Proposal status: Feedback closed 24 July 2020, last updated 21 September 2020.
Reference number: NOP2021-003
In July 2020, we proposed changes in your area
To improve pedestrian safety and accessibility, we proposed changes to the layout of the intersection of Alpers Avenue, Great South Road and Manukau Road in Epsom. This included upgrades to the signalised pedestrian crossing over Alpers Avenue, and removing the left turn slip lane between Great South Road and Manukau Road.
Changes proposed on Great South Road
- Remove the left turn slip lane to Manukau Road by widening and reconstructing the footpath, and installing a berm (grass strip next to the road).
There is currently a lack of pedestrian facilities over the slip lane and these changes will allow people to cross the road in one go while being protected by traffic lights. There will also be more space when waiting to cross the road.
- Upgrade the existing pedestrian crossing with a streetlight, road markings and new tactile pavers, which are yellow guidance paving markers to help visually impaired people find their way to the crossing and safely cross the road.
- Install new signs advising of no left turn for large trucks onto Manuaku Road, as they will not be able to complete the turn.
- Add broken yellow lines (no stopping at all times) around the reconstructed footpath to formalise no parking on the corner of the intersection.
Changes proposed on Alpers Avenue
- Upgrade the existing pedestrian crossing by widening the crossing, removing the existing pedestrian island and widening the footpath. This will better accommodate the large number of pedestrians during school times, decrease the crossing distance and prevent people getting caught up at the pedestrian island.
- Replace the existing tactile pavers.
- Repaint broken yellow lines (no stopping at all times) around the widened footpath to formalise no parking on the corner of the intersection.
- Paint new road markings, resulting in Alpers Avenue becoming a 2-lane road at the entry. Along with the removal of the pedestrian island this aims to make traffic flow into the road more effectively and safely.
Additional proposed works include upgrading the existing pedestrian crossing with new tactile pavers and painting new road markings on Manukau Road and installing a new sign on St Marks Road.
These proposed changes are based on a traffic survey which indicated the level of service for pedestrians is below optimum for a town centre environment, and the facilities are insufficient for the high pedestrian demand at the intersection, especially during school hours.
This project is supported by the regional fuel tax.
Epsom: Safe with us
Auckland Transport cares for your safety. We want to make our roads safe for everyone, people walking and cycling, especially for our kids and senior citizens and people driving. Projects like this one around Great South Road are another step towards our goal of achieving no deaths or serious injuries on our roads. We are guided by the Vision Zero approach to transport safety, which prioritises human safety over other measures (like minor time saving).
COVID-19 has had a significant impact on AT and the wider Auckland Council whanau. As a result, Auckland Council is implementing an Emergency Budget which will reduce AT’s capital and operating budgets. This could mean this project is delayed. We will be in touch with you when we know more about how this project will be impacted by the current budget constraints. We thank you for your patience and understanding during this time.
Once the budget is confirmed, the proposal will proceed without changes to the next stage of detailed planning before being constructed.
Thank you to everyone who responded to our proposal and gave us the chance to better understand your community and concerns. A summary of this feedback and our responses to community questions and concerns is below.
- Request to adjust the light phasing/wait time for the pedestrian signals so pedestrians don't have to wait so long. The pedestrian crossing over Alpers Avenue will operate more frequently to cater for the major pedestrian flow at the intersection, and the signal frequency will be increased to minimise delays.
- Request for some form of bus priority to be included, particularly along the Manukau Road approach to the intersection, as buses often get held up here during the morning peak hours. This section of Manukau Road has not been identified as a high priority for bus treatment compared to other areas. No actions will be undertaken as part of this project, however we will monitor this site for the possibility of future upgrades.
- Queries why the proposal does not include a protected cycleway. This project is under the Network Optimisation Programme that is aimed for improving the performance for all road users based on existing facilities and to fill the gaps in between existing facilities, in this case the cycleways. Due to the lack of existing cycle facilities nearby that can be linked to the project area, it is not practical to include new cycleways as part of this project.
- Suggestions a Barnes Dance crossing should be considered, especially for peak hours (school start & end times). A Barnes Dance crossing (an intersection where all pedestrians can cross on all crossings at the same time and all vehicles must stop) was assessed in the early investigation. It was found that it would create significant delays to all road users and therefore will not be used.
- Concerns about the removal of the slip lane into Alpers Avenue from Broadway. Suggestion it will increase traffic and cars will have to share the current middle lane with other traffic which is not heading into Alpers Avenue. There is no current slip lane from Broadway into Alpers Avenue, all movements turning into Alpers Avenue are controlled by traffic lights. The current pedestrian island on Alpers Avenue causes confusion and has resulted in a number of near misses of vehicles hitting the island. It also hinders the crossing path that servers a large pedestrian demand crossing Alpers Avenue. Removing the island will greatly improve the operation for both traffic and people using Alpers Avenue and will not negatively affect the operation of the intersection.
- Concern about removal of the slip lane from Great South Road to Manukau Road. Many trucks make this turn and there are no alternative routes. This intersection is located at the verge of Newmarket town centre, where there are a significant number of pedestrians. The current slip lane from Great South Road onto Manukau Road serves around 700 pedestrian trips a day and yet has no crossing facility to cater for such a high pedestrian demand. The traffic island cannot contain the number of pedestrians waiting to cross the road during school hours. Therefore, it is necessary to remove the slip lane and upgrade the crossing for improving pedestrian safety and accessibility. Removing the slip lane will significantly improve safety and accessibility for pedestrian. Trucks that are 12.6m or less can currently complete the turn and this will remain even when the slip lane is removed. They will not be banned from turning left onto Manukau Road. The "No Large Trucks Turning Left" sign is only an advisory sign to warn trucks longer than 12.6m not to turn left as they would not be able to complete the turn properly, much like now. There are alternative routes for large trucks to get back onto Manukau Road by looping via Alpers Avenue, Gillies Avenue and Owens Road.
- Request to paint the left turn lane down most of Alpers Avenue (the clear way is long from 2pm to 7pm). There is no evidence suggesting the current left turn marking is insufficient and causing problems, and the traffic is already forming three lanes on Alpers Avenue during peak hours. As such, the lane marking down Alpers Avenue will not be extended as part of this project.
- Request to know what kind of information was used to work out this proposal. Based on intersection survey and site observation, there is huge pedestrian demand at this intersection and largely involves school students. There are over 1000 pedestrian trips being made over Alpers Avenue a day. The heavy pedestrian flow during school hours were observed over the crosswalk on Alpers Avenue and was delayed by the traffic island in the middle. As the island was considered unsafe for pedestrians, it was proposed to be removed and widen the crosswalk.
These works are planned between 2021 and 2022 subject to funding availability, but we will let you know if there are further changes or delays. Our contractors will send notices to affected residents 48-hours prior to construction starting.