Auckland Transport is extending the operation of dynamic lanes on Whangaparaoa Road during the afternoon peak by an hour (4pm to 7pm) from next Monday, 26 February.
At present the hours are 4pm to 6pm.
The dynamic lane concept, similar to tidal flow lanes, uses the existing road network more efficiently for the movement of people and vehicles. It makes use of traffic control devices and an adaptive LED light system to create an extra lane for vehicles travelling in the peak direction.
Data collected since the start of the trial on 24 January 2018 has shown a positive improvement to the PM peak traffic flow on Whangaparaoa Road. Travel times have reduced and there is less queuing on Hibiscus Coast Highway which is also having a positive impact on the flow of traffic heading towards Orewa.
Randhir Karma, Group Manager Network Management and Safety at Auckland Transport says “We are particularly pleased with the level of understanding drivers are demonstrating with this new system, which is a key success indicator for the trial.
“Extending the PM peak duration will allow us to get the most value out of the system, particularly as we approach March when congestion throughout Auckland is at its highest level.”
Mr Karma says the system is still being trialled and further changes are possible.
“Our principle goal with this trial is to ensure that the system operates as we expect it to, not only in terms of driver behaviour but also the infrastructure and back-end technology which makes it possible.”
Key highlights to date:
- Driver behaviour has been generally excellent.
- Both the start and end transition areas have operated smoothly.
- Road users have largely demonstrated a high level of confidence and understanding of how the system works.
- Observations of the system to date indicate that increased gaps have been provided, managing concerns for right turning vehicles along the trial area and for pedestrians to cross.
- The period before 6pm experienced free flow conditions while after 6pm vehicle flow quickly changed to a continuous line of slow moving traffic.
The start of the AM peak trial is still set to commence from 18 April 2018. Although the impact on morning peak travel times is not expected to be as significant as the afternoon peak, due to there being only one existing left turn lane as well as Auckland bound queuing on Hibiscus Coast Highway, some improvement is expected.
“To help with the morning peak flow on Whangaparaoa Road, work is being done to enable left turn movement from the traffic lights at the Hibiscus Coast Highway intersection. However, we don’t expect the improvement to travel times to be as obvious as during the afternoon peak.”
If the trial is successful Auckland Transport will continue to operate dynamic lanes on Whangaparaoa Road and investigate its introduction in other parts of Auckland.