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Is SH20 (WRR) flooding the isthmus with traffic?

Commuting around the city has been intense lately. I generally avoid most of the drama since I ride a bike. From Balmoral I take Dominion Road to the City Centre and on most days at 10kph I’m moving faster than the cars. It is now common for traffic to be queued from Ian MacKinnon Drive to Mt Roskill.

IMG_2690

Dominion Road at Balmoral shops looking south

During March (and now April) traffic has become so acute that motorists are now using alternative routes when Mt Eden Rd and Dominion Rd get stuffed up. One such route is Matipo Street midway between Mt Eden Road and Dominion Rd. This route also happens to form part of the Dominion Road Parallel Cycle Route.

Part of the appeal of this route is the new signal added at Matipo Street and Balmoral Road. This enables motorists to turn safely and regularly. (This signal is also great for my kids as it extends their range of travel to schools and Potters Park.)

So while the signal plays a part in the attractiveness, the traffic levels seem significantly higher than last year. Here is a video of a what it looks like at about 8:30AM. I have seen these conditions on several days. This street is adjacent to Mangawhau Primary School so it adds an additional barrier for kids walking/cycling to school.

Some of the traffic is parents dropping their kids off at school. Some of the traffic is generated locally. But I don’t think either school traffic or locals trips would have changed over the last couple of years.
video
Instead, I think that the SH20 extension is dumping more traffic into the isthmus. Because Dominion Road and Eden Road are so swamped with traffic people are increasingly seeking short cuts to get through these neighbourhoods. As SH20 becomes a major traffic-inducing link I expect to see more of these unintended consequences popping up along its length.

73 comments to Is SH20 (WRR) flooding the isthmus with traffic?

  • Mat Collins

    Apparently modelling is forecasting that the NW motorway is going to come to a screaming halt once Waterview is connected. If this turns out to be the case the pressure on parallel arterial and local streets is only going to get worse.

    • Intuitively [I haven’t seen the modelling] I expect the opening of Waterview and the supersized SH16 [yet incredibly without a Busway] to completely swamp the CMJ in the morning peak. What was previously rationed down 16 will become incentivised and accelerated infarcting clots of traffic directed at the city and the four lanes out of the SH16 at the CMJ. Sadly Newton Rd will also then become extra taxed, leading also to K, Ponsonby Rds, Upper Queen St and Symonds Sts too, getting traffic swamped.

      So it goes. All so predictable and all so dumb. NZTA and their masters will be shown yet again that building roads, especially massive ones, generates more traffic, and more traffic all at once in the same direction.

      The loveliness of three lane road tunnels will also be on display for Auckland drivers. But no parallel high quality Transit route up SH16 to make the thing actually work. This is a political and institutional failure in real time.

      • Anthony

        Agree, the queue to the southern has always backed up badly. This will only get worse, and I suspect the connection to the north will start to back up in a similar fashion.
        I think it should reduce the amount of rat running through the isthmus roads thou, as the tunnels should still offer a faster option.
        Something I think has got worse is weekend traffic. Its pretty much the only time I drive, and it feels far more congested than even say 2 years ago.

        • Yeah in theory the rat-running should be killed, except if everyone uses the m’way, which is want we all want, then the outlets at the end of SH16 will clog, and drivers will get smart and nip off into the hinterland to beat the ‘suckers’ stuck in the queue.

          If it happens for a couple of mornings then, the rat-runs will be permanent, and all the way super-expansion will have achieved is induce more driving in total as both route fill.

          You are completely right about the connection north from SH16; this new connection encourages drivers all over r the wider city to the lower and middle Shore to use the CMJ; doubling down on this singularity.

          It’ll be handy and quick but only outside of the peaks, when there are no crashes anywhere on the network, and if we can stop traffic growth [stop adding to the network!].

    • Stu Donovan

      I hope you’re wrong but I fear you’re right.

      Another thing to add to your list Patrick: Shows the folly of expanding urban road capacity in the absence of time-of-use road pricing. All you end up doing is shifting demand between bottlenecks and inducing a whole lot more (low value) travel at the same time.

  • BBC

    Time for the Isthmus Link i.e. the long planned and only partially completed motorway down Dominion Rd from Ian McKinnon.

  • Tom

    Sandringham became a choke point the instant the SH20 was extended to it. And thereafter the rat run through what is now the cycleway in between Balmoral and Sandringham had a constant peak hour flow though it of particularly impatient drivers treating it like a rally circuit. The aggressive traffic calming put in place throughout that entire section seems to have had a massive effect in reducing through traffic. One can only hope it gets extended to other blocks.

    • Lindsey

      There are other reasons why the Sandringham shopping area has become a choke point. There are now several excellent Indian restaurants in the centre. This attracts a lot of people. There are two pedestrain crossings which do not have lights. Traffic through the shopping centre is held up because of the unregulated movement of people across these two pedestrian crossings. If these had lights this problem could be avoided. The traffic movement is pretty clear on either side of the centre.

      • Tom

        That’s quite true in regards to the centre itself and at pretty much any time of day, but at peak traffic is quite often backed up for almost the entire length of Sandringham Road. To the point where it’s faster to detour via Fowlds and Morningside as increasing numbers are doing. In regards the unregulated crossings, lights might help with traffic flow but given a large chunk of the local population already ignore the inconvenience of walking to them I fear it would just increase the already alarming number of unsafe crossing attempts.

      • Sailor Boy

        Heaven forbid that a successful urban community be put before the sacred traffic flow /sarc

        • Tom

          Ideally the whole shopping strip would be officially pedestrianised rather than the de facto version of it that’s in place now. I’m guessing that will happen once the teleport for through traffic is installed on either side.

          • Well Sandringham is one place that should be able to be completely calmed once Waterview opens. That’s exactly the point of of motorways, in theory, to divert traffic from people places. Of course it doesn’t work out that way because we tend to leave them with full auto-priority even once the by-pass opens.

  • I can understand the need to provide a signalised crossing of the busy roads to make the neighbourhood greenway route practical for cycling. But if the design doesn’t constrain the movements of motor traffic there, then that route also becomes more attractive as a driving short-cut too (esp. for those turning right). So perhaps it’s not surprising that Matipo St is seeing more traffic – somewhat defeating the purpose of making a cycle-friendly route.

    Contrast with the approach taken in building the Rapanui-Shag Rock cycleway in Christchurch through Linwood: Where the neighbourhood greenway route crosses busy Fitzgerald Ave, through-traffic on the minor street (Worcester) has been restricted to left-in, left-out by closing the central median. Only pedestrians and cyclists can go straight across and into town – see http://cyclingchristchurch.co.nz/2015/11/08/rapanui-shag-rock-cycleway-linwood-consultation/.

  • jjay

    We are South – and I found too March madness spread to April ……………no matter if I car, bus or train actually ………track faults or stuck in traffic (bus/car) ………my 2 year old is just about done with the commute I think – totally over an hour and a half it now seems to take to get into town and the other hour and half it seems to take to get home again at the end of the day ………….Not sure WHY – I’d imagine its not the same reasons as discussed here though ………….

  • Meanwhile NZTA as reported by Newshub came out with some Motorway congestion figures that while we realise it, some bright spark over at the ATAP (Transport Accord) said the opposite was happening. That is congestion getting worse:

    Four years ago on the Southern Motorway, a February morning journey from Papakura to the CBD took 47 minutes — this year data shows that increased to 67 minutes, a difference of 20 minutes.
    The Northern Motorway from Oteha Valley Rd to the CBD isn’t much better — the average morning commute in February took 50 minutes, up eight minutes from four years earlier.
    On the Northwestern motorway from Royal Rd to the CBD, the journey time is a little better — but the delay is mostly due to extensive roadworks along the highway, which are expected to be completed next year.
    https://voakl.net/2016/04/09/nzta-states-what-we-already-know-motorways-more-congested-movingauckland/

    Southern Line takes 53 minutes from Papakura to Britomart as a comparison

    So ummm yeah good luck getting any more people on the Southern Motorway and especially past Mt Wellington.

    • Bruce

      It is very noticeable on the Northern on days where the traffic is backed up the surrounding streets grind to a complete halt around Albany/Rosedale/Constellation area. What would be a 5 minute (1-2km) drive on a normal morning on these streets takes about 25 minutes when the motorway is jammed past Greville and 45 minutes when jammed to Oteha.
      Of course this is further worsened since the area is almost totally Chinese (Pine Hill) and virtually all of them think it’s a great idea to drive their little emporers to school in 3 ton Mercedes/BMW/Audi/VW/Lexus SUVs! (the schools are pretty much all within a 10-15 minute walk by the way).

      • Bryce P

        Which goes to demonstrate the folly that is PENLINK. Far better off to spend that cash on bus lanes down Whangaparaoa Rd and Hibiscus Coast Hwy. Penlink adds no extra vehicle capacity for a trip to the city.

        • Bruce

          Not really. It still saves 10-15 minutes off a 30-60 minute trip at peak times (and that’s to the East Coast Bays/Albany area – where most people on the HBC who commute work). Even off trips to the city it still saves time for those people that do that. Ideally of course there would be big improvements in PT in the area (NEX lanes extension to Albany would be a good start! As would a vastly expanded park n ride at Silverdale).

          • Sailor Boy

            Park and ride at silverdale is a great idea. Which private company will build the carpark?

          • Bryce P

            The park and ride at Silverdale does nothing to improve traffic on the coast. Buses along Whangaparaoa Rd need some basic priority improvements. To add, that tail that now seems to more often end up north of Oteha Valley Rd, is only going to get much worse. At 6am now, there is a lot of traffic heading into the city, and beyond, on the Nth Mwy.

          • Bruce

            Sailor boy, I guess it would normally be whichever submitted the lowest/best tender. Then again Auckland Council does often waste money.
            And yes the problems are getting worse which is why Penlink is needed. If you built Penlink then Whangaparaoa Road could have Buslanes all the way from Silverdale park n ride through to Penlink and through to Orewa with minimal effort or disruption. If you did it now while it would help in getting some people out of cars it wouldn’t do much overall to help with the congestion as traffic would be reduced to one lane.

      • Roger W

        Wow, not a peep. And I got called racist for referencing an acknowledged piece of Maori oral history. Interesting.

  • Will have to get on with the Light Rail link along Dominion Rd. Leave the congested traffic as is. It’ll be a great incentive to use the LRT instead.

    As for the Waterview connection, never forget the real reason why it goes where it goes. The grand plan was revealed way back in the late 90’s or early 2000’s before disappearing from public view – SH20 goes underground from Waterview to the new harbour crossing, bypassing the CMJ. Mark my words – the combination of congestion at the CMJ from SH20 and the new harbour crossing will see this project resurrected as the solution.

    • Kevin S

      I remember being shocked by the scale of the proposed works when I saw them in the NZ Herald in 1998. I believe the articles printed at the time were working off an ARC report available at Takapuna Library: http://discover.elgar.govt.nz/iii/encore/record/C__Rb1850348?lang=eng

      “The objective of [the] study is NOT to recommend a new crossing but to identify feasibile crossing locations and the additional works required to support them and to identify the environmental, economic and community issues raised by each feasible crossing”–Executive summary.

  • mfwic

    The ring route is definitely flooding Greenhithe and Albany with traffic. Once Waterview opens it will become appalling. Part of the problem is that stupid moveable barrier on the Harbour Bridge that restricts the morning flow to the North Shore to 3 lanes. That pushes heaps up SH16 onto SH18. It is well past time to weld a fixed barrier on the bridge in the middle and run four lanes each way. The people in the fifth lane should be on a bus!

    • mfwic except isn’t that exactly what the ring route is for? The point of the thing is to offer an alternative route to the Shore from the wider city?

      • mfwic

        The problem with ring roads is people build them in lieu of figuring out where people want to go from and to. Nobody goes all the way around a ring, yet they get built on the justification of being needed for some fictitious long distance need. In reality people use them for local and regional trips. Problem is the agency that built it hasn’t bothered to connect it properly to serve that need. I got NSCC to ask for a NW style cycle lane and footpath on the Greenhithe section but Transit said nyet! We asked for a footpath from Albany Highway to the then proposed bus station along Upper Harbour Highway, again nyet! We asked for a plan to connect to SH1, nyet! Instead we got a half arsed project that never addressed bottlenecks. Same has happened on the rest of it. A needless underground road that will join to an overloaded motorway.

    • Nick R

      Indeed they should, or are already really. The people of the sixth, seventh and eight lanes are already on the bus, given the bus is carrying about three lanes worth of people in the peak direction.

      However, if you stop doing the tidal flow and restrict it to four lanes, your matching the capacity of the approaches to the bridge… Which means there would no longer be any excess capacity to allow the buses to move relatively freely through that section.

      So indeed weld it shut at four lanes if you like, but it would have to be three lanes for traffic and one for buses if you don’t want to savage capacity..

      • Or of course better still; build a new high capacity high quality direct Rapid Transit route to take the buses off the bridge and make the alternative to driving even more desirable and reduce the driving demand significantly.

  • evanjames

    The motorways are blocked simply because there is no additional infrastructure in the CBD for all the extra traffic once it gets into town, but it has been that way for years. However it is only going to get worse because all the vacant land that has been used for parking is being filled with buildings, and no one has planned extra parking buildings. Maybe one day those stuck in the queues will get the message. Reminds me of an ad that ran during an election campaign where extra roads were promised to break the traffic gridlock – only problem was the photograph in the ad was of traffic at a standstill on the Nelson Street off-ramp, trying to get into the CBD.

    • Trev

      That’s rubbish sorry. More parking buildings in the city will just encourage more people to drive and create more traffic jams.

      Best solution to congestion in the city is to build good PT alternatives and discourage people from driving there.

    • Nick R

      Indeed, insufficient parking, insuficient access roads, insufficient arterial roads, insufficient intersection capacity, insufficient motorway approach capacity… It’s almost as if the system is full and we should be trying to have less people use it.

  • Jolisa

    Traffic begets traffic in style as well as substance. Watching the cars moving through the neighbourhood in Kent’s video clip, I was struck by how blind the drivers seem to the other people in the picture. After a parent and child arrive at the raised crossing (not a zebra, so no automatic right of way; but nonetheless an interruption to flow, and a signal that pedestrians exist), five cars sail through in convoy without slowing down a jot. It’s like the people on the roadside are invisible.

    So even slower streets with street-calming measures may still be dominated by car traffic… a single driver would likely pay more attention to the presence of people walking, scooting, biking; but a driver who’s one of a string of vehicles probably pays most attention to the other cars.

  • Jonty

    The completion of Waterview will send both more cars and less cars through the CMJ. More cars through CMJ when it creates a quicker route for some to get to their destination (Onehunga, Hillsborough, etc to CBD/North) and less cars as others can avoid CMJ altogether (West to South and vice versa). Yes, more traffic will be flooded through Greenhithe, but wasn’t that the point? To divert it away from the CMJ and Harbour Bridge?

    The problem here is the amount of cars. Building more carparks and carpark buildings won’t fix anything, because there’s only a certain amount of cars that can fit into the CDB on the roads to get there. If new motorways are being built without provision for busways then some of the new lanes need to at least be T2 or T3 during peak hours. As for Dominion Road, the parallel streets are only going to see more vehicle traffic as LRT rails are laid and lanes are reduced. AT needs to realise this and introduce traffic calming measures to protect the cyclists.

    http://i.imgur.com/xqbH4Sh.gif

    • Dan C

      How does LRT reduce lanes on dominion rd? Currently there is one general traffic lane each way, and one parking/buslane each way. With LRT there will be one LRT lane and one general traffic lane.

  • evanjames

    Sorry Trev, but that’s what I was trying to say. The problem with Auckland now is that the parking areas are actually disappearing, so people will have to take PT whether they like it or not.

    • Jeff T

      Doesn’t sound like rubbish to me Evan. Makes sense.

    • Sailor Boy

      In other words private businesses have realised that it is more profitable to develop their land and rely on people accessing the site almost entirely by pt or active modes rather than providing car parking? This isn’t some plot to force you onto the bus, it is a large number of individuals realising that they are better off to not rely on people driving everywhere.

  • The completion of the WRR will resolve these issues:

    – The congestion and traffic that has to use inadequate arterials in the entire Pt Chev, to Newton to Greenlane areas; who in turn take rat-runs in suburban streets.
    – The overuse of the Southern Motorway from the West to access South Auckland (vice-versa) during peak.
    – The pressure on the Harbour Bridge as the easy way to get North.
    – Good airport connection outside of peak times.

    The completion will highlight these issues:

    – That Lincoln Road and Te Atatu Road are still inadequate arterials.
    – Albany’s roads, especially the set-up in the Don McKinnon zone, are inadequate.
    – The finishing points in Manukau and Albany when connecting back to SH1.

    The biggest improvement will be the difference it makes to the Southern Motorway and in-turn how much pressure the Southern pumps back into the NW in the evening peak.

    • Nick R

      I think you’re being a little naive about the marketing versus the reality Ben.

      There is a whole new rat run nightmare coming when all but one of the main roads from west to the isthmus has a SH20 interchange with ramp signals on it. Think about those implications for a minute.

      Why will the harbour bridge change? They’re just about to open a new motorway link that makes it much more direct to drive from the north shore to the southwest and airport via the bridge. Bridge will get worse, with more pressure.

      And seriously, Don McKinnon area roads are inadequate? The massive multi lane ring road boxed by multi lane atrerials, highways and motorways, serving a failed town centre with a fraction of the intended land use. I’d hate to see what your idea of adequate is!

      • I meant William Pickering area, not Don McKinnon. Sorry.

        Hmm, I don’t think it will be as dire as you’re suggesting. There will be improvements and some negatives, and I’ve highlight them in my post. I think that the Harbour Bridge will change because currently it’s very easy to drive North via the Southern/Northern even during peak – because there’s no easy alternative to go North.

        Personally, after this project is complete, I’d like this to be the last major motorway project Auckland sees for a long time. I’d prefer PT developments. I completely agree with this project because of how much pressure is put on the Southern Motorway, and if this wasn’t being done, could only be partly-solved by short-sighted widening projects.

        Plus, I’m not saying “inadequate” because I want them upgraded to 5 lane super-style arterials. I’m just saying that with extra traffic, they won’t be able to cope.

        • And to be clear I am in favour of this completion of the Western Ring Route, however it is completely outrageous that there is no busway going in now on SH16 given that NZTA and MoT know exactly that it is the NB that enables SH1 north to work at all, and at such low capital and opex cost.

          The failure to deliver PT systems of a comparable standard to our m’ways means that that we are condemning the m’ways to less efficient and effective performance at much higher cost, and the city to lower resilience, and robbing our citizens of freedom of choice with their own capital.

    • Oh hilarious. Multi-billions, still will fail, and the answer is of course many many more billions to make every other road everywhere ever bigger for ever!

      At what point do we decide we have enough road? When we have congested 26 lane routes like Katy I-10? I can assure you that the Texas DOT is still planning more; because nowhere on the planet is there a city that has road built its way to the nirvana of a thriving city and permanently free flowing traffic. It is a ruinous absurdity to even try to pursue it, especially as the limitless cost means beggaring the alternatives.

      • Warren S

        The time to stop further motorway development is now and that includes the addition of more lanes to existing motorways.

        I really get the pricker with the preference always given to vehicles already on the motorway, emanating from much further out (e.g.Albany, Silverdale etc.) presumably in the interests of maintaining flow. Entering from closer to the CBD (e.g. Tristram) is penalized by the one at a time light system. I think the whole motorway traffic should be stopped for a while at Greville to allow the backed-up inner suburban streets to clear!

        How is that for throwing down the gauntlet! NZTA take note.

  • Early Commuter

    I have zero sympathy for these drivers. If they drove into work at 6am, they’d avoid congestion. If they can’t start that early, hit the gym.

    • jjay

      thats a tad smug – what about those with kids for example ? I do leave (using PT currently) and its at 6.20-7 am ………..and i take my youngest with me – daycare does not open till nearly 8 – which now the transit time is worse is not an issue really anymore (it used to be) as we are in commute that time anyway …..but that leaves the issue of our school agers – school won’t take them in till after 8 and really new entrant 8.30 is earliest…..before school care won’t take them till 7(and its not at the school its at a different location and then the afterschool care is in a different location again). So what does the super long commute to work mean to us ……..well it means if we can’t take our kids with us they end up in care from dark till dark – NOT what we wanted. Sadly Hubbys work just refused flexible hours for him and mine is not the sort you can do remotely most of the time…….so where does that leave us – with 2-3 hrs commute plus 8hrs minimum work to do a day and kids in different parts of Auckland you have to get form A to B. As for the gym – have you ever tried doing that with a toddler ? 🙂 Not going to happen. Anyway of course not everyone commuting has kids and not everyone commuting who does have both parents in paid work – but a significant number do and those people have time contraints they can’t work around – and you only need a few like that to really put a crunch time on things ……..and those people are not just going to be on the motorway straight to work either, they are going to be doing drop-offs possibly to several places (I know from talking to those on the shore that contributes to those Albany road congestion issues big time – just look at how many schools are on some of those roads) …………..IF you can work a way to make the logistics more flexible and easier for those with these constraints you can spread some of that congestion – something worth considering.

    • Mike (the longstanding one)

      jjay’s reply with its unusual punctuation is too hard to read, but if he/she is making the point that there’s nothing that makes the early morning preferable to any other off-peak time as a means of reducing congestion, he/she is absolutely right. Late Commuting is just as good as Early Commuting!

      • jjay

        You sound like reviewer 2 🙂 My point is that some people are constrained by other factors to the fairly standard commute hours. For example daycare times, before/after school care times mean many people will be on the road 6.30-9.30 and 4-6 even if they wish it otherwise. And those constrained in that way to these times will often be doing multiple trips, clogging up feeder roads, local roads and motorways on the way. For my part I think looking at the constraints people have and commuter behavior and needs and incorporating those into future urban travel planning could be helpful.

    • Nick R

      And likewise EC if you want a frequent bus to get to work then you can leave two hours later at 8am. Zero sympathy eh?

  • Grant

    Toll the motorway around the CMJ in all directions at the peak times. Price it just right as to avoid people rat running and so the WRR will tend to get more use. This will encourage more PT/alternative transport modes/car sharing and the like. Yes SH16 should have busway/bus lane improvements at the same time. New network will be rolled out by the time this all happens. There, perfect solution.

    • Errr? Won’t tolling the mway do the reverse? Incentive use of local roads. Wouldn’t it be better to price all driving on a time variable basis? It’s everyone trying to drive a once that’s the problem, so price the peak time drive on every road, via GPS and thereby encourage alternatives modes, alternative time of travel, and just not bothering to make that (low value) trip at all….

      • Grant

        GPS system sounds too expensive impossible to implement in nearish future? My idea could add to some rat running in particular spots, but those can be sorted. Can’t imagine people would want to get off the motorway early to trundle through nearby clogged streets anyway? eg going north on southern motorway, get off at Khyber Pass at 8:10am in the morning to avoid a toll on the viaduct when trying to get the CBD (using via Nelson St otherwise say). Toll the southern approach to the city on the harbour bridge, hard to rat run any where else. Western toll perhaps just after Western Springs off ramp?

      • Bryce P

        Especially as much of the traffic through the CMJ is bypassing the CBD and heading further afield.

      • donna

        The alternative transport funding group landed on a mix of variable motorway tolls although from memory they noted this was not a congestion measure, especially given Auckland’s predicted growth. The models also suggested there would be some areas susceptible to increased congestion on the side roads. Again from memory one of these was Mt Wellington.
        The group also looked at GPS monitoring but decided the technology wasn’t quite good enough or cheap enough to implement en masse. And do you really want the government knowing where you are all the time?

        • I know that will be the reaction, but the govt and lots of multinational companies know everything about if you have a smart phone already, knowing where your vehicle is looks a lot less intrusive and possibly more helpful [theft] than what people already accept.

          The technology is current: http://www.myorego.org

          And a lot cleverer than just taxing at some places.

          • Tom

            It’s one thing for people to opt in to location services for personal convenience, or to accept that a particular location will be monitored for use, and quite another to institute compulsory tracking of en entire population across a region. The Oregon experiment is limited to 8000 vehicles and offers a discount on standard road user charges in return for being tracked.

          • donna

            It”s sort of clever but mostly it’s clunky and open to error. The question is how do you tie a GPS or phone to a car? What do you register? Who pays to set up maintain the database? What if you have two or three phones? Or (like my neighbour) you keep losing your phone? I’m also not persuaded about GPS technology, mostly from knowing cyclists who have been sent the wrong way or discovered their Garmin hasn’t done quite what it’s meant to. But mostly, I just don’t want to give the government another excuse to snoop on me. Having said all that, the technology is evolving and maybe these issues can be resolved in the future.

          • All those issues are all sorted in commercial fleets, now. The vehicle would have the permanent GPS device. It is currently being rolled out in Singapore now. I agree we will be less pliant about this than they are but I suggest on balance the benefits of a well designed and run system for all drivers and non drivers will be high. Avoiding the unintended consequences of local roads being swamped is vital to it working at all.

            The Oregon example is a trial. I include it show the technology is not novel.

  • BrettD

    As someone who can see the Matipo / Balmoral intersection from my house, my impressions are that the lights make it easier to get out of Matipo Street / Springwood Place at peak times (due to the vehicular beg coils in the road). This has encouraged the rat runners (the Matipo Street leg of the intersection will continue to show a green light as long as traffic is moving through it). Off peak (when there isn’t any rat running) the lights hold up traffic when compared to the stop signs that used to be there.

    • Seen many cyclists using it?

    • Dan C

      Seems the solution is quite simple then, the lights should only stay green for a second, to let one vehicle / all the bikes through. Just like the motorway ramp signals.

      • BrettD

        Currently the green light for the Springwood Place leg of this intersection is time restricted so that no more than 3 cars can get through on a single phase. I’ve often thought that a similar scheme for the Matipo Street leg would limit the rat running.

  • donna

    Well obviously, as predicted, SH20 is flooding the isthmus with South Aucklanders driving to burgle the wealthier ‘burbs of Mt Albert and surrounds.
    Or alternatively it’s just possible that the empirical case for expensive motorways reducing congestion isn’t as clear as we’ve been led to believe. Especially when, as Patrick and others have noted, the powers that be steadfastly refuse to put bus lanes and protected cycleways alongside them. It is inexcusable that we are even thinking of building motorways that do not provide for other transport choices which give people the option to avoid sitting in traffic should they wish to ride a bike or read transportblog on the bus.

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