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Ponsonby Rd Masterplan released

Ponsonby Rd is on of the cities most iconic streets but unfortunately that it doesn’t make it ideal or not able to be improved. Despite the varied and interesting activity along the street, it struggles to balance the desire to be a better place with its role as a major traffic arterial and for a long time the latter has taken priority while all other modes have suffered as a result.

Peak car. Photo: Patrick Reynolds

On-ramp. Photo: Patrick Reynolds

Yesterday the Waitemata Local Board released its Draft Ponsonby Rd Master plan, I had planned to attend the launch but unfortunately was not able to make it. Here is the foreword

We are delighted to present the draft Ponsonby Road Masterplan for public consultation and feedback. The plan represents the work of a diverse group of people passionate about one of Auckland’s most celebrated destination roads. It builds on previous work done and acknowledges the people who have travelled this route in the past, fought to save Ponsonby’s heritage, slowed the traffic and been part of creating the “hippest strip”. The plan recognises the regional significance of Ponsonby Road and our responsibility to take a development approach that results in wider benefits to all Aucklanders. We want to make sure the Masterplan meets the needs and ambitions of the community now and in the future.

Bringing together a working group to develop a draft masterplan has been a unique, collaborative process supported by the Waitematā Local Board. It has been done in partnership with Manū Whenua and local representatives and was only possible with the voluntary contribution of a significant amount of time from the working group. We are grateful to all the participants for their commitment and good will.

The vision we are putting forward in the draft is to develop Ponsonby Road as a vibrant, well connected place for people whilst protecting, enhancing and celebrating its unique heritage, reinforcing its role as a key entertainment and boutique shopping destination and improving the natural environment. It is clear that change is needed in order to achieve this vision and for Ponsonby Road to meet its full potential. Ponsonby Road
must be developed as a place for people rather than just a through-road for traffic. There are a number of exciting opportunities presented in the draft that we are looking forward to discussing with the wider community. In particular:

  • the redevelopment potential of the Council-owned site at 254 Ponsonby Road
  • pocket park and shared space concepts for Rose Road, Pollen Street and St Marys Bay Road outside the Leys Institute
  • new road layout options that could provide for a continuous pedestrian experience and Auckland’s first “Copenhagen” style lanes for cyclists
  • a public realm and civic space that protects and interprets all the many cultural and heritage layers that make up a unique destination.

We encourage you to get involved and provide your feedback on all the proposals and concepts in the plan. The draft is just the starting point of the discussion as we embark on an extensive consultation process before looking to reach a final Masterplan.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the Masterplan so far

Here is the area the master plan covers

Ponsonby Rd Masterplan

Six key outcomes have been identified and from a transport perspective while I am really happy cycling and walking feature strongly I am quite disappointed by the lack of mention of buses.

Ponsonby Rd Masterplan Key Outcomes

For this post I’m going to ignore the land use – art, culture and heritage – natural environment and open space – opportunities at 254 sections and focus mainly on the transport part. Perhaps one of my fellow bloggers can look at those parts in a separate post.

Transport issues are different at different locations along the road so the master plan divides Ponsonby Rd into three distinct sections – Three Lamps, Three Lamps to Franklin Rd and Franklin Rd to Gt North Rd with the main aim being to improve the street for pedestrians and cyclists.

Three Lamps

Existing

Three Lamps is a southbound one-way segment of Ponsonby Road. The speed limit is 40km/h. Northbound traffic is diverted around Redmond Street. This arrangement reduces legibility to users of this section of Ponsonby Road and causes complexities for bus operations within this area, with bus stops not closely aligned.

There are 36 on street carparks in Three Lamps, with angled parking on the eastern side of the street and parallel parking on the western side of the street. Three Lamps is one of the best serviced areas along Ponsonby Road in terms of parking as there are three Council carparks (Redmond Street, Pompalier Terrace and Margaret Street). There are currently no dedicated cycle lanes in Three Lamps.

Three Lamps Existing

There are three different concepts for how to improve this section.

A – Add a one way cycle lane to the western side of the street but leaving parking and everything else the same.
B – Two way this section of the street with no changes to parking and no cycle facilities being added.
C – Two way the street and adding a cycle lane each side by turning the angle parking on the eastern side into parallel parking. Only loses 9 car parks

Three Lamps Proposed

Of the three I think that option C is by far the best although it is odd that the route down Pompellier Tce and Redmond St is retained as is.

Three Lamps to Franklin Rd

Existing

The Ponsonby Road corridor from Three Lamps to Franklin Road currently has two northbound and two southbound traffic lanes. There is a flush median and on-street carparking on each side of the corridor. As the southbound traffic utilising this segment of the road is not as heavy as on other parts of the corridor, there is an opportunity to continue the single lane from Three Lamps further to Franklin Road before where it becomes two lanes.

The following concepts are examples that illustrate different ways that space within the Three Lamps to Franklin Road segment of the Ponsonby Road corridor can be allocated to accommodate and prioritise different modes of traffic.

The idea of continuing a single lane southbound from Three Lamps to Franklin Rd is a good one but I can see some locals making a lot of noise about it so it will have to be done carefully. There are two concepts for this section and both revolved around removing one southbound lane and raising the median strip but with some level sections to make it easier for people pushing prams or in wheelchairs.

A – Use the additional space created by the removal of the traffic lane to widen the median and add a northbound only cycle lane. No changes to on street parking.
B – Retain the current median width and add a cycle lane both northbound and southbound.

Three Lamps - Franklin Proposed

I prefer option B but in both cases I find it disappointing that there isn’t even a discussion about removing carparking to provide space for cycling

Franklin Rd to Gt North Rd

This is obviously the longest section of all and also the part that has the highest traffic volumes.

Existing

The Ponsonby Road corridor from Franklin Road to Great North Road currently has two northbound and two southbound traffic lanes. There is a flush median and on street carparking on each side of the corridor. As this section of the Ponsonby Road corridor typically carries traffic volumes of around 28,000 vehicles per day, four lanes of traffic are required to cater for vehicle movements between Franklin Road and Great North Road.

There are three concepts for this section too. Due to the traffic volumes all provide for at least four traffic lanes during the peak which is something that will obviously limit the amount of space available for other improvements like those mentioned in the section above.

A – Remove parking from the eastern (southbound) side of the road enabling a slightly wider median strip which would be raised but with level sections as described above and the addition a cycle lane southbound. There would be no cycle lane on the other side of the road.
B – Remove parking from the eastern (southbound) to add a cycle lane on each side of the road however the median would need to be reduced to only 1.1m
C – Similar to option B except retain parking on the eastern side by having one lane as a clearway during peak hours but allowing parking off peak.

Franklin - Gt North Rd Proposed

To be honest I can’t see how concept C would even work, a cycle lane outside of parking which then moves to the side of the road during peak time as the parking is removed. Only the Copenhagen lane arrangement seems feasible for this concept. But overall each of these concepts seem like a significantly poor outcome for one group of uses (except drivers). It is choosing between making things better for pedestrians at the expense of cyclists or making things better for cyclists at the expense of Pedestrians. Why is it not possible to do a variation of the Copenhagen lane proposal on concept C and have the second northbound lane also a clearway/off peak parking lane and thus allowing for a wider median. During peak times that would still allow for two lanes each way with off peak parking still being retained.

Along with Ponsonby Rd itself, the master plan also proposes upgrades to three other streets in the area. The first is to the start of St Marys Bay Rd where the intention is to slow traffic and make it easier for pedestrians by turning the first part of the street into a shared space. As far as I’m aware this would be the first time we would have a shared space as just one part of a street so it will be interesting to see exactly how it would work.

St Marys Bay Rd Shared Space

Another proposal is Pollen St which is primarily used for parking. There are two concepts, one a shared space which retains quite a few car parks while the second option widens the footpath on the northern end but otherwise retains angle parking. My personal feeling is that a shared space with angle parking seems absurd and could serve to undermine other shared spaces around the city where it is already hard enough to stop people thinking they are able to park in them.

Pollen St ideas

The last one Rose Rd between Pollen St and Williamson Rd which again appears to be proposed as a shared space (although the text doesn’t actually say that is what is proposed.

Rose St

Associated with all of these proposals are a few other good ideas. These include extending the footpaths across the side streets using raised tables to help improve pedestrian priority, building out bus stops to the edge of the lane so that buses don’t have to pull out of the lane and introducing Barnes dance to the signalised intersections.

All up there appears to be a lot of really good ideas in the plan however in some ways it perhaps doesn’t go far enough. It is based on the thinking that just because a lot of people might drive currently that it will always continue and so little can be done to change that. The same thinking goes towards buses by suggesting that demand isn’t strong enough for bus priority but it isn’t likely to be until buses have priority that enough people use them to require the priority in the first place.

Consultation runs until the 4th September so if you are in the area make sure you get your thoughts in.

96 comments to Ponsonby Rd Masterplan released

  • pete

    The Pompalier Terrace diversion went in place many years ago, not just to improve traffic flow, it also reduced the number of people being run over while walking out of the Three Lamps/Gluepot tavern and going straight over the curb. I witnessed my first head through windscreen there :-(

  • Max

    The proposals for the roads are obviously compromise solutions, and s such there will be a level of “not good enough” from everyone.

    I haven’t been involved closely on this for Cycle Action Auckland, so am a bit behind – but CAA’s representative on the group working on this, Jane Ardmore, reported that the representatives of the Ponsonby Road businesses were willing to have some car parking loss to provide for cycling. We can count that as a win, though obviously it doesn’t go as far as we would like.

  • Carl M

    I think the Rose Road idea is a winner, especially with Countdown development being across the road.

  • Sacha

    Totally agree that making *both* directions between Franklin and Hopetoun into peak clearways makes sense. Two lanes of through-traffic degrades both place value and safety for pedestrians.

    Any mention of restricting right turns into side streets?

    • Steve D

      Clearways definitely seem like the best policy. There’s tons of room, unlike somewhere like Dominion Road. From the plans, I make it 18.2m roadway + 9.2m footpaths = 27.4m at the moment, pretty wide really.

      I had a play around with Streetmix and came up with this:

      The inner lane is full-time general traffic, the outer lane is usually parking, and in peak time it’s T3 or bus. Right turns are available through gaps in the central median. There are no dedicated right turn bays except at signalised intersections. However, there’s just enough width in the median for a right-turning car to wait but let through traffic slip by on the left. It’s actually slightly wider than the median strip that currently exists on the northern third or so of Parnell Road.

      There’s no reason we can’t have completely separate cycle lanes, preserve parking most of the time, provide a transit lane – and all without moving the kerbs.

      • Steve D

        No img tags huh? Well, you can find it at http://i.imgur.com/6ziSOv9.png

        • Nick R

          I think you nailed it Steve! But no street trees? Run them down the median!

          • Something like this.

          • Steve D

            Matt L: Cool! I think our work here is done. Just took an afternoon, too. Eat that, traffic engineers!

            As Sacha points out, there’s still the issue of how cycle lanes interact with bus stops. I think if we stagger them on opposite sides of the road, we can gently swerve the traffic lanes out into the median space and separate the oncoming lanes with a bare centreline. That gives us an extra ~2m, which we use to widen the footpath between the bike and bus lanes to 2.6m.

            I don’t know if there’s any standards about how wide a bus stop needs to be, but based on standing around on the footpath outside my house with a tape measure and play-acting at catching a bus like an utter nerd, it seems OK. Worst comes to the worst, we can move the kerb in a couple of hundred mm for the bike lane there.

            Voila:

          • Nick trees must be where the pedestrians are. Median trees are fine for considering through the windscreen of your car but the true glory of the urban tree is that you are be able to walk under its shade and touch its trunk as an actual human, not just consider it as it flashes by like a picture on a screen [yes upper Symonds St, I'm looking at you].

            Median trees are better than no trees, and certainly prevent the median from being used by vehicles constantly but are not the real deal for a really good streetscape, and especially not for our supposedly ‘premier cafe district’.

          • Steve, yes that’s better, and i see you’ve eaten the median. This will get you in trouble with the TEs who want every little side street to enable right hand turns using the painted median under the guise of the ‘pedestrian refuge’.

            Add more crossing points and no need for the so-called refuge. Also with cyclelanes the vast SUVs won’t need to swing out all over the median to accelerate past cyclists to get to the next red light….

          • Steve D

            Well, I’m only eating the median for 30m or so for a bus stop. I’m sure there are spots mid-block we can put the bus stops, and then the traffic engineers won’t get too upset. I was planning to have the median be planted with occasional pedestrian refuges anyway, and only allow right turns down side streets, not driveways.

          • Steve D

            Essentially, outside the bus stops, I would do the median in the same style as Lambton Quay, Wellington: http://goo.gl/maps/5RPTT

            You can see it’s mostly planted, but with specific gaps to allow right turns down some side streets, and with other gaps for pedestrian refuges.

          • Exactly, the planted median has gaps for right turns or ped refuges

          • Well Steve I really don’t like mid-block bus stops… they make connections difficult, put people away from likely destinations, and are only there to hand over the full roadspace at intersections to cars.

          • Sacha

            Yes, with more mid-block pedestrian crossing points – and restricted right turns into side streets that are accessible via others – that whole central median space could instead be added to the footpaths. More cafe tables seems a good trade-off.

          • Steve D

            In general I’d agree, but for the specific case here:

            A. Ponsonby Road doesn’t really have much option for connections anyway, except at the ends (College Hill, Williamson Ave, GNR).
            B. We only need to set off from an intersection by 20-30m or so, it’s not like the stops will be in the middle of nowhere.
            C. Ponsonby Road is pretty thick with destinations along the whole length.
            D. The blocks are pretty short. In fact that might be the problem – there are so many side streets there might not be room for the island bus stops.

          • Steve D

            (That was in relation to Patrick’s comment about mid-block bus stops).

          • Steve D

            Re: connections, for example, in the RPTP there’s a service down Richmond Road, but it needs to turn down Ponsonby Road for a bit anyway to get onto Franklin Road. So you can connect with a bus stop anywhere between those intersections on Ponsonby Road itself.

          • Fair call, although I am very keen to get all buses heading north on P Rd and then going on into the city [ie the right turners like the Green Link] to move through and stop in Three Lamps itself. And I am confident that this would be positive for retail there, as well as much better for those waiting for the bus [browsing the shops] and those using the bus [faster trip], and indeed drivers using Redmond St [reduced hold-ups due to buses].

          • Steve D

            Yes, that would be great. I’ve just finished my feedback – I suggested that northbound general traffic keep going via Pomallier/Redmond and only the buses and bikes go north through Three Lamps. This would be accomplished by removing the parking on the western side. Unfortunately I think we wouldn’t have space for a separate cycle lane, and bikers would have to share – but only with buses.

            With buses off Redmond I think there would be extra room for parking available to make up for P Rd, so we don’t even need to upset motorists (as much).

            Southbound through Three Lamps, we’d have a separate Copenhagen cycle lane, parking, and a single general traffic lane. I can’t find measurements for this section, so I haven’t mocked it up in StreetMix to see if it works.

          • Steve D

            From Google Earth, it looks like Three Lamps is the same size, kerb to kerb, as the rest of Ponsonby Road, and if so we can still fit everything in. Copenhagen bike lanes both ways, bus lane northbound, combined lane southbound, and angle parking on the eastern side. There’s 10.8m for angle parking plus the traffic lane in that direction, which is considerably more room than many other streets with angle parking.

            http://i.imgur.com/mnxuuO6.png

      • That is a cool resource, will definitely need to use it in the future

      • @ Steve D – even just replacing the angle parking with parallel parking would free up a lot of space.

        • Steve D

          Sure, if necessary, but I don’t think we actually need any more space. AFAICT, that section’s perfectly wide enough for Copenhagen cycle lanes both ways, a bus lane northbound, and a general traffic and angle parking lane southbound.

          In order to get this:

          * we’re stripping the 13 existing parking spaces on the western side, which with the street now two-way, wouldn’t be accessible any more anyway.
          * we’re narrowing the traffic lane – at the moment, there’s a single 6.5 metre lane southbound. We can fit one lane each way in that space.
          * we’re removing the separate manoeuvring space from outside the angle parks, so cars will back straight back into traffic. This might require some Shoupian pricing strategies to keep parks free, so cars don’t sit around waiting for parks. At the moment, the space is so wide that cars just stop all over the place if there are no legal spaces.

          Potentially the northbound bus lane could also cater for traffic going straight ahead onto Saint Mary’s Road and right onto College Hill, too. That would mean we could have parallel parking on both sides instead of angle parks on one side – which frees up a few metres more for something. Probably the most obvious thing to do would be to widen the footpaths: my original layout would require removing the current kerb extensions on the western side since they’d be in the way of the northbound cycle lane.

          http://i.imgur.com/riUuJb8.png

          I’m not sure how many more parking spaces that would remove – possibly only a few more. I think the biggest downside is that having bus build-outs would now stop all traffic in that direction behind the bus, and that’s going to be even more of a political problem than merely getting rid of a few parking spaces.

          • Very well thought through. There are lot of quite exciting changes that could be easily made to Ponsonby Rd!

            As an aside, there is a pile of AT off street parking provided very near Three Lamps, which is not often full, as well as private parking for Kiwibank and BNZ customers, so removing some on street parks should not be a problem.

  • Cyclists only travel South, huh?

  • Matt agree Concept C is the best for Three Lamps. The reason for retaining the one way loop through Redmond is to simplify both intersections. Basically Redmond takes all the left turning Jervois Rd traffic and Ponsonby Rd the right turning city bound traffic, including buses. The Link bus gets a new stop actually in the shops and saves what will be a huge amount of time not getting snarled up in the back alley.

    This looks like a real win win, I wonder though if a Barnes Dance and lights may be required at the intersection of the 2 Ponsonbys; Rd + Tce.

    The best PT suggestion in the draft plan is on page 33:

  • Nick R

    My vote is for Copenhagen lanes with parking/peak lane in both directions, and making three lamps two way (left turn traffic to the bridge continues to use the same route, but cars an buses heading to college hill use the two wayed bit).

    I actually thing pollen at would be better with the widened footpath and parking bays. Don’t see how a shared space parking lot would work in practice.

  • Oh and the top of MacKelvie St definitely needs the shared space raised table treatment as well, and, no right turns in or out. Both sides have got/are getting new retail and hospo, and this wide flat are is a potential vital pedestrian and connection place to link up all the new attractions. Right turning traffic complicated the Richmond Rd intersection and makes for erratic and dangerous vehicle movements for pedestrians and other drivers.

  • Swan

    No bus lanes eh? Otherwise the Copenhagen option looks good.

  • The great problem with Copenhagen bike lanes is door open passengers… even less used to looking behind them than Auckland drivers.

    • Yes, there can still be crashes but at least the rider doesn’t end up under another vehicle. Ultimately, the chance of serious or fatal crashes is reduced. Also, as most cars in Auckland only have the driver in them anyway, the risk is reduced by a large margin.

    • Swan

      Ah yes I can see that. Push the parking to the right of the lane then to give some swing space? 2m cars in 3m lanes – you should be able to give at least 50cm of swing space to the cycle lane.

      • Steve D

        That’s a good thought. How would you design it so that people park farther out from the kerb, though?

        • swan

          Paint I would have thought? It wouldn’t be the kerb anyway with the cycle lanes will it?

          • Steve D

            I think the lanes would work better with a physical buffer between the traffic/parking lane and the bike lane. People will park a car or especially a truck anywhere they can possibly fit it, especially on top of cycle lanes. A barrier will keep them out of the way of bikes.

            I guess a paint line would signal to people that they should park further out into the lane. I just think people are naturally going to try to park as far left as possible, and the line might cause problems with through traffic when it’s a clearway. I guess we can solve that problem by making it a bus lane, and then everyone who’s going to drive along it will be a bus driver and know the deal.

          • swan

            You are right it might confuse Auklands drivers. I think a physical barrier would be ideal if it can be fit in. But you want the bikes to be able to get out into the traffic at the intersections to go where they need to go. So its easier if they are already down on the tarmac.

          • Steve D

            I was thinking they would be in the roadway. So we’d have footpath – kerb – cycle lane – barrier – cars. There would be gaps for bikes to get out, but if we’re also going with my idea for the median (see StreetMix diagrams above) then cyclists will only be able to turn right at specific intersections or pedestrian refuges anyway.

    • Steve D

      With a buffer space, like in the Streetmix diagram I posted above, the door would only go barely into the cycle lane and even then, only if the car is parked hard against the kerb. I agree with Bryce – at least this way, you’re not going to go under a moving vehicle if you get doored.

  • swan

    So why does a local board do street plans for P Rd, and AT for dominion Road? Who ends up paying for this I wonder? The local board or AT?

    • These ‘masterplans’ are just suggestions, and can be a bit silly at times. AT would have to do a proper transport-based analysis before confirming any upgrade (which they and the NZTA would pay for).

    • We originally advocated to Auckland Transport to develop a Masterplan for Ponsonby Road, taking a “complete street/living arterial” approach to meet the community’s desired outcomes (eg slower traffic, pedestrian friendly, heritage protection and improved urban design) in conjunction with urban design officers at Auckland Council.

      However as Ponsonby Road wasn’t a priority for AT (masterplans are not really their thing just corridor management plans like Dominion Rd) or specifically funded by the governing body AT were only willing to be involved with Council taking the lead. Fortunately at the end of last year the planning team confirmed they would be able to resource the project with a top up from the Board. The working group developed the plan with input from a range of experts including AT’s corridor team.
      More about the background and setting up the working group here http://www.pippacoom.co.nz/waitemata-local-board/ponsonby-road-masterplan-working-group/

      • Hi Pippa, it’s really good that this is happening and there is some great work in the plan but there is one very big change that I think makes no sense whatsoever: The insistence on the Business Heritage Zone overlay is fine by me if it is intended to help protect the more important older buildings, but that it also comes with a lowering of the permissible height limit from 16.5 to 12.5, from four stories to three is a very poor outcome indeed.

        How on earth does that do any good for the intensity and vitality of place, or in anyway protect existing old buildings? It simply makes getting some good viable mixed use new buildings to plug the gaps or replace the worse late 20thC structures more difficult. People living in town centres above retail and commercial is what we are after isn’t it?

        Protecting and celebrating Heritage should be confused with resisting all change.

        • Geoff Houtman

          Patrick- perhaps the lower height limits are to fit in with the local low rise character of the street? The tallest things in Pons Rd are trees and church spires, it could be, as some might say- a source of its success and charm.
          And what would be the point of ruining that?

          • Bryce P

            Geoff, I think that if you want to preserve the villas and bungalows around the area, there needs to be some give on the Ponsonby Rd corridor. Mixed residential / retail along this street will create a very vibrant streetscape. The sticking point that I see is the continued insistence that cars must have the lions share of the space. I don’t believe it would ruin Ponsonby at all. 16.5m in a commercial area is not high. Put some trees along the road side and it will look spectacular.

          • Geoff Houtman

            16.5 in Pons Rds context is high. In the nearly Super Duper City keeping local flavour is more important than ever. Why would anyone visit Pons Rd if it is no different to Newmarket or Parnell?

            E M Forster has a very prescient short story called “The Machine Stops” wherein no one travels anymore as each place looks exactly the same. Worth a read…

          • 16.5m is no where near the height of the church spires. If such a height did ‘ruin’ these things then fair enough, but it’s not 50 metres… some variation in height and form is desirable anyway; our treasured old building should look singular and special and not be surrounded by clumsy knock-offs, nor shinking violets. They are after all the confident buildings of their era.

          • Bryce P

            I love Newmarket and Parnell, except for the level of traffic :-)

          • Bryce P

            Geoff, your tram idea needs lots of people to make it cost effective. Lots of mixed use buildings (which will need height to get the density) will bring you the trams sooner than leaving it as is, or reducing the current height. Can’t have one without the other. The corridors are where we will get the density for fantastic city life and PT.

          • Bryce- I’m sure you remember that this part of town has been dense enough for tram routes since about 1902. I’m almost certain the density is even higher now. Lack of density doesn’t appear to be the problem, lack of interest from the Local Board and Mayor is…

          • Stu Donovan

            Newmarket has ten and twelve story buildings. Four stories is quite a lot different, and not high in any context.

          • Sacha

            Can someone post a photo of a similar heritage streetscape with sympathetic 4-storey buildings. Ponsonby Road is wide enough to handle that just fine – unless we want the Unitary Plan to degenerate into higher-intensity only where the wealthy don’t already reside.

          • Bryce P

            I haven’t been able to find exactly what I was looking for but in the photo linked here, you will see what a difference trees make to the look of the street and how buildings actually almost disappear from sight. Now, we just need to cut a lane of general traffic each way, allow higher density, better cycling, PT etc and Ponsonby will be more stunning than it is now. That 16.5m won’t even be noticed in the slightest.

          • Bryce P

            Hey Geoff. Check this video out. I think you’ll appreciate it (as will ‘new urbanists’)

            http://www.americanmakeover.tv/episode1.html

          • Thanks Bryce. As a Saints fan I have a deep and abiding hatred of Atlanta, but this video convinced me it’s not all bad.

            Nice to see someone discussing the REAL second hand smoke problem…
            I also learnt what a “snout” hose is (few of those popping up in Auckland), how Margaret Mitchell died and what Glenwood Park is about.

            Seems like a hell of a success. Being only a mile and a bit from the State Capitol makes one suspect it is a gentrified/ refitted area, but its’ founding date is 2003 so I’m happily perplexed. Nice mix of styles tied together with an appropriate level of ornamentation.

            Glenwood seems like an Urbanist win mark. Falcons still suck though..

  • Bryce P

    Before anything happens, I think they need to work out what Ponsonby Road is going to be. Is it a shopping road? An arterial? A PT route with local vehicles etc? Trying to be all things to all people is not going to work and is going to end up as an expensive mess.

  • Bryce P

    Perhaps what is also required is to manage the flows from Franklin Road to GNR? Is there a better way to route this traffic? If flows were restricted on Ponsonby Road (ie single traffic lane each way) what would happen to the traffic? Would it be like other ‘road dieting’ around the world and just disappear? Is this traffic ‘rat running’ Ponsonby Road resulting in a poor result for Ponsonby Road?

  • Sacha

    The blogger’s reply to that comment backs up what I was suggesting – table crossings in the cycleway http://www.aviewfromthecyclepath.com/2011/10/bus-stops-which-dont-cause-problems-for.html?showComment=1317966912808#c6111337749427996483

    “Disability access is something I’d not thought to include in this post. Actually, between here and Groningen many short sections of cycle-path are raised behind the bus-stops to the same level as the sidewalk and bus-stop for precisely this reason. It doesn’t cause a problem with people standing on the cycle-path because the cycle-path is obvious, and it is well used so it’s obvious where not to stand.”

    Logic is the same as on a roadway – physical change forces behaviour change. Peds more visible because raised, cyclists (=cars) have to slow down for incline. Less reliance on humans remembering to do the right thing.

    And guarantees smooth level access from footpath to bus door, an oft-overlooked design requirement for the less-agile among us, including parents pushing prams. Maximises usable ped area and safe, swift crossing compared with kerb cuts. May as well start getting it right.

  • Sacha

    oh good, you found my reply :)

  • BBC

    What is the obsession in Auckland of removing zebra crossings? All the options for the Three Lamps end involve removing the existing zebra crossing and turning them into a signalised crossing, i.e. we can’t have pesky pedestrians having any priority can we, better to make them press a button an wait for the cars. Why can’t we retain any pedestrian priority in Auckland? Over the years I’ve seen zebra crossing after zebra crossing being removed and I’m yet to see one installed anywhere, the best AT/AC appear to be able to do is install a pedestrian refuge.

  • Ben S

    Been living in/near Ponsonby off and on since the 70s and I think it would be a terrible idea to make 3 Lamps two way again, esp. with the added bus traffic. I think what’s there could be re-designed as a better mixed use zone and Redmond re-designed to make it more efficient, but turning that 3 Lamps stretch into a congested traffic zone would be a totally retrograde step. Just imagine the back-up of traffic wanting to turn right down College Hill. Or, if there was no right turn there, the crazy antics people would get up to zooming down St Marys Bay Rd and going around the back way to get onto College Hill. In that context, Redmond is far the better option.

    • Steve D

      What if, crazy thought, it were only buses and bikes going northbound through Three Lamps?

      • Ben S

        I think Redmond is the more natural conduit and only works for northbound traffic coming off P Rd – southbound traffic (ie turning right along P Rd from Jervois Rd) would have to go via back streets.

        • Steve D

          No, I meant buses and bikes would go both ways through Three Lamps, but cars would continue to go only southbound. Northbound cars would go up Redmond, as now. I think bringing in bikes and bus passengers will liven the place up a bit more – at the moment, it’s like the triple-parking Olympics.

          Redmond is particularly bad for the Inner Link, because it’s going to turn right down College Hill. Three Lamps is also more level, which is good for cyclists.

          • Geoff Houtman

            +1
            PR and bikes should be allowed the bonus of sneaking north through 3 lamps.

            Have been talking to a lot of locals and the received wisdom is that the Redmond St snarl up has been made worse by abolishing the free l hand turn into Jervois. Some traffic just rat run the side streets from there, the rest block up the buses and jam up well onto P Rd.

            What say the traffic experts?

          • Steve D

            A-ha! That’s the brilliant Part 2 of the scheme. A peak-time northbound bus lane on Ponsonby Road will let the buses sail right past the jam.

          • Bryce P

            Bloody great idea. 1) walking 2) cycling 3) PT 4) general traffic
            There’s always the option of allowing couriers and trucks to use the corridor as well.

  • Luke E

    So I know we’re talking mainly transport on this post, but can I just say that some of those land use things are equally as exciting! A plaza like the one proposes outside St Johns combined with a redeveloped 254 (I like option B the most) would really make the middle if the road look and feel amazing!

  • Nick- No trees down the median. Well I mean we could; but then the Shore would suffer drought.
    All their water runs along Pons Rd. The only thing you could fit between the pipes would be a tram crucifix. Hmmm…

  • Hi Patrick. In reply to your query about lowering the height limit . There is no proposal in the draft P’rd masterplan to lower height limits, it just details what is proposed in the draft Unitary Plan which is essentially a roll over of the current district plan. I haven’t seen any feedback on the UP in support of increasing the height limit along P’rd. What the draft does do on page 16 is highlight some zoning anomalies that the planners recommend changing to better support current and future land use.

  • […] planning in Albuquerque, shined a spotlight on bike safety in Seattle, and engaged the public on streetscape master planning in Aukland. Someone even forked and translated Streetmix into […]

  • […] in Albuquerque, N.M., shined a spotlight on bike safety in Seattle, and engaged the public on streetscape master planning in Aukland, New Zealand. Someone even forked and translated Streetmix into […]

  • News flash! Ponsonby Rd Masterplan Feedback extension. This is a good opportunity to help get some real positive change in this area so get submitting. There is a lot to support:

    1. Cycleways
    2. Bus Buildouts which will lead to a huge improvement in the Inner Link service in particular
    3. Ped Tables on the side streets; great for traffic calming and improving walking amenity
    4. Three Lamps two waying
    5. Shared spaces on Pollen, St Mary’s Bay Rd, and I’ve added Mackelvie and O’Neil
    6. Return of London Planes all the way down P Rd
    7. More Art!

    NOW TILL 16 SEPTEMBER

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