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Auckland Transport

Northcote Safer Communities programme

Consultation status: closed 17 March 2017

We are currently working with schools in the Northcote and Birkenhead area to implement a Safer Communities programme, which will be delivered through multiple proposals in the area.

These improvements aim to make the road and footpath environment safe as part of our coordinated plan to develop safer road layouts, promote sustainable travel, and make it easier for people travelling on foot. As part of these improvements, we will also upgrade any sub-standard street lighting as and when required.

In Northcote, we have identified potential improvements across 5 locations:

Location Map for Northcote Safer Communities projects

Site 1 - Highbury Bypass


Pedestrian accessibility at this intersection for people using the Birkenhead Shopping Centre, the Primary School and Leisure Centre is currently unsuitable as the existing crossing on Highbury Bypass is outdated and Mahara Avenue has a wide crossing distance with no facilities making it difficult to cross. Furthermore, the current 'right turn' bay to Mahara Avenue is inhibited by the existing traffic island causing traffic to build up on Highbury Bypass. Coupled with parked cars, the visibility for vehicles and pedestrians is also restricted.

To make walking safer for pedestrians (including students of the nearby school) and improve visibility for vehicles, we propose to:

  • Install a new pedestrian crossing on the west side of the intersection.
  • Install a new pedestrian crossing on Mahara Avenue.
  • Remove pedestrian crossing and traffic islands on east side of intersection.
  • Amendments to 'No stopping at all times'’ restrictions on the intersection.

Download the consultation drawing for Highbury Bypass (PDF 2MB)

Feedback results

The proposal received mixed feedback with some concerns raised by respondents. After reviewing this feedback and all other supporting evidence, we have made some changes to the proposal, including shortening the proposed No Stopping At All Times (NSAAT) restrictions by approx. one car parking space (to be confirmed during detailed planning) along the western side of Mahara Avenue after a review of the minimum distance required for an appropriate clear sight line. Furthermore, a road edge line will be installed along the length of Highbury Bypass providing greater delineation of a traffic lane to not encourage higher speeds.

We will now will proceed to the next stage of detailed planning.

Specific feedback

Reduce NSAAT restrictions

The proposed NSAAT markings are required for pedestrian safety at the intersection providing a clear sight line. A review of the clear sight-line requirements (a combination of stopping distance and the geometry of the road) has confirmed an error with the minimum distance required for approach sight distance. As a result, we can confirm that the absolute minimum parking restriction will be reduced by approximately one car parking space along the western side of Mahara Ave. This will be confirmed during the detailed planning stage.

Speed of Highbury Bypass too fast

A road edge line will be added to the scheme to provide better delineation. The edge line will be located approximately 1.8m from the kerb and will give drivers better delineation of a traffic lane. Moreover, the new traffic island on Mahara Ave will have signs and markings that provide additional prompts for drivers approaching the intersection to reduce their speeds. The new road layout on both Mahara Ave and Highbury Bypass provide improved delineation and encourage lower speeds.

Crossing too wide on Highbury Bypass

The crossing distance on Highbury Bypass is about 6m on the southern side and 5m on the northern side. These distances are well within the maximum recommended crossing distance of 10m. There is sufficient parking restrictions and sight lines to meet minimum sight lines for pedestrians to look for traffic and make the crossing without conflict with vehicles.

The refuge island is about 2.4m wide, which exceeds the minimum standard width for a mid-block pedestrian refuge; pedestrians can stage their crossing and look for traffic in one direction at a time.

Make changes to Mahara Avenue crossing such as moving it further back into the road and/or building out kerb on east side

Unfortunately, it is not possible to relocate the refuge splitter island or install a kerb build-out on the eastern side, which was considered, due to the required tracking requirements of vehicles, including buses and tour coaches that access the recreation centre.

The crossing is a refuge island and allows pedestrians to look and give way to vehicles. The inter-visibility (the ability of pedestrians and drivers to see one another) at this location is good with minimum risk of conflict due to ‘sun-strike’.

Zebra crossing on Mahara Avenue instead of refuge island

We are not considering a zebra crossing at this location of the intersection due to the potential confusion this could cause drivers turning both left and right into Mahara Ave. There would also then need to be room for stacking of turning vehicles as they’d be required to stop, which would cause both through lanes and the pedestrian facility on Highbury Bypass to become obstructed.

Extension of pedestrian barriers

Pedestrian barriers are generally not recommended due to the risk that long sections of fences can get a pedestrian trapped within the traffic lane. We will keep the short length of the existing pedestrian fence due to the grade and approach of the connecting pedestrian path. The barrier stops pedestrians, who are coming down the hill from the off-road path, from over stepping onto the traffic lane.

Request for additional works including the rebuilding of speed humps etc.

If you would like your request to be considered by AT for future development works, please provide feedback or report a problem.


Site 2 - Onewa Road and Kauri Glen Road


Pedestrians, including those associated with Northcote College, have been observed to be crossing at the end of the pedestrian safety fence and to be coming into conflict with exiting vehicles at Kauri Glen Road. There are also crossing visibility issues and an issue of drivers running through the mid-block signalised pedestrian crossing at Onewa Road. 

To make it safer for pedestrians and drivers on both Onewa Road and Kauri Glen Road, we propose to:

  • Install new traffic side islands, surrounding footpath, pram ramps with tactile pavers and extend the existing pedestrian safety fence on Kauri Glen Road.
  • Remove existing pavement markings on Kauri Glen Road.
  • Install new electronic red flashing road studs and new red carpet surfacing on crossing of Onewa Road.

Download the consultation drawing for Onewa Road and Kauri Glen Road (PDF 1MB)

Feedback results

The proposal received mixed feedback with some concerns raised by respondents. After reviewing this feedback and all other supporting evidence, the proposal will proceed without changes to the next stage of detailed planning.

Specific feedback

Install a zebra crossing instead

We are not considering a zebra crossing at this time. However, the width between the side islands will be a minimum width of 3m to retain the provision for a zebra crossing, if warranted, in the future.

Remove/replace fences, use safe bike crossings in its place

The fencing is an extension of the existing pedestrian fence which has the purpose of encouraging secondary school pupils to cross the road further away from the intersection. We are not considering safe bike-crossings along the section of road between Onewa Road and the new side islands.

Request for additional works including lower speed limits, installation of a raised table/zebra crossing and the relocation of bus stops or traffic lights

If you would like your request to be considered by AT for future development works, please provide feedback or report a problem.


Site 3 - Onewa Road


There are currently cars parked close to the pedestrian crossing during off-peak times inhibiting visibility and there are also drivers running through the signalised crossing in this area.

To upgrade this crossing and improve visibility for both pedestrians and drivers, we propose to:

  • Install and extend the current No stopping at all times restrictions from the bus stop to the crossing on the north side of Onewa Road.
  • Install new electronic flashing red road studs on the approach to the pedestrian crossing.

Download the consultation drawing for Onewa Road (PDF 1.4MB)

Feedback results

The proposal received mixed feedback with some concerns raised by respondents. After reviewing this feedback and all other supporting evidence, we have made some changes to the proposal, including narrowing the existing crossing width from 7m to 3m as to remove driveway conflict at Number 104. The rest of the proposal is set to remain as is and will accommodate the narrower crossing as required.

See the plan for details of changes to the crossing (PDF 257KB)

We will now will proceed to the next stage of detailed planning.

Specific feedback

Existing crossing blocks driveway of no. 104

As referred to previously, AT will be narrowing the existing crossing in order to remove any obstruction to the driveway of no. 104.

What is the legality of stopping to reverse into your driveway if there are broken yellow lines?

Stopping for a length of time differs from manoeuvring to and from a driveway access. Stopping for a length of time on NSAAT is illegal, whereas manoeuvring into and out of a driveway would not be considered stopping.

Request for additional works including wider, network changes to Onewa Road.

If you would like your request to be considered by AT for future development works, please provide feedback or report a problem.


Site 4 - Lake Road and Kawana Street


Currently there are concerns over visibility and accessibility for pedestrians and drivers at this location. 

To fix the visibility issues for both pedestrians and drivers and to facilitate crossing for pedestrians and cyclists and integrate with the new shared path being constructed on this road as part of the ‘Northcote Safer Cycle Route’, we propose to:

On Lake Road 

  • Install new signalised mid-block crossing with exclusive lanes for both cyclists and pedestrians. Proposed crossing includes tactile pavers, pram ramp and amended footpath area.
  • Install new holding line and associated signal pole and lights.
  • Remove existing pavement marking where proposed crossing will be located.

On Kawana Street

  • Install a 3.5m wide zebra crossing with traffic side islands and associated pram ramps and tactile pavers.
  • Remove 3 on-street parking spaces and 7 off-street parking spaces on road reserve to the south of the crossing.
  • Reinstate landscaping on southern side of Kawana Street crossing.

Download the consultation drawing for Lake Road and Kawana Street (PDF 1.7MB) 

Feedback results

The proposal received mixed feedback with some concerns raised by respondents. After reviewing this feedback and all other supporting evidence, the proposal will proceed without changes to the next stage of detailed planning.

Specific feedback

Proposed crossing on Lake Road in a valley; visibility may be poor

AT will be conducting visibility checks during the detailed planning and a Road Safety Audit will also be undertaken to ensure the location of the crossing is appropriate.

Request for additional works including storm water maintenance/repair not directly associated to the proposal

If you would like your request to be considered by AT for future development works, please provide feedback or report a problem.


Site 5 - Woodside Avenue


Woodside Avenue acts as a major access point for school travel, where parents drop off/pick up their kids and where the walking bus passes through. Whilst there is extensive traffic calming, the road severely lacks crossing facilities.

In order improve accessibility for all pedestrians, we propose to:

  • Install new pedestrian crossing (with a a short crossing distance of 4.2m) with traffic side islands, pram ramps and tactile pavers.

Download the consultation drawing for Woodside Avenue (PDF 824KB) 

Feedback results

The proposal received mixed feedback with some concerns raised by respondents. After reviewing this feedback and all other supporting evidence, the proposal will proceed without changes to the next stage of detailed planning.

Specific feedback

Will accessibility for no. 38 be impacted by the proposal?

Vehicle tracking analysis confirms that manoeuvring in and out of the access way will be possible with the proposed changes. With regards to access out of the driveway during peak time towards Onewa Road, there will be an improvement as vehicles will now queue before the driveway further south due to the extended chicane.

Water main/meter leaking

Maintenance of water meters or main lines are carried out by Watercare and not by AT. We have forwarded on this feedback.

Location can get slippery during heavy rainfall

The footpath surface is similar to other sections of footpath on Woodside Avenue. With sufficient slope on the path to drain water away and it not being at a low point in the road, the location is deemed appropriate.

Excessive speeds currently through the chicane

Addressing the speed of the road is not within the scope of this project, however, the new priority give-way control proposed will provide drivers the additional prompt to slow down and give way.

Request for additional works including road layout changes, crossings for other roads and enforcement of speed limits etc.

If you would like your request to be considered by AT for future development works, please provide feedback or report a problem.


Next steps

We expect to begin all work in June 2018, subject to any further changes in design or funding issues.

Contractors will notify affected residents 48 hours before any construction work starts.