Sunday, May 26, 2024

Retired civil engineer concerned over Eastern Busway traffic flow

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East Auckland civil engineer Robert Finley has questions about the design of the Eastern Busway. Times photo Wayne Martin

Retired civil engineer Robert Finley has analysed part of the design of the $1.3 billion Eastern Busway and he’s concerned about what he sees.

The Golflands resident has a particular interest in the area that encircles Pakuranga Plaza and includes the Reeves Road Flyover, the South Eastern Arterial Highway, Ti Rakau Drive, Pakuranga Road, Reeves Road and William Roberts Road.

He says traffic arrives there from each of those points and the flyover will take arterial traffic to Howick and vice-versa.

“However this impinges, in some cases severely, on the flow of traffic on other paths through this area.”

Finley says he believes many locals are unaware there will be what he calls “two new major constrictions” constructed as part of the project.

The first is the intersection outside Saint Kentigern College, which he believes will worsen congestion and cause traffic to become backed up toward Howick.

“Critical to this is the fact eastbound traffic off the flyover does not run over and merge onto Pakuranga Road, but ends at a new traffic intersection there.

“Howick to Panmure traffic will also encounter this new set of lights and a deviation at the eastern junction of the flyover at this location.

“This traffic will be funnelled into a light-controlled dogleg opposite St Kentigern College and then immediately turned right, back on to the highway. Traffic from Panmure will do the reverse.

“There isn’t even a slip lane for this traffic to run directly past the intersection and merge with it further up the highway.”

The second major “constriction” is the fact traffic on Reeves Road, part of which is closed, will be diverted, Finley says.

“Traffic from Reeves Road to the arterial will not flow straight across Ti Rakau Drive, but be diverted left to a new set of lights at Ti Rakau Drive to turn right and then left onto the arterial.”

He says the changes increase the number of traffic light encounters motorists will have and while there will be an improvement for traffic flow on the flyover it’s at the expense of other flows in the area.

“Even traffic coming off the flyover is going to stop from time to time to let other vehicles through.”

Auckland Transport (AT) says traffic modelling shows once the busway has been completed, “traffic flows on Ti Rakau Drive between South Eastern Arterial / Reeves Road and Pakuranga Road decrease from 19,400 to 9,700 vehicles per day (westbound in 2028) and from 14,800 to 10,400 vehicles per day (eastbound in 2028).

“This will allow traffic to flow more efficiently adjacent to Pakuranga Plaza.

“The flyover above Reeves Road will effectively bypass four of the new intersections for traffic travelling from the South Eastern Arterial to Pakuranga Road.”

AT says the section of Reeves Road between Ti Rakau Drive and Cortina Place will be bus-only.

Motorists travelling north will need to exit the South Eastern Arterial Highway, turn left into Ti Rakau Drive, then right into Aylesbury Place to access Pakuranga Plaza.

“Alternatively, motorists may choose to travel from the South Eastern Arterial Highway over the Reeves Road Flyover to Pakuranga Road and then turn left into Pakuranga Road and left again into Brampton Court.”

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