Proposal status: Feedback closed 7 February 2022, last updated 4 April 2022
Reference number: RSU2021-063
In January 2022, we proposed changes to upgrade the existing pedestrian island to a signalised pedestrian crossing outside the Bruce McLaren Retirement Village on Chapel Road, Howick. 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 constructed in the 2022-2023 financial year. We will be in touch with local residents and businesses prior to any construction taking place.
Thank you for helping us make better decisions for your neighbourhood, informed by your local knowledge. Many respondents to the proposal expressed appreciation at the proposed changes and the importance of improved pedestrian crossing facilities at this location.
The following is a summary of your feedback and our responses to community questions.
- Concern that this project is unnecessary from a safety perspective
Our design team carried out a thorough investigation of the location, including a pedestrian crossing demand assessment and a review of the location’s safety record, before determining the proposed solution. The proposed crossing provides a safe facility for the local pedestrians and residents of Bruce McLaren Retirement Village to get to and from the nearby bus stops.
Elderly pedestrians are considered vulnerable road users and may find crossing at the existing uncontrolled crossing to be intimidating, which prevents them from accessing public transport.
- Suggestion to inform and encourage the community to use the pedestrian crossing at Kilkenny Drive and Chapel Road as opposed to building a new pedestrian crossing.
Kilkenny Drive crossing is located 300m from the proposed location and is therefore not a viable alternative for people with restricted mobility such as elderly pedestrians.
Alternative crossing location
- Request to move the proposed signalised pedestrian crossing down Chapel Road, so it is across from the entrance into Bruce Mclaren Retirement Village to assist vehicles turning in and out of the Village.
Our design team carried out thorough investigation and produced several design variations, before arriving at the proposed solution. Your request to signalise the vehicle crossing of Bruce McLaren retirement village with Chapel Road was considered.
The main criteria for signalising a main road with a side road is to evaluate the traffic volumes on main road and side streets, associated crash history and the level of service. Chapel Road carries approximately 21,000 vehicles per day which is considered ‘high’ as compared to few hundred vehicles coming out of Bruce Mclaren Village each day.
The Waka Kotahi crash database showed that there has been one minor injury crash related to turning out of Bruce McLaren Retirement Village in the past ten years. Based on this information, the signalisation of Chapel Road with the vehicle crossing to Bruce McLaren village is not justified at this stage.
Two of the criteria that we had to consider in determining the location of the pedestrian crossing are: location of the crossing relative to bus stops, and proximity to driveways.
While there are almost no driveways to the south-west of Bruce McLaren Retirement Village access, these are frequent to the north-east. Unfortunately, there is no suitable place within a reasonable distance of the existing crossing that would allow the placement of a signal crossing due to driveways on one or both sides.
Additionally, the proposed pedestrian crossing is intended to serve the nearby bus stops and is ideally placed between them as the safest route for pedestrians. If the crossing were to be moved from the proposed location, the bus stops would also have to be moved which would interfere with the existing driveways.
- Suggestion to reduce the speed limit on Chapel Road to 50km/h.
A proposal has been put forward to reduce the speed limit on Chapel Road to 50 km/h, and this is currently under investigation. It is expected that the consultation for speed limit change will occur in the first half of 2022.
Additional signage / road markings
- Request to install warning signs on either side of Bruce Mclaren Retirement Village advising of elderly pedestrians and to slow down.
Advance speed hump signs will be provided to inform drivers of the crossing. The signals will be also visible from distance, providing drivers with ample warning. With respect to enforcing slow speeds, the speed table is the most efficient means of doing so.
- Request to include road markings to prevent vehicles queuing across the Bruce Mclaren Village entrance when the lights are active.
The proposed pedestrian crossing is activated only if there is a pedestrian waiting; therefore, vehicles will be getting a green light the majority of the time. That means that the total time when traffic is stopped will be substantially smaller than would be the case of a regular intersection, and therefore we do not expect that queues of vehicles will frequently back up to the retirement village entrance. Consequently, we do not require a ‘keep clear’ marking. However, the location will be monitored after construction, and a marking will be included if it is justified.
- Concern that the pedestrian crossing will cause delays for emergency vehicles using Chapel Road at high speeds.
We are committed to the Vision Zero strategy to minimise death and serious injury to vulnerable road users including children, pedestrians, and people with disabilities. The proposed asymmetrical raised pedestrian crossing provides the safest outcome for these road users whilst reducing negative impacts on vehicles by only having one steep gradient change (on the approach side), after which vehicles can accelerate immediately down the shallower gradient (on the departure side).
In addition, we have opted for a shallower angle for the table that will cause less of a jolt when traversed. This layout has been implemented successfully at many locations in Auckland.
- Concern that the proposed pedestrian crossing will make it more difficult to enter and exit from Kilimanjaro Drive onto Chapel Road as traffic will back up at the lights. Concern that this will result in the intersection becoming more unsafe due to frustration at the difficulty using this intersection.
The proposed pedestrian crossing is going to be activated only if there is pedestrian demand, and vehicles will be able to continue at all other times. That means that the total time when traffic is stopped will be substantially smaller than would be the case for example for a regular intersection, and consequently long queues will rarely form, certainly not as far as Kilimajaro Drive.
- Concern that the raised pedestrian crossing will cause traffic congestion on Chapel Road.
The proposed pedestrian crossing is activated only if there is pedestrian demand; therefore, vehicles will be a getting green light the majority of the time. That means that the total time when traffic is stopped will be substantially smaller than would be the case of a regular intersection. With respect to the crossing being raised, we are committed to the Vision Zero strategy to minimise death and serious injury to vulnerable road users including children, pedestrians, and people with disabilities.
The proposed asymmetrical Swedish speed table (raised pedestrian crossing) provides the safest outcome for these road users whilst reducing negative impacts on vehicles by only having one steep gradient change (on the approach side), after which vehicles can accelerate immediately down the shallower gradient (on the departure side). In addition, we have opted for a shallower angle for the table that will cause less of a jolt when traversed. This layout has been implemented successfully at many locations in Auckland.
- Concern about the noise created by vehicles idling as they wait at the pedestrian crossing.
Our design team considered potential noise impacts of the proposal and concluded that any adverse effects will be minor due to infrequent activation of the crossing, a reasonable distance from adjacent properties, and open character of Chapel Road that will allow noise to disperse.
The proposed pedestrian crossing is going to be activated only if there is pedestrian demand, therefore vehicles will stop less frequently than would be the case at a regular intersection. The road has wide berms, especially on the southern side, providing a buffer to adjacent properties.
Alternative crossing design
- Suggestion to just use pedestrian-controlled traffic lights instead of a raised pedestrian crossing which will slow traffic even when there are no pedestrians using the crossing.
The design team carried out thorough investigation with several design variations and rounds of consultation before arriving at the proposed solution. Since Chapel Road is an arterial road with the speed limit in excess of 50 km/h, signal control is deemed appropriate.
Furthermore, we are committed to delivering the Vision Zero Strategy, which seeks to eliminate death and serious injuries on NZ roads. An important element of this strategy is to ensure that if a crash involving vulnerable users happens - for example due to a driver’s error or a pedestrian’s failure to follow traffic signals – it must be at survivable speeds of below 30 km/h. Therefore, a speed table is proposed as it is one of the most efficient means for reducing traffic speeds. We have however, opted for a shallower and lower speed table, recognising the importance of Chapel Road as a major vehicle traffic corridor.
- Request that the existing traffic islands on Chapel Road outside the retirement village are removed
We can confirm that the existing traffic islands will be removed before the new crossing is implemented.
- Request to leave the trees where they are.
The design team carried out arboriculture assessments before arriving at the proposed solution. The removal of two trees is necessary to ensure that the traffic signals are visible to drivers approaching the crossing. The proposed changes only impact the two least valuable trees, one of them an invasive species.
- Concern about an increase in the fumes and exhaust from vehicles idling at the proposed pedestrian crossing.
The design team considered potential air quality implications of the proposal, concluding that any adverse effects will be minor due to infrequent activation of the crossing, a reasonable distance from adjacent properties, open character of Chapel Road and its alignment relative to the prevailing wind direction that will allow exhaust fumes to disperse.
The proposed pedestrian crossing is going to be activated only if there is a pedestrian waiting to cross, therefore vehicles will stop less frequently than would be the case at a regular intersection. The road has wide berms, especially on the southern side, providing a buffer to adjacent properties. Furthermore, most modern cars are equipped with start-stop, hybrid, or electric motor technology, and do not produce exhaust gases when stationary.
- Concern that the pedestrian crossing will reduce the amount of space for vehicles to manoeuvre into the right-hand lane to turn into the Bruce McLaren Retirement Village which may increase the risk of an accident.
The proposed crossing has a similar arrangement to the existing pedestrian island (plus the raised table), so does not restrict vehicle manoeuvring any more than the existing arrangement. Furthermore, the overall safety will be increased by the slower speeds enforced by this proposed traffic calming measure.
- Concern that the raised pedestrian crossing will be unsafe to cross given the sloping sides.
The proposed crossing is located on the top, flat section of the speed table, which is 5 metres wide and has a similar crossfall to a regular footpath. For comparison, standard footpaths are between 1.3 and 2.0m wide, so the 5.0m wide pedestrian crossing provides a very wide area to recover one’s balance if a person was to slip. Furthermore, the approaches to the crossing will be substantially less steep than regular pram crossings, providing a flatter footing easier to navigate for people with mobility issues. This layout has been implemented successfully at many locations in Auckland.
- Suggestion to install a signalised pedestrian crossing at the intersection of Chapel Road/Kilimanjaro Drive to assist turning in and out of Kilimanjaro Drive.
This request is outside the scope of this project, but your comment will be passed on to the relevant team for investigation.
We're proposing improvements in your area
This area has a history of accidents, and we would like to make some safety improvements to enhance pedestrian safety on Chapel Road. We are proposing to upgrade the existing pedestrian island to a signalised pedestrian crossing.
We are proposing to:
- Upgrade the existing pedestrian island at 754 Chapel Road to a traffic light-controlled raised crossing, which is crossing on top of a wide, flat speed bump with a gently sloping exit. At both sides of the road, there would be a crossing push button that turns the traffic lights to red when people need to cross the road.
- Extend the kerb on either side of Chapel Road to connect the footpath to the crossing.
- Install tactile pavers on the footpaths, which are yellow guidance paving markers to help visually impaired people to find their way to the crossing and safely cross the road.
- Paint new road markings and install streetlights, signs, and orange reflective disks to support the new crossing.
- Paint broken yellow lines (no stopping at all times) on the north side of the proposed pedestrian crossing on Chapel Road. This will result in the loss of 3 parking spaces.
- Relocate two trees located on either side of the crossing.
Auckland Transport would like to work with you to deliver safer roads in your neighbourhood. The proposed crossing is located near the main entrance to Bruce McLaren Retirement Village and between a pair of bus stops. This area has a history of crashes, one of which involved a pedestrian crossing the road. This proposal aims to improve safety for people crossing the road at this location by stopping traffic to allow them to safely cross during the red light. The other improvements will improve connectivity between the crossing and bus stops for an easier journey. We understand that parking removal can be inconvenient, but we have proposed parking restrictions to ensure that drivers and pedestrians can see each other at the crossing without parked cars getting in the way.
What happens next
- We’ll listen to 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.
Howick: 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 Chapel 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).