Hibiscus Coast Highway, Orewa – Pedestrian improvements Hibiscus Coast Highway, Orewa – Pedestrian improvements

Proposal status: Feedback closed 30 January 2020, last updated 20 May 2020.

Reference number: CSFB1.2

Proposal update

This project has been delayed due to a complication in securing the power supply for the new signalised pedestrian crossing. Auckland Transport has been advised by Vector that the power connection and route will need to come 30m away from the adjacent Community Centre carpark. Land entry and easement agreements are currently being arranged with Auckland Council. Subject to Vector priorities, which have been slowed by Covid-19 restrictions, the power supply and activation of the signalised crossing is planned to be completed by March 2022.

Due to this delay, it has become necessary to temporarily reinstate the raised median pedestrian refuge islands. The islands will be placed on either side of the newly formed pedestrian/cycle crossing to provide a safe point to wait to cross the road. These temporary measures will be installed in the week beginning 13th December 2021.

Next steps

The original proposed signalised pedestrian crossing now has a construction target of March 2022.

We proposed changes in your area in January 2020

To improve road crossing safety for pedestrians and cyclists, we proposed to upgrade the pedestrian island near the Estuary Arts Centre on Hibiscus Coast Highway in Stanmore Bay to a crossing with traffic lights. We proposed to:

  • add signs and traffic lights to the new crossing;
  • widen the footpath on both sides and move the pedestrian islands to accommodate a wider crossing;
  • extend the footpath on the eastern side of the highway to meet the new crossing;
  • add a kerb ramp on the northern side of the crossing;
  • add broken yellow lines (No stopping at all times) near the crossing to ensure visibility of pedestrians and cyclists;
  • paint green Advanced Stop Boxes which are green boxes painted with a bicycle symbol where people on bicycles can wait before traffic lights.

Download the proposal drawing for Hibiscus Coast Highway (PDF 2.4MB)

Our proposal responded to a need for a safer crossing for the many pedestrians and cyclists in the area and is supported by the Community Safety Fund programme and Regional Fuel Tax.

Community Safety Fund

This proposal is part of the Community Safety Fund. Auckland Transport is partnered with the Hibiscus and Bays Local Board to deliver this project, as part of more than 80 safety improvement projects across the Auckland region. The Community Safety Fund is a $20 million programme focused on addressing local road safety concerns raised by the community to local boards and ward councillors.

Proposal outcome

We have made minor changes to the design based on community feedback. We will be removing the pedestrian island as this is a pedestrian activated crossing. When the traffic light is red, vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists can safely cross the road without needing to stop in the centre of the road. Also, as this is a toucan crossing (both cyclists and pedestrian crossing), removing the pedestrian island means the width of the crossing can accommodate both cyclists and pedestrians.

Download the updated drawing for Hibiscus Coast Highway (PDF 1.4MB)

Thank you to everyone who responded to our proposal and gave us the chance to better understand your community and concerns. A summary of your feedback and our responses to community questions is below.

Community feedback

Traffic lights

  • Respondents were concerned about the installation of traffic lights.
    We believe a signalised crossing is the most appropriate crossing type at this location given the high volumes of traffic and heavy vehicles that travel along this route.
  • Respondents concerned that traffic lights here will cause congestion.
    These are pedestrian activated signals so are not timed in the same way as urban intersections. The traffic signals will be on the green light for majority of the time except when pedestrians need to cross. The traffic lights will allow an appropriate amount of time for pedestrians to cross and is not expected to cause a significantly traffic build up.
  • Respondents concerned that traffic lights will make driveway access unsafe.
    There will be an increase in delay to drivers entering and exiting nearby driveways when the pedestrian signals are activated. But we do not believe this will cause additional safety issues to vehicles making these movements compared to the current layout.
  • Respondents worried that traffic lights will exacerbate existing safety issues and lead to an increase of accidents.
    Installation of traffic lights at this location is expected to improve safety for vulnerable pedestrians. There is enough visibility in both approaches for drivers to react to changes of the traffic lights to respond accordingly.

Crossing location

  • Respondents concerned over the crossing location being close to a junction.
    Auckland Transport investigations showed that the proposed location is in the most practical place that meets the 'desire line of pedestrians' which is the most comfortable route for a person to walk wishing to cross Hibiscus Coast Highway.

Existing crossing facilities

  • Respondents worried that there are already lots of signal-operated crossings in Orewa.
    Signalised crossings are the most ideal solution on arterial roads that carry a large amount of traffic.
  • Respondents concern that existing crossings are not very visible and therefore dangerous.
    The existing crossings on Hibiscus Coast Highway have all the appropriate signages and road markings in place to ensure it is operating safely. These alert drivers of the upcoming crossings and allow enough time to safely stop when necessary.

Alternative suggestions

  • Respondents suggestion to update the pedestrian/bike walkway beneath the bridge instead, which would avoid the busy road.
    Auckland Transport investigations that showed that the proposed location is in the most practical place that meets the desire line of pedestrians wishing to cross Hibiscus Coast Highway.
  • Respondents suggestion for other types of pedestrian crossing rather than a signal-operated crossing.
    Other types of crossings, such as a raised pedestrian crossing are not ideal at this location due to the high numbers of traffic and heavy vehicles using this road. It is more dangerous as vehicles are more prone to suddenly stopping in response to pedestrians crossing. A signal-operated crossing provides additional time for vehicles to react and stop by having an amber light phase.
  • Respondents suggestion for provision for bikes to cross and an enlarged safe zone in the middle of the road.
    This is a signalised toucan crossing, meaning that the crossing is wide enough to accommodate both pedestrians and cyclists crossing at the same time. Further, the crossing is designed for the pedestrian to cross from one side of the road to the other in one stage, thereby removing the need to stop in the middle of the road.
  • Respondents suggestion for signage to direct people to the existing underpass crossing.
    This will be forwarded to the appropriate team to investigate wayfinding improvements for those who may use this route. However, Auckland Transport investigations showed that the proposed location is in the most practical place that meets the desire line of pedestrians wishing to cross Hibiscus Coast Highway.
  • Respondents suggestion that flashing warning lights on both sides on the approach to the crossing would be a better solution than traffic lights.
    A signalised crossing is a safer option as vehicles are legally required to stop when the signals are activated. Flashing warning lights will have minimal effect on improving pedestrian safety as vehicles will have priority.
  • Respondents suggestion to remove the dangerous crossings just around the corners of Tamariki Avenue and Moana Avenue.
    This crossing will be raised in the future. The crossing is in an ideal location along the pedestrian desire line - the most comfortable route for a person to walk between two places. There have been no accidents at this crossing, and it is operating safely.