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St Lukes Rd interchange to get bigger

The NZTA have awarded the contract for the “upgrading” of the St Lukes interchange and the widening of the motorway between there and Waterview. Here’s the press release:

The contract to construct the next stage of Auckland’s Western Ring Route – upgrading the Northwestern Motorway (State Highway 16) between the St Lukes Road and Great North Road interchanges – has been awarded to the Australian-based infrastructure company, Leighton Contractors.

The $70m project is jointly funded by the NZ Transport Agency and Auckland Transport.

A two kilometre-long section of the motorway will be widened from three to four lanes in each direction. There will also be improvements to the motorway ramps and the St Lukes Road -Great North Road intersection, while the St Lukes Road overbridge spanning the motorway will be widened to benefit drivers, walkers and cyclists.

The Transport Agency’s Highways Manager, Tommy Parker, says this is the last of six projects to connect the Northwestern and Southwestern (SH20) motorways.

“The upgrade is part of our programme to get our network ready for the increased volume of traffic when the Waterview tunnels connecting the Northwestern and Southwestern (SH20) motorways are completed in early 2017,” Mr Parker says.

Work is due to start in mid-autumn and be completed by late 2016. The other projects to connect the two motorways are the upgrade of the Maioro Street interchanges (SH20) which is completed, and the upgrade of the Lincoln and Te Atatu interchanges, the Causeway Upgrade Project, and the Waterview Connection, which are all under construction.

“Leightons bring plenty of infrastructure experience to the St Lukes project. The company is part of the Causeway alliance, and has been involved in some of our biggest Auckland developments including the Northern Gateway Toll Road and the Newmarket Viaduct Replacement Project.” Mr Parker says.

The Western Ring Route is a Road of National Significance, and will provide a 47km-long alternative to SH1 between Albany and Manukau. It will improve safety and city and regional transport connections for people and freight.

The project isn’t exactly a surprise as it’s been talked about for a while and was part of the overall Waterview consenting process that occurred a few years ago. In saying that it does once again bring into the limelight the claim often made (including in the last paragraph) that the Western Ring Route is about creating another route through the region when in fact this piece of work is all about making it easier to get from the airport to the CBD. This is even mentioned in the description on the project page.

The Waterview Connection project is one of the most important infrastructure developments ever to take place in New Zealand. Completing a motorway ring route around the city, it will unlock Auckland’s potential to become a truly world class city, combatting regional congestion and creating a direct, time-saving link between the International Airport and CBD.

The part of the project that is of most interest is the widening of the motorway bridge and the sections of Gt North Rd on either side. This is especially the case as the NZTA and Auckland Transport were at one stage looking to wipe out the large mature Pohutakawa trees that line the road so they could create one additional lane all in the aim of appeasing the gods of traffic flow. This is the before and after of what they showed to the local board a few months ago and which the board weren’t happy with.

St Lukes Interchange - Tree Removal plan

The images below suggest they may have backed down on that though. As for what’s now going to be built, the NZTA say that the project includes:

  • 3 lanes on the St Lukes overbridge in both directions
  • Improved walking and cycling facilities across the bridge – you’ll be able to use both sides of the widened bridge
  • Realignment the Northwestern Cycleway

Being able to use both sides of the bridge will be good but that seems to be the only thing.

Here’s what it will look like from above and facing south (click to enlarge)

St Lukes Interchange plan

Immediately there are a couple of major issues I see and they primarily relate to the intersection with Gt North Rd. Amazingly the NZTA and Auckland Transport are actually going to remove some of the few bits of existing pedestrian priority that currently exist. A person wanting to get from the eastern side of St Lukes Rd (where the carpark is) to MOTAT or Western Springs first has to battle their way across to the traffic island if they can find a gap in traffic thanks to the removal of the existing zebra crossing. Then instead of a simple trip across to the northern side of Gt North Rd they have to cross to the eastern side of St Lukes Rd and wait again to get across Gt North Rd.

St Lukes Interchange plan - Ped changes

It’s pretty clear that the primary focus of this project is about making it easier to drive at the expense of other modes. The extra lanes on the bridge are an attempt to squeeze a few more cars through the area. On westbound off-ramp there is also an additional queuing lane which will only serve to funnel extra volumes off the motorways and onto the local streets. It seems to be the typical ‘give every type of movement its own lane’ type approach that only ends up making life easier for cars. By in large everything seems very much the same business as usual crap we’ve seen for decades throughout Auckland.

94 comments to St Lukes Rd interchange to get bigger

  • Loraxus

    “first has to battle their way across to the traffic island if they can find a gap in traffic thanks to the removal of the existing zebra crossing”

    This looks like it might be signalised, actually. Crossing lines aren’t usually shown across a lane unless they have a controlled crossing.

    Not that this is necessarily all good – it means that coming from the southeast (top left in image) you have to cross 3 signal phases to get to Motat side… !

  • Loraxus

    Similarly, while it’s great to have a westbound bus lane, that lane previously went across a zebra rather than through the signal control – so unsure whether this actually makes buses faster.

    So the only non-car thing that got slightly better seems to be cycling, with two cycle lanes and a new shared path.

    • Where are the two cycle lanes. I think you’re confusing the footpaths with cyclelanes (they used the same colour as the road to differentiate them).

      • Loraxus

        They are both on the bridge – both ways across.

        • Bryce P

          They might look like bike lanes but they are far from actually being useful. Band aids. Absolute rubbish of the highest order.

          • Loraxus

            There’s also the official shared path being added on the western side and the existing, informal use of the eastern side footpath by cyclists, so if you don’t like the road painted lanes you have alternatives – look, not arguing it’s Copenhagen, but it will be better for cyclists than most interchanges around Auckland. The real disgrace, as has been pointed out, is the degrading of the existing pedestrian situation.

          • Bryce P

            So rather then building 2 half assed solutions, why not instead do it once and do it right? The knowledge is there (maybe not at NZTA). I agree about the diminished pedestrian amenity. As a brand new project it is crap! There are no ‘oh but that’s what we did in the past’ excuses.

          • TheBigWheel

            Not only are the things that Loraxus calls “cycle lanes” and “shared paths” absolute rubbish, totally unconnected to anything and not even close to international practice, they are worse than that, because NZTA and AT and the Mayor will no doubt count them in the stats of “new cycle infrastructure”.

            They should include a new sub-category in their walking and cycling stats called “new cycle lanes /sarc”

          • Loraxus

            Big wheel, the shared path extension over the bridge is connected to something called the Northwestern Cycleway on the south side. The painted cycle lanes are connected to cycle lanes on St Lukes Road. So this is actually very well connected for Auckland Standards.

            The missing bit is really on the MOTAT side, where there’s no cycle facilities on GNR and AT / AC have not succeeded or not tried to get AT to include them through the intersection.

          • Loraxus

            that should of course have said “to get NZTA to include them through the intersection”

  • Geoff Blackmore

    When will St Lukes Road itself be widened? It’s presently only two lanes between the motorway and New North Road, but I gather at some point it will change to 4 or 6 lanes?

    • Fred

      I hope there are no plans even in the long term to widen that section. It works OK and more lanes would just get the cars to the clogged up motorway or the mess around St Lukes in greater volumes and stuff them up even more.

    • Bryce P

      6 lanes Geoff? For what exactly? That 2 lane road copes with 15k vpd (each way) quite nicely. Traffic travelling a bit slower at peak times is not a good reason to create a virtual motorway through that community.

      • Bryce P

        And, what more, Balmoral Road now carries less vehicles per day that the 2 lane St Lukes Road. Why then, does Balmoral Road need to have 4 lanes for general traffic?

  • Fred

    What a disgraceful design. NZTA proving nothing has changed and they still hate anything except cars.

    • Fred

      Actually that’s slightly harsh of me. Most of the design is OK and certainly a bit better for cyclists. However it’s all let down by the missing pedestrian leg over Great North Road on the city side of its intersection with GNR.

      Missing pedestrian legs on intersections need to be banned.

  • Anthony

    Rather one sided view. If you have travelled through here in the afternoon peak you will understand just how many west bound buses get stuck.

  • Bryce P

    Anyone that thinks ASL’s in the middle of the road and riders having to traverse slip lanes to get to the lane they need to, is going to do anything to improve bike riding rates in Auckland needs to be dismissed – NOW! This design is appalling and is not what Auckland needs. Remember: 1)Peds 2)bikes 3)PT 4)Freight 5) Cars This design fails this basic test.

  • bbc

    Atrocious design that only acts to destroy place and make it unpleasant for all users except people in a car. Typical rubbish that has been destroying Auckland for decades. These mantras of making of making Auckland a liveable city are completely meaningless. We should be actively installing zebra crossing and signalised pedestrian crossings everywhere we can, instead Auckland gets them removed.

  • Brendan

    Is there a reason why the green paint of cycle lanes in Auckland doesn’t continue through intersections? I’ve just been visiting Melbourne and over there the green paint goes right through many intersections.

    I think it would be much better if some more green paint was used – like this https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/293425/st%20lukes%20cycle%20lanes.png

    • TheBigWheel

      Painted lanes are still just lipstick on a pig. The trouble is the design makes no serious attempt to actually improve provision for cyclists.

      On your image, what is happening under the pohutakawa trees just below the MOTAT car park. There, the cycle lane has to cross the left turning slip lane.. a classic gotcha. Cars gonna just cut you up.

      This is 2014.. when is NZTA going to catch up with even 1980s Dutch or German best practice??

      • Greg N

        Yes that one corner is ideally suited for a CopenHagen style cycleway on the footpath to kee pthe bikes left of the cars through that corner.
        As for folks coming from the GT North Road heading west on bikes, yeah, thats a accident in the making, but oh-wait – some green paint’ll fix that.

      • Bryce P

        When there is the political will to do so.

    • Greg N

      But ATs cycling budget doesn’t extend that far, they can’t afford to put green paint through intersections like this.
      Why that step alone would halve the number of painted cycle lanes they can “build” a year.

  • The removal of the eastern pedestrian crossing is idiocy – probably one of the most convenient and most used crossings in the area. What do we get in return? More temporary higher flow of vehicles which will inevitably have to slow down to merge back into existing lanes on St Luke’s or Great North or to get onto the motorway, and longer slip lanes that will actually expose people on bikes to danger for longer than what is there already. Post is spot on – a case in point of where AT’s priorities are really at day to day. Depressing.

    • Loraxus

      The St Lukes enlarging was added to the Waterview project so people could drive into the tunnel from northern Mt Albert, Waterview, Pt Chev and so on (there being no interchange access that direction at Pt Chev.

      I am stating this here w/o making comment – just noting the reasons the designers gave during the Board of Inquriy process.

  • Sorry, that is to say NZTA and AT.

  • Sam

    This really is a chance to improve the pedestrian environment here with events at western springs stadium, park and motat in the area. Too me it’s not enough.

  • This is also proof, if more were needed, that building and expanding urban motorways do not ‘improve’ local roads. These monsters spread their vileness all around them, they do not ‘relieve’ local traffic, they bring more along with the inevitable pressure from the high priests of flow to upgrade surrounding roads to approximate the conditions of the highway. And at great expense and enormous place disbenefit. Gt North Rd is being made into a greater barrier for poor Motat.

    This is wrong on every level. And a diversion of resources into privileging the wrong mode. Slowing traffic here is no bad thing; there’s a freeway right there for faster movement.

  • I’m pretty sure the bad pedestrian amenity through here is why Auckland Transport recommended train patrons to the Big Day Out go all the way into town then back out on event buses rather then walk there from either Morningside or Baldwin Ave.

    This does absolutely nothing to improve that, as well pointed out it’s actually retrograde in terms of non-motorist amenity – changes are mitigation at best, but I see no reason for the removal of the zebra crossing as mentioned which is a net disbenefit.

    And as someone who does drive through here weekly in the AM peak to access the motorway, I am confident in saying none of the “improvements” here will solve any congestion issues even in the short term for the majority of traffic, who are all trying to get to the motorway citybound. I willl go as far as to suggest that the congestion cost of construction of all this will not be recouped once it’s done.

    • Short version – I fail to see how this benefits anybody – motorists included.

    • Nick R

      Andrew, what you have to consider is not what it’s like now, but what a cluster F it will be once the waterview tunnel is open. Then St Luke’s will be the only way to get on or off the WWR between the CBD, Rosebank and Owairaka.

      • Furthermore this grand mistake should be called what it is: It is not at St Lukes but Western Springs. I can see why they don’t use that name because this parasitic project does less than nothing for its host; it rains nothing but disbenefit on the place. We are all supposed instead to hold in our minds the glory of ‘improved’ access to another place, the vast parking dungeon of St Lukes mall [subsidy much?].

        Of course this will lead directly to calls to blow more money on every other road in the area, to widen them into horror show mini-motorways, as all this does is speed any traffic clot a couple of hundred metres along.

        Waterview will send huge waves down SH16 to the CMJ that are currently being filtered and spread out…. NZTA and AT are simply, at vast and useless expense, rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic of Auckland’s monomaniacal ‘driving only’ transport system.

        • Steve D

          Rearranging the deckchairs wouldn’t be so bad. It’s the spending a fortune on buying new deckchairs – that’s the real crime. They’re even dismantling a couple of lifeboats while they’re at it.

      • Bryce P

        I don’t get what you mean Nick. There are on/off ramps at the Waterview interchange. The GNR off ramp still exists in the plans I’ve seen so why is it any different to today? If anything, the WRR has some potential to take traffic off GNR.

        • Greg N

          If you check the Transit video flythrough of the Waterview interchange Bryce, there are interlinking ramps from each motorway direction to the other 3 (thats SH16 West, SH 16 East and SH20 North/South all linking to each other), but there is no way to enter of exit that knot of motorway lanes from GNR on/off ramps and go other than SH16 West or SH16 West. To access the other motorways via the Waterview interchange you’ll to to enter/exit the motorway at St Lukes or Rosebank or Owairaka to be able to access the other other directions from the WRR interchange.
          So this means that folks coming on on say the SH20 Motorway who needs access to Ponsonby or surrounds (Grey Lynn etc) will need to exit at Western Springs exit as the SH20 motorway does not exit at GNR/Waterview like that..

          See this image on the Transit website for the exact layout of lanes.
          http://nzta.govt.nz/projects/waterviewconnection/img/northern-construction-zone-img8.jpg

          • Bryce P

            Looks to me that including an east bound on ramp at Carrington Rd would sort that. It appears that you can still get off at GNR and turn right up towards Pt Chev. That’s all that’s missing right? From what I can see anyway.

          • Loraxus

            Killing fire with fire? That just ends up with more traffic on Carrington Road, exactly at the cycleway entrance, and Carrington is already chocker too. You can’t get the elephant out of the room by painting him a different colour…

            Though I believe the reason a tunnel access at Carrington Road was killed had to do with the fact that adding another merge / ramp into that 4-story-high interchange mess was just too difficult, and unsafe (not enough distance to merge before the tunnel).

          • Bryce P

            No. Wrong way. If PT Chev traffic could enter the MWY towards the CBD at Carrington, then it removes a bunch of traffic along GNR and doesn’t add any more to Carrington past the bridge.

          • Loraxus

            While I get your point re reducing traffic on GNR, what you propose wouldn’t be easy to fit in either – because the space on the north side of the bridge is already being taken up by the new flyover ramp coming from the tunnel feeding back into the motorway. That whole area between Unitec and Pt Chevalier is currently being turned into a transport hellhole, with about 15 lanes (!) in parallel, once all the ramps and GNR are combined. You’d add Nr 16.

        • Bryce, sorry I was a bit imprecise there. I mean to or from SH20 rather than the WRR as a whole, you are quite right that you can still use the SH16 ramps.

  • Sam B

    The deterioration of pedestrian facilities (also used by some cyclists) are a really pity here. There’d be minimal cost to adjust plans to keep the zebra crossing on the left-turn lane into St Lukes Rd, and an additional signalised crossing over Gt North Rd, why isn’t this done? Auckland has a fantastic though imperfect piece of cycling/walking infrastructure in the North Western Cycleway, which will become more popular as links such as the current project through Grafton Gully proceed. The best-value small-scale projects, in terms of getting cautious part-time-cyclists using bikes and reducing traffic congestion are likely to be ones that can link in and provide feeder routes to this existing infrastructure. There’s a huge opportunity here to provide a better link from Western Springs and its neighbouring suburbs – a comfortable cycle commuting distance from the CBD. The better lanes on the bridge are a start (the non-cyclists will probably prefer a shared pedestrian lane to an on-road one), but the removal of the zebra crossing from the left-turn lane, and removal of the signalised crossing across Gt North Rd completely undermine this. Meaning to get from the far side of Gt North Rd to/from the CBD-bound cycleway, you now need to wait for 3 signals instead of one! How much longer will this make the cycle/walking trip? Poor form by the designers to the detriment of this neighbourhood, and visitors to Western Springs!

    • Steve D

      It’s not about money. It’s never about money. NZTA has more money than they possibly know what to do with, and AT is swimming in it as well. Providing for cyclists and pedestrians is actually pretty cheap, on the scale of what those agencies spend. For example, we could build the whole $900m regional cycle network in 18 months instead of 30 years, without even cancelling anything – just by delaying Auckland’s construction of brand new state highway and local road projects for a year and a half. Insignificant, in the scale of decade-long super-projects like Waterview.

      The real “cost” for the auto-centric transport planner is that providing for cycling and walking is a trade-off: for space, and especially, for time. Removing a pedestrian crossing leg from an intersection isn’t done to save money – it’s done to increase vehicle throughput, by removing one tiny part of one phase where cars might have to wait a few seconds longer. The same with zebra crossings – since people can cross whenever they want, you can’t precisely time the pedestrian phase to only occur when the cars wouldn’t be going anyway (e.g. for a right-turn phase from the other direction).

      When the government finally decide that maybe cars aren’t always the solution to every problem all the time, it won’t cost serious money (it’ll save it, actually), or be technically difficult for NZTA. It’s just about making that – political – choice to do so.

  • As Transport rep for one of the two affected Local Boards I have made it clear that the current design is unacceptable – in particular over the removal of one pedestrian crossing. This and other outstanding issues has lead to a decision to continue design work on the Great North Road part of the T junction [which is under Auckland Transport control], even though the contract has been let for widening the motorway and the St. Lukes Road overbridge. So all is not lost on that front.

    One key reason for widening the bridge (but not the rest of Saint Lukes Road) is to increase stacking capacity for southbound vehicles waiting their turn to turn right onto the westbound onramp AND for northbound vehicles waiting their turn to turn left or right onto Great North Road. This is an unusual situation where the intersection is quite compressed (very short distance between Great North Road lights just a few metres north of the bridge and a second set of lights controlling the off and on ramps for the motorway. So contrary to all the anxst about widening the road – the extra lanes are for stacking turning traffic.

    Cheers

    • Loraxus

      Thanks Graeme, good to hear there may be some hope yet on the GNR side.

      Though must say it is really immaterial for what the extra traffic lanes are – moving cars, stopped cars, pink cars – it’s still extra car space…

    • Waspman

      So because this motorway has by its very being funnelled in mass volumes of cars into a confined area we need to expand that confined area at huge expense and thus spread the infection to next intersection, road or occupied/spare bit of land and on and on it goes Its insane but thanks for the insight on how the bigger picture is not even considered.

    • Sam B

      Thanks Graeme, it’s great to hear that picture may not reflect the final outcome.

    • Feijoa

      Thanks Graeme, that is good to hear this issue has been raised.

      Rather than the odd pedestrian using the crossing they want to remove, much greater delays come from the motorists turning into the Speedway car park and u-turning to bypass the queues for the city motorway on-ramp. This happens all morning in peak, at the busier motorway intersection. Looks like the engineers have no solution for cars causing hold-ups so what do they do? Go after a nearby pedestrian crossing that can be ‘optimised’ away instead.

    • Bryce P

      Stacking cars is the same as giving priority. Same poor results for PT, bikes and pedestrians.

    • Patrick M

      Hi Graeme,
      How about practicing some National Party Fiscal restraint and have the rebuild cut traffic lanes. Get rid of the slips lanes – make left turns accessible from the controlled intersection along with straight through traffic but from the left lane. Turn the east bound intersection for GNR and St Luke’s Road into a complete signalized intersection. Make that left lane (through lane) stop, wait for pedestrians and St Luke’s Road. Having it 100% signalized will give pedestrians an additional point of crossing.

      If cars have to queue back down the freeway, then motorists will start to think of using other modes.

      Costs: Bull doze that island on the South west side of the intersection and a couple of traffic lights – hows $2-7 million sound?

      My inner conservatism! OMG me supporting right wing fiscal economics! WTFrack’s the world coming to :)

  • Waspman

    The temptation to turn St Lukes Road/Balmoral Road/Greenlane Road into hairy chested, full blooded 6 lane motorway between Greenlane and Western Springs must be almost unbearable for our backward thinking civic leaders. Because of course motorways beget motorways.

  • Sailor Boy

    If this is a new motorway bridge then why are the cycle lanes not segregated? Surely a 30 metre wide bridge could be extended to 31 to make it at least 100m of Copenhagen lanes

    • Loraxus

      Presumably – as some others have pointed out – because the lanes are in the middle of a hodge-podge of crossing traffic lanes. Can’t separate what needs to be crossed by cars. And the budget, as lordly as it is, obviously doesn’t extend to providing an overbridge specifically for walkers and people on bikes.

      • lefty

        Seems to me that they could segregate on the bridge and on the northern side by reducing the left hand slip lane across the bridge and to the north.

        The GNR side is a bit trickier – basically you’d want to kill both slip lanes so left turning traffic crosses the segregated paths at right angles, rather than running along side ready to side-swipe.

      • Sailor Boy

        Could we not segregate the whole thing except for a narrow gully to access the slip lane? Alongside some clear signage to reinforce cycle row? Surely that is preferable to the current proposal?

  • Can anyone tell me why it is necessary to have a three year consultation period to change bus routes and yet AT just builds all these road extensions seemingly ad nauseam.

    • Loraxus

      NZTA, actually.

    • Greg N

      They had a 3 year consultation period all right, it was with themselves and the trucking industry, no one else invited.

      As for bus route changes, Heres my theory ;-)

      Those bus operators have fixed term contracts and we can’t, you know, change the rules like that, while the contract is still going as they might lose money and get all huffy and not want to re-tender for the bus routes next time, and that would lessen competition, that would be “a very bad thing”TM and unfair to the likes of NZ Bus and Ritchies and everyone who runs buses. And they might get sad and complain to the Minister of Transport, who will then tell off Auckland Council very sternly and threaten the mayor with no CRL.
      And he will then take away the toys from Auckland Transport, who will then get sulky and mope in the corner and will then cheer themselves up by building, some more roads.

      So, the best way to get a better bus service is not to change it!

  • In the world’s most liveable city would the transport planners consider that customers of St Lukes Mall would travel to that venue by any other means than by car? For example, I google searched ways of getting to St Lukes by bus from the nearest train station, Morningside. It’s a distance of about 2.2km. There doesn’t seem to be any direct bus. But I guess my idea was just plain silly. Just because hundreds of people arrive to pedestrian friendly malls overseas it wouldn’t work here!

  • Greg N

    On the subject of predestrian access across GNR to Motat/Western Springs why can’t NZTA build a mini-Hendon Ave pedestrian/cycle bridge over GNR, which links from the carpark area on the eastern side of GNR (between GNR and the motorway and gets people across GNR)?

    hThe renders of the chopped down Pohutukawa tress shows that the carpark area already has some degree of height (3m?) above GNR on that side of the road so would be an ideal “stepping off” place for a pedestrian bridge to give the walking access to/from the carpark is already there from the motorway overbridge.

    I know it treating the symptoms, but it can be good looking, just like the Pt Resolution bridge is an Hendon Ave bridge will be, Pt Resolutions Bridge is effectively bridging Tamaki Drive which is the eastern GNR is all but name really.

    Having an iconic bridge like that at Western springs would be great as a gateway to “Central Auckland”.

    Anyway, I’m sure if NZTA can stump up the $$$ for Hendon Ave bridge, they can come to party on a smaller “rinse and repeat” design over their motorway mess as part of the WRR RoNS.

    • Actually, a pedestrian bridge starting at and linking to the cycleway on the south side of the intersection, over the motorway AND over Gt North Rd, would be reasonably good mitigation. They even may be able to save a bit by directing peds over that instead of the road bridge, meaning not such a wide road bridge is needed.

      Just make it wide enough to handle Western Springs Stadium event crowds to/from the trains.

    • Loraxus

      A motorway overbridge for peds and cycles like you describe would cost, at a rough guess, 6 million, based on costs for bridges like the one at Westgate. Since the board of inquiry / hearing did NOT require such a bridge as mitigation for St Lukes Interchange upgrade, it cannot legally be funded from the motorway budget – it would be a standalone walk/cycle project.

      So through the magic of our funding system, and the pitiful amount of dedicated walk/cycle funding, building this bridge from the walk/cycle budget could cost almost half of a year’s NZTA subsidies for that kind of project for all of NZ…

      • Bryce P

        I don’t believe the St Lukes upgrade was included in the BOI.

        • Bryce P

          And NZTA had the St Lukes upgrade listed at $50M on their website. This seems to have gone up by a significant amount – $20M. Why then, not include a dedicated bike / walk bridge while you’re upping the budget?

        • Loraxus

          You are right, I think. It probably went through as a non-notified hearing with comissioners, as there were no “affected parties” except NZTA and AT… – the beauty of the gutted RMA, eh?

      • Greg N

        If they used it to avoid the need to widen the St Lukes bridge as much, then that counts as part of a “motorway” project.
        I’d bet it would cost NZTA more than $6M to widen St Lukes bridge more to put the cycle and Ped facilities on it than the $6M cost of the separate Ped/Cycle bridge to MOTAT/Western springs.

  • KLK

    Not overly familiar with the area but, does the reduction in pedestrian amenity at western springs have major implications given its going to be the new home of test cricket in Auckland?

    • The absurdity of this whole business is amplified by the very same institution, AT, being responsible for all that parking squeezed between the motorway and GNR that is ostensibly for the very amenities that the new intersection will make it even harder to cross to: Motat, Western Springs Park, and the cricket ground/performance venue.

      People will take the direct route rather than wait for three separate crossings. AT will then erect pedestrian cages… and on it goes. Auto-dependent design leading to an ever increasing inflation of vileness.

      AT will advise future events not to tell people to turn up by train and walk because their footpaths and crossings are unworkable for people in any numbers. Which of course there usually won’t be as people can tell when places are designed to repel them.

  • Anthony

    This can’t start to be fixed until the St Lukes Rd bridge is turned into a proper diamond interchange, with ramps on/off the bridge on the north side.
    Once this is done, half the traffic is removed from GNR outside motat.
    There is not enough space between the motorway & GNR, so motorway widening needs to be on the south side through the interchange.
    $50M and it still looks like the same mess.

  • The Waitemata Local Board raised all the concerns regarding the poor outcomes from the design particularly for cycling and walking. In exchange for our permission to prune the mature trees opposite MOTAT (which are on Local Board controlled Council land ) we achieved a few minor changes and an undertaking from Auckland Transport to ensure significant improvements are made as part of the GNR Corridor Management Plan project that is currently underway (not ideal at all but there was no way NZTA was going to let the Board hold up the RONS juggernaut).

    Unfortunately the trees have only won a brief reprieve. Auckland Transport is still going to seek resource consent to remove the trees in order to widen GNR to provide two turning lanes onto the bridge (this part was split off from the NZTA contract so the bridge widening wasn’t delayed by the Board’s opposition).

    We will find out more details at a briefing on 19th February

    • You’re just being played, Pippa. A delay is not a change.

      • It is a bit early to say whether we’ve been played Patrick (if you mean NZTA got what they wanted and we didn’t get anything).
        We got the project split in two so the delay means we can continue the fight.
        Auckland Transport still have to get resource consent to remove the trees for the GNR widening. It is very unlikely that the Waitemata Local Board will give land owner approval for the removal (especially if there is strong community support to retain the trees).

    • Have they explained why they don’t close the intersection entirely, and complete the long-deferred Western Springs interchange instead? It was supposed to be built 300 metres east of St Lukes Rd decades ago (which is why the eastbound off and on ramps are located there). That’s why there’s heaps of space at that location, without the confines of the old location.

      • Do you have a source for that Geoff? I’ve never heard of that. The eastbound ramps are located there because that’s where the motorway ended when they first extended it from waterview. There it ties into the intersection with the stadium access rd and avoids dumping those ramps onto the intersection of St Luke’s and Great north Rd.

        I’m not sure what you mean by heaps of space either. There is zero room for the westbound ramps at that location, let alone bridging across for the over bridge or creating the access road.

  • TimS

    Very interesting design idea here,

    http://www.treehugger.com/bikes/next-breakthrough-bike-friendly-world-protected-intersections-video.html

    would be great to see this in Auckland, maybe they could trial at the new western springs interchange instead of having bikes crossing motorway feeder lanes. Some of the work is done, there is a shared bike lane and some signals. Surely if we are spending $70M we could be doing a little better separating bike and cars at a motor way interchange

    • Greg N

      That video shows a great idea Tim,
      And since its an American idea, I’m sure our transport planners will lap it up (eventually).
      Its basically a concrete form (pun intended) of the idea I think Matt posted about about the banks of snow in the US at intersections doing the same thing showing the true amount of roadspace a vehicle needs get around a corner.

      Big objection I see the planners will raise is that the design reduces all intersections to one left turn/straight through lane per intersecting road (converting the US LHD design to a NZ right hand drive (RHD) context) – although presumably a wider road would allow more through lanes,

      And thats the sticking point for the likes of AT as they’ll say this will only reduce the throughput. And there is no provision for bus priority.
      However I think it will work if applied correctly.

      We need a few to trial it and see how it goes.

  • Hi there.

    I’ve created an overlay image at:

    http://megan.cc/StLukes/

    so that you can see where the changes occur, based on your cached image and Google Maps.
    Note that you currently can’t get the current map for the bridge, it’s been removed from their website as well as the “Community Liaison Group [minutes & presentation]“. Suspicious.

    Have a look at:

    http://www.nzta.govt.nz/network/projects/sh16-st-lukes-road-to-great-north-road/

    I suspect the map has changed since and we therefore have no way of knowing what the current plan is now.

    Cheers… Clark

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