Newmarket level crossing frequently asked questions Newmarket level crossing frequently asked questions
This is a compilation of the questions that have been asked by local residents.
Why are cyclists to use the road when cycleways are being installed throughout the city?
A city-wide cycling network is being developed but there is only so much that can be done at one time. Auckland Transport’s (AT) priority must currently be on providing facilities where the need is greatest and will serve to reduce congestion by encouraging more people to commute by bike.
In this case, a shared cycle/pedestrian path was considered but not included based on stakeholder feedback - i.e. limited cyclist volumes expected to use the new route along with the additional land required from Newmarket Park to accommodate a wider path.
Are there any plans for a cycling and walking route through the area?
The Waitematā Local Board is planning a cycle and walkway through the old Parnell tunnel which can link to the new bridge and road via a maintenance ramp included in this project for KiwiRail access. This access is future-proofed to be sufficiently wide to accommodate any future Greenways cycle link, although once this reaches the new road this would revert to traditional local road, with cyclists sharing the carriageway with vehicles.
Will there be ongoing access to Newmarket Park from Laxon Terrace throughout the project?
Yes, the current access will be maintained throughout, with traffic management as required. When the project is completed, a new access point from Laxon Terrace to Newmarket Park will be provided.
Bridge / Observation area
What was the public feedback on keeping or removing the observation area? How has that been incorporated into the design?
During late 2014/early 2015, Auckland Transport consulted on an observation area. There were preferences for and against and while a majority opposed, this was not considered definitive. Accordingly AT compromised with observation provided for via a slightly wider section of footpath (4m instead of 1.8m) with Mana Whenua-designed handrails. There will be no seating.
By area the responses were:
|Laxon Terrace and Youngs Lane (slim majority)
Cowie Street – (strongly)
respondents, from Ayr Street, Bassett Road, Middleton Road and the Broadway Park Residents Association (strongly)
The Parnell Community Committee
|Sarawia Street - (mixed, with a majority in favour)
Bike Auckland (then Cycle Action Auckland)
The Waitematā Local Board.
KiwiRail expressed no preference.
The conclusion of AT’s report states:
The observation platform assessment indicates that this should be included in the final design. The comparatively minor cost to include it (0.65% of the construction capital cost estimate for Option 4) and potential lost opportunity if this is not included in the structure now and considered desirable later due to growth in pedestrian and cycle use of the bridge, also support inclusion of the observation platform in the design.
More detail on the consultation process in relation to the bridge sub-options, including the observation area, can be found here.
With the development of the bridge what geotechnical monitoring will be done and assurance given to the community?
Geotechnical testing has already been undertaken at the majority of pile locations to give detailed geological information. A full peer review and quality process will continue throughout.
Will the new bridge and road be adequately safe to walk at night, given how close it is to Newmarket Park and the length of the walk?
The new road and bridge will be physically separated from Newmarket Park by fencing and/or height differentials along its length, except where an entrance to the Park exists off of Laxon Terrace, which would be no change from the existing access environment.
Directed LED lighting will be implemented to ensure a well-lit environment while minimising light spill to surrounding residences, and clear sightlines with no entrapment spaces will allow walkers a clear view of any areas they are approaching.
These provisions are in accordance with international CPTED principles for maximising safety by “designing-out” places where crime and even threat, is likely to occur.
What requirements are there to remove and treat contaminated soil from the rail corridor and Newmarket Park?
Contaminated excavated material will be kept separate from the non-contaminated and disposed of at a landfill appropriate to the level of contamination. The contamination is not expected to require on-site treatment or protective equipment for workers
Should unexpected contaminated materials be encountered, the project’s Site Management Plan (SMP) describes the steps to be taken. This is as per the project’s resource consent.
With the removal of the raingarden from the project scope, how is water sensitive design being incorporated into the project? What percentage of storm water will go into a reticulated system?
Tree pits and a vegetated swale have been substituted for the raingarden. These can handle the same volume of stormwater and meet Auckland Council’s guidelines for treatment, as did the raingarden. As a result all additional stormwater generated from the new impervious surfaces will be captured and treated. In addition, the swale will capture and treat 50% of existing stormwater from the Cowie Street carriageway thus improving the overall performance and environmental impact of the existing Cowie Street system.
To avoid treated stormwater seeping into the surrounding soils and to mitigate stability concerns for the adjacent slopes all stormwater treated by the swale and tree pits will be disposed of through the existing stormwater pipe network
The tree pits reduce the land required from Newmarket Park and cost less.
Will the project incorporate the Local Board and Laxon Terrace and Youngs Lane Residents Group request to widen the footpath in Laxon Terrace?
The scope of the project does not include improvements to the length of Laxon Terrace. Our focus is to achieve “grade separation” between the roads and railway and eliminate the Sarawia Street level crossing to benefit safety and rail efficiency. The proposal to widen the footpath was explored by the Local Board and at this stage will not be incorporated into the plan.
How many car parks in Cowie Street will be lost permanently and during the construction period?
No public car parks will be removed from Cowie Street. However, four private carparks will be lost at 9 Cowie Street to enable Cowie St to connect to the new bridge. This land has been purchased from the property owner. Re-arrangement of parking within 9 Cowie St will be resolved between the landlord and tenants
Originally it was proposed that four public car parks would be lost at Cowie St but this was revised following the loss of four car parks from Cowie Street’s public parking area as well as from 9 Cowie Street, but this was changed following the Auckland Council Notice of Requirement hearing held in 2016.
Will AT provide temporary residents’ only parking/parking scheme/ or time controls?
We have investigated options to provide resident parking permits to restrict parking to residents only during the duration of construction, but AT’s policy is to no longer provide resident-only parking permits. There are some provisions for temporary parking permits where road corridor carparks are occupied by the Contractor, but this is not applicable in this instance.
Will there be parking available on either the bridge or new stretch of road?
Parking will not be permitted on the bridge or new road.
As a result of Environment Court appeal mediation with the Cowie Street Residents Association, Auckland Transport agreed to mitigation work to preserve the amenity value of Cowie Street. Why is the mitigation work on Cowie Street commencing so much later than the project completion?
Some renewal works were scheduled by AT’s maintenance division, anyway and to save “double handling” with its associated costs and disruption to residents it was agreed that the mitigation work on Cowie St that are part of the bridge project will be carried out during the scheduled AT maintenance operations.
This will fulfil AT’s agreement to complete these works within two years of our agreement with the Cowie Street Residents Association by March 2019.
Traffic / traffic calming
Visibility for cars exiting right from Cowie Street on to Parnell Road is impeded by parked vehicles and a bus stop. With the increased traffic exiting Cowie Street once the project is completed, won’t this become a traffic hazard?
Traffic modelling demonstrated that the visibility for cars exiting right from Cowie Street on to Parnell Road is an existing issue not significantly impacted by the project. However, this question has been referred to AT’s traffic safety team to consider whether there is a safety concern currently, or in the future after project completion.
There is a proposal to remove the two parking spaces on Parnell Rd just north of Cowie Street to improve visibility for drivers exiting Cowie Street as part of the Parnell Bus Lane consultation that is currently underway. Consultation closed 5 March 2018.
What are peak traffic times and when was the data gathered/traffic study undertaken which informed this design?
AT undertook traffic counts early in 2012, measuring traffic volumes between the hours of 7-9am, 12-2pm and 4-6pm.
The 7-day average traffic volume was 409 for Cowie Street and 425 for Sarawia Street, Laxon Terrace and Youngs Lane combined. The 5-day average (i.e. weekdays only) was 370 for Cowie Street and 381 for Sarawia Street, Laxon Terrace and Youngs Lane combined.
Are there other options than chicanes for traffic calming? Why not wait to see if a speed issue arises before putting in chicanes to deal with a problem that may not occur.
AT initially investigated speed tables at these locations, but after a road safety audit and other traffic engineering feedback chicanes were preferred.
A chicane at the end of Cowie Street is required as part of the measures to retain the existing poplar tree there, and the two lower chicanes along the top of Newmarket Park are required in order for the project to comply with the traffic engineering advice of our designers Opus, and the findings of the road safety auditor. Traffic calming in those locations was approved by Auckland Council during the Notice of Requirement and Resource Consent hearing and is a condition of consent.
At the May 2017 Community Liaison Group it was suggested that cobbled, textured surfaces such as used near the Auckland War Memorial Museum, may be effective. However, investigations show this as unlikely to be sufficiently effective on such a relatively long stretch of straight road.
Are there any AT plans for opening up Laxon Terrace to Furneaux Way, creating a through connection to Remuera Rd?
No. Should this change, any such plans in the future would need to go through a publically notified process.