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Auckland Transport

Matakana Road, Matakana - Pedestrian crossing with traffic signals Matakana Road, Matakana - Pedestrian crossing with traffic signals

Proposal status: closed 26 July 2019

Reference number: MIP1819-042b

We proposed changes in your area

In July 2019, we proposed a new pedestrian crossing with traffic signals on Matakana Road, Matakana. This project is part of the Community Safety Fund programme where AT is partnering with local boards and ward councillors to deliver over 80 local road safety improvements. We have worked with the Rodney Local Board to provide a safer crossing facility at this location. The signal crossing includes new side islands, pram ramps, road markings and additional broken yellow lines parking restrictions to prevent parked cars from blocking visibility of the crossing.

Download the proposal drawing for Matakana Road (PDF 247KB)

Why the changes are needed

These changes are needed to improve safety for pedestrians on Matakana Road. Currently, the high traffic volume is causing a safety issue at this location.

Proposal outcome

The proposed changes will proceed to the next stage of detailed planning before being constructed. Our proposal received a range of different feedback regarding installing a pedestrian crossing with traffic signals in Matakana.

Thank you to everyone who responded to our proposal and gave us the chance to better understand your community and concerns. We have spent time considering this feedback and have partnered with the Rodney Local Board to decide the final proposal outcome. We believe that our plans for a signal crossing offer the greatest practical and safety benefits to the community.

We have summarised the feedback we received and responded to each issue and concern.

Community feedback

Matakana Primary School have supported our proposal, on the grounds that it will improve safety for their students walking to and from the school, as well as the community as a whole.

Respondents supported the increase in pedestrian safety the proposal would enable, especially close to the school.

Thank you for your feedback, we are pleased you support our proposal and believe it will improve pedestrian safety in Matakana.

Crossing type

  • Respondents opposed the proposal as they felt that signalised crossings do not belong in a village and will negatively impact the local lifestyle. We can understand your concerns that signalised crossings do not fit the nature of the village. However, given the increasingly heavy vehicle traffic going through Matakana, there have been growing concerns for the safety of vulnerable road users in this area, especially school children. Investigations have shown that this project is the most practical approach to improving safety in the community.
  • Respondents requested different styles of crossing, including a staggered zebra. We have explored various options for this location, such as pedestrian refuges, patrolled crossings and raised zebra crossings. However, given the road width, the volume and type of traffic on the road, and the surrounding land use, our assessments showed that a signal crossing is the most appropriate approach to address issues in this area.

Congestion

  • Respondents expressed concerns that the new crossing would worsen congestion, especially during summer and weekend peak times when the crossing does not benefit the school. There will be an increase in delay to drivers when the pedestrian signals are activated. However, the current situation where pedestrians have no dedicated facility to cross does not balance the needs of all road users.
    The Local Board consider that the benefits of increasing pedestrian safety outweigh the impact of any additional delay to drivers at this location. In addition, this will support all pedestrians especially during busy periods such as the weekend markets and summer periods.
  • Respondents requested that the signal lights are switched off outside of school start and end hours. This will not be possible, as this proposal is not intended to solely benefit the school. The increase in pedestrian safety will benefit all pedestrians, especially during busy periods such as the weekend markets and summer periods.
  • Respondents requested that the light phasing allows significant ‘green’ time for vehicles or that smart phasing is implemented, to prevent congestion. Alternatively, respondents requested that the phasing is sequenced to allow cars to exit the carpark after pedestrians have crossed. The traffic signals will be on the green phase for majority of the time except when pedestrians need to cross. These are pedestrian activated signals so are not phased in the same way as urban intersections.
    We will not programme the lights to benefit specific drivers, as the aim of project is to improve pedestrian safety on Matakana Road and will be pedestrian activated.
  • Respondents were concerned the button may be pressed unnecessarily which would cause delays. This is possible at all pedestrian activated traffic signals, but we consider the risk to be low and that the benefits of the signals outweigh this minimal risk.

Location

  • Respondents suggested that the location is moved to nearer the school and is patrolled by the school, to enable more efficient journeys for students and prevent them from jaywalking. Alternatively, respondents suggested that the crossing is moved nearer to the roundabout with Leigh Road and Matakana Valley Road, as they believe the crossing demand is highest there. This pedestrian crossing is intended for all users in the community to use, not solely the school. The Local Board have investigated this with the School and community groups and recognise that this is the most suitable location for a crossing not only for school children but a range of pedestrians. This is further supported by Auckland Transport’s investigations that showed that the proposed location is in the most practical and safest place that meets the desire line of pedestrians wishing to cross Matakana road, between the school and roundabout.
    Additionally, due to the driveways and proximity of the bend, a crossing nearer the roundabout was deemed not an appropriate location.
  • Respondents suggested that the crossing needs to be located after the entry to the car park, in order to mitigate the risk of people coming into contact with cars turning. We do not believe that locating the crossing after the entry to the car park would be substantially safer than our proposed location. The proposed crossing is located on the ideal desire line for the pedestrians of the town centre, Matakana Primary School, and between the carpark and the markets.
  • Respondents expressed concern about the proximity of multiple driveways to the crossing. We acknowledge the concern. Auckland Transport investigated multiple potential locations on this section of Matakana Road and the proposed location is in the most practical and safe place where the pedestrian demand is highest.
    We locate pedestrian crossings between driveways in situations where site constraints make this necessary.
    We believe that the likelihood of a conflict is reduced as this is a low speed environment due to drivers coming out of driveways slowly and the existing kerb build out which narrows the road, therefore helping to slow speeds as vehicles approach the crossing.

Carpark

  • Respondents suggested that Auckland Transport negotiates with the carpark owner to move the carpark entrance to the other gate, or to open it for pedestrians to walk through. The carpark owner has discretion whether to move the entrance or not, and Auckland Transport have not identified safety concerns with the location of the car park entrance.
  • Respondents requested further changes to improve road safety, including; controlling turning movements into the community car park, banning roadside parking opposite the school, and putting up a pedestrian barrier near the school to avoid jaywalking. These requests are outside of the changes needed for this project and we cannot accommodate a right turn pocket for the car park. However, No Parking Restrictions have recently been implemented opposite the school already.
    We are currently in communication with the Local Board on the consideration of pedestrian barriers at the school. Whilst these are not necessary for the functioning of the crossing, as this is a Community Safety Fund project, this part of the design will be for the Local Board to consider.
  • Respondents suggested that there is no need for a pedestrian crossing to improve safety for school children, as the new car park means all students can be driven to school safely. Investigations have shown that there is high pedestrian demand at this location, including primary school age children, which raises safety concerns as there is currently no safe crossing point. Not all children can be picked up from or dropped off to school, so it is important for students who do not have this option to be accommodated appropriately. The Local Board consider this to be a safety improvement for the community as a whole, and therefore have prioritised this to receive Community Safety Funds.

Other issues raised

  • Respondents requested that parking is removed near the crossing in order to improve visibility. Drivers have sufficient visibility to react to the traffic signal changes activated by pedestrians, so there is no need to remove additional parking.
  • Respondents requested that the speed limit is reduced to 30km/h per hour. Speed limit changes are recommended through a bylaw process. Your request will be forwarded to the speed management programme for review and a possible future bylaw recommendation.
  • Respondents requested that Auckland Transport reseal the roads instead. Unfortunately, we will not be able to grant this request as the road is not yet due to be resealed. This work will however take place in the future.

Next steps

These works are planned before the end of July 2021, but 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.