Proposal status: Feedback closed 6 July 2020, last updated 16 September 2020.
Reference number: CSFWR1.1
In July 2020, we proposed changes in your area
To improve pedestrian safety, we proposed to upgrade the existing refuge island to a raised pedestrian crossing. Our proposal responds to requests from the community to improve crossing facilities in this area. The upgrade to a pedestrian crossing will improve accessibility and safety for people when crossing the road.
We proposed to:
- install a new raised speed table, which is a flat and wide type of speed bump. This will help reduce the speed of drivers before they reach the new zebra crossing
- install a new zebra crossing raised to a platform level with new kerb ramps, orange beacons, road markings and signage. This is to improve safety by making the crossing more visible to drivers and encourage them to slow down for pedestrians
- install new footpath to make it easier for people to access the nearby train station or playground
- install broken yellow lines on Swanson Road to make it easier for approaching drivers to see people crossing the road. These works would remove a total of 2 parking spaces. The proposed broken yellow lines are required to improve visibility and safety of pedestrians near the zebra crossing.
This will help reduce the speed of drivers before they reach the new zebra crossing. This is to improve safety by making the crossing more visible to drivers and encourage them to slow down for pedestrians. The addition of a new footpath to make it easier for people to access the nearby train station or playground. The proposed broken yellow lines would make it easier for approaching drivers to see people crossing the road, improving visibility and safety of pedestrians near the zebra crossing.
COVID-19 has had a significant impact on AT and the wider Auckland Council whānau. 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 constructed.
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.
Community Safety Fund
The Community Safety Fund is focused on tackling road safety concerns. This programme is dependent on the level of funding AT receives from Auckland Council. Unfortunately, this year funding has been constrained due to the impact of Covid-19. Planning and design will continue but currently many projects cannot be delivered in the 2020/2021 financial year.
This project is supported by the regional fuel tax fund.
Swanson: 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 Swanson 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).
- The majority of community feedback received was positive, and key stakeholders, such as Swanson School, were supportive of the changes. We would like to thank all respondents for taking the time to provide feedback on this proposal. We believe that installing this raised zebra crossing will help address the community’s concerns and make this road safer for everyone.
- Concern over raising the crossing because it might cause drivers to slow down unnecessarily and cause traffic congestion on the busy road. The purpose of this project is to provide a safe place for pedestrians to cross and the raised table will slow vehicles at this location which will improve safety. The traffic congestion is expected to be minor on this road, and the traffic can flow freely when no pedestrians are using the crossing.
- Suggestion for a pedestrian crossing with an island in the middle (like in Glendene) would be better as the raised crossing could increase congestion. The purpose of this project is to provide a safe place for pedestrians to cross. The raised table will slow vehicles at this location which will improve safety. Traffic congestion is expected to be minor, and traffic can flow normally when no pedestrians are using the crossing.
- Suggestion for the speed limit is lowered to 40km through the village from Christian Rd to O'Neills Rd. We are introducing safe and appropriate speeds across areas rather than individual roads. Some ‘self-explaining’ roads, or sections of roads, have been included. These are areas where the road conditions already cause drivers to travel at a lower speed – such as winding rural roads and traffic-calmed urban areas. Therefore, reducing the speed limit will make it easier for people who aren’t familiar with the roads to identify what the appropriate speed is.
These speed limit changes form part of a wider road safety programme and the nominated roads have been prioritised based on a number of criteria. Unfortunately, Swanson Road has not made this first selection of roads, but in the future, we may consider speed reductions for other roads around Auckland.
- Suggestion for painting zig-zag lines or use any other warning/alert tool to warn drivers that they are approaching a crossing. This would be towards the end of Swanson Road where drivers tend to speed at this section and most drivers drive over 60km/hr around here. The visibility of the crossing for approaching drivers has been checked and the sight line requirements are met. Drivers will need to slow down to the recommended speed to drive over the raised table comfortably. We will, however, continue to monitor vehicles speeds at the crossing following implementation and consider additional speed calming measures where necessary.
- Request for a speed camera be installed on Swanson Road or close to the school. For speed camera (safety camera) requests, please contact the New Zealand Police as the enforcement of speeding vehicles is the responsibility of the Police. There is a selection process behind the installation of safety cameras, which is carried out in conjunction with the Police, the New Zealand Transport Agency’s (NZTA) Safety Team and an independent transportation consultant. Generally, safety cameras are placed in areas where there is a problem with excessive speed alongside a proven crash risk or a history of crashes causing serious injuries and/or death. Should you notice common trends, such as speeding during certain times of the day or individual vehicles, you may also want to contact the Police with further details so they can carry out targeted enforcement.
- Suggestion for better lighting in this area for improved pedestrian security and visibility. The lighting at the crossing will be upgraded to meet the required lighting standards for a pedestrian crossing.
- Concern that many drivers speed down this area and that visibility can be difficult coming out of Christian Road. The proposed raised table crossing will help to calm the speeds of vehicles moving through this section of Swanson Rd. Additionally, this intersection has been investigated which has shown that there have been no reported crashes here in the last 5 years. This suggests that this intersection is operating relatively safely compared to other intersection over the Auckland Region. Therefore, we cannot justify any changes here for now.
- Concern that the kerb extensions make it dangerous for cycling because it forces cyclists to join general traffic. This is unpleasant and inconsistent with Vision Zero and that it will also make it harder to install any protected space for cycling. Request for the inclusion of cycle bypasses (or some similar provision like on Ashton Road in Mt Eden). The side islands will have signage to alert and direct road users to keep to the right of the island. Cyclists will ride around the side islands which would be the same as if it was a parked car. The distance between the proposed side and refuge islands is 3.2m. This distance is enough to indicate to drivers that they cannot overtake a cyclist at this location. Furthermore, vehicles travelling through this section will be moving at a reduced to speed to navigate the narrowed lane and raised table. This reduction in speed significantly decreases the chances of a death or serious injury crash occurring if a collision between a cyclists and vehicle were to occur which is in line with Vision Zero.
- Concern that due to the addition of more housing in the Christian Rd/Mettam Drive area, the proposed location of the crossing would increase risk to pedestrians, as there is increased traffic coming out of Christian Road. This type of crossing gives priority to pedestrians over vehicles, meaning drivers will need to stop and give way if they see people crossing or waiting to cross, therefore increasing safety for pedestrians.
- Concern that the raised platforms will increase speeding and dangerous driving. While most people will slow down, there are a small number of drivers that still approach the raised tables at high speeds and lose control. This raised crossing will be built to Auckland Transport standards including all the required advanced warning and recommended speed signage. Vehicles will be made aware of the raised crossing well in advance so that they are able to adjust their speed accordingly to ensure comfort and to avoid damaging their vehicle as they go over the raised crossing. Furthermore, if you notice any dangerous driving in your area, please record any details and report these instances directly to the Police when they occur.
- Concern over driver speeds in this location and would prefer traffic lights in this location to increase safety as drivers speed through this location. The advantage of having a raised zebra crossing over traffic lights is the added benefit of slowing driver speeds. Drivers approaching the raised crossing will need to adjust their speed accordingly to ensure comfort and to avoid damage to their vehicle as they go over the raised table. This reduction in speed significantly decreases the chances of a death or serious injury crash occurring if a collision between a pedestrian and vehicle were to occur.
- Concern over whether speed bumps are necessary in this location as there is little high-speed use here or they feel that there isn't enough usage by vehicles to warrant one here. Request for the crossing to be made flush with the road rather than raised on a table. A raised zebra crossing is more effective in this area than a normal crossing, as it provides an additional benefit in slowing drivers down on approach to the raised crossing. By reducing the speed of drivers, the chances of a death or serious injury crash happening if a collision between a pedestrian and vehicle were to occur are decreased.
- Request that the raised table is not raised too high as they are concerned that certain types of cars may not be able to handle it. The raised crossing will be built to Auckland Transport standards including the height, all the required advanced warning and recommended speed signage. Therefore, vehicles have enough warning in advance, so they are able to adjust their speed appropriately and avoid damage to their vehicle.
- Concern over the loss of parking as the area is already under pressure from on-street parking from commuters and while this was reduced during Covid-19, there is still high parking demand in this area. This includes people using the car parks at Robert Knox Memorial Park for all day parking (thus reducing parking for parents whose children use the playground). Broken yellow lines are required to ensure safe visibility between approaching vehicles and pedestrians preparing to cross the road. The removal of only two car parking spaces is currently proposed which should not significantly affect the parking in this area, which providing drivers with a better view of the crossing.
- Suggestion to make more park and ride spaces available in the area to address the loss of parking from this project which will just increase existing parking limitations. Broken yellow lines are required to ensure safe visibility between approaching vehicles and pedestrians preparing to cross the road. As only two spaces will be lost, the parking should not be heavily affected. However, we appreciate that parking is loss is a concern for residents so your request for park and ride spaces will be forwarded on to the appropriate Auckland Transport Team.
- Suggestion for a Swedish-style raised table at the zebra crossing outside Swanson School for several reasons: to improve safety for schoolchildren as they cross, to improve access when walking east from the train station, and to provide speed calming measures when approaching Swanson village from both directions or suggestion of traffic lights near Swanson School. Auckland Transport has been receiving a high number of requests for pedestrian improvements throughout the region and is having to prioritise sites that have a history of pedestrian related crashes or high pedestrian demand.
The initial investigation for this site including a review of the crash history, traffic volumes and pedestrian demand has been undertaken. There are no reported crashes involving pedestrians at this location. Traffic volumes have been assessed as moderate, with speeds in the area to be generally within the posted speed limit while pedestrian demand has been assessed as low. On this basis, the site has been assessed as low to medium risk for prioritisation purposes.
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic event has led to funding issues for Auckland Council, resulting in a significant reduction in Auckland Transport’s budget to implement projects. At this stage we are unable to fund a project for this site, however it will be placed on a list of projects to be considered further when funding becomes available.
We understand this may not be the outcome you were seeking, however please be assured that your feedback is important to us to improve the safety of the road network and we appreciate you raising concerns.
Swanson Train Station
- Concern that when exiting the train station, the crossing may make it more difficult for cars to join the road and suggested that the entrance and exit locations at the Swanson Station be swapped to make visibility better for cars exiting. The location of the proposed crossing will not decrease the visibility of vehicles exiting the train station carpark. There have also been no reported crashes here involving the lack of visibility here in the last 5 years. We therefore, cannot justify a change to the current entry and exit layout.
- Concern over vehicles pulling out of the station car parks lacking clear visibility as there have been a lot of near misses due to parked cars and requested that the broken yellow lines are extended. Suggestion for the trees at the exit from the train station need to be trimmed to improve visibility for vehicles exiting the station.Upon exiting the train station car park, vehicles should be able to slowly edge forward up to the existing continuity line and have clear visibility of oncoming traffic in both directions. There have also been no reported crashes here involving the lack of visibility here in the last 5 years, so we would not need to extend the broken yellow lines. Tree maintenance is the responsibility of Auckland Council and no trees or plants will be cut at the moment, but we will continue to monitor them at this location to see if trimming is necessary and can be requested.
- Concern about the visibility of the crossing from the main entry and exit of the train station and suggested that it be relocated closer to the station (moved further east from where it is currently proposed), so that it could be a multi-purpose crossing for both train station users as well as the park users. Suggestion for the crossing be placed opposite the railway station where buses and trains pull in or that the location of the crossing be moved outside 745 Swanson Road as it is not convenient for people coming from Ranui. A survey about the existing pedestrian island crossing outside 755 and 739 was carried out prior to consulting on the proposed changes. The results showed that more pedestrians were crossing at 755 opposed to 739. On that basis, the existing pedestrian island crossing outside 755 was chosen to be upgraded. This location was also agreed to with the Waitakere Ranges Local Board. The visibility has also been checked as part of the design and the available sight lines at this location meet the requirements.
- Suggestion for an underpass. While underpasses had popularity in the 1960s, they have since been proven to be unpopular with pedestrians who find them a personal security concern. The current guidance regarding the design of pedestrian facilities indicates that pedestrians should stay at ground level, so that their journeys are direct and so that less mobile people can also use the crossing facility. Both underpasses and over-bridges result in longer walking journeys or include stairs, so they are less likely to be used than a crossing found on the ground level, and this results in people taking risks to cross busy roads unaided. A typical example of this occurs at the underpass in Symonds Street, which is underused even though it is next to the University of Auckland which means a lot of people would be travelling here.
Measures in other locations
- Concern over cars speeding on Swanson Road, Ranui. Suggestion for ‘speed bars’ to be placed between the Vegetable Shop on Swanson Road, Ranui to the Luanda Drive intersection. Auckland Transport has investigated and designed improvements on this section of Swanson Rd. Unfortunately, due to the recent budget cuts as a result from COVID-19 this project has been placed on hold. We hope to progress this project in the near future once funding can be directed to this project.
- Suggestion that the traffic coming out from Scenic Drive needs more gateway treatment like this to reduce speeds. Road markings were installed in the form of '50' speed signs at two locations along Swanson Rd (883 and 817 Swanson Rd) to highlight the speed limit coming from Scenic Dr. Since these were implemented, there have only been 2 reported non-injury crashes related to speeding on this section of Swanson Rd. This shows that this section is operating relatively safely compared to other roads in the wider Auckland region. We will however, continue to monitor this section of road and provide additional measures as necessary.
- Suggestion for a roundabout on North Candia and Swanson Road due to many ‘near misses’. Others suggested traffic lights on North Candia and Swanson as a roundabout may not accommodate the trucks that go through the intersection. We have investigated this intersection and found that there has only been one reported crash here in the last five years. This suggests to us that the intersection is currently operating relatively safely when compared to other intersection across the Auckland region. Therefore, we cannot currently justify any changes or upgrades at this location.
- Request for the design of the crossing fit in with the look and feel of Swanson. The speed table will be made out of concrete and will follow AT guidelines with regard to colours and finish.
- Concern about the noise that could come from buses and trucks going over the speed bump. The proposed speed table will have a shallow bump and the noise produced is considered to be relatively low, similar to the noise from drivers approaching an intersection. Find out more about road noise.
- Suggestion to include a street view photo of the current area as well as an artist impression in future consultations which can give people more of an idea of how the area will change. We acknowledge the added benefits of using artist impressions however, they are generally only used in consultations for larger projects. There is an additional cost associated with generating these drawings and usually cannot be justified on smaller projects.
- Concern over the cost of this project. Competitive pricing for this project will be sought when the proposal is presented for construction. The safety benefits resulting from the improved crossing will justify the cost. However, COVID-19 has had a significant impact on AT and the wider Auckland Council whānau. 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.
- Concern over the environmental impact of project. As part of the construction of this project, we will require a plan on how to limit the impact to the environment which will be submitted from the selected contractor to construct the project. This will need to be reviewed, approved and implemented before construction begins.
We will be in touch with you once 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.