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Campbell Live on motorway on-ramp lights

A good piece from Campbell Live on motorway on-ramp lights which are something motorists love to hate.

Campbell Live On-ramp lights

I did have a bit of an issue at the end where the NZTA claim that traffic has grown over the last 5 years because as we know, that hasn’t been the case at many locations.

29 comments to Campbell Live on motorway on-ramp lights

  • gazzamac

    The amount of waiting on side roads has increased…

  • Harvey Specter

    One issue that I have with them is that they are linked.

    A few weekends ago, they had them on going north at Wairua Road for absolutely no reason (I may have ignored them when I finally got to the front) on a 10 second cycle!

    The reason was they were needed at Constallation Drive due to road works up there.

    They should operate independently and only used as a last resort.

    They also showed the Curren Street one – I sit in that most days on a bus – it needs a bus bypass lane (probably hard to justify as not many buses go that way but it is a major issue)

  • Jon Reeves

    Don’t work. Simply pushing the problems onto local roads and pushing the pollution onto local houses next to those roads.

    As mentioned in a number of places on this site, I have not seen any in use in cities in Europe or Asia or South America where I have travelled. I guess their might be only a very few places in the world with them, and that should be seen as a sign that they are a failure.

    The real issue is offering alternative non-single car based journeys. i.e. better public transport. NZTA and this current Govt certainly will not offer that.

    2014 – Time for a better Government!

  • Harvey Specter

    Is this a conflict between NZTA and AT. NZTA wants its motorways flowing and doesn’t care what happens on AT roads?

  • Jon Reeves

    It is a total conflict, but NZTA (i.e. the Govt) holds a lot of power financially over AT.

    Auckland ratepayers are suffering as we finance a large portion of the loca roading network all these cars are being jammed onto.

  • Neil

    Hey Matt, don’t let statistical facts spoil a good story! Greenlane on-ramp north is a disaster for those coming from Remuera. The queue blocks the roundabout for those leaving the motorway from south, wanting to up Greenlane Road to Remuera Road.

  • Greg N

    The question I have.

    If the on ramp lights stop congestion ON the motorway – which is the whole point we are told, then why is it that each morning the Motorway between Mt Wellington Highway on ramp and Ellerslie off ramp becomes stationary with traffic across the whole north bound motorway.

    The Mt Wellington Motorway lanes have 2 lanes coming from the south and across the Mt Wellington Highway below and 1 separate lane joining at Mt Wellington making 3 lanes after a long merge, so there should be zero bottlenecks there. And its 3 lanes all the way to Ellerslie.

    The only reason I can think is that the SEART On-Ramp has a T2/ 2.5Tonne of higher Truck by pass lane which means that traffic can freely flow on to the motorway here at all times no matter how congested and long the Red lights are on at SEART on ramp.
    I also suspect that NZTA won’t allow SEART traffic to be held back so always ensures its let onto the motorway by allowing the ramps lights to short phase even when traffic is completely stuck on the on ramp and can’t move.

    So in some ways SEART proves that the lights work – to a point, but by-passes and linking motorway to motorways like SEART make a complete mockery of the whole system.
    If you want to control the traffic you restrict it everywhere at all on ramps, not just 98% of them.

  • Kevin Shiel

    most of the congestion on Auckland motorway is not caused by the limitation/layout of the road. Commuters on the motorway most likely cause bottlenecks themselves due to their driving habits. For example, most of the cars on the right-most lane (fast lane) reduce their speed approaching where the on-ramps merging onto the motorway even though the on ramp traffic should only affect the left-most lane, causing unnecessary congestion.
    AT should clarify and monitor the speed target of each of the motorway lanes, adopting a designated minimal speed limit for each lane like many other countries. The right-most lane (fast lane) should have a minimal speed of 100km/h and is only accessible for small sized cars. The middle lane (where applicable) is the transition lane which has a speed target of 90km/h, and is shared with small and medium sized cars (like Courier vans and trucks less than 10m). The left lane is the slow / off ramp lane, with a speed limit of 80km/h for large commercial vehicles and traffic going off the motorway.
    With the specified speed targets, all motorway off going traffic shall move to the left-most lane at least 1km from the desired exit.

    • Bob Scott

      But they don’t. Silverdale off-ramp heading North is a good example.Traffic wanting to exit blocks 3 lanes (2 lanes continuing North and 1 exiting) because everyone wants to get to the head of the queue and so they all leave it until the last minute to try and get from the outside (overtaking – not fast – lane) to the off-ramp.

      It’s just plain ignorance and selfishness.

  • Owen Thompson

    Decades ago motorways were built to take traffic off local roads. We now have traffic lights forcing traffic to remain on local roads!

    Try travelling from SH20 to SH1 southbound in afternoon peak. Complete and utter madness that SH20 is treated as an onramp. The result is that traffic use local roads eg Roscommon and Mahia instead.

    • Harvey Specter

      It also makes getting on at the Port to go North a nightmare. This forces more people to drive through the CBD (if parking on the east side of the CDB) or consider gettting on a Gillies ave if they work Newmarket or Parnell.

  • Loraxus

    I doubt that adding more rules will help!

    • Loraxus

      Great. As usual. That was supposed to go onto Kevin Shiel’s proposal to have minimum speeds, including the proposal to have a lane that has both a minimum and a maximum speed both set at 100!

  • Was it just me or was the NZTA constantly using “interpeak” as the example of it working, while Campbell Live / drivers were mainly talking about “peak”?

  • Dennis

    Build more motorways quickly. Forget 19th century technology such as rail. More dedicated bus roads would appear more practical.

  • Ari

    I think they work fine, especially if you are travelling a long way on the motorway particularly before and after the peak of the peak. Most people are just plain ignorant. Congestion is caused as much by crappy driving as it is by too many cars. Drivers just complain when they get stuck in peak traffic along with everyone else. Maybe they should just take the bus. At the end of the day the ramp signals are just a cheap way to get as much out of the network without spending money on widening roads.

    Having said that, I have yet to see any actual validated proof of their effectiveness. I would challenge NZTA to turn them off completely for a whole week and let Aucklanders be the judge. I suspect everyone will want them back on again when they notice the difference.

  • GMoney

    I agree with the commenter Mick on the Campell Live page who says:
    “On-ramp signals give priority to single occupancy vehicles on the motorway by pushing traffic back onto Auckland’s arterial roads. This creates traffic jams on surburban streets, which buses (high occupancy vehicles) then get stuck in! The priority should be to get high occupancy vehicles moving fast then people would get out of their cars, not the other way round!!! Its backward 1970s thinking giving the car priority, just dumb!”

    I also think that ramp signals benefit the people who travel long distances on the motorway thereby removing some of the agglomeration benefits that we should be looking to grow through living in a city – you are far better off with motorway lights if you are getting on at Papakura and off at the city than if you are getting on at Greenlane (and waiting 45 minutes to get on the motorway). Also, the streets around the motorway junction in Greenlane are then gridlocked stopping local traffic going about their local business.

    Personally I think the benefits of the motorway lights are not benefits that we should be trying to achieve.

  • Ari

    Quite right GMoney, we don’t know what benefits we are trying to achieve.

    Lets not forget that the congestion on the suburban roads will still be there regardless if you have the offramp signals or not. Perhaps not quite as bad, but still present.

  • Bryan

    From my experience, the ramp signals on the northwestern have reduced rat-running. before the Upper Harbour motorway opened, I used to rat run from Swanson to Te Atatu (to get to Smales Farm), using the same route the 087 bus uses from Vodanovich Rd to Royal View Rd. Using the 087 bus last week, the queue on Royal View Rd was a quarter the length it used to be. Now that the motorway flows more smoothly, there is less incentive to rat-run to a later on-ramp, i.e. from Royal Rd is a steady dawdle, rather than the previous dawdle to Lincoln, crawl past Lincoln, repeated for each junction.

  • mfwic

    Ramp signals are like the left turn give way rule. We will have to wait 30 years for everyone involved in the original decision to die before we go back to what we had before. These people will never admit a mistake.

  • Ian L

    The interviewee repeatedly talks about “the network”, as in “15% improved throughput on the network”.

    She’s talking about the “motorway network”, isn’t she, not the road network.? How many Aucklanders drive solely on the motorway network?

    At least she doesn’t claim (I don’t think) that ramp metering reduces congestion. NOTHING solves road congestion other than economic collapse.

    Personally I’m not actually that bothered about whether ramp metering increases or decreases my total journey time, and I suspect (based on no good evidence at all) that FOR THE MAJORITY the net effect is actually rather small – although I accept some ramps are more problematic than others. What annoys me is when it interferes with the solution – quality rapid transit, such as the NEX – because of penny-pinching in the design (yes, Constellation northbound, I’m looking at you!).

  • K John Brown

    On Easter Sunday the lights were operating at the Wairau North bound Road off-ramp. Why? I went pass them on the motorway around 2.45pm and there were no more than 5 cars on the motorway across 3 lanes then long gaps to several vehicles some distant back. There were two cars approaching the off ramp lights.How can the lights be justified? Just stupidity in action and yes same scenario at the Constellation North bound. Pretty hopeless system.

  • Sully

    Now the hell are people quieting for 30-45min? There designed (at least across Melbourne’ Australia’s freeway Neteork) for people to be on the ramp for between 2-3min and a Max of around 5-10min… Even for Ramos of around 1km :O

    Something’s very wrong with the data communication between the ramp detectors/sensors and the ramp signal control box + the mainline detectors/sensors for the running lane traffic.

    Perhaps tins is actually WHEN traffic is fully stopped due to a major incident?

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