Auckland Transport are looking at ideas on improving the safety of all users along Te Atatu Road (prompted unfortunately by tragic events). This is a piece of road I (and others) have been pestering Auckland Transport about for a long time now. Hopefully this is an opportunity to create some long term fixes that benefit the entire community. With such a long time to think about this over the years, here are some of the ideas that have been kicking around in my head (and on emails to AT) for a long time:
Removal of 1 northbound traffic lane from Gloria Ave roundabout
Between Te Atatū Road / Gloria Ave Roundabout and Yeovil Road, there are just 2 roads that allow vehicular traffic to exit Te Atatū Road—Cellarmans Street and Vinograd Drive. Currently most traffic continues onward to Yeovil Road (which has traffic calming along it) or through Te Atatū Town Centre (and Gunner Drive).
The entrance to the town centre, at the Yeovil Road intersection comfortably copes with current traffic volumes as it merges into a single traffic lane, so it stands to reason that the section of road between Gloria Ave roundabout and Yeovil Road can also function as a single lane. The 2nd northbound lane prior to Gloria Ave could be converted into a ‘Left Turn Only’ lane to access Gloria Ave.
This could also provide the added benefit of lowering traffic speeds and volumes for users crossing from west to east at the roundabout.
Removing the northbound traffic lane between Gloria and Yeovil provides space for a 2-way protected cycleway on the eastern side of Te Atatū Road from the existing shared path alongside Harbourview-Ōrangihina Park. This would be achieved by moving the current lanes and flush median westward.
Signalisation of Cellarmans Street
One of the most dangerous and inconvenient parts of Te Atatū Road, from a pedestrian or cyclist point of view, is the crossing near the northern part of Harbourview-Ōrangihina Park.
This crossing requires users to cross multiple traffic lanes. Motor vehicle speeds along here are often well over 50 km/h (as recorded by Auckland Transport) and an added issue is staggered vehicles (as shown in the image above).
Signalising this crossing has been suggested in the past, but a better solution is to signalise the Te Atatū Road – Cellarmans Street intersection. Based on current practice this would involve a 2 stage crossing of Te Atatū Rd with a beg button in the centre wait area. In my view, this would lead to low compliance of users at the 2nd stage of the crossing (and is visible at other similar signalised locations around the city).
Signalising the Cellarmans St intersection would create a single stage crossing for pedestrians and cyclists.
In this area there is a childcare facility and also an alleyway very close by that connects to Graham St. There is an opportunity to create many more connections for people and to remedy some of the severance issues that a 4 lane arterial creates.
As a bonus, with the removal of a northbound lane, there is likely room on the western side of Te Atatū Road for at least a shared path that would see significant use I suspect from the many Rutherford College students that frequent Te Atatū Road.
Gloria Ave Roundabout
Access to Gloria Ave and Harbourview-Ōrangihina Park off the roundabout is often at speed due to the multi-lane roundabout design. Both the Gloria Ave and Harbourview-Ōrangihina pedestrian / cycle crossings should be placed onto raised tables to enhance both accessibility and safety. The Harbourview-Ōrangihina crossing would then appear and function much more like a cycleway.
Te Atatū Road / Yeovil Road intersection
Lastly, and possibly the most controversial suggestion, is to replace the oft fraught intersection at Te Atatū Road, Yeovil Road and the McDonalds complex junction with a roundabout. This would have numerous benefits including reducing traffic speeds as motor vehicles enter the town centre, enabling safer access out of Yeovil Road and also safer right turns out of the McDondalds driveway.
No doubt other people will have ideas as well so hopefully this post kicks off a discussion on other improvements people in the area would like to see.