Tamaki Drive works I – Vale / Cliff Road & Kohimarama Road

Over the next days, CAA will do a series of 4-5 blog posts with details about the safety works Auckland Transport is planning on Tamaki Drive this winter. After Easter, Cycle Action will provide input to Auckland Transport about these designs (some of which CAA has already been involved in developing). Please feel free to contact us (preferably in the blog post comments) to give us your opinion on these works, and what we should be raising about them with AT.

We will discuss the works from east to west (more or less, some may be slightly out of order), and therefore this first post will be about the proposed works at Vale Road / Cliff Road intersection in Saint Heliers, as well as about Kohimarama Road.

[Click through twice on the plan screenshots to see large-scale images.]

Vale Road / Cliff Road (link at Google Streetview)

This dual intersection located just east of the Saint Heliers shops is what traffic engineers call “staggered”, with two t-intersections on opposite sides just shortly after another. While not having the appearance of a particularly dangerous intersection, it was the location of one of the more serious crashes of recent years, when a motorist drove straight into a group of cyclists riding on the main road. While the intersection layout does not seem to have been at fault as far as we are aware, it is still good that some works are happening here.

 Proposed Auckland Transport works:

  • Raising the intersection onto a speed table – the whole road section, including the first parts of the side roads, is to be raised onto a higher level, probably to somewhere halfway between the current road level and the footpath level
  • Some of the wider turns are going to have the footpaths built out wider into the road to make it harder to turn at speed

 Some comments CAA is likely to make:

  • Overall, a very welcome design – the changes are going to ensure motorists will move slower through the intersection, and it also nicely indicates the start of the more populated shops area to the west – overall it should benefit pedestrians and cyclists nicely, without causing too much ire from motorists
  • We will look a bit more closely and discuss with AT to ensure that the build-out of the kerbs does not create pinch-points, especially into Cliff Road, and that the raised ramps do not create jarring for cyclists

Kohimarama Road (link at Google Streetview)

This t-intersection is a relatively stock-standard one, in more than one regard. It is also rather wide – and thus not particularly friendly to pedestrians wanting to cross it, while motorists are encouraged to sweep across the corner turns relatively fast.

 Proposed Auckland Transport works:

  • Adding a short westbound cycle lane
  • Adding a splitter traffic island on the Kohimarama Road approach
  • Kohimarama Road is changed to a “stop” control

Some comments CAA is likely to make:

  • While the cycle lane is short, it is still useful to highlight the presence and right of way of cyclists here for merging motorists
  • The splitter island is likely to make speedy turns / ignoring the stop control a bit less likely, and also helps pedestrians cross more easily
  • We will look a bit more closely at kerb-kerb widths to ensure no pinch points are created for cyclists coming from Kohimarama Road
  • We are considering whether to ask that such side roads should be built with a speed table (just across the side road, not over Tamaki Drive itself at this location, unlike in the Vale Road example above) to better control speeds and make it less likely that motorists will disregard the stop and give-way controls and thus pull out in front of cyclists
  • We are considering whether to ask for some parking removal in the top left hand corner (against the seawall) to ensure that motorists waiting to turn right do not create a pinch point for eastbound cyclists next to an eastbound motorist

So what are your comments? Are these designs missing anything crucial? Is there anything that needs to be modified to ensure they perform well? Please provide us your responses in the comments of the post.

Tomorrow, we will be discussing the proposed changes at Auckland Road / Long Drive intersection, which is to see some quite significant modification.

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