Proposal status: Feedback closed 25 March 2022
Reference number: MIP2122-018
In March 2022, we proposed changes to improve road safety at the Thomas Road, Aspiring Avenue, and Donegal Park Drive intersection in Flat Bush. These changes are in response to concerns raised by residents and Howick Local Board members about road safety through the intersection.
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 next year, between October and December 2023. We will be in touch with nearby residents prior to any construction taking place with an updated estimate.
Thank you for adding your voice to this proposal. Your local knowledge has helped us make this decision for your neighbourhood. The proposal received a strong supportive response from the community.
There was a range of reasons why people supported the project in the survey responses – because the existing intersection is dangerous, because they feel unsafe travelling through it, because the roundabout would reduce accidents, because the changes will improve safety for pedestrians, and more. Many respondents told us they or a loved one were involved in an accident or that they had witnessed a crash at the intersection.
Through the consultation we also heard some additional suggestions and concerns from the community. The following is a summary of the comments and queries we received, and our responses to them.
- Concern that the proposal will increase traffic congestion at peak times.
As part of the design process, we have undertaken traffic modelling for the proposed roundabout. This will help us understand how drivers would move through the intersection with the roundabout in place.
The roundabout would mean that vehicles travelling along Thomas Road will at times have to give way to vehicles on Donegal Park Drive and Aspiring Avenue. The modelling shows that the additional delay to these vehicles will be relatively minor and there will be less delay for vehicles on Donegal Park Drive and Aspiring Avenue.
- Concern that AT Metro buses or large trucks will not be able to manoeuvre through the roundabout and crossings safely.
We have done vehicle tracking assessments for buses and heavy vehicles which shows that they will be able to safely manoeuvre through the roundabout.
- Question if traffic monitoring was done before the proposal was designed.
Yes, as part of the initial design process, we undertook vehicle and pedestrian counts at the intersection prior to understand the number of people moving through the intersection.
- Suggestion that the island at the centre of the road at the pedestrian crossings are designed so there is space for cyclists.
By narrowing the lane width and providing raised zebra crossings on each approach to the roundabout we are ensuring that vehicles will need to slow down significantly before they enter the circulating lane of the roundabout. This will allow cyclists to take the lane prior to entering the roundabout without creating a pinch point.
- Suggestion to put in a planting at the centre of the roundabout to reduce the amount of cement needed.
We will consider planting within the roundabout in the next phase of design, the detailed design stage. When considering planting on traffic islands and roundabouts, we need to consider visibility and maintenance concerns.
- Concern that the proposal is too complicated and will be expensive and take a long time to build.
While this is a complex project, the significant benefits provided by the project will greatly improve safety for everyone using this roundabout. We will make every effort to minimise disruptions to road users during construction.
- Request that the roundabout is level so that all exits are visible to drivers.
We have undertaken visibility assessments at each approach of the roundabout to ensure that pedestrians and drivers will have sufficient visibility.
- Request that the roundabout is not as big as the one at Greenan Drive and Drumconnel Drive as buses and trucks have to drive over it.
The proposed roundabout has been designed so that buses and heavy vehicles will be able to safely manoeuvre through it.
- Suggestion to place a speed camera on Thomas Road.
Auckland Transport do not normally install speed cameras as the responsibility for the enforcement of speeding vehicles is with the New Zealand Police.
If you notice common trends of speeding vehicles such as the time of day or an individual vehicle, we suggest that you contact the police who may choose to carry out targeted enforcement in the area. We will pass along the request for a speed camera to the New Zealand Police.
- Suggestion to reduce the speed limit along Thomas Road to 50 km/h.
Auckland Transport has recently consulted on Phase 3 of its Safe Speeds Programme. The 60km/h section of Thomas Road was included in this consultation for a proposed reduction to 50km/h.
More information about the recent speed limit consultation can be found on the consultation webpage here. We are currently collating the feedback we received during the consultation and will update the webpage with any further updates.
- Suggestion that the pedestrian crossings remain flat because high speeds and pedestrian crossings are not the issue/there is not high demand and it will reduce traffic flow.
Currently there is a lack of pedestrian facilities at the intersection which makes it difficult for pedestrians to cross the road. Installing pedestrian crossings will provide pedestrians with priority to cross the road and encourage walking in the neighbourhood.
Raised zebra crossings are effective in reducing vehicle speeds near the crossing point where pedestrians enter the road space and are vulnerable. The raised crossings in this proposal will also help reduce vehicle speeds as they enter the roundabout, which will improve safety for all road users.
We carried out a traffic modelling assessment for the proposed roundabout design, including the crossings, which found that there would be minimal change to the traffic flow for vehicles on Thomas Road, however there would be a significant improvement for vehicles on Donegal Park Drive and Aspiring Avenue.
- Suggestion that the pedestrian crossings should be placed further down the roads to allow cars to wait at the roundabout and prevent the build-up of cars.
The location of the crossings are along the desire line for pedestrians. Shifting them further down reduces the likelihood of them being utilised. We have left enough space for one vehicle to queue beyond each crossing.
Providing space for more than one vehicle to queue at the intersection would have a minimal impact on the efficiency of the intersection, but it would significantly reduce pedestrian access and ease of use.
Parking removal and visibility
- Concern about loss of parking.
- Suggestion that BYLs are on both sides of the roads leading into the roundabout.
We have undertaken a visibility assessment at each leg of the proposed roundabout and proposed parking removal to ensure that pedestrians have enough visibility of vehicles approaching the pedestrian crossings and to ensure that larger vehicles are able to safely manoeuvre through the roundabout.
- Concern that residents living near the intersection park on the berm and obstruct sightlines for drivers.
Thank you for raising this issue. We will monitor the parking behaviour at this location after construction and determine whether additional restrictions are required to address parking on the berm.
- Suggestion that the roundabout is not necessary and drivers simply need to learn the road rules.
Auckland Transport has adopted a Vision Zero strategy that recognises that while we all have a responsibility to make good choices, we are human and we make mistakes. There have been many crashes at this intersection in the last 5 years and the proposed changes will have a significant impact on improving safety for all road users.
- Suggestion to change the "give way" signs on Aspiring Avenue and Donegal Park Drive to stop signs and install a few speed bumps on Thomas Avenue instead of installing a roundabout.
Our Traffic Engineering team has investigated changing the intersection control here from “give way” to “stop,” however a roundabout has been proposed as it is a safer and more efficient way to control the way drivers move through the intersection.
We have adopted a Vision Zero strategy, where we aim to design our roads to limit the impact of human mistakes. There have been many crashes at this intersection in the last 5 years and the proposed changes will have a significant impact on improving safety for everyone on the road.
- Query about whether traffic lights were considered for traffic flow.
Traffic lights were considered. We carried out a traffic modelling assessment which compared the effect of a roundabout and the signalisation of the intersection.
The modelling found that signalising the intersection would lead to slightly less delays for vehicles on Donegal Park Drive and Aspiring Ave but would significantly increase delays for vehicles on Thomas Road, where the highest number of vehicles drive along.
Modelling for the roundabout option found it was the best option for traffic flow, as there would be minimal change to the delays for vehicles on Thomas Road, however there would be a significant improvement for vehicles on Donegal Park Drive and Aspiring Avenue.
Suggested improvements for the neighbourhood
- Suggestion that the safety issues at the intersection of Aspiring Avenue and Hollyford Drive should be the priority instead, especially for right turning traffic onto Hollyford Drive.
We are currently in the early design stages for a project at the intersection of Aspiring Avenue and Hollyford Drive. The design aims to address the operational deficiency and safety issues for pedestrians, cyclists, as well as general traffic at the intersection. However we are unable to provide any timeframes for this project right now.
- Suggestion to provide a new raised zebra crossing on the northwest of Thomas Road near the bus stop to provide safety for pedestrians and force the drivers to reduce their speed before approaching the roundabout.
The location of the crossings near the intersection are along the desire lines for pedestrians. The raised zebra crossings just before the roundabout to ensure that vehicles are travelling at safe speeds at the crossing points where pedestrians are most vulnerable and that vehicles will enter the roundabout at safe speeds.
- Suggestion to install speed bumps on Donegal Park Road to slow speeding drivers.
To address traffic speeds in residential areas we have adopted an area-based focus from 2019 onwards. This recognises that traffic-calming changes on one street have a flow-on effect on the surrounding neighbourhood. This plan will support all drivers to travel at the appropriate speed and to the road conditions.
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.
Donegal Park Drive 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. Your request has been recorded in the database to indicate support for safer speeds in your residential area. More information, including the residential areas that will be prioritised for further investigation can be viewed on the Residential Speed Management Programme page.
We're proposing improvements in your area
After investigating requests from residents and the Howick Local Board to improve safety at the Thomas Road, Aspiring Avenue, and Donegal Park Drive intersection in Flat Bush, we have designed a proposal to install a roundabout and four pedestrian crossings.
We are proposing to:
- Construct a roundabout at the Thomas Road, Aspiring Avenue, and Donegal Park Drive intersection.
- Adjust the kerb corners at the intersection to ensure all vehicles can safely manoeuvre through the roundabout.
- Remove the existing traffic islands on Aspiring Avenue and Donegal Park Drive.
- Install raised zebra crossings across all four sides of the intersection. These crossings are painted on a wide, flat speed bump which is level with the footpath and include a traffic island at the centre of the road.
- Install new tactile pavers, which are yellow guidance markers that help guide the visually impaired, at the sides of the road near the proposed crossings.
- Paint broken yellow lines (no stopping at any time lines) along the south side of Thomas Road and the west side of Aspiring Avenue near the roundabout. This would remove 26 parking spaces.
- Install new road markings and signage to support the new roundabout and pedestrian crossings.
In the past five years, this intersection has seen a high number of crashes occurring when people were turning or driving through the intersection and a third of these accidents resulted in injuries. The proposed roundabout would improve safety by providing a controlled way of moving through the Thomas-Aspiring-Donegal Park intersection.
The raised zebra crossings would make it safer to cross the road by increasing the visibility of pedestrians and giving them the right of way across all sides of the intersection. Because the proposed crossings are raised, they would help to reduce drivers’ speeds as they enter the new roundabout, which would improve safety for everyone on the road.
In order to ensure that people crossing the road are visible and sightlines are kept clear, we would need to remove some of the on-street parking near the roundabout. We understand parking removal can be inconvenient, and we have limited the restrictions to the minimum.
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.
Flat Bush: 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 Thomas 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).