Tuesday, December 12, 2023

$850,000 for Eastern Busway’s ‘unwanted’ raised crossings

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Auckland Transport is proposing to install a series of raised pedestrian crossings along Ti Rakau Drive as part of the Eastern Busway. File image supplied

Auckland Transport (AT) will spend $850,000 to install “unwanted” raised pedestrian crossings as part of the Eastern Busway public transport project.

More than 2400 people previously signed Pakuranga MP Simeon Brown’s petition calling for three crossings proposed for Ti Rakau Drive to be scrapped.

Brown presented his petition with a letter on the issue to AT chief executive Dean Kimpton which describes the “speed bumps” planned for Ti Rakau Drive as “unnecessary” and states they provide “no real benefit while having a detrimental impact on non-busway traffic”.

The proposal would see two raised safety platforms installed near the future Gossamer and Pakuranga Stations, while a raised crossing would be at the Edgewater Station.

AT says the crossings are intended to help people safely cross Ti Rakau Drive by calming the speed of traffic without causing significant delays.

Brown wants AT to consider alternative solutions that increase safety at the crossing points without worsening congestion, such as better signage and lighting and other measures.

He asked the agency in May for information about the costs associated with the crossings’ design and installation.

Brown received a response from AT group manager for strategic programmes Jane Small.

It includes a breakdown of costs for three raised safety platforms on Ti Rakau Drive, six raised safety platforms on side streets, and one raised intersection, all of which adds up to $851,380.

“The cost for the Reeves Road and Cortina Place raised intersection is higher due to its larger size compared to other side road raised safety platforms, no realignment works being undertaken on Reeves Road … and its location beneath the Reeves Road Flyover leading to a more complex construction methodology,” Small told Brown.

A raised safety platform will be installed at the Gossamer Drive and Ti Rakau Drive raised intersection.

Another will be at the intersection of Palm Avenue and Ti Rakau Drive.

There will be two raised platforms on Ti Rakau Drive providing access to the Edgewater Station.

Platforms are also planned for side roads including Edgewater Drive East, Wheatley Avenue, Edgewater Drive West, Tiraumea Drive, and Roseburn Place.

And they’ll be installed at three locations along William Roberts Road and at the raised intersection of Reeves Road and Cortina Place.

Brown says the purpose of the Eastern Busway is to get east Auckland moving, with greater access to reliable public transport options and grade separation of traffic through the Reeves Road Flyover to reduce congestion.

“Sadly, AT seems to have forgotten the reason they’re building the busway and flyover in the first place, with recent decisions completely at odds with the desired outcome.”

He says AT needs to understand installing “speed bumps” is only slowing people down and, in most areas, is attempting to solve a problem that doesn’t exist.

“With 2500 people signing my petition a few months ago opposing these crossings it is clear where the community stands.

“I am again calling on AT to stop this nonsense and focus on delivering real transport solutions to get our city moving.”

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