was assessed against a number of criteria including
- The reason for including the road within the original proposed bylaw (risk, function, use, design and network legibility)
- Consultation feedback
- Speed (operating speed, proposed speed limits and existing speed limits)
- NZTA Guidance (MegaMaps and Speed Management Guide):
- the safe and appropriate speed,
- the top 10% high benefit roads
- operating speeds
- Traffic volume
- Risk rating of the road (NZTA MegaMaps)
- Crash data (deaths and serious injuries)
- Strategic documents such as the Auckland Plan 2050 and Auckland Vision Zero for Tāmaki Makaurau: A Transport Safety Strategy and Action Plan to 2030
If you want to know about a specific road, there is a large table with the results for every road in the options report.
If you’re interested in reading all the material, the links to each of the papers is below
- Item 13.1 – October 2019 – Proposed Speed Limits Bylaw (PDF 1.2MB)
- Item 13.1 – Attachment 1 – Draft Public Feedback Report (PDF 4.4MB)
- Item 13.1 – Attachment 2 – October 2019 – Summary of Local Board and Stakeholder Feedback (PDF 7MB)
- Item 13.1 – Attachment 3 – October 2019 – Draft Hearing Notes (PDF 488KB)
- Item 13.1 – Attachment 4 – October 2019 – Review of AT Speed Management Bylaw by Safe Systems Solutions (PDF 1.7MB)
- Item 13.1 – Attachment 5 – October 2019 – Consultations Peer Review by Engagement Plus (PDF 451KB)
- Item 13.1 – Attachment 6 – October 2019 – Safe speeds implementation options report (PDF 3.9MB)
- Item 13.1 – Attachment 7 – October 2019 – Monitoring and Evaluation Plan (PDF 193KB)
- Item 13.1 – Attachment 8 – October 2019 – Option 2 speed limits bylaw 2019 (PDF 21MB)
- Item 13.1 – Attachment 9 – October 2019 – Option 3 speed limits bylaw (PDF 21MB)
The AT board should stick to the evidence and to their budgets and select option 2.