We try to stay abreast of most developments in street redesign around Auckland so we can best represent people on bikes when it comes to reshaping our roads. And we pride ourselves on our collective expertise when it comes to spotting things that could be done better, to make the design safer for all road users.
As a volunteer operation, we pace ourselves and share the work, to make sure we don’t miss a trick. It’s often a challenge – but it’s why we’re here!
So, when a Devonport project belatedly came across our desks this week – the reshaping of the intersection of Victoria Rd and Calliope Rd as a roundabout – our committee member Steve Southall moved heaven and earth to make a submission in time.
You can read that submission below. As you can see, it was worth Steve burning the candle at both ends on this one!
(Breaking news: we now understand Auckland Transport has extended the consultation process to include more time and more stakeholders. Phew.)
18 September 2015
Cycle Action Auckland Submission – Calliope/Victoria intersection redesign
Thank you for the opportunity to review and submit on Auckland Transport’s proposed redesign of the Calliope / Victoria Rd intersection.
Cycle Action first submitted on this redesign in August 2014 when shown the roundabout concept designs by Wayne Lam (AT Senior Traffic Engineer). This submission should be read in conjunction with our previous submission, which described the current cycling environment and cyclist requirements in some detail.
In summary we were supportive of the roundabout redesign, but noted a number of opportunities for improvement.
A year has passed and AT has now completed the high level design (as per the graphic below – click to enlarge) and is seeking formal stakeholder feedback.
In summary, AT’s design consists of:
- A new concrete island roundabout
- A new zebra crossing on Calliope Road
- A raised zebra crossing on Victoria Road
- An onroad cycle lane on Victoria Road
- Re-marking the footpath along the southern side of the intersection as a shared cycle and pedestrian path.
Comment on the proposed design
Unfortunately the plan supplied doesn’t provide sufficient detail for us to fully assess the design. A key to line colour meanings, better descriptions, dimensions, larger size/resolution and cross-sections at critical points would have helped. Consequently we’d like to meet the design team to fully understand the design. The comments below should be interpreted accordingly.
1. Onroad cyclists The intersection is used by a large number of confident onroad commuter cyclists, primarily travelling on Victoria Rd. In general the single lane approaches and tight radii will serve to slow traffic to the point where confident cyclists can navigate the intersection without issue, noting:
- The southbound cyclist movement is contained within a separate lane, removing the need to give way to circulating traffic which is appreciated. It is implied but not clear what vertical level this lane is at (footpath, roadway, other?) and what type of protection is afforded from cars turning right from Calliope (raised kerb, flexiposts, armadillos, Riley kerbs, paint?). Clearly some level of protection is required to prevent motorists encroaching on the cycle lane as they execute a tight turn. We would likely suggest a mountable kerb as the best compromise very important: such a mountable kerb needs to be without a vertical lip section remaining at the bottom or it could become a hazard.
- What is also not clear is how a cyclist travelling east from Calliope will access this cycle lane. Will it have a mountable kerb, spaces within some form of physical protection, or will Calliope cyclists need to stay onroad until they reach the offramp? As above, a mountable kerb without any vertical lip would seem best, creating an ability to, if need be, enter and exit the cycle lane, without posing a collision hazard for bike tyres or being too inviting for drivers to cut on the turn.
- The cycle lane will require an aggressive nonslip surface. It will be possible for cyclists to be travelling at a reasonable speed downhill at this location, and a loss of control turning left on a slippery greened surface should be avoided at all costs
- All other onroad cycle lanes appear to have no protection, with just a painted line separating cyclists from motorists. While adequate a decade ago, design guidelines would now suggest some level of buffering and/or physical protection (as discussed above) to prevent motorists encroaching on the cycle lane. This is particularly important on bends where motorists often cut the lanes to facilitate higher speeds. As a case in point, the Victoria westbound approach cycle lane should be protected opposite Kerr St to both protect cyclists and reduce vehicle speeds at this problematic intersection. Again, a mountable kerb without vertical lip may be a good compromise also dealing with cyclists to and from Kerr Street. Alternatively, consider onroad protection with larger gaps.
- The concept design of a year ago introduced sharrows, which serve to indicate where a cyclist should position themselves onroad, and act as a visual reminder for motorists that cyclists can legitimately be expected in that location. Please consider whether sharrows would be suitable for northbound road cyclists in particular on the approach, to indicate to drivers that not all riders will use the shared path.
2. Pedestrians and offroad cyclists
The design appears to retain the good facilities proposed in the concept plans. However there are some significant differences:
- The zebra crossing across Calliope is well designed. It is properly positioned, and has good central refuge protection. However there is no westbound limit line shown for vehicles exiting the roundabout. The crossing should be ramped to ensure traffic crosses it slowly, given the volume of vulnerable pedestrians, especially Devonport Primary school children. Please consider a raised table.
- The zebra crossing on Victoria Rd to the north appears to be in the same position as the current crossing, while the concept plan had it closer to the roundabout. The concept plan is the better design, unless other unexplained factors strongly weigh against the older position. The crossing should be located approximately one car length from the roundabout, as per the Calliope crossing, with the final placement arrived at in conjunction with Devonport Primary so School Patrol safety and functionality is optimised. Having the crossing close to the roundabout will serve to reduce vehicle speeds at the crossing point, facilitate consistent motorist and pedestrian behaviour, and better match the desire line for pedestrians wanting to cross Victoria Rd at Calliope Rd.
Recommendations for improvement/scope increase
- Can the cycle lanes be extended up Victoria Rd further to the north? This is a key link in the Auckland Cycle Network, yet Victoria Rd, Albert Rd and the bottom of Lake Rd have no cycle facilities at all
- Can the cycle lanes be extended down Victoria Rd further to the south/east? In particular, the southbound cycle lane should be extended across Kerr St down to the zebra crossing to match the cycle lane on the other side
- While likely out of scope, the Victoria/Kerr intersection also needs attention. AT needs to review plans for this intersection, and ensure they are consistent and in sympathy with the Calliope/Victoria design.
- It’s not clear how the central island of the roundabout is to be constructed. Is the purple line a kerb line to a mountable apron? If so, what lip height? It’s important the lip is designed to the point where it discourages encroachment by cars, is highly visible and avoidable for motorcyclists, and is mountable for large heavy vehicles
- As the intersection represents the entry point to Devonport Village, consideration should be given to defining a 30kph zone from just north of the Calliope/Victoria intersection right through to the ferry terminal. This would also serve to slow traffic travelling downhill through the sharp corner at the Victoria/Kerr St intersection, and make the entire Village area more pedestrian and cycle friendly.
Cycle Action Auckland continues to endorse the broad thrust of the Calliope/Victoria redesign as a roundabout, and is encouraged by the design consideration that has thus far gone in to catering for cyclists and pedestrians.
However there are a number of issues with the design which we have noted, and would like to discuss with AT as the high level design is finalised.
Please continue to regard Cycle Action as a key stakeholder through this process. Thank you.
Cycle Action Auckland