Proposal status: Feedback closed 22 December 2020
Reference number: NOP2021-021
We advised you in December 2020 that these changes were scheduled to be installed within the 2021 to 2022 financial year. Unfortunately, construction of this project did not go ahead due to the impact of COVID-19.
This project now has a construction target of around mid-May 2022.
Contractors will issue 48-hour notices to all affected residents prior to construction work.
In December 2020, we proposed changes to the hours of operation of the clearways on New North Road and improvements to safety by adding broken yellow line (no stopping at all times) on Richardson Road and at 3 crossings on New North Road. After reviewing all the feedback, we are proceeding with the work as proposed. These works will help support our Vision Zero goal.
What happens next
We anticipate the changes will be implemented in the next (21/22 financial year. We will be in touch with residents and business prior to any construction taking place.
Thank you for helping us make better decisions for your neighbourhood, informed by your local knowledge. A summary of your feedback and our responses to community questions is below.
- We received multiple requests and suggestions for a bigger overhaul of New North Road than this traffic improvement proposal allows for. Ideas included to change, add or remove broken yellow lines, improve bus and cycling facilities, ways to ease traffic congestion at school pick up and drop off times, suggestions to create low traffic neighbourhoods, introduce dynamic lanes and ways to meet Vision Zero and Sustainability obligations.
The focus of this project is to look at short term measures to improve traffic flow on New North Road, including for buses, and many of the suggestions are not within the scope of the current project. However, many of these options are being considered as part of the much larger New North Road and Symonds Street study. We are working with the community to investigate overall improvements to the New North Road corridor which aim to include improvements for buses, walking, cycling and road safety. The New North Road and Symonds Street project team are engaging with the public and more information is available on the project website ( https://at.govt.nz/projects-roadworks/new-north-road-and-symonds-street-upgrade/ )
It is important that the community voice is heard, and all feedback we have received as part of this consultation, for extending the operating hours of the clearway, has been forwarded to the New North Road and Symonds Street study team for consideration.
- Multiple concerns that the increase in clearway times will negatively impact businesses at the Mount Albert shops due to parking being restricted.
We have taken care to design the sections of the westbound clear way so that extended operating hours begin west of Mt Albert Town Centre. We believe that the time changes on this side of the street, beginning west of the shops, should not affect businesses.
For the city-bound direction, we studied the parking demand within the town centre. Results showed that demand is relatively low between 9am and 10am due to the type of businesses along the northern side of the street. The few vehicles that do park in this location between 9am and 10am disrupt city bound traffic. Alternative parking for people who wish to park here is available within the nearby off-street carpark. Our observations show that there is capacity here between 9am and 10am. Also, a signalised pedestrian crossing is nearby that would enable visitors to park on the south side of the street and safely cross the road to the northern side of New North Road. After 10am shoppers will be able to park on either side of the street, as they do now.
- Suggestions that the change in times is not needed as there is no traffic after 9am or after 6pm.
Our monitoring of the clearway indicates that congestion still occurs after 9am and after 6pm. Vehicles park on the street immediately after the existing finish times of the clearways and this does not help ease the congestion. So, while traffic volumes do drop after 9am and 6pm, the volumes are still sufficiently high that parked vehicles affect the flow of traffic along New North Road. For example, in the evening peak period the traffic volumes in the 6pm-7pm period fall by just 12% compared to the hourly traffic volumes in the 4pm to 6pm period.
- Suggestions to amend the times of the clearways further:
- Increase proposed times to 3pm – 7pm (in part to capture the school closing times)
- Reduce proposed times to 9.30am – 6.30pm
- Extend the clearway in front of the Mt Albert shops in the evenings.
AT extends and standardises the times of clearways and priority lanes across the road network as routes are reviewed and demands require. Many restrictions across the city have been, or will be, changed to end at either 10am or 7pm. Although there would be benefits to traffic flow, the south side of Mt Albert Town Centre will not have the clearway extended, or the times of operation changed, due to the impact of parking removal on businesses at the time proposed. The clearway will start to the west of the town centre for the same reason.
- Concern there will be confusion with the new times as other clearways close by start at a different time.
AT has many clearways across the network that operate at different times. Whilst we do make changes to make operating times more consistent, there are still areas where local requirements must be considered.
In this case, the amended times are consistent over a significant length of New North Road, except for the westbound direction between Mt Albert Town Centre and the clear way west of the town centre. We are not going to change the times of the clear way in the town centre during the evening peak due to the potential impact on businesses there. We do not consider that the changes will cause confusion, as most drivers are commuters who use the route regularly. Clearway operating times will be clearly displayed on signs at regular intervals along New North Road.
- Request for better enforcement of the clearways.
AT monitors the operation of road corridors through a network of cameras, vehicle patrols and responses to public notification of vehicles parked in clearways. If you see illegal parking behaviour, the most effective way to address it is to report the problem when it is happening. Please contact our Parking Compliance Team on (09) 355 3553 if you see an illegal parking issue. We will dispatch a parking warden to the location as we can only act against an illegally parked vehicle if one of our wardens witnesses the offence.
- Concern that widening footpaths and narrowing wider roads does not ease traffic.
We are not proposing to alter footpaths or traffic lanes widths along New North Road as part of the clearway changes.
- Concern that it is difficult to get out of driveways on New North Road at peak time.
We acknowledge that that it can be difficult to exit driveways at peak times due to high traffic flows along arterial roads, such as New North Road. Gaps where drivers can enter the traffic stream are created by the operation of traffic signal intersections. Where there is a flush median in the centre of the road, the Road Code recommends turning right in two stages, first by turning into the flush median and then second by entering the traffic lane when it is safe to do so. This means that drivers only must give way to one direction of traffic at a time, thus making it safer and easier to turn right.
- Concern that these changes will just move traffic issues onto other side roads in the area.
The clearways will remove parking on New North Road for two additional hours per day. Most properties along New North Road have one or more off-street parking spaces or garages and we expect people who currently park on-street in the evening would change to parking in the property instead. Some drivers may prefer to park on side roads, but we expect these numbers are likely to be small.
- Multiple concerns that the signalised crossing on Woodward Road will slow traffic unnecessarily.
In our research for the proposal, we modelled the effects of signalisation of the slip lane on Woodward Road. The results did not show any change in the delays at the intersection as the volume of traffic turning left through the slip lane is small. Also, the slip lane is short and access to it is blocked when there are two or more vehicles waiting at the lights, meaning it does not help more cars get through the intersection. Because of this, we do not expect the new signals to make a difference to traffic flow at the intersection.
- Multiple requests for the tree on Woodward Road to not be removed.
The proposal design aims to retain and trim the titoki tree. If keeping the tree is not possible, the options are to either relocate the tree or plant two, smaller replacements trees. Currently the tree blocks visibility to the primary traffic signal on the Woodward Road approach and it is also starting to overhang the through traffic lane. Independent of the changes to the intersection, we do need to trim the tree to provide clearance to vehicles and to improve visibility to the traffic signals.
- Multiple requests for the slip lane on Woodward Road to be removed as it’s dangerous.
We did consider removing the slip lane. However, a large radius is required for the left turn from Woodward Road to New North Road because of the angle of the intersection and the need to allow enough space for large and over-dimension vehicles to turn left. Traffic lights at the slip lane mean it will operate as part of the intersection; the left turn movement will be controlled with the Woodward Road through and right turn movements. A signalised crossing facility will also make it safer for pedestrians to cross the road.
If the slip lane was removed, we would also need to re-align the pedestrian crossings on Woodward Road and the eastern leg of New North Road. This would make the pedestrian crossings very long to cross over and would make the intersection extremely large. We considered that keeping the slip lane and installing a signalised crossing was the most appropriate option.
- Request for speed bumps on Woodward Road to reduce driver speeds.
A 7-day traffic count we conducted in September 2019 recorded the speed of vehicles on Woodward Road between Jersey Avenue and Harbutt Avenue. The survey recorded the 85th percentile speed to be 34.7km/h, which is well within the 50km/h speed limit. This data does not suggest that speeding is an issue on Woodward Road.
Mt Albert Road / Carrington Road / New North Road Intersection
- Multiple concerns about the changes made to the intersection and the impact it has had, including increased congestion. Multiple requests to change the traffic light phasing and lane layout as delays are caused by cars queuing to turn right from New North Road onto Mount Albert Road and those wanting to travel straight ahead.
We have been monitoring the operation of the intersection, and the right turn from New North Road to Mount Albert Road. The right turn lane was removed as part of the town centre improvements, but the right turn movement was still permitted after feedback from the consultation requested this. Monitoring has shown that at peak times, particularly the morning peak, the number of drivers turning right is low.
We have developed some changes to improve the traffic signal phasing and address some safety concerns that have been raised. We expect to introduce the changes by the end of June 2021 and the intersection will continue to be monitored.
- Suggestions that 'Keep Clear' road markings are added on New North Road by the entrance to the Ray White car park (923 New North Road). Many vehicles use this car park however queuing at the traffic lights at New North Road / Mount Albert Road / Carrington Road intersection creates delays for drivers attempting to enter and exit the car park.
We consider that installing Keep Clear markings at the car park entrance could result in safety issues. Right turning vehicles from New North Road into the car park must turn across two lanes of traffic. This can result in restricted visibility to the kerbside lane for turning drivers because of the queued vehicles in the adjacent lane. Whilst the right-hand lane may be stopped, vehicles in the kerbside lane may still be moving as vehicles are able to turn left into Carrington Road when the through movements are stopped. Therefore, a right turner may come into conflict with a vehicle in the kerbside lane. This could be particularly serious for a motorcyclist or cyclist. For these reasons we do not propose to install a Keep Clear marking at this location.
- Requests more parking be made by Mt Albert shops. Suggestions include spaces be created in front of the old work and income building at 945A New North Road and on the opposite side in front of 990 and 994A New North Road.
We restrict parking at 945a New North Road to provide both a good view of the road for people crossing at the pedestrian refuge island and to the main traffic signal pole at the signalised mid-block pedestrian crossing. A single car park is available to the east of the refuge island outside of the morning peak clear way operating times. Also, an off-street carpark is available on the opposite side of the road. A signalised pedestrian crossing is provided next to the car park to help people to cross the road.
We restrict parking at 990 and 994A New North Road to give people crossing the road at the pedestrian refuge a clear view of the road. We reviewed the restrictions and one additional car park could potentially be added west of the refuge island. However, a large street tree would make access for passengers difficult and parked vehicles would narrow the road for large vehicles travelling past the refuge island. For these reasons, we do not plan to make changes to the broken yellow lines to create an additional on-street parking space.
- Concern that footpaths in the area are in very bad repair, particularly by the flats by 1223 New North Road and down to Soljak Place.
We have forwarded your concerns to the Maintenance team who will review and prioritise this request.
- Concern that the connection between the track coming out on Soljak Place and Alan Wood Reserve is not clear.
We have reviewed the connection between Soljak Place and Alan Wood Reserve and consider that the footpath markings (coloured surfacing and painted markings) together with the Shared Path signs provides a clear indication of the route for cyclists. We have used the same coloured surfacing along the Waterview shared path and believe that people cycling are likely to be familiar with these visual cues for the route.
We do note that the shared path sign facing Soljak Place, on the corner of New North Road and Bollard Avenue, is obscured by the adjacent traffic signals. We have suggested that the appropriate team relocate the sign to make it more visible to cyclists and pedestrians travelling towards Alan Wood Reserve from Soljak Place.
Parking Removal / Broken Yellow Lines
- Concern with the parking removal near Bollard Ave as many new apartments don't provide parking and it is already very congested.
We are removing parking by the refuge between 1250 and 1221 New North Road so people can cross the road safely. Currently, drivers can park vehicles across the kerb ramps for the refuge island which prevents access to the crossing point. Lack of access is a concern for people on mobility scooters or wheelchairs and people with push chairs. Parked cars also stop people crossing the road and car drivers from seeing each other. We consider that the removal of parking is necessary for the safe operation of the crossing point.
- Request to remove the single park outside 882 New North Road at the medical centre. This single park causes the approach to the Mt Albert Road shops lights to effectively become one lane which is very problematic during rush hours.
The car park at 882 New North Road is conveniently located for the medical centre. Whilst not for its exclusive use, it has a P30 time restriction which encourages turn-over of the space. There is a clear way restriction that applies to the space during the evening peak period (4-6pm) on weekdays. This is when two lanes on the approach to the Mt Albert Road intersection is needed most. We have investigated the operation of this car parking space several times and we have not observed congestion. Therefore, we will continue to retain this parking space.
- Request that parking be removed along one side of McLean Street. Commuters park there during the day and create effectively a one-way street. There is a school and a new development on this street.
McLean Street is 7.1m wide and is not considered a narrow road. Removing parking here is likely to displace parked vehicles onto adjacent streets and is likely to impact parking availability at school start and finish times. Parking along a street acts as natural traffic calming by reducing vehicle speeds and with a single lane, drivers need to give way to each other. Driveways along the street provide the opportunity for cars to pass each other. At this stage, we do not propose to make any changes to the parking on McLean Street.
- Request broken yellow lines between 1197 and 1205 to make exiting driveways easier.
The main factor affecting people exiting driveways here is lack of visibility to the west of the driveways, which is restricted by the angle of New North Road. Therefore, we do not propose to make any changes to the existing broken yellow lines at this location.
- Concern that side streets are too narrow for parking on both sides, as well as 2 lanes of traffic.
Many roads are not wide enough to allow parking on both sides and two-way traffic flow, particularly on residential roads. Parking along both sides of a street acts as natural traffic calming by reducing vehicle speeds and with a single lane, drivers need to give way to each other. If there are specific locations where this has become a problem, please call the AT Customer Contact Centre on (09) 355 3553 and we will investigate.
- Concern that the project team is not aware that Hendon Ave has been closed since March 2020 which is causing more congestion from New North Road to Richardson Road.
Hendon Avenue was closed temporarily, and it is now open to traffic. We expect that in time traffic conditions will return to those prior to the closure of Hendon Avenue.
- Requests that the lane marking on Richardson Road be reviewed as drivers can be held at the intersection for two or three light phases before a turn. Very little traffic turns right onto New North Road, but a large volume turns left or go straight ahead. Suggestion that the two lanes be a right turn / straight ahead lane, and then a left turn lane as the straight through traffic can block the left turning traffic and left turning traffic gets blocked by the pedestrian crossing. Requests for the arrow configuration be changed back to how it was earlier in the year.
We reviewed the layout of lanes on Richardson Road when developing the proposal. The main factor affecting the operation of Richardson Road is the operation of the level crossing on Woodward Road. When the level crossing barriers are down, traffic quickly queues back to the intersection and prevents Richardson Road through traffic from proceeding. Trains often approach in close succession which makes the problem worse. The current lane arrangement allows vehicles to turn right when the straight-ahead movement cannot happen. Moving the through movement into the right turn lane will result in both right turning and through traffic being affected when the level crossing barriers are down.
With the previous lane configuration, right turning drivers were observed driving on the wrong side of Richardson Road to turn right onto New North Road. This created a safety hazard as left turning traffic from New North Road into Richardson Road can turn and potentially hit another car on the wrong side of Richardson Road. For this reason, we will not revert the Richardson Road lane configuration to the previous layout.
- Concerns that McLean Street and Allendale Road are being used as a rat run, especially in the morning and that McLean Street has not been included in the traffic calming measures being implemented on Allendale Road and others.
AT is working to reduce unsafe speeds on Auckland’s roads. However, McLean Street has not been identified and prioritised in the first group of areas within the Residential Speed Management Programme. Other areas in the region experience higher speeds and pose a greater safety risk.
- Concern about speeding on New North Road.
We are committed to improving safety for all road users and this includes reducing driver speeds. The nature of New North Road can lead to some drivers exceeding the speed limit. We work with the police to identify locations where speeding is an issue and where appropriate provide enforcement. AT is currently investigating overall improvements to the New North Road corridor which will includes road safety. Issues such as speed will be examined as part of that programme of work.
- Concern that cars are being prioritised over other road users, when we should be encouraging active modes and public transport.
The focus of this project is to look at short term measures to improve traffic flow on New North Road and the changes should also benefit buses and cyclists. The removal of parking for an extra hour in the peak periods will reduce congestion and improve reliability for buses as they would no longer have to overtake parked vehicles. On-road cyclists will also benefit from not needing to overtake parked vehicles.
- Concern that the aerial image is out of date and that the design was planned a year ago prior to new apartments without parking being built on the corner of Bollard Ave and at #1129-1133, which will impact traffic flow and parking.
We have used the most up to date aerial photograph available for the consultation material. We are also aware of the various apartments that have been constructed on New North Road. The effects of these buildings on traffic and parking would have been assessed as part of the resource consent for the project.
The focus of this project is to look at short term measures to improve traffic flow on New North Road. We only extending the time of existing clearway restrictions and are not introducing new restrictions. The extended clearway times will help keep traffic flowing at peak times by preventing parking.
- Concern about the location of the bus stop by 1095 New North Road. It is difficult to enter and exit the driveway at 1095 New North Road, due to queuing at the lights and buses parking across the entrance. Suggest the bus stop should be moved closer to the lights.
We acknowledge that a bus in this bus stop may impede access to this property, however, buses will only be stopped for a relatively short period of time before moving on. The location of the bus stop is balanced between providing for the operation of the intersection, we need to allow for vehicles to enter the kerbside lane, and for visibility to the traffic signals and the effect on vehicle access to properties. Whilst physically there is scope to move the bus stop closer to the intersection, this would reduce visibility to the traffic signals when a bus is in the bus stop which is a safety issue. This is the case for pedestrians crossing Woodward Road, where left turning vehicles are held back to allow people to use the crossing. Should a vehicle turn left at a red signal as the driver did not see the red signal, this could result in a pedestrian being injured. For these reasons we do not plan to make any changes to the bus stop location.
We're proposing improvements in your area
Aucklanders have told us that moving around our city safely and easily is important to them. We are proposing some improvements to your area and are asking for your views. We would like to improve traffic flow in the morning and evening peak times by increasing the hours of operation of the clearways on New North Road and by adding broken yellow line (no stopping at all times) on Richardson Road. We would also like to improve pedestrian safety at 3 crossings on New North Road.
The changes we are proposing
- Increase the clearways’ hours of operation by an additional hour on New North Road between Blockhouse Bay Road and Carrington Road.
- Eastbound clearways: 7am to 10am (currently 7am to 9am).
- Westbound clearways: 4pm to 7pm (currently 4pm to 6pm).
- Extend the broken yellow lines (no stopping at all times) from 7 to 9 Richardson Road.
- Add pedestrian crossing traffic signals at the left turn slip lane from Woodward Road to New North Road.
- Paint new road markings to support this crossing.
- Trim the Tītoki tree on the grass berm at the slip lane to improve visibility for both drivers and people crossing.
- For safety and clear visibility, it may be necessary to remove this tree however we will make every effort to retain it.
- Add broken yellow lines at the crossing outside 1250 New North Road. This will remove 10 on street parking spaces. The broken yellow lines will be painted:
- from 1225 to 1221 New North Road
- from 1246 to 1250 New North Road.
- Extend the existing broken yellow lines at the crossing outside 1056 New North Road. The broken yellow lines will be extended to 1052 New North Road. This will remove 1 on street parking space.
Auckland Transport would like to work with you to deliver safer roads in your neighbourhood. On-going monitoring of our road network has shown us that there is still significant congestion after 9am eastbound and 6pm westbound on New North Road. The increase in the hours of operation of the clearways aim to reduce congestion and speed up travel times by maintaining 2 lanes of traffic in the peak direction of flow in the morning and in the evening. This will also help make travelling by bus faster and more reliable at these times.
Parking restrictions are proposed on the Richardson Road approach to the intersection. Currently drivers queuing for the through and left lanes are blocking access to the right turn lane. Some drivers turning right are travelling onto the wrong side of the road to access this turn. The additional broken yellow lines aim to improve driver safety in the approach to this intersection.
The signalisation of the crossing on the slip lane on Woodward Road will improve the safety of people crossing at this location. It is also necessary to remove some on street parking to improve safety and accessibility for people crossing the road at the existing crossings at 1056 and 1250 New North Road. We understand removing parking can be inconvenient, so we have minimised the removal whilst maintaining clear visibility between approaching drivers and people at the crossings.
What happens next
- We’ll consider all the feedback we receive, and then decide the best way to move forward.
- We’ll post the outcome of this proposal and a summary of community feedback on this webpage.
- We can email you the proposal outcome as soon as it’s ready – just select that option when you fill in the survey.
- This proposal is supported by the Auckland regional fuel tax.
- Eastbound clearways: no parking will be permitted Monday to Friday 7am - 10am where clearway restrictions apply
- Westbound clearways: no parking will be permitted Monday to Friday 4pm - 7pm where clearway restrictions apply
Mount Albert: 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 New North 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).