In addition to the consultation on New North Rd, this week Auckland Transport have also kicked off consultation for the next round of speed limit changes.

This is the third round of speed limit changes AT have consulted on following the first in 2019, which was implemented in 2020, and the second round consulted on late last year and that AT are still working through the responses of. In terms of the total number of roads impacted it is by far the biggest of them, with more roads included in this consultation than the first two phases combined. Yet despite the size, all three phases combined add up to less than 40% of all roads in Auckland so there’s still a long way to go with this programme.

Auckland Transport (AT) urges the public to have its say – on the third phase of proposed safe speed limits for Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland.

In line with AT’s Vision Zero goals, the project sets out to reduce speeds on approximately 1,646 roads in Auckland – 19 per cent of the AT road network – and includes residential areas, high-risk rural areas and roads near marae.

Schools also feature prominently in the proposal, with 980 roads near 82 schools identified for speed reductions.

There are also 30km/h speed limit proposals for the Devonport, Takapuna and Glen Innes town centres.

Shane Ellison, AT’s Chief Executive, urges people to think about their whānau out on the road every day; as we move into public engagement today for the third phase of the safe speeds programme.

“Too many people are dying on our roads and we simply must do everything we can to keep them safe. Our tamariki are so vulnerable outside schools – so it’s really important for us all that schools featured heavily in this proposal.”

“We have recently seen really promising results come in from our previous speed limit reductions in 2020 – showing fewer people are dying on roads where speed limits were lowered, but we have so much more to do.”

The five-week public consultation is open from today and features 16 online webinars.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions there will be no in-person community drop-in sessions. However, there are multiple channels for the public to engage with Auckland Transport and the project team around the proposals.

The public hearings process has also shifted to an online platform, with public hearings set for April 7.

In 2020, safe and appropriate speed limits were introduced on more than 600 roads across Auckland. This included our city centre, high-risk rural roads, residential areas and the town centres of Ōtāhuhu, Orewa, Mairangi Bay and Torbay.

The second consultation phase of proposed safe speed limits (consulted on from September – November 2021) was a mix of roads near schools and town centres, as well as urban, residential and rural roads. The public summary report from this consultation will be available from late March/early April.

A high-level summary of where the changes are proposed is below

Around schools: Approximately 980 roads 82 schools around Auckland.

Rural roads: There are 415 rural roads, including areas such as: Waiheke Island, Āwhitu Peninsula, Waitākere, Okura, Stillwater, Waiwera, Whenuapai.

AT proposes changing 90% of Waiheke Island roads. Watch video on Waiheke Island safe speeds.

Town centre roads: Speed reductions in Glen Innes, Devonport and Takapuna town centres. Learn more about proposed speed limits in town centres.

Residential roads: Approximately 58 roads in the Manurewa Coxhead Quadrant.

Community requests: Approximately 41 roads, mostly, in Ponsonby and Rodney.

Rural marae: 18 roads near 8 rural marae.

But for more detailed info, the online and interactive map.

And Waiheke

It would be useful on these maps if AT also included the the roads that have previously been consulted on and implemented.

These speed limit changes can’t come fast enough with around 58 deaths on Auckland roads over the last 12 months.

The consultation on the changes is open till 3 April. There are also an number of Webinar’s for different areas being consulted on – see the AT page for more details.

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57 comments

  1. I come from a country which until recently didn’t have a great track record of any kinds of consultations. So, generally, I’m happy that I can take part in the process in New Zealand. Having said that, I really don’t understand why safety improvements have to be discussed/consulted. If they’re expected to make the situation better, they should just be done.
    Perhaps my opinion is due to my 30+ years of experience of a different approach or perhaps I’m just simply tired of consultations, re-consultations and re-re-consultations which drag forever and more often than one would like don’t actually end up with delivering what was envisaged in the first place.
    I’m all in for speed reductions. I’m not a frequent driver (I drive 2-3 times a year at most) but what I have noticed is that there is a great appetite for speeding in this country and some speed restrictions are just ridiculous (especially outside Auckland).
    And I’ll finish with a comment I received from one of AT’s followers on Facebook when I said that it’s about time that speeds are reduced to increase safety of pedestrians and cyclists – “they should watch where they go”.

    1. Re consultation. I believe that it is part of the 2017 land transport rule, that requires agencies to do a consultation. AT consultation are far from the best, in some places you get direct specific responses.

      And absolutely NZ full of terrible drivers that intentionally refuse to understand the very clear relationship of speed to potential harm because they want to go fast.

    2. We used to have a prescriptive system for setting speed limits that removed opinion. That system didn’t need any consultation because the answer was a number of points and that defined the limit.

      The new system is open to value judgments and so that raises the issue of whose values? That requires consultation.

      1. The prescriptive system was constructed from values but yeah, that last decision was “Computer Says X” so appeared less subjective.

        The thing is the consultation shouldn’t be happening at the project level. It should probably not be happening at the constructing the system level, either. It should be happening at the “what sort of a society do we want to be, how do we appoint the right decision makers, and what kind of accountability should we use to ensure they are following best practice” sort of level.

        1. I think everybody who ever used that system ended up feeling frustrated as you would end up a few points shy of what you needed to get the speed limit you felt was appropriate. But you couldn’t do anything about it.

      2. In that case, all the opinion is embedded in the speed limits.

        One possible opinion is that where cyclists have to mix with cars, the speed limit must not be more than 30km/h. How would that go down?

      3. But the prescriptive system you’re talking about was based on value judgements, it’s just no-one was allowed to question the value judgements.

    3. It would be helpful if existing speed limits were enforced. Also anger management courses may help.

      1. Yes. And AT has done some excellent media stuff about safety. I think they need to continue that, but start to make it very clear that 30 km/hr is as high as any driver should ever expect to drive on an urban street.

        It would help a lot in local discussions.

      2. I see the interpretation of Speed Limits in this country contributes.
        100K/h == 110K/h
        In a 50 Zone in Auckland it is “Whatever it takes to catch up with the vehicle in front”.
        The 10 K/h tolerance by Police does not help.

        1. The police don’t have a 10km/h tolerance… they did away with it and went with zero tolerance (with bad results as expected by many).

        2. What are the bad results? I presume you mean drivers whinging about being caught speeding?

    4. Agreed. Constant consultations about every little thing in this country are just ridiculous. Things like removing two parking spaces for a cycleway requires consultation. It’s unbelievable. It just makes you feel that change is not even worth fighting for, because there has to be so much effort and energy (and luck) put into just tiny little change. Personally it makes me feel like I wanna give up and just accept whatever status quo we have now. It’s sad.

  2. > It would be useful on these maps if AT also included the the roads that have previously been consulted on and implemented.

    Such a map is available here, including the previous tranches of speed limit changes: Speed limit changes in Auckland. There is also a layer which can be turned on to show the current speed limits.

  3. The interactive map is a great tool, much better than a plain list of road names.

    The map does seem to have some obvious errors, such as changing the Upper Harbour Motorway speed to 60km/h near Greenhithe (probably nearby Upper Harbour Drive was intended).

    Anybody spotted similar mistakes?

    1. The Upper Harbour Motorway error was fixed, the proposed change is now correctly drawn along Upper Harbour Drive.

  4. Good to see those 60km/hr around Pakuranga to Howick & East Tamaki area proposed to drop to 50km/hr. It’s so easy to speed in the areas that drop back to 50.

  5. Although I fully support lowering the speed limits on many roads and it is a great start, the road design should match the speed limit in such a way that you know what the speed limit is without needing signs, but also that exceeding the limit on those roads feels unnatural. By doing this you wouldn’t need much enforcement as that’s done by (road) design.

    I also noticed in Takapuna that around Early Childhood services like day cares and kindergartens, like the ones on Tennyson Ave there is no speed limit change proposed. Did AT only look at schools?

    1. In 1964 my brother could ride a trike by himself 700m to kindergarten, crossing a main road that led into the city by himself. Hard to believe. By 1968, for me this was no longer possible. People did ride trikes to school from the age of 5, though. In those days most people didn’t have a bicycle until age 10 or 11.

      Old fogey here.

    2. I agree, but we (Auckland) have been handed a bit of a headache when so much of the city’s infrastructure has been designed to maximise vehicle speeds. It’s simply not feasible to replace the entire street network at once. Even tactical interventions (as we do them now) couldn’t cover 40% of the entire road network in a year or 2.

      Its a chicken vs egg problem. As it stands AT do like for like renewals where “nothing has changed on this road, no design review needed”, but now that a lot of roads that they are renewing have entirely different target speeds (and target throughput), this seriously needs to be turned into redesigns to bring the self explanation into it.
      Which will be the next political and funding hurdle that advocates will need to push AT over the line on.

      AT need to also rethink their place in meeting speed targets, which at the moment they pawn off to the police when average speeds are much more down to the design.

      https://www.greaterauckland.org.nz/2021/03/10/gold-in-them-there-road-renewals/

      1. “Dislike for dislike” renewals, locking in bad stuff for decades, has been a peeve for years. When the roads are in dire need of renewal, deciding how thinly to spread the butter is difficult. But we must aim to produce some decent sandwiches somehow (corny, I know). Easy wins with paint and islands that only cost a little design work should always be investigated, when resurfacing is done. Some interim stick-on islands and separators are also easy (in some places), until kerbs need replacement and can be moved.
        Bigger changes are needed in a lot of places, but funding prioritisation limits which ones can be tackled first, to reduce DSI.

        1. There are plenty of streets where the road surface is not in dire need of renewal but the renewal is happening anyway, though, and in a like for like way. In fact many are currently being downgraded to chip seal, which worsens the environment for walking and cycling.

          This waste of budget should have been avoided in the latest round of contracts. AT had plenty of time to get the wording right, and the CEO assured advocates and councillors that the new renewals contracts would address the problem. Any improvements have been negligible.

          If this had been managed better, there would’ve been more money available, to ensure all the projects being done fixed the deficiencies without having to dip much, or at all, into other budgets.

        2. Argh. We got this chip seal a while ago as well. Took them half a year and who knows how many rounds of sweeping before the footpaths were not full of gravel anymore. And, surprise, it doesn’t look too good anymore after a few years.

          We have those 8 to 10 metre roadways on every last little street, sometimes even 13m. On local residential streets you need only 5 metre, and that is if you want traffic going both ways. Even on collector type roads you almost never need more than 7m.

          (Where I grew up a width of more than 7 metre is so unusual that topographic maps have a separate symbol for it)

          Maybe if we don’t supersize our roadways we could have the nice things like quiet asphalt.

        3. I think there are quite a few “low hanging fruit” opportunities though.

          Entry treatments, curb buildouts and the like. Sometimes the drainage doesn’t have to change even. eg old One tree hill neighbourhood that realised the mistakes: https://imgur.com/a/2QSpN6b

    3. Would be great/sensible if all these roads had entry way treatment -so those on footpath had right of way when crossing street and thus making drivers slow down on entry.

      1. It would be great if that was legal to build in New Zealand, unfortunately, accessible streets is still sat on the Minister’s desk.

  6. 3rd time without a single change in our suburb. My kids school is on a cul-de-sac, couldn’t be easier or more obvious to change, I brought it up in their last consultation, so how do these streets get chosen?
    AT do seem to have their favourite suburbs, nothing ever gets done in ours.

    1. Only so much money given by Waka Kotahi each year for this, so picking the schools looks at where changes can give most benefit and also how easy is it to make the changes (easiest where roads already keep speed down, next easiest where a few bits of traffic calming get the result). A lot of work is done with the schools to identify the needs. If only it could be done quicker and cheaper. Top priority is to avoid death or serious injury, but there are heaps more benefits as well.

      1. Top priority for the programme is to avoid death and serious injury. In the first round, schools weren’t chosen on that basis, though.

        In general, AT needs to understand that consistently prioritising the biggest wins – rather than the easiest wins – offers opportunities of education and demonstration, and in the longer term, speeds the programme up. Going for “easy wins” is about weakness, and has contributed to political and public resistance.

    2. https://at.govt.nz/media/1980866/item-911-road-safety-programme-business-case-att-2-at.pdf

      My understanding is that the roads are prioritised for maximum impact on DSIs. This is why all of the rural roads in Franklin were done so early. This round focuses on town centres, schools and marae, where crashes are often clustered. Future stages will extend this to all suburbs.

      Part of the issue is that this stuff takes a long time. You have to assess the appropriate limit and peer review it, then go to public consultation. There is only so much capacity in the industry.

  7. Without strong enforcement from the authorities, many drivers simply ignore “lowered” speed limits. Roads with significantly high accident rates should have speed monitoring / number plate recognition technology.

  8. Good to see they are finally/hopefully going to reduce the speed limit around where I live in Rocky Bay to 30kph , as they have been fighting for it for years as the roads are around 1 1/2 lanes wide and there are still 3 that are unsealed , and most done have good visiability and 1 side is to steep .

  9. Looks good. Pt Chev Rd should be 40 rather than 30 so people choose it over Walford.

    More signage for the Meola turn, automatic gates at the park so the gates can close earlier but buses still go through, and a speed camera around the school would do a lot to sort the problem.

    1. Yes to the automatic gates at Coyle Park. The school would benefit from a school street approach, and from turning the area into an LTN. Plenty of examples they could use there. And some messaging about not idling your engines would go a long way to making the area more pleasant at school drop off and pick up time.

      I think there plenty of ways to encourage people to use Pt Chev Rd instead of Walford that still allow the safe speed of 30. But Pt Chev’s Bird Streets are being left out, despite the community’s message over several years that they need slower speeds. Most bizarre.

      1. First question is, does the street have low enough operating speed now, that all it needs is signs for a speed limit change? If not, traffic calming needs to be planned and funded for the LTN.
        But the bird streets would be better to change at the same time as Pt Chev and Meola.
        The same issue applies to the school speeds – priority is set for safety, but some high priority sites will take a year longer, when additional calming is needed.

        1. Eric Howard told AT unequivocally that waiting for the built environment changes was not an acceptable reason to delay reducing the speed limits to what they need to be.

  10. Good on AT for progressing with this, the comments that follow are in no way meant to criticise them for this work, they are working within the system as it stands but to me it highlights just why we’re not going to meet our safety/climate/health/equity targets anytime soon. The whole system is so overwhelmingly weighted towards the status quo.
    As a thought exercise, just imagine for a minute if this was done in reverse. Starting from the point of view that the default speed limit is too high for many roads and we should instead have a lower default speed limit in line with survivable speeds, say 30kph. Any changes to increase that speed limit on individual stretches or road need to be robustly justified via multiple PBCs, IBCs, DBCs. Council’s would obviously need to secure funding to pay for all the research and consultants require to deliver these business cases, consult extensively on any changes in line with LGA requirements and then trawl through the feedback received. If any speed limits were increased then they would need to provide evidence that it is safe to do so and done in the most cost-effective way to satisfy the funding requirements. It would be important to do this because there would also be a clear line of accountability to the decision makers that allowed the speed to be increased above survivable speeds. It would take years to get speeds up anywhere. It wouldn’t take long for the public demand that the process be thrown out in favour of something quicker to implement. Well that process described above is exactly what every single project that tries to move our transport system away from car dominance faces. Until the default baseline i.e. the status quo is reset to be aligned the principles we value and the outcomes we want, we will continue to under-deliver the change that is required. The status quo must be subject to the same scrutiny as the projects that seek to change a small part of it.

  11. The problem is AT are applying blanket rules across wide areas under the title “around schools” but covering streets way beyond the actual school zones and 24/7, 365 days. I assume they think making most of Pt Chev 30 kph will get Heidi off their back (obviously they are mistaken). I agree people speed in Pt Chev and there have been speeding crashes (not accidents) – but a 30 kph sign would not have stopped them.
    30 kph is just too slow so people wont keep to it. Will cyclists also slow down to 30 kph? 40 kph might be more realistic and more chance of people keeping to it.
    Better to be strict around schools (e.g. Walford) and add road treatments as needed. The bird streets should be made one way or no exit / entry.

    1. They should do a blanket 30 km/h rule on any street that is not an arterial. This would almost not affect you if you drive, because you quickly end up on one of those arterial. It is only the first and last few 100s of metres.

      But expressed in distance it is actually the majority of streets, so it opens up a large amount of streets for other things than effectively just moving heavy machinery.

      Cyclists on average go 15 to 20 km/h. This figure is heavily skewed towards faster speeds in Auckland because cycling is such a fringe activity. However even electric bikes usually don’t go faster than 30.

    1. Not on the roads where lower limits were introduced though, those have had a drop. Average speeds on other roads have increased because of less traffic due to covid however, proving that average speeds are a key factor in DSI.

      It would be crazy to not roll out the program further immediately in the face of such strong evidence that it works, and the opposite has the opposite effect.

  12. We are living in the nanny state, blanket speed reduction/ limits are ridiculous, we are told we need to reduce speed, reduce speed on all roads and every inch of every road, this isn’t right.Under this govt & AT we are losing our freedom to drive at a not excessive 100 kmh, which in today’s cars is not ‘fast” every body, how about people on phones for starters, fixing the roads, oh but there’s no money for that.Road to zero is a fantasy dreamt up by some loony lefty, & someone in govt with an agenda to penalize everybody who uses a road, , we all know they give reasons as to why, including climate change, reducing emissions, saving lives, etc etc, but this is all too much from this govt, where will it end?, no cars trucks, only if they’re electric, , hey let’s go back to horse & cart & bicycles

    1. Really ticked off my bingo card there quickly.

      I think it’s really telling that you think a 20km/hr limit drop to bring us into line with international best practice, somehow translates into a slippery slope argument of “where will it end”. What kind of fairy land do you live in where the slightest challenge to your privilege is perceived as the inevitable coming of the end of your freedom. Grow up.

      Lowing limits brings more freedom and thats the whole point. Freedom to only have a 20% change of death instead of 90+% when someone is run over on a residential street. Freedom to let kids out by themselves without literal certain death if they take a wrong step, or someone kills them at a crossing.

      Our high limits take away freedom. Just because it’s not yours you probably don’t care about it though.

      1. You do know that the Wramborg probability curves are just some pseudo science that someone made up right?

    2. How about we go back to when kids could play in the streets, and our deaths and serious injuries were way lower? If that needs horse and cart then giddy up. Progress is not about moar speed. Its about better outcomes.

      1. “Freedom to drive at a not an excessive 100”. Lol. Must have been what those at WWII for.

        Mate, the only loonies are the ones who talk of international best practice as a left wing conspiracy.

    3. There is a 100% overlap between people who complain about Nanny State, and people who make a nanny state necessary by doing stupid and dangerous stuff just because the rules allow it.

    4. “We are living in the nanny state” I agree. Car safety regulations? My old mate Bob once added a trailer to his ride on mower and pulled the kids around, they loved it, designing cars is not bloody rocket science. Road design standards? Tony down the road did his own driveway pretty sure he could knock up a Hamilton Expressway if he put his mind to it. Road Rules? Any idiot knows what side of the road to drive on, when to stop, what a no entry sign means, it’s obvious, we don’t need anyone teaching us this crap. Let’s cut all the bloody nanny state funding for all the roads, back in the day people just had a whip round down the pub or a meat raffle if it was bigger job like SH16. Let’s get this bloody nanny state out of the equation. Make Roads Great Again.

    5. I’m pretty sure having a speed limit of 100kmh is also nanny state, taking away the freedom to drive at whatever speed you want.

  13. Did we consult about vaccine mandates or building earthquake requirements or which drugs Pharmac should fund? Did we consult about number of public safety issues? I don’t see why they need to even consult people who don’t know anything about safety. It’s the same responses every time. “NIMBY!”

    Just do it already nationwide and then enforce like crazy. 30km on non-arterials, 50km for arterials, 80km for rural. 100-110km for motorways depending on the infrastructure.
    Done. People will move on after a few months moaning about it and move on to something else to moan about. And in about 20 years it will be the norm, with reduced deaths on the road.

    1. Te Iririangi drive is a road with at grade lights crossings, no separated bike infra. It’s simply not up to the standards required for vision zero at higher than 50km/hr.

      The ability for car frames to handle side impacts from red light running at intersections drops away very quickly after 50km/hr

  14. S L is correct in this case dropping Te Iririangi drive to only 60kmh is probably the nuttiest speed reduction on this list. The road is very safe to drive at 80kmh and dropping will increase accidents as the speeds between lanes will be significantly different.
    This road was only opened in 2000 and has very up to date features. This type of road is very common is Australia which has a lower road toll than us. This is technically safer to drive at 80 than through the majority of the SH network so this is such a weird speed reduction.

    And as for Chapel road long straight road with no parked cars…. 50 just seems wrong for that road this will cause fatigue

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