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More bus lanes required

 

more bus lanes soon

Yeah right! Note the Auckland City Council logo

We have regularly been critical of Auckland Transport’s failure to implement any new bus lanes since their inception. The creation of Auckland Transport should have been an excellent opportunity for creation of new bus lanes, with the coordination of bus services and roads put in the hands of one body, instead of being divided between Regional and City councils. However the lack of integration between transport modes has sadly been a defining feature of Auckland Transport. While Auckland Transport has been great at moving forward large scale projects like the City Rail Link and EMU’s, small scale projects that can deliver quick benefits seem to have become caught up in a bureaucracy where engineers interested in moving vehicles not people have the final say.

As to the reason why we should implement bus lanes, the best people to ask are clearly Auckland Transport. On the page of their website that talk about fines for people who illegally drive in bus lanes there is this very persuasive piece.

AT Why bus lanes

While the Congestion Free Network provides for a large network of busways throughout the region an expanded bus lane network is essential to provide short term benefits, and will always provide a long term solution along many urban corridors. To be fair there are some good projects in the pipeline, such as the South-Eastern busway from Panmure to Pakuranga and the Dominion Road upgrade. However once again these are large scale and quite expensive road rebuilding projects. However across the city we could get huge benefits just from paint and an occasional kerb realignment.

So to help Auckland Transport along we thought it would be great if people suggest little areas where cheap and easy bus lanes could make a noticeable difference to their journey. Many of the existing lanes seem to have short gaps that delay buses unnecessarily, and of course many major frequent routes have no priority whatsoever. We have a few ideas up our sleeve but will let readers have a say first, and then can have a more detailed looks at some of the best areas for improvement.

68 comments to More bus lanes required

  • Linz

    A short stretch of Parnell Rd southbound from St Stephens Ave to the Broadway roundabout would make a huge difference to the Inner Link, Outer Link and the 635!655 services, which often get blocked by traffic on this section, even when the rest of Parnell Rd and Broadway are relatively uncongested. This would only involve the removal of 15-20 carparks, as much of the route is bordered by yellow lines, bus stops and driveways.

  • Jon Reeves

    After 3 years living in Switzerland l thought more would have happened re bus lanes in Auckland. Apart from massive busways being promoted, this grassroots stuff, pushing for more buslanes, is what l would have expected groups such as CBT to be campaigning for actively, as AT seem incapable of pushing ahead for them.

    I hope 3 years of apparent silence on this front comes to an end this year.

  • Feijoa

    Regular delays occur on the busy New North Rd corridor:
    – Through Mt Albert shops heading towards the city. No bus lanes but 4 main lanes for traffic, a separate slip lane and permanent car park g.
    – Around St Lukes
    – Through Kingsland heading towards the city. There are huge queues from the Bond St/Sandringham Rd traffic lights that this week reached almost down to Morningside

    In the evening the main problem areas are Waterloo Quadrant and where the bus lanes end on Symonds St approaching Grafton Bridge. And again around St Lukes.

    Do you have any idea Luke or others if AT actively monitors delays and studies where bus lanes are needed? Doesn’t seem like that has happened at all recently.

  • Jimn

    Not so much a new bus lane but dominion road could do with extended bus lane hours, the buses are pretty well used off peak and the traffic can be backed up in both directions from balmoral road. Especially weekends around midday.
    7am to 7pm 7 days is what is needed, with decent car parking on the side streets

    • +1.

      I think at minimum the evening restrictions need to be extended to 7pm. The whole area near Valley Road just jams up when a couple of cars parks there at 5:58 and takes away a lane. Similarly in the Balmoral shops.

      Weekends between around 10am and 1pm are also bad especially heading into town between Mt Albert Rd and Balmoral Rd.

    • Well that was the previous proposal, permanent bus lanes on dominion and a reconfiguration of side streets that actually increased parking overall.

      Unfortunately the wise local retailers knew better and demanded to have a single kerbside park in front of each shop, naturally people will only walk a maximum of three metres from car to shop so relocating been would be disastrous.

  • I have been playing around with Street Mix on some combinations in South Auckland.

    Most have bus and dedicated cycle-lanes and come at varying prices to have them built.

    As for something quick and cheap for the moment I looked at the Great South Road between the motorway interchange and Taka Street intersections in Takanini

    The respect links are below for the two examples I drew up quickly just now

    http://streetmix.net/BenRoss_AKL/19/great-south-road-takanini

    http://streetmix.net/BenRoss_AKL/20/great-south-road-taka-street

    I work down the Walters Road and Southgate sections of the Great South Road shortly.

    The area will be serving the 33 frequent bus route that is planned to trundle down the Great South Road under the new South Auckland bus network.

  • Symonds Street heading into town between Mt Eden Rd and (at least) K Rd.

    This area is getting very jammed up some mornings. My bus has twice taken 20 minutes to get from where the Flyover meets New North Rd to K Rd. Feels like it is very close to completely jamming up many mornings.

  • Greg N

    How about we also police the lanes we have a lot better too?

    Half the problem of holds up I see daily with bus lanes is not the people driving in them who shouldn’t be (although that is a problem).
    Its more those people who *park* in the when the bus lane is operational.

    While the regular bus lane police, who record the folks who drive in the lanes do their best, they are limited with coverage, and expensive to operate due to the need to have a person standing beside the camera at all times (to protect the camera I presume they don’t anything else as far as I see).

    I think a way to deal to that is that some (i.e. a random set of) buses have cameras that record the journey and each time they come up to a parked vehicle in the bus lane or clearway.
    the bus driver can then press a button on his dashboard, to “mark” that video segment for review and a TXT or whatever is them also sent to notify AT for a tow truck to remove the parked car and also (as in the case when the parked car disappears in short order – the driver having come out from the dairy or whatever), a ticket is also issued after video is reviewed to confirm they broke the bus lane law.

    I think it would be easy to isolate (legally) “stopped” vehicles in the lane (e.g. due to queues ahead) from those simply just having parked there.
    Not seeing a driver in the car is a good indication of it being parked – but not always, as sometimes its a passenger going to the dairy not the driver. But a lack of stopped vehicles in front of it would also indicate parking.

    Ideally such kit would be easily installed in a bus so it can be moved around as needed.

    Eventually people will get the message “don’t park in bus lanes when there are buses using them – you will get towed and/or ticketed”.

    Of course, longer term dedicated busways for key routes are the answer, but even then, we may start to see rat-runners using them – to get the jump on everyone else, so we need to have better enforcement than someone at the side of the road every once in a blue moon can provide.

    Another point, could better use be made of fixed speed cameras?
    – they know what lane a vehicle drives in (they have to ping the right driver for speeding), so could they be set to take a photo any time a vehicle drives in the active bus lane thats in its “patch” during the bus lanes hours of operation?

    This would overnight double a number of enforcement points on some bus lanes for not much additional cost.
    I’m sure the MOT can hand over the footage to the local authority (AT in this case) to review the photos and weed out the compliant cars from the rest, and then ticket the non-compliant ones.

    And lastly should such infringements be able to incur demerit points? would that change peoples behaviour if they knew get too many bus lanes fines and loose your license for 3 months?

  • Braw

    Ellerslie-Panmure Highway is a no-brainer. We also need to look at Newmarket as it’s a huge bottleneck for buses. Agree re extending the bus lane operational hours as drivers often seem to park in them from 8.45am as they know there’s little chance of being ticketed between then and 9am.

  • JimboJones

    AT also need to be careful they are smart and don’t just add bus lanes without thought. The bus lane on Kybher pass between Crowhurst Street and Mountain Road heading towards Symonds Street in my opinion makes buses slower than not having it at all. The buses need to get into the right lane to turn towards the hospital, but the middle lane is jammed with cars as that is the only lane they can use to go straight ahead. Before the bus lane, the middle lane was much less busy and this road was less likely to be jammed for both buses and cars. Maybe in this case AT should allow buses to turn right on a special arrow from the left lane at the lights – but the current configuration doesn’t seem to work.

    • Greg N

      Buses only hug the left hand lane due to a nearby bus stop (7175,Mountain Road) about 150m before Mountain Road/Park Road intersection, if all buses using Park Road/Grafton Bridge route no longer stopped here then these buses can move into the Right hand lane sooner – so problem solved.
      The closest bus stop after Mountain Road one is the one outside the Grafton station (7231) – about a 300m walk maximum – and its a downhill walk..

      Through bus lane may need to stay as I think some buses go up Khyber Pass Road still. but buses using it won’t need to turn right.

      • Cameron W Browne

        Only the midtown services from Manukau Rd and Remuera Rd can use that lane as they don’t turn right into Park Rd. Better lights phasing would help turning buses

  • Jon Reeves

    Matt L…. Welling talking to senior AT management seems to have achieved what in the past 3 years? Remember what the ‘C’ in CBT stands for?

    There needs to be a vocal group pushing AT, NZTA and the Govt for action…. Like we did for Reopen Onehunga Rail, electrification, airport railetc..CBT became campaigners forr these when talking to senior staff received little or no action.

    We need more bus lanes asap to build pt use. Talks are nice, action gets things done!

    • Loraxus

      I think CBT has been rather quite themselves in the last couple years, so to imply that Auckland Transport Blog is not being vocal is… well, a bit ridiculous.

    • Dissension in the ranks?

      Come on Jon these guys have been busting their nut day in day out literally trying to advance transport projects for a Better Auckland. You will always have victories and defeats – it is a part of the lobbying/advocating life.

      It took me three years on silo efforts to get the ball rolling on Manukau through advocating and lobbying but it paid off.

      It took CBT time to get the Onehunga Line back open. It took time before AT got a decent CRL video up.

      I see Patrick, Matt and Luke at the big two Committees (Infrastructure and often the Auckland Development Committee) at Council (I cant be personally bothered heading to Henderson for AT meetings) with Matt at the same briefings I am at. They are there pushing and campaigning. But even I can tell you it is not often easy.

      I tip my hat for what these guys are doing for a better Auckland.

  • Steve N

    Mount Eden Road/Three Kings route: install inbound bus lane from Three Kings Terminus to Duke Street, to meet existing bus lane. After 0720ish, traffic backs up past Duke Street, including buses – completely negating 5 min frequency. Only objector is likely to be Orvieto Cafe at Duke Street losing ~5 car parks directly outside. Ample parking available in 2 side streets within 1 min walk, or opposite side of Mt Eden Road (ped crossing adjacent).

    Tangihua Street/Quay Street intersection: bus cannot turn into bus lane if cars are in adjacent lane. Change splay of footpath on corner to accommodate bus turn, or “box” adjacent car lanes to keep them clear.

    Britomart to Anzac Avenue: not sure what the answer is here, but it can take 10 mins to get from the terminus to the first Anzac Avenue stop. Bus lanes would help.

    Symonds Street/Grafton Bridge intersection – outbound: bus has to force itself over 1 lane before the lights, and then move back to the left lane immediately across the intersection for the bus stop. This is a bad intersection trying to cope with turning hard left (Grafton Bridge) and soft left (motorway) traffic, plus buses going straight ahead. Ideally buses should be able to go straight ahead from left lane – bus priority signals perhaps?

  • Fanshawe st outbound.. It can take fifteen minutes to travel 400m from the bottom of Albert St to the Victoria park. That’s less than 2km/h. All thanks to a mythical bus lane that is actually a queuing lane for left turning vehicles and queue jumpers.

    • Luke C

      yep that was my next planned post. Albert to Hobson is a bit messy because of the 2 left turn lanes into Hobson. But no excuse for the next section to Nelson which has nothing, or to Halsey which has the pretend bus lane that doesn’t work at all. Think can ban left turns here, or just make it the usual 50m left turn.
      Worried will shift problem to Beaumont St, as that section functions well at the moment.
      Fanshawe citybound is a med by Market Place too. Buses can’t use the left turn lane at Market Place, and seems to be useless half width bus lane here. Wonder if a bus only signal would work well here, as some go to Fanshawe requiring them to leave bus-lane early to get to the right lane.

      • Greg N

        Why not make the Fanshawe into Hobson St left two lanes left turn only (not 1 left only, one left/straight ahead), and run the outbound bus lane in the 3rd lane until past Hobson St – that will solve that issue, then proper bus lane all the way to Victoria Park in left hand lane, with usual left turn 50m from intersection as needed.

  • Patrick R

    Excellent post Luke!

  • All the way down Symonds st. My 274 bus regularly gets stuck with cars at the top of mt eden rd to grafton bridge. It eases then gets stuck again outside the uni gym. Should be bus lane the whole way and probably all of new north rd to new lynn.

  • Liz

    I was going to mention New North Rd but that’s already been covered.
    So instead I’ll say the part of Pitt St that the City Link uses. There are only a few parking spaces but they hold the bus up hugely if in use.

  • wtl

    It seems to me that there is a policy of ending bus lanes at traffic lights, even when there are bus lanes on both sides of the intersection and there are two lanes (e.g. Mt Eden Rd/Balmoral Rd). This allows cars to use both lanes to queue at the lights, but then a bottleneck as the cars merge again at the other side of the lights. Obviously, this is a major flaw and no-brainer to fix because (1) buses are held up by the bottleneck (2) the splitting/merging probably slows down other traffic as well (compared to a single lane at all times).

    • Yes this is the ‘flow’ god being prayed to by AT’s traffic Engineers; every single general traffic movement at intersections getting its own lane for convenience and, in their view, efficiency, but the bus full of many many more people being relegated to second class. And a good point because at these locations it’s not the demand for parking that has killed the bus route’s speed and efficiency but AT’s own set of priorities. Essentially a decision about who is more important; small numbers taking a lot of road space in cars, or larger numbers of people in a bus….

      • Greg N

        And how many cars are “advantaged” by this ditch-the-bus-lanes-so-the-cars-can-stack scheme per intersection? a small handful (5 maybe 6?) at best so it is even worse privileging than it first appears.

        I know the traffic engineers hate to see road space wasted but sometimes for efficiency you need to oversupply things/leave a resource “free” so that the next time its needed its there ready and waiting to do the most good, and if some cars are held up along the way, so be it.

  • Sandringham Rd’s bus lanes need completing. Buses can often be held up from where the citybound bus lane runs out at Eden View Rd (south of Sandringham Rd Shops) all the way to Edendale School – not much distance but when it jams up, a lot of time. There is a tiny section of bus lane between Coyle and Shorewell Streets but it is so small bus drivers not using the stop in the middle of that section don’t bother to use it at all, as it takes as much time to re-merge at the end of it as is gained by using it.

    Also still on Sandringham Rd, holes in the bus lanes outbound from Reimers Ave (Eden Park) to Ward Tce, and after Tranmere Rd.

    The lack of bus lanes in either direction on New North Rd up the hill to Symonds St (as Simon has already mentioned) affect Sandringham Rd services too, as well as New North Rd services, Dominion Rd / Flyover services, and the Airbus which all use this section of NNR.

    And on the Shore, outbound up Onewa Rd (T3 lane needed to match the inbound one).

    Also: Sturdee St from the point where it splits off from Fanshawe all the way in to Britomart for the NEX (this section can sometimes take longer to travel than all the way from Constellation Station to the start of Sturdee St!). The NEX and Northern Busway services deserve better peak CBD access rather than being left to battle it out with congested cars in key places.

    • Greg N

      Sturdee St to Quay St is a problem. Only suggestion I can make is forget bus lanes there as they won’t work all the way to Quay St.

      So, how about making the current right turn only, right hand lane of the Lower Hobson St Flyover tidal so in the AM peak it flows the other way (from Fanshawe down to Quay), so buses don’t go down Sturdee, they go along Fanshawe to the end, and then turn LEFT into their left hand (i.e. the right hand tidal) lane of the Lower Hobson Street flyover, then go down it and exit down at Quay St.
      With some Bus priority signalisation the buses could easily by pass the whole Sturdee St to Quay street mess.
      Tidal lanes like this are not common, but there are 3 lanes on that flyover and I’d bet not all 3 are needed in the AM peak (or rather, shouldn’t be)

      Mind you that whole Quay St/Lower Hobson area needs a radical redesign as it doesn’t work properly now. So this is really just moving deckchairs, but if it makes the NEX more efficient, then the “needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few”.
      One thing I’d probably do as well is remove the right turn/straight ahead from Quay St on to the Wharf Area (both for the Hilton and for the Viaduct parking), and force this traffic down along the “ground level” part of lower Hobson St road, and then to use the existing road to do a u-turn under the flyover to come out along the the other side of the flyover where they can go left into the Viaduct or straight ahead in the left hand lane.
      Doing this would release this lane for use by the buses in the AM peak to get to Britomart much quicker and would not require any squeezing up of the the two traffic lanes from Sturdee to Quay.

  • Principally this is a leadership issue. AT’s policy team need to communicate firmly, to its own staff as much as anyone, that Auckland’s roads and streets are not there for the exclusive use of people only using cars. They are not funded exclusively or even mostly from fuel tax and roads and streets are public realm for the benefit of everyone in every way.

    The uncontested assumption that walking, cycling, and transit systems, and even quality of place, can only make claims on road space once driving and parking have claimed maximum benefit, or can have current levels of service duplicated nearby, has to be addressed within AT and in their dealings with the public.

    We cannot add the necessary bus priority, cycle lanes, nor place quality to our streets and roads without reducing some current uses. Curb side parking will at times have to be sacrificed for this greater good, and AT are going to have to man-up to noisy citizens about this. Currently they are far too quick to fold in the face of established inequitable claims to this public realm.

    • Greg N

      This attitude of “cars are king” was clearly on display yesterday at the Quay St Ciclovia event – the AT folks could not actually bear to close off the roads completely for 6 measly hours. Nope, they still had to allow parking and allow cars to continue to use the roads and they badly handled the whole event.

      I think maybe it has to be some big event with TV Cameras present (like a triathlon) before they can take the plunge of applying the traffic tourniquet.

      But where does this all start – in infancy? at school? At University? or perhaps Traffic Engineering school or perhaps later than that?

      I reckon I can see it now:

      The budding Traffic Engineer / about to be new hire by AT is being interviewed for their fit with “AT culture”,

      And they come for their final interview with the old hands of AT to assure them that yes, this person is the best available, and is nothing but the creme-de-la-creme.
      They’ve been through many interviews to get this far. At each stage the shortlist got shorter and shorter.

      This process, is important, after all they will be working for AT – NZ’s Premier “answer to no-one” organisation, not too far below the GCSB in NZs power rankings.
      Even the PM is a bit envious of AT, as after all they don’t have to face any elections or public judgement on their performance ever.
      Because this is a job for life, AT don’t want anyone with extreme left wing or socialist tenancies in this job.

      So this is the most important interview of the lot, failure is not option for the candidate or for AT so there is a lot at stake.

      Each side know this. And so with this foremost in everyone’s minds the final interview process begins..,

      The wannabe AT employee is put In a dark room and blind folded
      the heat is cranked up to 40 degrees
      bright lights are shining in their face
      after 5 minutes they’ve a mouth like a sandpit after a month with no rain
      and they are also thirsty as hell
      sweat is pouring off their face and underarms after 10 minutes
      pulse racing, blood pounding in their ears
      the sounds of mayhem and torture coming from adjacent rooms

      Now, the seemingly endless questioning begins, each one a trap, designed to eliminate the unfit and catch the non-believers.

      Each one covering the rights and wrongs of traffic management, Each one designed to ensure yes, this *is* the right person for AT.

      So far, they’ve done well, no mistakes, this is looking good, the AT old hands watching from afar are beginning to smile and relax.

      Then, finally, the last question is asked by the interrogators. This is the clincher, the one that separates the best from the rest.
      Many have failed at this hurdle. But this candidate is so promising – they will surely answer it correctly and become eligible to join AT.
      And if they do, then in time they too could become one of the AT elite, part of the inner circle, those charged with hiring the next generation
      – those who will continue the illustrious reign of AT over all the minions of Auckland….

      “Name the circumstances in which it is permissible to stop cars from using any public road in Auckland”

      There is only one right answer, there is no qualification allowed, no “sometimes”, “maybes” or “depends” about this answer.

      The correct answer is by definition short and sweet.

      Unless the candidate promptly, clearly and without hesitation answers “Never”, then they are deemed a failure; promptly shown the door, their cards are marked and they will never ever work for AT and will not be allowed have anything to do with Transport in Auckland,.

      However, our candidate answers it correctly, the interview ends. the lights come on, the blind fold comes off, the smiles, a handshake and a cold refreshing drink are extended to him and he hears “Welcome to AT, we’re going to so enjoy having you on board”.

      The new AT employee breathes a quiet sigh of relief, he realises has made it, he has come home to the organisation he always dreamed of working for, ever since he was a small boy and first saw those AT employees in their smart uniforms and the absolute power they wielded over everyone.

      Far fetched, A Science fiction story? Maybe,
      But its surely one explanation of why AT has the people with the attitude they do.

      Got a better explanation? because I sure don’t.

      • Luke C

        Wow this has got to be in the running for most epic transportblog comment!

      • Bryce P

        Awesome Greg, simply awesome. That intersection at Lower Hobson / Quay St yesterday was an absolute shambles and was in fact dangerous. And instead of just an open road, why could some simple protected lanes not have been added with the displays down the middle of the road?

      • Greg N

        Thanks for the appreciation guys.

        I hope Lester at AT gets to read that and then uses it as a club to beat some sense into the organisation he’s in charge of, because right now, his input is missing in action in more ways than one.

        I know most of the moderators here are way, way more diplomatic than I ever could be.
        And not every AT employee is like this, but unfortunately the ones that get the most say and/or have the most sway seem to be.

        Bryce: I agree that the Lower Hobson Street was a disaster – I only realised it was still in operation quite late in the piece – I guess my normal scepticism that any Auckland driver would obey any road closures saved me from entering the intersection. Instead I waited for the pedestrians to cross with their normal cross lights and used that as a cue, as being forced on to the “wrong side” of the road by AT keeping that part of Quay St outside the Copthorne open, the normal traffic lights simply didn’t indicate when it was safe to cross. So pedestrians crossing was the only visual indication it was safe to cross and I used them as my “shield”.
        .
        And when I left the event, while cycling along Quay street on the blocked off (seaward) side of the road, some clown in a Green Ute stuck in the traffic jam decided he could rat run and simply pulled out of the queue, and drove through the cones on to my side of the road to get wherever it was he was going to in such a hurry. Fortunately I figured someone would do something dumb like this judging by the queues, so I’d kept well left as I approached the end of the closed off area and luckily the security guard pulled him up before he got too far,
        I had the distinct feeling he thought was going to drive the length of Quay on the wrong side of the road without any doubt if no one stopped him.

        Between idiots like him and the cars doing U-turns along Quay Street to avoid the traffic jams at Britomart Place, it was in some ways a more dangerous place to be than any usual Saturday bike ride had any right to be.

        And that Te Wero bridge is a major pedestrian mess already – too narrow by half, we need a better solution there as well. With bikes and pushchairs there on Saturday and ambling peds there was not really enough room on that bridge (let alone those who can’t seem to understand a “Enter/Exit this side” sign when they see one and wander against the traffic on the bridge).

        • Brendan

          Re: Enter/Exit this side signs.

          Te Wero bridge needs something like they have on the shared paths in Melbourne – a dotted white line down the centre, arrows painted on the ground. Ideally all the way from the Ferry Building through to the Westhaven promenade.

          See https://www.dropbox.com/sh/f8hipj8vpa1a2t5/qjtAzEpLj4 for some photos of a recent visit.

          Interesting to note that Melbourne separates their shared paths by direction, unlike the Tamaki Drive system (bikes on one side / pedestrians on the other)

  • Ray

    I feel that Gillies Ave is often overlooked. It needs a bus lane, same as Mt Eden Rd. There are too many parents driving their kids to and from school and if there was a bus lane it would definitely be a good ‘encouragement’.

    • Cameron W Browne

      The plan has always seemed to be that Gillies Ave was turned over to cars heading towards the motorway, but that definitely means Manukau Road (with all the 300 buses from Onehunga and Mangere) should have bus lanes.

      Gillies Ave only has the 283 and 299 on it, but Manukau Rd has dreadful wait times despite being a reively high frequency corridor, and it needs the run to get up to Newmarket.

    • Cameron W Browne

      Broadway.

      Someone really oughta fix that.

      Bus lanes, better signaling, killing OSP, and closing Morrow Street from Broadway to stop the motorway bound traffic scaring pedestrians on their way into 277.

      • Luke C

        defintely agree about that Morrow Street turn, that is really dangerous, should be banned immediately.
        Gilles, as well as Morrow/Mortimer and Alpers/Owens are all awful highways that are totally about feeding the motorway. Totally forgotten about the street function, and that they are in the middle of shopping and schools.
        All should be 2 wayed, and maybe then could close Morrow at Broadway making it cul-de-sac for cars.

  • Sailor Boy

    The roundabout between the southbound on/off ramps at Greville Road,or more likely the lights that replace them. Also at this location T2 needs to be changed to bus only, so that the bus lane runs through from the offramp all tge way to constellation station

  • Sailor Boy

    Also on the same note second lane westbound under motorway at constellation needs to change so that buses only can make right turns and the entrance to the bus lane on the northbound onramp covered in yellow hatchings to prevent suvs blocking it.

  • justintohugs

    On a related topic, are there any moves to increase the hours of the general clearways? I remember complaining to anyone who’d listen way back in the late 90s that they needed to increase the 4 to 6 window to 3 to 7 and something similar in the mornings but alas, nothing has ever changed.

  • Stranded on the North Shore

    * Left lane should on Ash Street in New Lynn & Great North Rd in Avondale & Waterview should be converted to T2 lanes at least all the way to/from the motorway. I can’t see them doing a bus lane only – but it would help tremendously!..

    * The whole length of Lake Rd in Northcote has enough space for Bus/T2/T3 lanes – and is needed!…

    * Customs Street East & West – both sides should have bus lanes. Why aren’t they already with the amount of bus traffic?..

    * Fanshawe Street West – convert the left lane to a 24/7 decicated bus lane. Remove the second left turning lane into Hobson St.

    * Albert Street – not sure what to do with that one, but buses leaving Mayoral Drive going to the Shore take 15 minutes to get to Victoria Park!!!…

    Also, could AT please stagger the departure times from the originating bus stops so instead of 10 buses leaving every 10 minutes, they leave every minute over the 10 minute period! That would help in two ways – firstly, there wouldn’t be so much congestion around the bus stops, secondly, people who are going only part way (say Takapuna) would have much less wait for the next bus!

  • Five AT board members are appointed by central government, and only two by Auckland Council, so it’s probably fair to say AT will reflect central government in terms of transport policy and general philosophy. Thus, we see PT take a back seat, and roading projects fast-tracked.

  • REMOVAL OF A BUS LANE TO PRODUCE AN OUTSTANDING PUBLIC TRANSPORT SOLUTION?

    Yes this seems a complete anomaly, but it appears to be a better solution than the status quo.

    Fred Thomas Drive has a short bus lane as it heads to Akoranga Station. It is the left lane as you might expect. The difficulty is that the right lane is clogged by traffic heading straight through to join Esmonde Road. The consequence is that buses and those turning right to Akoranga Station are clogged by this traffic while the access along the Akoranga Station road remains free.

    WHAT IF? -the right lane became a right turning lane only for about 400m. This would accommodate the buses and the relatively few vehicles dropping people at Akoranga. I suspect this traffic would increase because this trip would become a lot less difficult. (I am not a big fan of people driving to the bus stop, but Akoranga is so isolated this is always likely to occur). AND -The left lane became a straight through lane (retaining the existing bus stop). This straight through traffic would only be able to enter the roundabout if traffic was clear of right turning traffic and so access to Akoranga Station would remain free.

    And the cost – a little bit of road marker paint.

    Upside -better traffic flow for Akoranga Station traffic Frustrated motorists don’t have to illegally cross the reserve land to bypass traffic.

    Downside -seemingly nothing for anyone

    BUT, this solution seems so stunningly simple that it cant be possible. What have I missed?

  • My repeated experience is that the Civic to Victoria Park bus trip is a disgrace with the constant slowness of this journey. My worst experience this year is 40 minutes. There are so many reasons for the problem:- the volume of buses; the left turns on Albert that someone referred to; the bus lane on Fanshawe being totally ineffective.

    My concern is that if the homeward journey for Shore passengers is so tortuous it may lead some to abandon the whole journey -its a difficult concept to only take the car home.

    My greater concern is that seemingly no one has the intellectual grunt to fix it (if the solution is not building more or wider roads is there a solution?) I feel entitled to say that because for the three and a bit years that I have travelled the road nothing has changed.

    And for me the really big question is whether a decent public transport system would obviate the need for many of these apparently adhoc road additions that are currently being constructed?

    • Molly Woppy

      My other half now catches the bus from the Vic Park to avoid the delays on previous stops. Doesn’t seem to help much with the lack of reliability of the service as a whole though.

  • pshemko

    Out West:

    * Te Atatu Rd, through Te Atatu Sth, towards the city and back, probably the best that can be achieved is a T2
    * Through Pt Chev village to/from the motorway on/off-ramps. Greath Nth is massive there (6 lanes) but beside a token priority box towards the city – nothings there for the buses
    * Great Nth around MOTAT in the ‘outbound’ direction – the traffic heading for the motorway very often clogs up the road up to the priority box
    * Vincent St in the outbound direction – get rid of those parking places
    * Pitt St in the outbound direction (from Vincent to K’rd)
    * K’rd between Pitt St and at least K’rd overbridge

  • Jon Reeves

    This article, like nearly every one on this blog is very well written. And as it mentions, the blog has been highly critical about AT’s dismal failure in new buslanes.

    This statement pretty much sums up the fact that a lobby group now needs to come out of the woodwork and take AT on. I believe CBT is that group – unless everyone here thinks the AA will do it!

    If meetings and talking has come to nothing over 3 long years, then it’s time for CBT to present which roads need buslanes asap.

    This is not a case for busways, but buslanes. Personally l would not have waited 3 years to have come to this conclusion. However, l was in PT utopia, Switzerland.

    • Sacha

      You seem to be saying that the only ingredient required is activism.

      Political and practical constraints on decision-making in Auckland’s transport are quite strong now, by design.

    • Sacha

      Focusing activism mainly on one plan for a whole congestion-free network seems a good priority over the last few years to me.

  • […] C at the  Transport Blog is adamant that More bus lanes required and pans Auckland Transport “caught up in a bureaucracy where engineers interested in moving […]

  • Geoffrey

    Point Chevalier. A complete choke point thanks to a handful of carparks, when there are big carpark areas behind shops on both sides of GNR. Throw in the pedestrain crossing which has islands extending across both kerbside lanes, and it has a flow-trhough equalled only by Britomart’s train lines.

  • Jon Reeves

    Sacha – whilist leaving grassroots stuff, like actively demanding more buslanes falls by the wayside??? The CFN makes medium-long term sense. But not at the expense of doing nothing else until that is done.

    CBT has now all but disappeared off the media radar. Do you think AA or the Road Transport Forum would do that?

    • That may be but Matt and Patrick from the Transport Blog have certainly not fallen off the radar. They are regularly quoted in the press and meet with prominent people.

      Having returned not long ago from Europe, I understand your frustration. The changes needed in NZ seem so straightforward and simple when you look at how much better things operate in Europe. You are not the first person to have ever lived in Europe and then come back to NZ – there are MANY people on this blog in the same position so you dont have any insights that are unique.

      But blaming a lack of action by people who are volunteers and give up time with their family and friends to try and achieve something that benefits all of Auckland is pretty poor. And really an insult to all they try and do in the face of overwhelming hostility in NZ from an auto dependent minority or (maybe worse) apathy.

      If you want to get involved, there is always a big back log of work to be done and not enough volunteers to do it. We would welcome your energy at Cycle Action Auckland if you have some time to spare.

  • Jon Reeves

    Goosold, I put many years of my time and weekends into CBT campaigns, raised thousands in donations and put a lot of my own money into campaigns for publicity, so don’t question me on that, l will not question you on your past efforts as a volunteer.

    I’ve done 12 years of life in Switzerland, France and UK. Seen alot in that time ( and 34 countries visited so far).

    Getting more buslanes is a no brainer, but l would now say after 3 years of inaction by AT should be seen as warning bells that the current approach is, unfortunately, ineffective ( or this article would be entitled “massive spread of buslanes”).

    Instead of being reactive in quotes, CBT needs to leading with press releases, campaigns to raise public awareness and support… In the lead up to election year!

    Quiet as a mouse does not always work.

    • I wasnt aware of your contribution and good on you. But I still dont know where your comments are being directed. If it is at CBT then fine, I havent heard much from them recently either but the Transport Blog isn’t beholden to CBT.

      I know that TB and CAA have been very active and quoted extensively in the media – TB especially on the CFN. The amount of vitriol thrown at both organisations at times is an indication of how high profile they are. Noone is being “quiet as a mouse” and high level meetings are happening all the time – just not widely publicised for fear of scaring the horses.

      I just dont think coming on here and attacking people who are currently trying to change things is very constructive. If you want to get back into “the game” then please do, it would be great to get your energy involved.

      “I’ve done 12 years of life in Switzerland, France and UK. Seen alot in that time ( and 34 countries visited so far).” I dont see how this is relevant to your point. I have lived in Australia, the UK, France, Czech Republic and Romania over a similar time period and, I have never counted them, but visited at least 34 countries.I am sure many people on here could reel off even longer lists. So what? It doesnt make my opinion any more relevant.

    • Loraxus

      Jon, like anyone outside of a volunteer campaign, you have only three choices when giving tips on “how it should be done” – a) accept that your comments are just that, comments from an outsider, b) join the group / campaign or c) create your own group / campaign. Simply calling on one’s past participation in previous activism may give you some street credit, but it gives you no say, and it can make you come across as rather arrogant ‘ know-it-all.

      For the record, I have not heard much from CBT in recent years at all, and Transport Blog is not CBT (I don’t get why you seem to constantly conflate the two) – and Transport Blog and the groups loosely associated with it are all but reactive.

  • Theresa

    On the Southern Motorway (northbound), there needs to be buses between Redoubt Rd and Mt Wellington Hwy. On the Southern Motorway, buses should be allowed to go off @ the Mt Wellington (northbound) exit, go straight across Mt Wellington Hwy and then up the Mt Wellington on ramp and onto the bus lanes. Only the buses from Mt Wellington Hwy can access that lovely stretch of bus lane. There needs to be a bus lane southbound on Great South Road from Vector Event Centre @ Manuakau through to past the Takanini on and off ramps. Also the bus lane on the Takanini on ramp (northbound) is redundant as there hasn’t been a scheduled bus service using it since it was built.

  • Jon Reeves

    Loraxus – “Simply calling on one’s past participation in previous activism may give you some street credit, but it gives you no say, and it can make you come across as rather arrogant ‘ know-it-all.” Was in response to the comments Goosold made – so if you make the link back you will quickly realise this is not coming across as, as you state, “arrogant, know-it-all”. I’ve done a lot of time in campaigns, and yes, a lot more to come.

    Let’s all take AT to task… As you read in this article, they have been absolutely useless in making more buslanes…. or are all of you just internet campaigners? AT on the buslanes front are a MASSIVE failure.

    THE NEED TO BE KICKED INTO GEAR NOW!

  • Railrider

    Ok. I know he is being direct and to the point. Maybe that is hard for people to take, but l agree with Jon on a number of points.

    Yes, AT needs a hard push for more buslanes.
    Yes, CBT has long gone off the radar.
    Yes, it’s election year, not a year to be in hiding, or out of public eye.

    It seems me alot of you a critical about someone who actively has done more than most of you combined to get significant enhancements to the Auckland rail network. I am glad he has returned!

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