Proposal status: Feedback closed 13 July 2020, last updated 5 November 2021.
Reference number: CSFR1.7
In June 2020, Rodney Local Board and Auckland Transport invited community feedback on our proposal to improve pedestrian safety at 28 Rata Street, Helensville. This project is going ahead, but we are writing to let you know about an updated construction timeframe.
COVID-19 has had a significant impact on AT and the wider Auckland Council whānau. As a result, Auckland Council implemented an Emergency Budget which reduced AT’s capital and operating budgets. Due to this, we were not able to estimate a construction date.
Funding has now been secured for this project and construction is now planned to begin in early January 2022. We will be in touch with local residents and businesses prior to any construction taking place.
We’ve proposed changes in your area
To improve pedestrian safety and make it safer for young school children, Rodney Local Board and Auckland Transport proposed to upgrade the existing school patrolled crossing to a raised zebra crossing. The proposed crossing will be located outside 28 Rata Street, Helensville.
Changes proposed on Rata Street
- Upgrade the existing crossing to a raised zebra crossing. This should help slow speeds on approach and allow for a high volume of pedestrian traffic.
- Construct tactile surface pavers to ensure access for the visually impaired and stable footing for all pedestrians.
- Install skid-resistant road surfacing to help vehicles decrease speeds in front of the crossing.
- Install road signs to warn drivers of the crossing ahead.
- Remove four parking spaces and shorten the pickup and drop off area by one space to ensure visibility.
Focus on road safety - Community Safety Fund
This proposal is supported by the Community Safety Fund which is a $20 million programme focused on tackling road safety concerns raised by the community. Auckland Transport is partnering with the Rodney Local Board and Ward Councillors to deliver this project, which is part of more than 80 locally funded safety improvement projects across Auckland.
Helensville: Safe with us
Auckland Transport cares for your safety. We want to make our roads safe for everyone, people walking and cycling, especially for our kids and senior citizens and people driving. Projects like this one around Rata Street are another step towards our goal of achieving no deaths or serious injuries on our roads. We are guided by the Vision Zero approach to transport safety, which prioritises human safety over other measures (like minor time saving).
COVID-19 has had a significant impact on AT and the wider Auckland Council whanau. As a result, Auckland Council is implementing an Emergency Budget which will reduce AT’s capital and operating budgets. This could mean this project is delayed. We will be in touch with you once we know more about how this project will be impacted by the current budget constraints. We thank you for your patience and understanding during this time. Once the budget is confirmed, the proposal will proceed without changes to the next stage of detailed planning before being implemented.
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.
- Concerns that this proposal will increase congestion in an already busy area.
The installation of the raised crossing will assist in managing vehicle speeds in the vicinity of the school and will not materially influence congestion.
- Concerns over the removal of parking spaces, which are already limited in this area.
One parking space outside of the school and two further spaces on the opposite side of the road will be removed by the extension of the parking restrictions. There is enough parking available to accommodate the demand in this area and there are additional angled parking bays on Makiri Street.
- Concerns that the pickup/drop off area is already too small without the removal of one more space.
The existing pick-up / drop-off and parking area has been observed to be sufficient to accommodate demand during school drop-off and pick-up periods. There are also angled parking bays on Makiri Street.
- Concerns that the proposal will increase noise due to the new bus route and proposed crossing.
The proposed crossing has been designed in accordance with AT standards that should ensure minimal impact on noise when vehicles drive over the table at the recommended speed.
- Request for speed signage to be implemented to ensure drivers stick to the legal speed limit, particularly for the safety of school children.
The 50km/h speed limit is established well before vehicles travel along Rata Street. Rata Street is also classified as an urban local road and in these instances, we do not provide speed repeater signs. This is in line with the national guidelines.
Drivers using Rata Street are expected to know what the legal speed limit is and abide by the law. The proposed raised table will help in reducing speeds along Rata Street. We do however, encourage you to contact the police if you do observe drivers breaking the speed limit.
- Request for broken yellow lines to be installed at the end of the drop off bay due to cars overcrowding this area.
Auckland Transport support and encourage active transport and use of public transport for the journey to and from school. This is to support both road safety outside the school gate and reduce congestion on the network. In areas where this is not possible, we have dedicated resources to promote parking and walking from identified locations close to schools, but not immediately in front of the school gate. Parking time restrictions are used to encourage turnover in areas that experience high parking demand.
We are currently undertaking a trial looking at a number of suitable options to provide safety outside schools for all road users, in particular students and their families. We will be working with up to four schools in the Auckland area and use up to four different treatment types to assess their suitability to provide safety during morning and afternoon school peak. While this trial is underway, we will not be implementing any changes to existing restrictions or layouts currently in place outside schools. We thank you for your patience during the trial period.
- Concerns that the proposal will not prevent cars from excessive speeding on this street.
The main focus of this proposal is to provide a safe crossing facility and connection to pedestrians crossing at this location. We are currently working to a plan to reduce speeds on Auckland’s roads. This plan targets the highest priority areas based on the level of safety risk measured for each road on our network. The initial roll out of speed reduction is focused on approximately 10 per cent of our road network, including residential areas. This programme focuses delivery to areas that have been prioritised for changes to reduce the incidence and impact of crashes. This is based on several factors, including the number of crashes, safety risk, traffic speed, land use and concerns raised by local residents and their elected representatives.
While we do appreciate your concerns, this area has not been identified in the first group of areas within our Residential Speed Management programme as other areas in the region are experiencing higher speeds and safety risk. More information, including the residential areas that will be prioritised for further investigation can be viewed on the Residential Speed Management Programme page on our website.
- Request for the footpath at the corner of Garfield Road and Rautawhiri Road to be extended to allow for more pedestrians to walk safely.
Encouraging more people to walk is a key part of our transport strategy. Auckland Transport (AT) supports walking and invests in footpaths as part of making Auckland a desirable place to live. AT has a footpath budget that is designed to complete minor gaps in the existing walking network to provide for improved walkability in communities. We maintain a list of footpath requests received from the public and at present it contains approximately 700 requests. In the past year we have received around 100 requests alone. Therefore, we have to prioritise our investment.
Your request was added to a New Footpath Candidate List where it was scored and prioritised based on the following criteria:
- Proximity to schools, public transport and community facilities;
- Speed and traffic volume of the road;
- Existence of footpaths parallel to requested location (areas with no footpaths score higher);
- Addressing a gap in the existing footpath network.
Unfortunately your footpath currently ranks low on the candidate list. AT’s footpath programme can only fund the top 10-15 of these requests each year. Unfortunately, when compared to other requests, this footpath has lower priority and is unlikely to be constructed in the short to medium term through this programme. It will remain on the list until it prioritises high enough compared to other requests. We’d also mention that each Local Board has discretionary funds available for transport projects, and they can choose to fund new footpaths. AT shares our footpath list with the local boards each year, however, you are also welcome to approach your Local Board with the details of your request.
We will be in touch with you when we know more about how this project will be impacted by the current budget constraints. Once funding is secured, our contractors will send notices to residents or businesses affected by works 48 hours before the work starts.