St Lukes Road and Morningside Drive, Mount Albert - Intersection improvements St Lukes Road and Morningside Drive, Mount Albert - Intersection improvements

Proposal status: Construction

Reference number: MIP1718-030

April 2023 update

We are making changes to the intersection of St Lukes Road and Morningside Drive, Mt Albert, to improve pedestrian safety and access, while maintaining good traffic flow.

We will increase the size of the traffic island where pedestrians wait to cross the road and provide a wider raised crossing to the island.

Originally, this project was scheduled to be constructed in mid-May 2021, however it was delayed. Construction is likely to take two and a half months and be completed by July 2023.

The work we’re doing

We will:

  • Raise the existing zebra crossing to a wider speed table on the corner of 70 St Lukes Road. This speed bump will be raised by 70mm to the height of the footpath.
  • Upgrade the footpath on the corner of 70 St Lukes Road with tactile pavers, and yellow guidance paving markers to help visually impaired people find their way to the crossing and safely cross the road.
  • Install tactile pavers on the corner of 80 St Lukes Road.
  • Make it easier for larger vehicles to turn left from St Lukes Road onto Morningside Drive by widening the traffic lane. This requires upgrading and improving the traffic island, which is the raised platform in the road where pedestrians can wait to cross Morningside Drive.
  • Paint green boxes for cyclists before each traffic light.
  • Narrow two traffic islands in the middle of St Lukes Road.
  • Paint new road markings and install new signs to support the changes.

How this will benefit your neighbourhood

These changes will:

  • Slow motorists to a safer speed.
  • Provide a safer crossing location for pedestrians to access the mall and shops nearby.
  • Make crossing Morningside Drive more comfortable, as the zebra crossing would be raised to be level with the footpath.
  • Improve the safety of cyclists by making them more visible to drivers.

Safety is the goal

These changes support Tamaki Makaurau’s commitment to Vision Zero, an ambitious transport safety vision, with the goal of no deaths or serious injuries on our transport system by 2050.

This approach acknowledges that, as people, we all make mistakes, however a mistake should not mean that someone dies or is seriously injured on our roads.

It’s also an approach that values everyone using the road, not just those in vehicles. It is about caring for more vulnerable road users like people walking or cycling, children and the elderly.

Vision Zero is the international benchmark for transport safety.

Why the changes are needed

These changes are needed in order to create a safer walking environment for the whole community, including children from the near-by school.

Raising the zebra crossing will also calm vehicle speeds, and thereby help protect more vulnerable road users whilst still maintaining the left-turn slip road.

Increasing the island size is essential as in its current state it does not provide enough space to meet the pedestrian volumes of the area.

Proposal outcome

This project will proceed with minor changes to the next stage of detailed planning. Thank you to everyone who submitted feedback. A summary of this feedback and answers to community questions and concerns is below.

We will be installing Advanced Stop Boxes on all major legs of the intersection.

Feedback received

  • Many respondents highlighted to us that a Red light camera is needed here and that red light running is a serious issue.
    The issue of red light running at this intersection will be forwarded to Police for their attention. We are also proposing a longer Mast Arm pole for the traffic lights on the eastbound leg of St Lukes Road to make it more conspicuous to oncoming traffic.
    We and the NZ Police strongly support the use of red light cameras as an effective and efficient safety tool at high-risk intersections. The sites where these cameras are currently installed are large urban intersections with significant traffic volumes, where significant safety issues are evident and the severity of crashes is unusually high, they have also been assessed using Ministry of Transport and NZ Transport Agency criteria. Currently the intersection of St Lukes and Morningside Drive does not meet that criteria.
    However, as a result of the community feedback we received we are currently investigating the intersection for the installation of a Red Light Running Analytics camera. Whilst these cameras do not currently have an enforcement effect they do provide an valuable insight to the levels of red light running at the intersection. This data is then used so that we can introduce additional ways to prevent these issues for example changes in light signal times.
  • We received requests for further improvements to facilities for people on bikes in the area, and suggestions such as:
    • Additional Advance Stop Boxes (ASB).
    • Improvements to St Lukes Road cycle routes.
    • Linking the ASB up with the cycleway that runs N/W of New North Road and continue east through Sandringham.
    • Removal of the median island and install a cycle lane.
      We will incorporate new Advanced Stop Boxes on the main legs of the intersection as part of the design. We recognise that St Lukes Road could benefit from further cycle facilities and plans to introduce these improvements as part of a future cycle route along the road will be open for feedback in 2019. The median island is required for improving safety by separating traffic coming from the opposite direction so its removal is not something we would consider.
  • Concerns over vehicles speeding here and suggestions to install speed calming measures.
    Our investigations have found that overall vehicle speeds along St Lukes Road are moderate when considering its high traffic volumes as an arterial road. Whilst it’s not our usual practice to install physical speed calming measures such as speed bumps on such road as to avoid causing issues for buses. We will however be passing these concerns of speeding onto the police for their attention.
  • Comments were made that inattention of all road users is the main cause accidents.
    We acknowledge that inattention can be a cause of crashes. This proposal aims to improve pedestrian safety through this intersection and a raised zebra crossing will encourage drivers to travel at safer speeds.
  • Requests that “No U-turn” signs are erected at the intersection to prevent cars from causing hazards.
    Our investigations have found there to be no recorded U-turn related crashes at this intersection in the last 5 years. As a result there does not appear to be a significant safety issue with U-turn movements here and so we won’t be installing these signs here.
  • Request that non-resident cars are prohibited from turning off St Lukes Road onto Morning Star Place’s private roundabout in order to perform a U-Turn, it was also commented that the speed limit is 10kmp here but those cars will travel at 30k.
    Banning right turn into Morningstar Place is not a workable option, as determining whether a vehicle is non-residents or residents is not possible all year round.
  • Request for more supervision in this area, e.g. a traffic department - officials on motor bikes whose presence would deter dangerous driving behaviour.
    We will be bringing these safety concerns and comments on dangerous driving that the community have highlighted to the attention of Police. Alongside this if you notice or witness dangerous driving you can also take that matter to the attention of Police.
  • Multiple requests for improved pedestrian facilities for those who come out of St Lukes to go to the bus stops on Morningside Drive.
    The current project will improve pedestrian crossing facilities across the slip lane. With the expected expansion of the St Lukes Mall there will be a future proposal to signalise the Exeter Road intersection with a pedestrian cross walk across Morningside Drive. This would create a safer crossing for pedestrians.
  • Suggestion that a pedestrian refuge is needed where the buses stop due to the increase in public transport use in the area.
    We believe that the existing crossings available either side of the bus stops on Morningside Drive provide safe and accessible points for people to cross the road to get to the buses.
  • Concern that there is no safe footpath from the bus stop of pedestrian access to the mall on Morningside drive at all.
    The pedestrian access at the Mall is private property and as a result we do not have the ability to implement improvement works here.
  • Concerns over priority given to vehicles at driveways such as the ones at St Lukes mall, the petrol station and others in the area.
    Pedestrians do have priority to continue on the footpath at a vehicle crossing, all drivers should be aware of this as it is part of the New Zealand Road Code.
  • Suggestion that more attention is needed further up Morningside Drive near the mall entrances.
    There will be a future proposal for the intersection of Exeter Road with Morningside Drive to be signalised with a pedestrian crosswalk across Morningside Drive. This will provide the second crossing as requested.
  • Suggestion that the pedestrian crossing methodology should be changed to a Barnes Dance such as the Mount Albert Shops solution.
    Barnes Dance phasing is provided at pedestrian crossings with consistently high demand for crossing on all the legs of the intersection. Here the crossing demand is not high and hence, Barnes dance is not recommended.
  • Concern that the intersection is still dangerous for people walking and that the changes won’t improve overall pedestrian safety enough.
    This project aims at improving the pedestrian facility across the slip lane and we expect that it will improve the safety of pedestrians there. As noted above there are future proposals in around the mall at the Exeter Road intersection which will further improve the safety of pedestrians.
  • Suggestion that the traffic lights of Morningstar Place need longer times to clear the queues.
    Morningstar Place is a minor leg and the main route gets most green as per usual practice.
  • Suggestion that the traffic light (for pedestrians) needs to be set to allow traffic to proceed when there are no more pedestrians, before changing to green. (such as in UK etc). And a further suggestion that this feature should be available on all pedestrian traffic lights nationwide, and would not compromise the safe and efficient use of the transport corridor.
    We have discussed these comments and suggestions with our traffic signalisations team and this is already provided at these lights.
  • A comment was made that there is a major gas main under the inside west-east lane of St Luke's Road adjoining the present island.
    This will be taken care of in the detailed design stage.
  • Concern that regardless of public feedback no changes will be made.
    We take public feedback seriously and pay due attention to any issues raised.
  • Concern about the painting of the crossing and the slip-risk when there is wet weather due to respondent having been injured after slipping at the raised painted crossing at Westfield St Lukes.
    We take care to make sure that our crossings are painted in such a way that they are safe to use all year round regardless of the weather. After investigations into the area we believe that the crossing referred to is within the Westfield St Lukes property and is in fact theirs. If this is not the case, and it was on an Auckland road then please contact us again so we can investigate the crossing further.
  • We received requests for improvements to the bus stop near the St Lukes Road/New North Road intersection and services in the area as well as improvements to the training of bus drivers.
    We are continually working towards improvement of bus routes in the network and this area. We have raised the issues and suggestions regarding the bus stop at the St Lukes Road/New North Road intersection with our bus team for their attention and investigation.