Auckland Transport

Donovan St, Blockhouse Bay – Bus lane

Consultation status: closed 3 October 2017

Proposal reference: NOP1718-017

We are going to establish a new bus lane between 39 and 93 Donovan Street, Blockhouse Bay. The proposed bus lane will operate 4pm-7pm, Monday-Friday. Double decker buses will also be introduced to this street in 2018.

Changes to Donovan Street include:

  • No stopping restrictions along the bus route during operating hours.
  • A clearway during operating hours between 33-39 Donovan St.
  • Upgrade of bus stop markings at 53 and 93 Donovan St to meet current standards, this will result in the loss of two car parks.
  • New bus lane signage and lane greening.

Download the consultation drawing for Donovan Street (PDF 1.73MB)

This proposal aims to improve the efficiency and reliability of buses on Donovan Street. The proposed westbound bus lane will replicate the existing eastbound bus lane on the opposite side of the road.

Feedback

The proposal received positive 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

  • Suggestions that bus passenger numbers are too low to justify the proposed bus lane, that bus frequency is not issue in this area and that bus lanes are not necessary at the end of a journey. Donovan St is a high frequency bus route with 15-20 buses travelling every hour during the evening peak. These buses are currently subject to significant delays. The proposed bus lane aims to improve bus journey times and reliability by allowing them to bypass the traffic queue extending from Lewis St. This upgrade is required for this bus route as double decker buses will be introduced next year as part of the new bus network.
  • Concern that the proposed bus lane will result in increased traffic congestion for people who commute by car. The proposed bus lane will take over kerbside parking spaces during the evening peak from 4-7pm. It will not take space away from the general traffic lanes on Donovan St and is not expected to affect the movement of traffic in these lanes.
  • A suggestion that the proposed bus lane is unnecessary because the Waterview Tunnel has eased traffic congestion along Donovan St. Although the volume of traffic may have reduced on Donovan St, our surveys show that this is still a congested route where buses are significantly delayed.
  • Concern that the proposed bus lane will limit parking options for residents. We acknowledge that there will be some parking loss when the bus lane is in operation. However, this will be limited to three hours during the week, between 4-7pm. Donovan Street is an arterial road where priority is given to the movement of people, goods and reliable public transport. Our proposal aims to balance the loss of parking with the need to prioritise the efficient traffic movement. Adequate on-street parking is available in the surrounding areas to offset this temporary parking loss.
  • Concern regarding the permanent removal of parking at 93 Donovan St, which is reported to have multiple dwellings and limited off-street parking. The bus stop markings at 93 Donovan St are substandard and will be upgraded as part of the establishment of a new bus lane. Our current standard determines that cars cannot park 9 meters in front of a bus stop to ensure that buses have enough space and visibility to safely depart the stopping bay.
  • Concern that the proposed bus lane will restrict residents of Donovan St from turning right out of their driveways. We do not anticipate any greater difficulties for residents using their driveways during bus lane hours. The proposed bus lane operates between 4-7pm with 15-20 buses travelling per hour. This is equivalent to one bus coming through every 3-4 minutes.
  • Concern that the proposed bus lane will make it difficult for drivers on Donovan St to turn left and right into side streets during operating hours. Bus lanes are intended to provide a reliable and uncongested journey for people travelling on buses, bicycles, mopeds and motorcycles. In order to avoid significant disruptions to the flow of traffic, cars travelling in other lanes may enter a bus lane only 50 meters before turning into a side street. This is an established traffic rule that operates consistently across Auckland. The proposed kerbside bus lane is also unlikely to affect any right turn movements from the general traffic lane.
  • Concern that Donovan St is not wide enough to accommodate four lanes of traffic, including double decker buses. Our measurements show that the current corridor is wide enough to accommodate a 3.2 metre wide bus lane, with enough space remaining for a traffic lane.
  • Requests that the proposed bus lane be expanded to include T4 traffic. Expanding the bus lane to include T4 traffic may not be an efficient use of this arterial route. Past surveys across various routes in the network suggested that vehicles with four or more occupants comprise less than 2% of all vehicular traffic, while Donovan St presently accommodates much higher bus journey volumes. These numbers are also expected to increase as Auckland’s new bus network is rolled out. We believe the best way to maintain the efficiency of this route is to reserve the bus lane for those travelling by bus, bicycle, moped and motorcycle.
  • A request that the proposed bus lane begin at Lynbrooke Ave to be more effective for bus passengers. Extensive construction work to widen the road is required to extend the bus lane to Lynbrooke Ave. Road widening is costly and due to funding constraints, we are unable to extend the bus lane at this stage.
  • Request to extend bus lane times to 3-8pm to address congestion and traffic queues. We are standardising all bus lane hours from 4-7pm during the evening peak — these operating hours are being gradually rolled-out across the network. The new bus lane will comply with these hours to maintain consistency across the network.
  • Requests for additional works include pedestrian crossings on Donovan St, specifically a zebra crossing near Lewis St to enable children to cross safely. If you would like your request to be considered by AT for future development works, please provide feedback here.

Next steps

We expect to introduce this work in the 2018/19 financial year, subject to any further changes in design or funding issues.
Contractors will issue 48-hour notice to all affected residents prior to construction work.