Thursday 05th November

Deadline for feedback on Devonport roundabout

Where: TBD
When: TBD

Auckland Transport are proposing to redesign the Victoria Rd/Calliope Rd intersection in Devonport as a roundabout, and are seeking public feedback (due date is Thursday 5 November).

You can read all about it on AT’s website, but here’s what the new design looks like:

Proposed roundabout at the Victoria/Calliope intersection (click to enlarge)

We first blogged on this back in September last year, and then recently we posted Cycle Action’s hastily constructed submission, only to find later the closing date for submissions had been extended.  Thanks AT!

What this means is that if you live in or cycle through Devonport, you still have an opportunity to have your say, and we’d encourage you to do so.

Now, we’re not going to tell you what to say, but we will tell you what we do and don’t like (and what we’re ambivalent on).  Feel free to pick up on these points and include them in your own feedback if you wish.

What we like

  • AT acknowledging the intersection is dangerous, especially for cyclists and pedestrians, and committing to doing something about it
  • Designing a roundabout, including special features for cyclists.  While we’re normally cautious about roundabouts (especially big ones), this small one works, and will do a good job of slowing all motorists down to a safe speed
  • A dedicated cycle lane for southbound cyclists
  • Finally improving the lot of northbound cyclists by adding a cycle lane and removing car parking approaching the intersection
  • Off-road facilities for less confident cyclists.

What we’re uncertain about, as cyclists

Putting our pedestrian hat (helmet?) on:

  • We think the Victoria Rd zebra crossing should be closer to the roundabout (due to reduced vehicle speeds) so it’s similar in design to the Calliope zebra crossing.  But perhaps there are special factors (especially relating to Devonport Primary School children) that might suggest the current location?
  • We wonder: why not make the Calliope zebra crossing a raised crossing as well? This would help slow traffic, and make pedestrians more visible. Without a painted “limit line” on the road, the current design encourages cars to emerge from the roundabout onto Calliope Rd without expecting to slow down or stop.

If you know the area well as a pedestrian you should provide feedback on these points, and any others that catch your eye. By all means share your thoughts in the comments below, so others can benefit.

What more is needed

  • Whenever AT do an intersection redesign like this, the scope is always very tight – narrow, even.  We’d like to see them look at the big picture.  In particular, we know the Kerr St intersection is problematic, so why not address it at the same time by extending the cycle lane across it and otherwise improving it for pedestrians?  Even better, let’s look at Lake Rd and Victoria St through Devonport Village to the Ferry terminal. This is a crucial Auckland Cycle Network Connector. Much more could be done to improve cycling infrastructure and calm traffic through the Village.
  • We’d like to see physical protection for the cycle lanes to prevent motorist encroachment
  • We’d also like to see a non-slip surface for the southbound cycle lane
  • The design would also benefit from sharrows to remind motorists that confident on-road cyclists will be using and sharing the general traffic lanes as well. 

So hit the feedback link and let AT know what you think. Remember, remember, the 5th of November is the last day to weigh on in this one!

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Auckland Transport Infrastructure North Shore
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12 responses to “Devonporters – what’s your spin on the proposed new roundabout?

  1. I’m confused, there’s a tight intersection, but the design response is to throw in multiple grades of seperation and hope it all pans out?
    Wouldn’t it be a more effective use of the space to have a light controlled intersection with a Barnes Dance phase?
    The space currently given over to central islands could be reassigned to protected cycle lanes all the way to the stop lines.
    The cramped footpaths at the NW corner of Calliope/Victoria and along the south of Victoria could therefore avoid having shared use.
    The Barnes Dance could operate on pedestrian beg button & detection in the cycle lane, making the protected cycle lane practical even for right turning cyclists.
    On Belisha crossings, this one shares the Carrington Road design error, in which a crossing which is one piece at grade from the point of view of the pedestrian is bracketed by an island, making it look like a split crossing to the motorist. The result is that drivers are misled into thinking they can drive through when pedestrians are on the far side of the crossing.
    Bitty, half-baked, try again!

    1. Hi Jacob – you can make the suggestion to AT to signalise the crossing, but I suspect they would tell you traffic signals are only appropriate at much higher traffic volumes. We tried suggesting AT signalise the much busier Glenfield/Coronation intersection to make it safer for cyclists and pedestrians, but they weren’t interested.

      You make an interesting point regarding the give way rules at zebra crossings. The rule says “if there is a raised traffic island in the middle of the crossing, stop and give way to pedestrians on your half of the road”. So what’s a “raised traffic island”? A ramped pedestrian crossing? A pedestrian refuge? Please include this in your feedback too so AT can provide guidance on what the give way rules are for their proposed designs. Our colleagues in Walk Auckland might also like to take up this subject.

      Regards – Steve

      1. Thanks, Steve!

        I popped the feedback in as you advised.

        As I understand it, a ‘raised traffic island’ is one which takes the pedestrian up from the road grade. They clearly indicate to the pedestrian that the crossing is staged, because they must step down to the road grade at each section.

        The examples on Carrington road and in this proposal are traffic splitters or raised medians, since they are not in fact in the middle of the crossing, merely in the middle of the road. They are being used inappropriately; for cost savings, to create a more accessible crossing for pushchairs or wheelchairs and to slightly increase traffic flow by *informally* creating a split crossing. It’s a botch that favours motoring convenience over clear pedestrian protection.

        It’s worth remembering that people jogging, riding on scooters, heelies, skateboards, mobility devices and some bicycles are pedestrians, too (wheels smaller than 355mm). They have been led by the design to expect a one stage crossing and stand a good chance of being mown down if they attempt it.

        IMHO there’s no point settling for a bad compromise. If the junction has enough traffic to be worth re-modelling into a roundabout, but not enough space to make it convenient for pedestrians & cyclists, we should be looking for another solution. The AA already does a fantastic job at lobbying for the convenience of motorists.

        At least if you oppose a poor solution, you can’t be seen later as being complicit in it.

        1. Thanks for clarifying that, Jacob. So technically a level ramped crossing or one with a central pedestrian refuge still requires motorists to give way if a pedestrian is anywhere on the crossing. It’s only if there’s a step up/down from the central refuge that allows motorists to only give way on half the crossing. A bit subtle, and I’m sure most motorists don’t appreciate it. Useful to know.

          Meanwhile, we’ll keep you updated on any redesign AT makes as soon as we hear of it.

          Cheers – Steve

  2. I like this design and see why they want to put in a roundabout, it can be a bit risky with cars trying to find gaps.

    I agree that zebra crossing could move closer to the roundabout. I think it’s there because it’s currently there and no one has thought about spending the money to move it.

    I’m a confident on-road cyclist and I’d be tempted to use those zebra crossings and cyclelanes! Probably my biggest issue with the area is the end of lake road heading south where you lose the cyclelane and want to turn right at the roundabout…

  3. Some drivers can get quite aggressive towards cyclist that don’t use the shared/foot path provided. Paint sharrows on roads next to shared paths to reinforce cyclist right to use the road if that is the safest option for the cyclists and pedestrians. Agree move the pedestrian crossing closer to the intersection this will slow approach speeds as well improving safety. Have two pedestrian crossings if they’re needed at both locations.

  4. But the southbound cycle lane on Victoria IS protected, isn’t it? It clearly says “protected on-ramp”.

    1. Yes, but how is it protected? That is the question! AT don’t go into detail.

      Is the protection merely a bit of paint? Or is there some differential kerbing? Plastic posts? Armidillos? Riley kerbs? That was one of our complaints in our submission – insufficient design detail to make informed feedback.

      We think there should be some measure of physical protection to prevent cars encroaching on the cycle lanes, but also some permeability so cyclists turning right from Calliope can enter the Victoria St southbound cycle lane safely.

      Make the point to AT in your feedback as to what level of protection you think is needed.

      Regards – Steve

      1. Well there is a purple line on the outside, which is designated “new kerbline” in the legend, so I would think it’s clear that it will be a Copenhagen-style raised cycle track through the roundabout. I agree that a ramp at the roundabout would help access/egress for those need it.

        Where I’d be looking for additional protection via separators would be on the cycle lane opposite Kerr St; you just know that traffic will cut the corner otherwise. Something like these: http://cyclingchristchurch.co.nz/2015/08/06/return-to-chch-cycle-lane-separators-on-curves/

        1. Thanks Glen. We went into this in a bit more detail in our submission as it wasn’t clear from the plans what vertical separation constituted this kerb. We made the recommendation that a mountable kerb without any vertical lip would be best for cyclists, but would this be sufficient to deter encroachment by motorists – especially those executing a sharp right turn out of Calliope and possibly running wide? Anything else needed? And yes, like the idea of the plastic flexi-posts to protect the northbound cycle lane. Cheers – Steve

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