Universal Drive & Rathgar Road, Henderson - Raised intersection and signalisation Universal Drive & Rathgar Road, Henderson - Raised intersection and signalisation

Proposal status: Open

Reference number: CSFHM1.1

Project update

Work is starting at the Universal Drive and Rathgar Road intersection

We are planning to start work 11 July 2022, which should take approximately 12 to 14 weeks to complete. Works will be done mainly during the day between 7am and 5pm, however some night works will also take place between 7pm and 5am.

During construction, traffic will not be able to turn into, or out of Rathgar Road onto Universal Drive. However, you can still access Rathgar Road from Swanson Road. Detour routes will be signed posted and straight through traffic on Universal Drive will be maintained in both directions. 

Technical drawing of proposed intersection

Improvements to the intersection include:

  • installation of traffic signals at the intersection
  • new kerb and channel, footpath, cycle path, drainage works
  • raised Concrete speed table across the entire intersection
  • associated signage and road marking works.

Works will be completed as quickly and efficiently as possible, however the completion date may change due to unforeseen circumstances such as weather conditions.

Additional information:

  • If any of the work directly affects accessing your property, the contractor will notify you at least 48 hours prior to the work starting and address any issues.
  • Please help us by ensuring that children and pets are supervised when approaching the works area. There will also be some level of noise during construction.
  • All measure will be carried out to minimise any adverse effects from this work.

 If you have any questions or concerns, during construction please contact ATengagement@at.govt.nz

Download the proposal drawing for Universal Drive & Rathgar Road (PDF 789KB) 

Proposal outcome

In March 2021, we proposed changes to improve safety for everyone travelling through the intersection of Universal Drive and Rathgar Road, Henderson. 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

The Community Safety Programme is focused on tackling road safety concerns. This programme is dependent on the level of funding AT receives from the Auckland Council. Planning and detailed design will continue with a decision on the construction timeframe being made in the 2021/2022 financial year.

The proposal will proceed without changes to the next stage of detailed planning before being constructed, once the budget is confirmed.

Community feedback

Thank you for helping us make better decisions for your neighbourhood, informed by your local knowledge.  A summary of your feedback and our responses to community questions is below.

  • Comments about the design of the cycling facilities included that they were expensive and prioritised cyclists over other road users. There was concern that cars wanting to turn left and waiting at the lights would block the entrance to the separated cycle path and the entrance to the path needed to be further to the east and should connect with the existing painted cycle path, which needs a safety upgrade.

The main aim of this proposal is to improve safety for all users of the intersection. Raising the intersection will help to reduce driver speeds and installing traffic signals will control all the movements through the intersection. We investigated installing separated cycle lanes on both sides of the street, but the topography of the north side significantly increased the cost of providing facilities for cyclists. Instead, separated cycle lanes at the corners of the intersection were proposed.

The longer-term intention is to connect the protected cycle corners with a potential future cycle network along Universal Drive. However, adding an eastbound cycle lane or extending the protected cycle lanes further along Universal Drive is not funded as part of this project.

  • What can be done to prevent queuing vehicles and vehicles on the painted shoulders from blocking the cycle lane entrance/exits?

We understand that this road can be busy, especially during peak traffic times, and cyclists may have to wait behind traffic to enter or exit the cycle path. We have tried to create as much space for cyclists as possible given the road/kerb space and budget available. The formal, separated cycle lanes are designed to be as long as possible and as they are physically separate from the road, vehicles will not be able to enter them. The longer-term intention is to connect the protected cycle corners with a potential future cycle network along Universal Drive.

  • Request for the cycle lane to comply with the Transport Design Manual and be at least 2m width to avoid safety issues.

The cycle lane width ranges from 1.5m to 2.0m. Space is constrained at this location so not all sections of the path can be a full 2m wide. A review of the design concluded this was acceptable given the amount of space available here.

  • Request that there is enough space at the islands for at least two cyclists to wait and manoeuvre their bikes. If there is not enough room, bikes waiting to cross the road could block cyclists turning left along the cycle lane.

The waiting space width is about 1.5m wide. Although this may not be enough space for cyclists to wait for side by side, we expect cyclists waiting to cross the road will be courteous and not block access for cyclists wanting to continue along the path.

  • Concern that the Westbound departure and Southbound cycle lanes return to the road quickly and in the case of the Southbound lane at a point where the road is narrow.

The longer-term intention is to connect the protected cycle corners with a potential future cycle network along Universal Drive. However, adding or extending cycle lanes further along Universal Drive is not funded as part of this intersection upgrade project.

The points where cyclists are re-entering the road after turning the road measures 4.5m wide. This is sufficient space for vehicles and cyclists to travel side by side.

  • Concern that drivers may not expect a cyclist to be re-entering the road or that cyclists will have to give way to cars or vice versa at the re-entry points. Suggest that the cycle lanes are made longer.

The road widths where cyclists are re-entering the traffic lane is sufficient for cyclists to enter the general traffic safely without clashing or impeding vehicle movements. We will not be installing any giveaway or other controls at these locations.

  • Will the whole of Universal Dr will be slowed down to 25km or just the raised area?

The raised intersection ramps will have signs advising a safe speed of 25km/h. This is the suggested speed a vehicle should travelling over the raised section safely and comfortably – they do not speed limit signs. However, depending on a final design for the edges of the raised intersection, the signs stating the recommended speed may change. The posted speed limit for Universal Drive will remain at 50kph.

  • Please explain if the crossing lights will be straight across the road or if people can cross in multiple directions, i.e. diagonally.

This is a T-intersection so there will not be a diagonal pedestrian movement. An intersection where everyone can cross at once is usually at a four-way intersection and this is called a 'barnes dance' pedestrian phase.

  • Will the pedestrian refuge island crossing that is close to Riverpark Crescent be removed?

Yes. We intend to remove the pedestrian refuge island near Riverpark Crescent as the new signal-controlled crossing points nearby make it redundant.

  • Request for the right turn from Rathgar Road into Universal to have a median strip to drive into and concern that currently turning into Universal Drive from the median strip places drivers in a dangerous position as they could be approached by another drive coming face on the same median strip.

We plan to install traffic signals at the intersection so that all movements through the intersection are controlled. Drivers turning right from Rathgar Road into Universal Drive will use the traffic lane and not need to use a median strip. The signals will also resolve any issue of drivers coming face to face on a median strip.

  • Concern that vehicles parking on Universal Drive, Penfold Parkside from #148 onward are dangerous as they force drivers into the medium strip along with vehicles that are turning right into their properties.

The shoulder space allocated for parked vehicles on the north side of Universal Dr is approximately 2.0m wide. The lane width for eastbound vehicles is approximately 2.5m wide. This means there is enough road space for eastbound drivers to pass appropriately parked vehicles without driving over the median.

  • As parking spaces are being removed, will they be replaced by installing new bay parking?

We will not be creating any new parking spaces. Our onsite observations indicated these parking spaces were not heavily used and that removing some car parking would not impact the demand at this location. We also note that properties in the direct area of the removal have off-street parking space for vehicles.

We're proposing improvements in your area

Aucklanders have told us that moving around our city safely and easily is important to them. We are proposing some improvements to your area.

Due to the number of accidents at the Universal Drive and Rathgar Road intersection, Henderson-Massey Local Board have asked us to improve safety for all people travelling through this busy intersection.

The changes we are proposing:

  • Install a raised table, (a speed bump that is flat and wide) at this intersection with associated signs and road markings.
  • Install pedestrian crossing signals at all points of this intersection.
  • Install a section of a separated cycle lane for cyclists travelling westbound on Universal Drive.
  • Paint cycle stop boxes which are green boxes painted with a bicycle symbol where people on bicycles can wait before the traffic signals.
  • Paint broken yellow lines on the south eastern side of Universal Drive to allow for a new left turning lane into Rathgar Road and allow cyclists to safely access the cycle ramp which will remove approximately 9 parking spaces.
  • Install tactile pavers which are yellow guidance paving markers to help visually impaired people to find their way to the crossing and safely cross the road.

Auckland Transport would like to work with you to deliver safer roads in your neighbourhood. Between 2014-2018, there were 14 reported crashes at this intersection. The most common type of crashes identified were vehicles crossing and turning. These changes will control drivers turning at this intersection which would reduce the number of crashes. By raising the intersection, we can also lower driving speeds through this intersection. These changes will also provide safe crossing facilities for people crossing the road.

This proposal is also supported by the Auckland regional fuel tax.

Henderson: 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 Universal Drive & Rathgar 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).