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Auckland Transport

Lady Ruby Drive, East Tamaki - Intersection improvements Lady Ruby Drive, East Tamaki - Intersection improvements

Proposal status: Feedback closed 16 April 2019. Last updated 5 August 2019

Reference number: NOP1819-015

We proposed changes in your area

​In April 2019, we proposed the following improvements to the intersection of Kerwyn Avenue, Springs Road, and Lady Ruby Drive, in East Tamaki:

  • Removal of slip lanes to and from Lady Ruby Drive, and extension of No stopping at all times (broken yellow Lines) restrictions. Check proposal drawing for details.
  • Widening of Lady Ruby Drive and Kerywn Avenue on the southern side to provide an additional westbound through lane and two westbound receiving lanes.
  • Modifications to signal phasing for further efficiency gain on east-west traffic flow.
  • Installation of signal crossing at the slip lane from Kerwyn Avenue to Springs Road (North).
  • Modification of shared through and right turn lane on Kerwyn Avenue to a through only lane, with associated road markings.

Download the proposal drawing for Lady Ruby Drive (PDF 1.95MB)

Why the changes are needed

These changes are needed to improve the efficiency and safety of the intersection.

Our investigations indicate that this intersection frequently experiences significant delays and queuing for traffic travelling in east-west directions, particularly during morning peak hours. Installation of a signal-controlled pedestrian crossing at the slip lane from Kerwyn Avenue would also improve pedestrian safety and amenity.

Proposal outcome

This project will proceed without 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.​

Feedback received

  • This proposal received positive responses from community members and stakeholders who supported improvements to traffic flow and congestion at this busy intersection.

Slip lane concerns

  • Respondents suggested that the slip lanes should be retained, to avoid delaying traffic.
  • Respondents raised concerns that removal of slip lanes could result in motorists attempting to use the parking lot of the businesses on the corner of Lady Ruby and Spring Road as a shortcut, resulting in safety risks.

The two existing slip lanes on Lady Ruby Drive do not have formal crossing facilities for pedestrians, and Springs Road is in a 60km/h environment which poses high injury risk to pedestrians. Therefore, the removal of the two slip lanes are required for pedestrian improvement. Furthermore, these left turn slip lanes are blocked once there are two cars or a truck queued in the adjacent through lane, meaning the serviceability to the left turn traffic is very limited, especially during peak hours.

The current slip lanes on Lady Ruby Drive are very short and provide two cars stacking space only, hence the left turn traffic exit rate is more dependent on the controlled straight through traffic especially during peak hour. By removing the two slip lanes, it is unlikely that there will be any significant delay to the left turn traffic, instead the proposed changes will improve the straight through traffic flow, as well as the left turn traffic.

The removal of the slip lanes on Lady Ruby Drive is unlikely to worsen the current rat run issue of motorists abusing the private access to travel to Springs Road from Lady Ruby Drive, as this behaviour occurs from motorists' frustration of being stuck in the through traffic queue that extends back from the intersection. As the existing slip lane is blocked once there are two cars or a truck queued in the adjacent through lane, the majority of the left turn traffic has to queue with the straight through traffic before being to access the slip lane during a green light signal. The proposed modifications seek to improve traffic flows on Lady Ruby Drive which should help mitigate this issue.

Signals

  • Respondents suggested that phases should be altered to allow vehicles enough time to get into the widened section, as congestion is significant during peak periods.
    Springs Road is a regional arterial road which carries more than 22,000 vehicles per day, it has a higher classification and traffic volume over Kerwyn Avenue/Lady Ruby Drive. Therefore, the signal times for each route is prioritised accordingly. However, in combination with the proposed capacity increase for the through traffic, the signal phasing will also be adjusted to further improve the traffic flow through Kerwyn Avenue and Lady Ruby Drive.
  • Respondents suggested that, on the slip Road from Kerwyn Avenue to Springs Road, pedestrian lights should be timed to the right turn light out of Lady Ruby Drive, or straight ahead for Northbound on Springs Road and green for traffic at other times.
    The pedestrian phase will be coordinated to provide optimal efficiency possible for left turning traffic whilst protecting pedestrians.

Other intersections

  • Respondents asked for attention to be paid to the Smales/Harris/Springs Road intersection, to alleviate pressure on the Lady Ruby Drive intersection.
    We acknowledge that the Smales Road/Allens Road/Springs Road intersection is one of the most congested intersections in this area. Substantial civil work is likely to be required for achieving any effective improvement due to the limited road space available. This intersection is listed as one of the major projects in the Regional Land Transport Plan programme for the next 10 years, however, this is subject to funding applications and the finalisation of the Government Long-term Plan.

Lane direction

  • Respondents wished to know why, on Kerwyn Avenue, the proposal does not keep the double lanes turning. Or, if this was not possible, why they were both kept straight.
    The majority of the right turn traffic from Kerwyn Avenue to Springs Road use the inner dedicated right turn lane, whilst the shared through and right turn lane is seldom used by right turning vehicles. This enables the lanes on Kerwyn Avenue to be amended so that there is only one right turning lane so that the signal phasing can be changed to provide operational efficiencies at the intersection.

Cycling infrastructure

  • Respondents suggested that the proposal fails to include any cycling improvements and is primarily about capacity increases.
  • Respondents requested that the north western slip lane is removed or, if this is not feasible, for it to have a raised table zebra crossing instead of a signalised crossing, which does not provide any physical traffic calming to make the crossing safer.

There are no existing cycle facilities in the surrounding network, isolated cycle provision at this intersection wouldn't provide a connected and continuous improvement that truly benefit the cyclists, therefore cycle treatment has not been included in this particular project. Nevertheless, removing the slip lanes would help reduce the conflict between the cyclists and the left turn traffic, as both movements are confined to the kerbside lane approaching the intersection and are controlled by the traffic signals.

The north western slip lane is to be retained, because removing it would create an oversized intersection and increase pedestrian crossing distances significantly. Removal of the slip lane would add delays.

This slip lane carries a high traffic volume including high truck numbers. The signal crossing is considered as the more suitable option at this location as it provides protection and priority for pedestrians without significantly impacting the truck operation. In addition, there has been no records of vehicle speeding through the slip lane, and currently all left turn traffic would automatically be slowing down and give way at this 90 degree turn. Therefore, the chance of left turn vehicle ignoring the red signal is no greater than for other traffic signals.

Maintenance

  • Respondents requested that the plans for the intersection works include the removal of the excess build-up of topsoil on the narrow grass berm between the kerb and the footpath adjacent to number 1 Lady Ruby Drive.
    The southern kerb line outside number 1 Lady Ruby Drive will be rebuilt for the road widening, meaning that the new grass berm and the footpath will be leveled. The new left turn corner from Lady Ruby Drive to Springs Road will also be improved for the requirement of trucks, addressing the current problem of trucks riding over the kerb and damaging the berm while making the turn.

Next steps

This work will happen before the end of May 2020 and 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.