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Dominion Rd upgrade open days

Auckland Transport are holding a couple of open days on their plans for Dominion Rd (first one this evening)

Feedback sought on detailed designs for Dominion Road Upgrade

Auckland Transport (AT) is planning a major upgrade of Dominion Road, for which detailed designs are being shared with the public at two open days this week.

The open days are being held tomorrow Thursday 10 April, 3.30pm to 7pm, at the Auckland Deaf Society clubrooms at 164 Balmoral Road in Mt Eden; and on Saturday 12 April, 10am to 1pm, at the Dominion Road Primary School hall on Quest Terrace in Mt Roskill.

Public feedback will be used to fine-tune the design before construction starts in spring this year. The feedback period closes on 30 April 2014.

The Dominion Road Upgrade is designed to bring many improvements – particularly in regards to pedestrian and cycle safety and public transport reliability – to those living, working and travelling along or near this key arterial route.

Dominion Road is vital to Auckland’s public transport network and carries about 1.8 million bus passengers a year. It is one of the few transport corridors in the city where there are more bus passengers than drivers in peak hours.

The upgrade will increase the route’s capacity to deal with an expected 67 per cent growth in bus travellers by 2021. Continuous peak hour bus lanes (northbound 7am to 9am and southbound 4pm to 6pm) will be introduced on Dominion Road from State Highway 20 in the south to View Road in the north. Parking will be available on these bus lanes outside of peak hours. The upgrade will also see bus stops located at 400m intervals, which means pedestrians are always within a four minutes walk of a bus stop once on Dominion Road.

The three village centres of Eden Valley, Balmoral and Mt Roskill will be upgraded with new trees, lighting, artwork, seating and pedestrian improvements. The design has some elements consistent across the three centres but also emphasises the distinctive character of each village through the use of individual colours, patterns and plant species.

Village upgrades will include new footpaths, attractive landscaping, new seating and bike stands, improved lighting, planted rain gardens to reduce surface flooding and remove pollutants, additional stormwater bores to reduce run-off, and pedestrian-priority crossing and raised median to improve road safety. There are some proposed changes to the current on-street parking and loading areas along Dominion Road and some of the adjacent side streets to enable the upgrade to occur, and AT welcomes feedback on these plans also.

Implementation of the specially-marked cycle routes, to be created through quieter streets to the east and west of Dominion Road, is expected to start in May, prior to the main upgrade, and take about six months to complete.

The cycle routes will traverse about 12km long and are designed to make cycling an attractive, easier and safer option for the local community, in particular the area’s 12,000 school pupils, and will provide good connections to the area’s parks and 16 local schools.

Albert-Eden Local Board Chair, Peter Haynes says “We aim to upgrade the road without detracting from the colour and character that have made this one of Auckland’s best-loved streets,”

“It’s a special road, celebrated in song and remembered with fondness by many Aucklanders.  I can’t wait to see the major improvements to pedestrian safety, to the new cycleways that offer safer alternative routes, and greater public transport on the road.  We’ll be listening hard to what locals and local businesses have to say,” says Dr Haynes.

Julie Fairey, Chair of the Puketapapa Local Board says “The board is looking forward to collaborating with Auckland Transport and the local community to identify the elements of the much-needed upgrade at the Roskill Village shops.  We’ll be working alongside the improvements made through the Dominion Road Project to make some specific investments to revitalise the business area, which has much to commend it but is often overlooked because it has become run-down.”

More information on the Dominion Road Upgrade can be found online at www.at.govt.nz/dominion

I can’t make the open days but I am looking forward to seeing the designs. My biggest concern at this stage is that there is no proposed change to the times the bus lanes operate. The morning is probably fine but I frequently hear about buses in the evenings leaving town packed with people and getting stuck in traffic due to parked cars.

Speaking of parking, in light of the other demands on Dominion Rd, it seems odd that AT are also consulting on extending the amount of time people are allowed to park on the road in village centres.

Auckland Transport (AT) has been working with the Albert-Eden and Puketapapa local boards and the Eden-Valley Business Association on ways to improve parking throughout Dominion Road and the village centres of Eden Valley, Balmoral and Mt Roskill.

The existing short-stay parking restrictions of 30 minutes or less do not provide a sufficient amount of time to support the main retail and commercial activities. In addition, the current range of parking restrictions can be confusing and results in an excessive number of parking signs in a relatively small area.

In order to address this issue, AT is proposing to install a 60-minute parking zone (P60) throughout the main village centres. This proposal involves changing the existing on-street parking restrictions, which will reduce the number of signs and different restrictions. The type of signage used to describe those restrictions will change also.

The village centres are important and AT should probably change how they manage parking on side streets however they need to be removing parking from Dominion Rd.

14 comments to Dominion Rd upgrade open days

  • Richard Horner

    What’s happened to the light rail for Dominion Road?

    • It was dropped some years ago. A very expensive project with no clear implementation strategy (big question mark around what happens at the city end) but large costs to secure land for diversions (silly, time consuming diversions).

      Nothing in the current scheme precludes light rail, arguably is a step closer by making the PT lanes continuous.

      • Loraxus

        I’d argue the new scheme prevents light rail for at least 10-20 years, cause “nobody will want ANOTHER ripping-up off the street”.

      • Brian

        Why are people so against light rail in this country? Now Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch have all rejected plans for light rail even though it can be transformative to enhancing the public realm and building quality rapid transit through an area. True buses are cheaper, but must we always do the cheapest short term solution?

  • JimboJones

    0 minute parking would work better

  • JimboJones

    Can’t see how changing the bus lane hours to 630 would affect many businesses. It would at least be a start.

    • JimboJones

      630 pm that is

      • James B

        A lot of restaurants would argue that it cuts into their peek time. As a resident of the area I think a three hour bus lane window is over due. The amount of people of wanting to move along here in the peek is only going to increase and as the road is already at or near capacity for both bus and car an extension of bus lane times will be the only way to shift them.

  • I know this area well and regularly shop and dine there. At the moment, if you’re making a quick stop by motor vehicle for shopping or takeaways (and Dominion Road has some of the best of the latter in Auckland) your only prayer of a close easy park is the 30 minute slots as the current P60s or unrestricted parks are full up for hours on end. So this will really only make the onroad problems worse.

    Even speaking as a regular parker in the area, I think the best alternative would be to nix the parking on Dom Road itself altogether and make the areas more attractive to walk or cycle – I would go there just as regularly on foot, bike or bus if it wasn’t utterly inconvenient and dangerous. But of course the persistence of AT’s higgledy-piggledy joke cycle route plan confirms we can kiss goodbye to that kind of sensible change for the foreseeable future.

  • Ari

    It may be an improvement on paper, and may have some improvement for pedestrian amenity, but I don’t see this making much improvement to bus capacity. The traffic signals are the main bottle necks where several buses always get stuck together in groups, even if they have a bus lane the whole length of Dominion. I suppose it could lead to more consistent travel times though.

    • You’ll always get platooning on a bus route as busy as Dominion, that’s not necessarily a problem for capacity. Two or three buses through each phase of the lights is a heap of capacity.

      Problem is when you have bunching due to traffic, where buses can’t get through to the intersection in the first place and you can’t get them through on each phase.

  • Ari

    I wonder if they are putting in indented stops as well, because you also end up the bus up front always stopping, holding up other buses behind them.

    Add to this the totally irrational fetish of removing slip lanes everywhere. You then end up with bus lanes ending before the intersection to allow left turning vehicles in who then often hold buses up. The left turning vehicles being held back by a red arrow for ages to allow pedestrians to cross. This situation is avoided entirely with slip lanes. Add to this the interesting idea of bus stops at the corners of the intersection to facilitate easy transfers where you get increased pedestresian usage. It is a recipe for a huge waste of money, but the people who think up these things are clueless when it comes to how traffic signals work.

  • Hamish O

    Detailed plans for the upgrade are available here.

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