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Auckland Transport

Ti Rakau Drive, East Tamaki – Traffic lights installation Ti Rakau Drive, East Tamaki – Traffic lights installation

Proposal status: closed 20 November 2018

Reference number: RSU1819-071

We're proposing changes in your area

We are proposing to signalise a section of Ti Rakau Drive near the driveway of the bus depot, in Burswood. The new traffic lights would be coordinated with those at nearby intersections to ensure smooth operation of the roadway and would primarily impact eastbound traffic lanes at this location. This proposal would also involve: 

  • changes to traffic islands and kerb lines.
  • installation of a bus lane.
  • minor changes to road markings and signage.

Download the proposal drawing for Ti Rakau Drive (PDF 7MB)

Why the changes are needed

We have investigated safety concerns at this location after a recent fatal crash involving a motorcyclist. The proposed changes would effectively eliminate the risk of conflicts between oncoming traffic and vehicles entering and exiting the bus depot. We expect that this would make the road a safer environment for all road users.

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.

A high number of respondents expressed concerns over potential impacts on traffic congestion. Please note that this is an interim measure which aims to improve road safety and that proposed traffic lights will be fully synchronised with those on Ti Rakau Drive at nearby intersections with Burswood Drive and Greenmount Drive to minimise disruptions.

View information about future changes planned for Ti Rakau Drive as Stage 3 (Pakuranga to Botany Busway) of the AMETI Eastern Busway project, expected between 2022 and 2025.

Feedback received

Traffic congestion and traffic light phasing

  • Concern that the proposal will negatively impact traffic congestion:
    • Along Ti Rakau Drive.
    • On Greenmount Drive (including traffic turning right from Greenmount onto Ti Rakau Drive).
    • Through to Harris Road.
    • On Greenmount Drive and the smaller back roads off of Greenmount Drive.

During initial investigation stage, we looked into a number of alternative solutions to the safety issues at this location.

Currently, the traffic lights at Burswood Drive and at Greenmount Drive are integrated and operate together using the same signal controller. The new traffic lights at the bus depot access will also operate with this same arrangement rather than in isolation, thereby minimising any traffic delays and impacts on the road network. Additionally, the area will be monitored following implementation to ensure that the intersection and surrounding roads are operating efficiently.

Based on investigations, we have determined that the layout as proposed would provide the best outcome for road users until more comprehensive changes are made along Ti Rakau Drive as part of the AMETI Eastern Busway project.

  • Request to evaluate the entire area for traffic flow improvements, including Cryers Road, Harris Road, and Botany Road.

The new traffic lights at the bus depot access will operate in synchronisation with lights at Greenmount Drive and Burswood Drive rather than in isolation, thereby minimising any traffic delays and impacts on the road network.

We realise that the number of bus movements into and out of the bus depot at any one time is relatively limited, but the current layout presents a serious safety concern. Impacts of the proposal on the wider traffic network will be localised to the immediate intersections of Greenmount Drive and Burswood Drive.

Traffic flows on Harris Road and Cryers Road are impacted by disruptions on the wider network, which are being addressed by linking traffic lights across intersections to optimise the network. Please note that further improvements to the Ti Rakau Drive area are planned as part of the AMETI Eastern Busway project.

  • Concerns over the number of traffic lights within a relatively short distance and concerns that traffic lights along this stretch of road are not coordinated.

The option proposed has minimised the number of new traffic lights. Furthermore, the proposed signals will be linked with those at Greenmount and Burswood Drives so as to minimise the disruption of having signals too close together.

  • Concerns that vehicles frequently become "stranded" in the middle of intersections on Ti Rakau Drive when traffic lights change at Greenmount Drive and Harris Road, and that the proposal will exacerbate the issue.

Since the new traffic signals will not be operated in isolation, any additional delays on the surrounding road network will be minimised. We will continue to monitor the area following implementation to ensure that the intersection and surrounding roads are operating efficiently.

  • Concern that eastbound traffic turning left from Ti Rakau Drive onto Botany Road frequently backs up through to the bus depot.

Wider issues of congestion along Ti Rakau Drive are being looked into as part of the AMETI Eastern Busway and other works. This proposal is a safety project which aims to integrate and link into nearby existing signalised intersection so as to minimise any additional delays.

  • Suggestion that traffic lights should only change if triggered by a bus.

Sensors or ‘loops’ underneath the roadway will be able to detect when a bus is waiting and will then trigger the traffic light phase.

  • Suggestion that re-timing the traffic lights on Greenmount Drive could also solve issues around bus access to and from the depot.

The re-timing of the existing traffic signals alone would not resolve the issue as buses are needing to find safe gaps in both the eastbound traffic and the westbound traffic.

  • Request to remove the right hand turn arrow from Ti Rakau Drive onto Huntington Drive, so that drivers are free to use their judgment in determining when it is safe to turn.

There are no safety benefits to removing the existing right turn signals onto Huntington Drive. Therefore, this request cannot be considered as part of this project. Please note that changes at the intersection of Huntington Drive and Ti Rakau Drive are expected as part of the larger AMETI Eastern Busway project, Stage 3 of which is expected between 2022 and 2025.

Bus lane

  • Concern that westbound vehicles on Ti Rakau Drive attempting to turn into Burswood Drive frequently use the right-most lane to queue, and that the proposal will prevent that.

The proposed traffic lights will be linked to existing lights at Greenmount Drive and Burswood Drive in order to fully coordinate a range of traffic movements. Drivers wishing to turn right from Ti Rakau Drive into Burswood Drive will be able to do so by merging into the turning lane between Greenmount and Burswood Drives.

  • Request to remove the proposed new traffic island and the proposed bus lane.

The new traffic island will prevent drivers that are traveling straight along Ti Rakau Drive from using the lane to cut in front of other vehicles, which would pose unnecessary safety risks to other road users. It will also better separate vehicles turning into and out of the bus depot to minimise delays to the surrounding road network.

  • Enquiry as to what route standard vehicles would take when exiting the bus depot onto Ti Rakau going westbound.

Buses exiting the bus depot westbound will have a bus pre-emption phase so that buses can choose any lane going west. There are no changes being proposed to bus routes as a result of these changes.

Proposal goal & long term plans

  • Suggestions that the traffic in and out of the bus depot is not significant enough to warrant a new set of traffic lights.

A recent crash involving a motorcyclist has highlighted serious safety concerns at this location. The changes will therefore improve safety for road users.

  • Query as to why the proposal cannot wait until the Eastern Busway changes.

The Pakuranga to Botany stretch (Stage 3) of the Auckland Manukau Eastern Transportation Initiative (AMETI) busway is not expected to be delivered until between 2022 and 2025. Given that there are immediate safety concerns at this location, we expect that the proposal will help to prevent other crashes from occurring in the interim. The proposal aims to maintain a balance by introducing relatively simple engineering changes that will achieve the safety improvements that are needed.

  • Query as to the funding source for the project.

This is funded by Auckland Transport’s budget for high risk intersections.

  • Suggestion that the majority of drivers leave a gap outside of the entrance to the bus depot when queues develop from the Huntington Drive lights, allowing buses to easily turn into the depot from Ti Rakau (eastbound).

The existing layout forces vehicles and buses turning into or out of the bus depot to find gaps in traffic, which can be difficult given traffic volumes along Ti Rakau Drive. The proposed changes will ensure safe access to and from the bus depot, allowing for safer outcomes for road users.

Intersection realignment and bus depot relocation

  • Request to align Burswood Drive with the Greenmount Drive intersection.

Thank you for your suggestion. Major changes to this intersection are not proposed at this time given that further changes are expected with implementation of Stage 3 of the Eastern Busway project. From an operational standpoint, traffic lights at both intersections are fully coordinated in order to improve efficiency.

  • Suggestion to relocate the bus depot.

The bus depot is well established at this location and has been for some time.

  • Request to construct a roundabout connecting Ti Rakau Drive, Burswood Drive, and Greenmount Drive.

We will pass this feedback along to the AMETI team which recently proposed changes along Ti Rakau Drive as Stage 3 of the Eastern Busway project expected between 2022 and 2025.

Slip lane/service road

  • Request to instead construct a small service road/slip lane along Ti Rakau Drive outside the bus depot to better serve buses entering/exiting traffic, preventing them from having to make a sudden hard left turn.

A new service road at this time is not preferred as this would be a more significant change than what is proposed. There are further changes expected between 2022 and 2025 when Stage 3 of the Eastern Busway project proceeds and therefore a simpler interim solution is preferred to address current safety concerns.

Bus depot driveway access

  • Request to make the exit from the bus depot left turn only.

A left turn only out of the bus depot is not possible due to a lack of suitable alternative detours for westbound buses.

  • Requests to shift the bus depot exit/entrance:
    • To the Huntington Drive or Greenmount Drive intersections, where there are traffic lights already in place.
    • To Burswood Drive.

Shifting the bus depot access is a more significant change than what is proposed. However, we are expecting that changes will be made to the Huntington Drive intersection as Stage 3 of the AMETI Eastern Busway project expected between 2022 and 2025. Currently, a simpler interim solution is preferred to address current safety concerns until these more comprehensive changes are expected along Ti Rakau Drive.

  • Request to paint hatched yellow road markings near the entrance/exit so that vehicles do not queue over the access.

Buses exiting the bus depot are currently forced to find gaps in both the eastbound and westbound traffic. The addition of yellow hatched markings over the entrance will not achieve the safety outcomes that are needed.

Safety around buses

  • Concern that bus drivers exiting and entering the depot do not wait for gaps and make risky manoeuvres.

The new signals and road layout will fully control the entry and exits for buses, thereby ensuring a safer outcome for road users.

  • Concern that buses cross the footpath uncontrolled, which is a hazard to pedestrian traffic.

As part of this project, a pedestrian signal will be included across the access to the bus depot to eliminate potential conflicts with pedestrians.

Requests for more works

  • Request to construct a vehicle entrance (entrance only) from Ti Rakau Drive to Bunnings, to prevent vehicles from having to use Burswood Drive.

Major changes to the intersection layout are not proposed at this time due to further changes expected along Ti Rakau Drive as part of the AMETI Eastern Busway project. We will however pass this feedback along to the AMETI team.

  • Concern that queued vehicles frequently block the car park entrance/exit to the business park at 320 Ti Rakau Drive and that unless there is a corresponding change in the phasing at Harris Road, the proposal will exacerbate this issue.

More comprehensive changes along Ti Rakau Drive are not proposed at this time due to further changes expected as part of the AMETI Eastern Busway project, Stage 3 of which is expected between 2022 and 2025.

Next steps

This work is expected between April and July 2019, 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.