Devonporters – what’s your spin on the proposed new roundabout?

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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