It’s just over a month since we published our video and blog post highlighting the alarming situation on Tamaki Drive at Ngapipi Rd. As seen in the video, citybound bike folk on Tamaki Drive have to make fearsome hair-raising manoeuvres to get past the Ngapipi Rd intersection, across motorists exiting from Ngapipi Rd via the slip lane.

That video – and your vociferous feedback about it – was absolutely crucial in persuading Auckland Transport that an interim fix is urgently needed, in addition to the planned full signalising of this intersection.

The large-scale signalizing works need resource consent, which will be publicly notified soon. AT recognises that the work will focus attention on the current pinchpoint for cyclists at the Ngapipi Bridge. While that would be a separate project, AT has committed to solving the bridge issue as well – ideally at the same time as the signalising construction.

Tamaki Drive is the city’s busiest bike route, as well as a premier link between the gorgeous bays and town. We’re therefore relieved and delighted that AT understands the Ngpapipi Rd slip lane safety issues warrant interim works to slow traffic using the lane.  It has pulled out all stops to grab a contractor to start work on this interim work next week< (weather permitting)!  Anyone working in the construction sector knows this is no mean feat, given the huge pressure on civil works happening across Auckland. (Well done, AT!)

For the interim fix, the first step was to carry out speed surveys, which confirmed our empirical observations that most drivers barely slow down as they round the corner from Ngapipi onto Tamaki Drive. (And why would they, when the current road design doesn’t really encourage them to). Approaching the turn, the 85th percentile speed was 44 km/h (which means 15% of drivers were going even faster), and likewise, emerging onto Tamaki Drive, the 85th percentile speed was 43 km/h.

As the video shows, a citybound cyclist would need to pedal like billy-o in order to ‘merge like a zip’ under those conditions.

The interim plan to slow motorists down involves signage, rumble strips, paint, and specially triggered light studs on the road. Here’s a drawing – it’s a wee bit hard to read, so we’ll translate it for you below (you can also click to enlarge).

Tamaki_Ngapipi

  • Road markings will visually narrow the lane, including a new painted line near the curb and a 150mm strip of yellow paint on the approach to the corner, plus a wide red SLOW panel painted on the road.
  • The purple squares show rumble strips, of increasing size.
  • The circled numbers with an A (half-red circles on the inset) are ‘smart studs’ that will light up when a person on a bike approaches from the east. These are on the Ngapipi slip lane itself, and also in both right-turn lanes (from Ngapipi east onto Tamaki; and from Tamaki south onto Ngapipi). All of the lights will be triggered whenever a cyclist is approaching the intersection towards town.
  • There will also be a 25km/h advisory sign on the slip lane.

AT has also agreed to on-going speed monitoring and to work with us on additional speed reduction measures as needed to provide safety for cyclists using the intersection.

We’re impressed by AT’s collaboration on this project. Thanks also to all of you, again, for speaking up in such numbers.

Watch this space! It won’t look like the video below for very much longer…

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Tamaki Drive Traffic Calming
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9 responses to “Great teamwork! Improved safety soon at Ngapipi Rd/ Tamaki Drive!

  1. Wow. The interim measures sound good and the pace is amazing. Controlling the speed of vehicles entering the intersection should help make it more predictable.

  2. Of course AT should actually make Ngapipi a stop and give priority back to to whom it belongs i.e. cyclists travelling straight ahead.

  3. Actually, as shown in the image above, cyclists exiting the cycle lane to cross the vehicle lane from Ngapipi Road are supposed to Give Way to traffic exiting Ngapipi Road. Agreed, very few will do this, with most prepared to try merging. The solution being provided seems very much like killing an ant with a sledgehammer. And at some considerable cost. A much simpler solution, as mentioned by BBC, is a STOP sign for traffic exiting Ngapipi Road.

    1. But how many drivers will actually stop knowing that they can take the turning at high speed without having to slow down? Most good drivers will but its those bad drivers that don’t that could kill a cyclist.

  4. looks like a positive step, if you could work on the intersection of Gladstone Road with the Strand, that would be great. Turning right out of Gladstone Road towards Tamaki Dr can be a mission and is dangerous with the number of container trucks using the Strand.

  5. Great stuff. While I find keeping my (bike) speed up going through here heading west helps a good merge, it sure is long overdue for some safety improvements.

  6. Yeagh, looks awesome. The dark years when we had fickle cooperation from AT or back in the day Auckland City are past us. Deafness to clearly dangerous situations created the sort of conditions where accidents such as the one that took Jane Bishop. Then the unforgettable and repugnant finding that she caused her own death. I’m grateful we have such a constructive relationship with AT that we don’t need to reference these accidents to get heard.
    Seems like a great idea, I hope these flash new rumble strips and smart road features don’t make the road service slippery for a person on a bike riding along Ngapipi. Heard a few people hitting the asphalt at the moment as they come off on road markings in the wet.

  7. I’m one of the ‘warp factor 9 and merge easily’ types, but I don’t have to do it during rush hour. Wouldn’t it be great to have traffic lights there for vehicles but a bypass (overhead) for cyclists.

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