Proposal status: Feedback closed 15 August 2021
Reference number: RSU2021-016
In August 2021 we proposed changes to reduce driver speeds and improve safety for everyone crossing the road at the intersection of St George Street and Carruth Road, Papatoetoe. These changes are in response to concerns raised by residents and Local Board requests. After reviewing all the feedback, we are proceeding with the work as proposed. These works will help support our Vision Zero goal.
What happens next
We anticipate the changes will be constructed in the first quarter of 2022. We will be in touch with local residents and business prior to any construction taking place.
Thank you for helping us make better decisions for your neighbourhood, informed by your local knowledge. Over 14,000 vehicles a day use the St George Street and Carruth Road roundabout, with 85% of vehicles moving through at approximately 48km/h. People responding to our survey agree that this intersection needs to be made safer and the local community police and nearby school supported the proposed changes. As well as safety for pedestrians, congestion and high speeds through the intersection were reported as issues in the area and opinions differed on what the most appropriate safety improvements should be. Below we have a summary of the queries we received and concerns we heard, with our responses to each.
- Concern there is already pedestrian access to the schools from Carruth Street and St George Street, so it is not necessary to add a third pedestrian crossing so close to the roundabout. The area has many pedestrian crossings and pedestrian controlled lights and doesn’t need more. The intersection needs a better design as raised crossings are not safe. Raised pedestrian crossings are used to help reduce driver speed near intersections. Lower driver speed means that if an accident does happen, it is less likely to result in death or serious injury. During 2020 in the Ōtara-Papatoetoe local board area 3 people died and 36 people were seriously injured. Between 2016 and 2020, 43 people walking died or were seriously injured. We believe raised pedestrian crossings on all three legs of this intersection will help reduce driver speed in the area and make it safer for people, especially school kids, walking and on bikes. The Ōtara-Papatoetoe Local Board and community police also support this proposal.
- Concerns that uncontrolled, raised pedestrian crossings used to slow vehicles on a heavy arterial route is not consistent with Vision Zero. There are better ways to control speeding, such as narrower roads, raised roundabouts, traffic lights with pedestrian controlled crossings or regular speed bumps along Carruth Road. One of the objectives of Vision Zero is to reduce driver speed to a survivable level, so if a person makes an unexpected mistake and there is an accident, it does not result in a death or serious injury. Traffic lights, pedestrian controlled crossings or the existing style flat zebra crossings do not help to bring driver speed down to a survivable level, which is approximately 30km/h. By raising the crossings, we aim to make it safer for people to cross the road near the roundabout by slowing drivers down. During off-peak times speeds are high in the area and raised crossings will provide safer crossing facilities at all times. Both Carruth Road and St George Street are bus routes, therefore bus friendly speed tables will be installed.
- Concerns that the amount of traffic congestion and poor behaviour of drivers at the roundabout is not addressed in this plan and raising the crossings won’t address the issues. This stretch of road is always backed up so the speed calming effect of the crossings will not be effective. Request to know if the intersection was studied on-site at the busiest times to see the extent of the congestion on Carruth Road. The aim of this proposal is to provide safer crossing facilities in the area for the schools and local community. The existing roundabout works well to maintain traffic flow in the area, and roundabouts are good solutions for intersections where traffic volumes are high. We have studied this intersection on-site, and it was decided that the best option was to retain the roundabout and install raised crossings. This would keep traffic congestion in the area at about the existing level and provide safer facilities for people crossing the road at the intersection. Installing traffic lights here would likely significantly increase traffic congestion in the area as the flow of traffic would be stopped.
- Requests that stronger enforcement measures are taken against people who do not follow the road code and make our roads unsafe. Moving violation enforcement is carried out by the New Zealand Police. To report a road incident or an unsafe driver, please call *555 from a mobile phone. You can find more information on the police website.
- Concern that the kids using the new crossings will not look when crossing the road and asks if schools patrol these crossings. The two existing crossings are patrolled at the start and end of the school day by one of the local schools. We are happy to coordinate further training and support for schools in the area if there is a need to patrol the new crossing. The school can contact either the local community police officer or the AT Community Transport Coordinator if they wish to discuss organising more school patrols in the area.
- Concern that installing raised crossings directly in front of properties will make it difficult to get in and out of driveways on a busy road. As part of designing this proposal, we calculated the tracking curves for various types of vehicle entering and exiting the nearby properties. This was to ensure that crossings were not located where they would interfere with driveways. We do not expect there to be any issues for people entering or leaving properties on this stretch of road.
- Concern that the crossing is being relocated to 160 St George Street for no reason and without explanation. The existing zebra crossing outside 164 St George Street is very close to the roundabout and is a design which is no longer considered safe. We believe that moving the crossing to outside 160 St George Street and raising it on a speed table will make it safer for people to cross the road.
- Multiple concerns the crossing at 186 St George is too close to the roundabout and cars turning in and out of this part of the street will block the crossing. Suggestions that there needs to be space for at least two cars to wait in front of the crossing to enter the roundabout, especially at busy times, or congestion will get worse. Request for the crossing to be moved to outside 202 St Georges Rd, which would be more in keeping with the locations of the other crossings at the roundabout. Our pedestrian studies at this location have shown that people prefer to cross the road close to the roundabout where there is no crossing facility. We believe it is best to install a crossing where people want to cross the road. In this design, there is enough space available for two cars to wait to enter the roundabout. Also, the number of people wanting to cross here varies throughout the day, so cars blocking the crossing should not be an issue.
- Concerns that it will be very difficult to turn right out of Mahon Place or left out of Warwick Avenue at busy times with a raised crossing right next to the intersection. Mahon Place is a short cul-de-sac with low traffic volumes and Warwick Avenue is a side street. Raised tables do not usually contribute to delays for turning out of side streets, so we do not expect additional delays from a raised table here. However, congestion at the roundabout can influence how long it takes to exit out of a side street, so at some times of day it may be more difficult to exit the side streets than at other times.
- Concern that buses will find it difficult to get through the roundabout if it is raised. The proposed raised crossings are bus friendly and our bus network team have approved the design of the roundabout.
- Concern that on-street parking for residents and visitors is being removed. New housing development in the area and loss of parking will add to congestion, especially at school pick up and drop off times. We understand that removing parking can be inconvenient, especially as our city grows. We remove only enough on-street parking to ensure there is enough space for people crossing the road and people driving to clearly see each other. This change will help improve safety for the many school children who cross the road here.
- Concern about poor parking behaviour, such as parking over driveways, of parents picking up and dropping off children for school. More people are now parking on berms and footpaths. If you see illegal parking behaviour, the most effective way to address it is to report the problem when it is happening. Please contact our Parking Compliance Team on (09) 355 3553 if you see an illegal parking issue. We will dispatch a parking warden to the location as we can only take action against an illegally parked vehicle if one of our wardens witnesses the offence.
- Concerns that areas around the new raised crossings, particularly at 186 St George Road, and next to Warwick Avenue, are prone to flooding. Raised crossings and changes to the kerb line will make drainage and the flooding of the road and properties worse. The stormwater issues in this area are being addressed as part of this proposal. When the raised crossings are constructed new stormwater catch pits will also be installed near each raised table. This should help reduce the likelihood of flooding in the area.
- Concern that moving the bus stop forces kids to cross over Mahon Place and this will be a safety issue at school pick up and drop off times when traffic is busy. Mahon Place is a short cul de sac street with very low traffic volumes. We believe that crossing Mahon Place will be safe when accessing the nearby bus stop.
- Concern that people waiting for the bus are disrespectful of neighbouring properties. They leave rubbish all over the ground, take things and smoke, which smells bad and is not good for the people living next to the bus stop. We provide bus services, including a shelter at many bus stops, that are available for any person to use. Unfortunately, we are not able to monitor the behaviour of people as they wait for the bus to arrive. We suggest contacting your local police or school if anti-social behaviour becomes a problem near where you live.
- Suggestion to move the bus stop at 131 St Georges Rd to 119 St Georges Rd as it will be too close to the relocated bus stop at 145 St Georges Rd. We worked with our AT Metro bus management team during this project to ensure that bus stops were moved to the most suitable locations. The relocated bus stop outside 145 St George Street was not considered too close to nearby stops and there should be no issues with the new locations.
- Multiple requests for bus shelters at the bus stops on St Georges Road, especially at 128/129 close to the shops, as it is a busy road and currently there are none. Residents have asked on multiple occasions since 2013 for bus shelters. A bench that was installed disappeared and was not replaced. Request a bus stop next to 22 Carruth Road so there is a pair of stops on either side of the street here. Currently the is only a stop on one side of the street. We have passed these requests to our AT Metro team for investigation and prioritising.
- Multiple concerns that there are no trees or environmental green planting in this plan to offset increase in traffic in the area. Request for more greenery and planting around the roundabout and the location generally. We have passed your request to Auckland Council for investigation and prioritising.
- Request the edges of the berms and footpaths near the roundabout are fixed up where needed. We have passed your request to the Footpath Maintenance team for investigation and prioritising.
Lighting and signs
- Concern that the raised tables are not too high as some of the new ones around Papatoetoe are very steep with sharp drop offs. St George Street and Carruth Road are both bus routes. The raised tables have been designed with a gentle exit slope so that the ride over the bump is easier on the bus and on the passengers.
- Suggestion that the warning signs and give way signs at the roundabout need to be higher and more visible. Request effective lighting at the roundabout and the raised crossings so they are a much more visible. The lighting should be LED and needs to be better maintained than they are currently. Suggest a steel border at the edges of the road at the roundabout to protect the roads and people’s property. As part of the upgrade of this intersection, all road markings, signs and lighting will be upgraded to the most recent AT standards.
- Request to install ‘stop’ controls at the roundabout. Roundabouts are ‘give way’-controlled intersections. Therefore, we will not be installing stop signs as part of this proposal.
- Concerns there are no centre lines in Landscape Rd and other surrounding streets. We have passed your request to the Traffic Engineering team for investigation and prioritising.
- Concern the funding would be better spent on installing a new pedestrian crossing on Fairview Street. We have passed your request to the Road Safety team for investigation and prioritising.
- Concern that the proposal and advertising does not meet Treaty of Waitangi principles and is dominated by old fashioned images of Anglo-New Zealand. There was no community meeting to discuss this proposal with the people who live here. Face to face meetings are best to hear community concerns. Please do not just dot the neighbourhood with more and more raised crossings. We have been careful to follow a full process for this consultation, including meeting with the Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board and talking with local schools. This helps to ensure that the community is made aware of the project and people have the opportunity to provide feedback on the proposal. We appreciate that face-to-face meetings are important, however it is not always possible to do for every project.
We're proposing improvements in your area
The community has asked us to make it safer for people crossing the road on St George Street and Carruth Road, Papatoetoe. To reduce driver speeds and improve safety for everyone, especially school children, we are proposing to install raised pedestrian crossings on all three legs of this intersection, near the roundabout.
We are proposing to:
- Install new zebra crossings raised on a table level with the footpath and with gentle exit slopes at these locations:
- 160 St George Street – a slight relocation and upgrade of the existing crossing
- 186 St George Street – a new crossing
- 22 Carruth Road - an upgrade of the existing crossing
Each new raised crossing will be built to the current AT standard and include:
- New side and centre islands, so people crossing can see the road clearly and have a safe place to wait in the middle of the road.
- New streetlights and signs, including orange reflective discs to help make the crossings more visible.
- New road markings to help guide drivers safely over the raised tables.
- New sections of footpath with tactile pavers to help guide people with low vision to the correct place to cross, plus new grass verges where they are needed.
We will also:
- Relocate the bus stops close to 160 St George Street to either side of the new crossing as shown on the attached drawings.
- Repaint the markings of the bus stop on Carruth Road.
- Reinstate two vehicle crossings (driveways) at #145 and #153 St George Street.
- Remove 6 on street parking spaces on St George Street near the new crossings. 3 as a result of moving the bus stops and 3 outside #197 so the new crossing is easy to see.
Auckland Transport would like to work with you to deliver safer roads in your neighbourhood. St George Street turning right into Carruth Road is an arterial road and a bus route. The intersection is a roundabout and the roads are wide. This means many drivers are travelling through the intersection faster than is safe, especially with so many school children crossing here to get to the bus stops, schools and playing fields. Raising the zebra crossings will help slow driver speeds as they approach the roundabout and will make it easier for people crossing and drivers to see each other. This will help improve safety for everyone at this location.
If you would like to post in your feedback, download and print our feedback form template, fill in your details and send it freepost using the address details on the form.
What happens next
- We’ll consider all the feedback we receive, and then decide the best way to move forward.
- We’ll post the outcome of this proposal and a summary of community feedback on this webpage.
- We can email you the proposal outcome as soon as it’s ready – just select that option when you fill in the survey.
- This proposal is supported by the Auckland regional fuel tax and is part of a region wide programme to improve pedestrian safety.
Papatoetoe: 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 St George Street and Carruth Road 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).