Auckland Transport (AT) has completed installing a west-bound T3 transit lane on Onewa Rd between Church St and Birkenhead Avenue.
An adjustment period will be allowed for motorists to get used to the new system, with enforcement beginning from 3 August 2015.
Project status: Completed.
Project zone: North.
AT is future-proofing Auckland’s transport infrastructure to meet the demand of predicted growth of the city. This includes improving major arterial roads such as Onewa Road using measures such as T3 lanes, restricting parking and encouraging people to use public transport, to walk and to cycle.
T3 is shorthand for a Transit Lane that can only be used by private vehicles carrying three or more people, buses and taxis (even when empty) and two-wheeled vehicles (cycles and motor-cycles (including mopeds).
By creating a lane that flows more freely than the general traffic lane, transit lanes provide predictable travel time for carpool vehicles, buses, motorbikes and cyclists.
Currently, approximately 200,000 trips are undertaken on the Auckland’s passenger transport networks each day. By 2050, because of population growth, this is forecast to increase to 600,000 trips each day.
The objective of the Onewa Road west-bound T3 transit lane project is to increase its people carrying capacity instead of its vehicle carrying capacity.
Public consultation was carried out in 2012. Feedback together with a safety audit resulted in the proposal to: widen the road between Lake Road and Church Street to extend the section of dual general traffic lanes so they merge just before Church Street.
The T3 transit lane is an additional lane operating between 4pm-6pm, Monday-Friday during which times parking is not permitted.
Design and impact
AT installed the transit lane and shared path on Onewa Road as shown in the detailed maps below.
The design intends to improve transport efficiency of Onewa Road in western direction during the evening peak period.
During the operating hours of the T3 lane (4pm and 6pm, Monday to Friday), there will be no on-street parking on the southern side of Onewa Road. However, there is P15 parking in Wernham Place and Seaview Ave. On-street parking will not be affected at other times.
Exiting bus stops along the proposed transit route will remain.
Removing parking during T3 hours has made it possible to create two west-bound traffic lanes. One is the new T3 lane that will be available for private vehicles with three or more people, buses and taxis and two wheeled vehicles.
This new configuration will also reduce travel time for vehicles using the general traffic lane.
- Westbound T3 transit lane on Onewa Road between Church Street and Birkenhead Avenue in the evening commuter peak period between 4pm and 6pm, Monday to Friday.
- Westbound two-way pedestrian/cycle shared path on Onewa Road between Church Street and Birkenhead Avenue.
- Road widening along the frontage of properties 206 to 214 Onewa Road to cater for a four-lane roadway including the existing and proposed transit lanes. The proposed road widening will include an associated pedestrian/cycle shared path, vehicle crossings and drainage improvements.
- Removal of the existing recessed bus bay outside 178 Onewa Road for wider footpath area and replacement with an in-lane bus stop.
- Removal of the existing road markings and signage and installation of new markings and signage, as per the current Auckland Transport bus and transit lane policy.
Providing for cyclists and pedestrians
Onewa Road is part of the Strategic Citywide Cycle Network and links in with the proposed Bus Rapid Transit links and harbour crossing. The width of the west-bound transit lane doesn't offer adequate space for cyclists, therefore, it's proposed to upgrade the existing footpath to a shared pedestrian/cycle path. The shared path will allow cyclists and pedestrians to travel in both directions.
To provide a safe space for cyclists, the existing footpath on southern side of Onewa Road will be transformed into a shared cycle/pedestrian path. This will require footpath widening and pram crossing upgrades at certain locations.
Background to the Onewa Road transit lane
- The aim of the Onewa Road westbound T3 transit lane project is to improve effectiveness of the road. This will be achieved by focusing on the people-carrying capacity of the road over its vehicle-carrying capacity.
- An eastbound T3 transit lane currently operates on Onewa Road between the hours of 6.30am and 9am. Buses and high-occupancy vehicles can avoid most of the queuing that forms along Onewa Road in the morning peak.
- It's common practice to have a similar lane configuration in the opposite direction during the evening peak period to accommodate the similar tidal travel demand.
- The legacy North Shore City Council investigated improving Onewa Road in the westbound direction during the evening peak and proposed implementing a T3 transit lane.
- AT assessed the proposal against the AT bus priority policy and traffic survey carried out in March 2012. Survey results showed 48% of passengers travelled in 7% of transit vehicles (buses and vehicles with three or more people).
- AT invited public comment on the proposal in September 2012.