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 works from east to west, and this 3rd post is all about the many different things planned to be done at Mission Bay.

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

Mission Bay (link at Google Streetview)

Mission Bay is arguably THE town centre of Tamaki Drive. Largest, most central – and busiest. Cars, buses, cyclists, pedestrians turning and flowing around in all sorts of directions and ways. One could hope that all that traffic would slow everything down to an unpleasant but safe crawl. However, Mission Bay has a relatively large amount of cycle crashes, many of them caused by car drivers parking/unparking or u-turning (i.e. colliding with cyclists when they should be giving way). There are also a few other issues, like cyclists running the zebra crossing in the bus bay north of Patterson Avenue, or safety issues at the various car park driveways.

For Mission Bay, the road safety audit following the Jane Bishop fatality – and the later walk-over of Auckland Transport and CAA – thus identified a number of issues. Subsequently, Auckland Transport is now proposing a wide variety of minor and some medium-sized treatments (not all of which we have plans here to show).

Proposed Auckland Transport works:

  • Near the eastern end of the Selwyn Reserve, the car park to the northern side of Tamaki Drive will have it’s entry and exits reconstructed.
  • The entry (shown in the plan at right) will have two kerb-buildouts narrow the bus bay egress, while making turns into the car park slower, further aided by a surface treatment / raised table where the entry goes across the walking / cycling path.
  • At the car park egress (not shown in plans) a new speed hump is to be built across the egress before motorists reach the path
  • Near the Melanesian Mission House (the heritage stone building in the western part of the beach reserve), some road and path markings will be updated to improve driver behaviour when exiting the car park there (this driveway already has a speed hump)
  • In the centre, at Patteson Ave / Tamaki Drive signals, advanced stop boxes are to be added on Tamaki Drive, with an eastbound feeder cycle lane starting across the bus bay entry (shown in 2nd plan at right)
  • Cycle Action is also pushing hard to achieve a westbound feeder cycle lane towards the Patteson Ave / Tamaki Drive signals, which would start from where the cycle lane currently disappears near Marau Crescent. This section also shows a lot of cycle crashes. While Auckland Transport promised to look at this, it was considered too difficult to assess the feasibility in time for the current works.

Some comments CAA is likely to make:

  • While all these works are beneficial on their own, we are concerned that overall, Mission Bay will remain a relatively inconsistent cycle environment, with an elevated number of crashes. To a degree, that’s unavoidable in a town centre with so many existing demands, short of a major, total street revamp. However, we need to acknowledge that a number of issues, especially westbound cycling through the eastern part of Mission Bay, will remain in need of improvement. We will continue to work with AT to search for a solution on a more consistent treatment here.
  • We are likely to seek some minor tweaks to the kerb-build-out and feeder cycle lane works, potentially to include asking for the eastbound cycle lane to be extended across the whole intersection on the northern side
  • As a somewhat connected matter, we would be keen to know what people think of the issue of cyclists riding eastbound through the zebra crossing – sometimes at speed and with insufficient regard for pedestrians – in the bus bay north of the Patterson Ave intersection (where, from memory, cyclists are not permitted to enter to start with). How frequent do you consider this issue, and what could be done to discourage this?

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 Kelly Tarlton’s where one tragic fatality started off the current round of safety improvements.

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