Extraordinary Council Meeting
Monday, 14 February 2022
I hereby give notice that an Extraordinary Meeting of Council will be held on:
Monday, 14 February 2022
to start at the conclusion of the Strategy, Finance & Risk Committee
BOP Regional Council Chambers
1 Elizabeth Street
Please note that this meeting will be livestreamed and the recording will be publicly available on Tauranga City Council's website: www.tauranga.govt.nz.
Commission Chair Anne Tolley
Commissioner Shadrach Rolleston
Commissioner Stephen Selwood
Commissioner Bill Wasley
Half of the members physically present, where the number of members (including vacancies) is even; and a majority of the members physically present, where the number of members (including vacancies) is odd.
· The powers Council is legally prohibited from delegating include:
o Power to make a rate.
o Power to make a bylaw.
o Power to borrow money, or purchase or dispose of assets, other than in accordance with the long-term plan.
o Power to adopt a long-term plan, annual plan, or annual report
o Power to appoint a chief executive.
o Power to adopt policies required to be adopted and consulted on under the Local Government Act 2002 in association with the long-term plan or developed for the purpose of the local governance statement.
o All final decisions required to be made by resolution of the territorial authority/Council pursuant to relevant legislation (for example: the approval of the City Plan or City Plan changes as per section 34A Resource Management Act 1991).
· Council has chosen not to delegate the following:
o Power to compulsorily acquire land under the Public Works Act 1981.
· Make those decisions which are required by legislation to be made by resolution of the local authority.
· Authorise all expenditure not delegated to officers, Committees or other subordinate decision-making bodies of Council.
· Make appointments of members to the CCO Boards of Directors/Trustees and representatives of Council to external organisations.
· Consider any matters referred from any of the Standing or Special Committees, Joint Committees, Chief Executive or General Managers.
· Delegation of Council powers to Council’s committees and other subordinate decision-making bodies.
· Adoption of Standing Orders.
· Receipt of Joint Committee minutes.
· Approval of Special Orders.
· Employment of Chief Executive.
· Other Delegations of Council’s powers, duties and responsibilities.
Administration, monitoring and enforcement of all regulatory matters that have not otherwise been delegated or that are referred to Council for determination (by a committee, subordinate decision-making body, Chief Executive or relevant General Manager).
Extraordinary Council Meeting Agenda
14 February 2022
14 February 2022
File Number: A13164399
Author: Brendan Bisley, Director of Transport
Andy Vuong, Programme Manager - Cycle Plan Implementation
Authoriser: Nic Johansson, General Manager: Infrastructure
Purpose of the Report
1. The purpose of this report is to provide an update on the cul-de-sac trial that was carried out in Links Avenue in November/December 2021 and to provide recommendations for the next phase.
That the Council:
(a) Receives the report on the cul-de-sac trial that took place in Links Avenue
(b) Approves a further trial of a cul-de-sac on Links Avenue at the Concord Road end for a minimum period of 4 months. Staff are to gather data and report back to Council regarding recommendations on a permanent solution prior to the trial being removed.
(c) Approve the trial resurface Links Avenue (chipseal) and removing the existing bus lane in the process for the duration of the trial.
(d) Endorses a temporary 30km/hr speed limit along the length of Links Avenue for the duration of the trial and appropriate traffic calming measures installed to ensure traffic speeds are kept low.
(e) Approve Council staff engaging with the residents on Links Avenue and the streets that have direct access off it regarding the street layout for Links Avenue if traffic volumes were able to be reduced to a level that a bus lane was no longer required.
2. Council undertook a trial of a cul-de-sac on Links Avenue in November/December 2021 for a period of 5 weeks. The trial was intended to see if reducing the traffic volumes on Links Avenue would improve safety for the vulnerable users to get to and from the schools in the area. The other purpose of the trial was to test the capacity of the wider transport network to cope with the changed traffic flows.
3. The trial was implemented following an independent review in March/April 2021 identified that there was an unacceptable level of risk for vulnerable users along Links Avenue. In the case of Links Avenue, these users are predominately the school children that walk and bike to get to and from the schools in the area.
4. The trial purposely prioritised the safety of the vulnerable users over the convenience of having the road open to traffic and it being used as a third route to get through the Arataki area.
5. The trial achieved its intended purpose and did reduce the traffic volume on Links Avenue significantly. Additionally, the trial showed the traffic network was able to cope with the increased traffic flows. Travel times in the monitored sections were <1m in the morning peak and 2-4minutes in the evening peak compared to those that were being recorded prior to the trial.
6. In advance of the trial, Council undertook traffic counts on surrounding streets and installed some monitoring equipment that recorded travel times along defined routes. The monitoring equipment uses blue tooth signals from cell phones and other equipment. It is able to data-match the signal to record the time the vehicle enters and exits the route and therefore calculates a journey time. Traffic counts were also taken during the trial period so we can accurately record the change in traffic volumes on the network.
7. The traffic counts undertaken by Council prior to the cul-de-sac showed that peak traffic volumes on Links Avenue have increased from approximately 5,500 vehicles per day (vpd) to 7,500vpd. This is an increase of 2,000vpd in 12 months and now has the traffic almost 4 times what it was prior to the Bayfair to Baylink project starting construction. This increase is not related to residents living on the street but is through traffic using it as a convenient alternative route to avoid congestion elsewhere. This additional traffic increases the risk of a serious or fatal accident occurring on Links Avenue.
8. The location of the cul-de-sac did impact on residents who lived at the eastern end of Links Avenue and in Ascot Avenue and the cul-de-sac’s that come off both as they were unable to use Links Avenue to access Golf Road.
9. There was significant feedback from the wider community about the loss of Links Avenue as a through route, with the majority of submitters concerned about their travel time rather than the safety changes trying to be achieved.
10. With the trial, due to its short time being in place, the road layout in Links Avenue was not changed except at the cul-de-sac location. This meant:
· that the vehicle lane remained very close to the shared path,
· the bus lane remained in the street,
· the public were not able to see what could be achieved with the road layout if the traffic volumes were permanently lower,
· the bus lane remaining, as well as the location at Ascot Avenue, impacted on some resident’s perception of what was being achieved with the trial,
· the trial was not long enough to get residents and motorists in the wider catchment to consider alternative routes, travel modes, or travel times.
· the majority of the traffic simply tried to use Oceanbeach Road and increased the traffic queues,
· the dispersion of traffic through alternative routes or changed travel times that would occur in a longer trial.
11. The trial shows that a cul-de-sac does successfully lower the traffic volumes in Links Avenue and reduce the risk for vulnerable users. The cul-de-sac options addresses the risk identified in the Safe System review and would provide an opportunity to change the layout of Links Avenue to reflects its residential nature if it was permanently implemented.
12. A further trail of a cul-de-sac should be undertaken for a longer period, at an alternative location nearest to Concord Avenue. The alternative location will
(a) allow assessment on its impact on traffic volumes in Links Avenue past the shared path to ensure they remain low enough to maintain safety compared to the original location at Ascot Avenue,
(b) allow the residents in Links Ave and surrounding streets to assess the impact on their vehicle trips in the area by having access to Golf Road,
(c) allow Council to reseal the road and temporarily remove the bus lane to allow residents to see what can be achieved in the street layout without a bus lane, and
(d) allow time for the wider community to change driving behaviours so we can more accurately assess its impact on the surrounding network.
13. Council implemented a trial of a cul-de-sac treatment in Links Avenue, near the western end of Ascot Avenue to trial a reduction in traffic volumes to see if this would improve safety for vulnerable users on Links Avenue. This trial was in place for 5 weeks in November/December 2021.
14. The trial was implemented after a Safe System review completed in identified that there was a risk of a vulnerable user being involved in a serious or fatal accident. The trial deliberately put safety for vulnerable users as a priority over the convenience aspect for the motorists using it as a through route. This meant residents in the wider Papamoa and Mount areas may have longer journey times with the increased traffic volumes on the network.
15. Links Avenue is designed as a residential street with a large intermediate school approximately 1/3 of the way along its length. In addition there is a sports field at the western end.
16. Residential streets are intended to cater primarily for the residents that live in the street and is used as the way they get to and from their house and connect to the wider roading network. A residential street typically has carparking on street and has opportunities to have street trees and other amenity available.
17. Prior to the Bayfair to Baylink (B2B) project starting, Links Avenue had approximately 2,000vehicles per day (vpd) and the traffic was primarily residents that lived on Links Avenue or the streets that came off it, and some traffic associated with the school. At this volume it is generally considered that vehicles and cyclists can safely share the road.
18. When the B2B project started, traffic volumes increased as traffic sought alternative routes to avoid the congestion associated with the construction activity. The most recent traffic counts show traffic volumes on Links Avenue are up to 7,500vpd and have increased by 2,000vpd over the last 12 months. This is almost 4 times the traffic volume and it appears it will continue to climb until the B2B project is finished. We estimate that volumes could be closer to 9,000vpd in 12 months’ time if no changes are made.
19. Links Avenue has a shared path constructed along the school side between Golf Road and Ascot Avenue. This is well used by vulnerable users and during the morning and afternoon peak period is very busy with large groups of school children waiting to catch the bus as well as students walking and riding along the path. Council is aware of incidents where the congestion on the path has led to accidents and collisions. The congestion also causes some bike riders to remain on the road or to use a section of the road to get past groups of students.
20. Council operates an education programme with the schools in the area and train the students how to use the shared path. This helps to reduce the risk, but the volume of users as children head to and from the three schools in the area means other measures are necessary to reduce this risk to an acceptable level.
21. Bus services were moved to Links Avenue to improve safety for users as it was very difficult for bus users to cross a 4-5 lane arterial road that has speed limits of 70km/h in places. The previous location also made it less likely people would catch the bus. In addition, with the congestion around the roadworks, bus journey time reliability was an issue which meant that buses were a less attractive option for residents.
22. When the buses were first using Links Avenue, they shared the vehicle lanes as the volumes were low enough that their reliability was not significantly impacted. As the traffic volumes on Links Avenue increased, the bus journey time reliability deteriorated, and the bus lane was installed. This pushed the other vehicles lanes across and resulted in the vehicle lane running beside the shared path which provides little buffer to the shared path.
cause of the safety Issues in Links Avenue
23. There has been significant debate from the public regarding what is causing the safety issues in Links Avenue. A lot of focus from members of the community over the last 2-3years has been focused on the bus lane. There is a view that removing the bus lane and the buses from Links Avenue will make the street safe and no further changes would be required. Others consider that the convenience of the street as a through route is the most important aspect, and there are no safety issues that need to be addressed.
24. The core issue that is creating safety issues on Links Avenue is the traffic volume.
25. When considering safety, people make mistakes. The road network should be safe enough that if a mistake is made, it does not result in death or serious injury.
26. A safe road network has four guiding principles:
· People make mistakes and crashes are inevitable. We can’t stop all crashes.
· The human body has a limited ability to withstand crash forces, so we need to minimise the chances of a crash.
· Designers and users of the road must all share responsibility for managing crashes, so they don’t result in serious injuries or fatalities
· It takes a whole system approach to get a safer network, it’s not just changing one element like better crash protection in vehicles, building more crash barriers, or lower speed limits etc.
27. In Links Avenue, the high traffic volume means that it is not safe for people biking to share the road with vehicles as the chances of a conflict are high. For cyclists to be able to safely share the road with vehicles, recommended traffic volumes are less than 1500vpd with a 30km/hr speed limit. In the case of Links Avenue, we need to reduce the traffic volumes back to what was prior to the B2B project which is why the cul-de-sac was trialled. The other options presented in the staff option report in October 2020 do not lower the traffic volumes.
28. In relation to accidents, a cyclist or pedestrian being struck by a car, SUV or Ute travelling at 50km/hr is also likely to result in a serious injury or fatal accident which is why a lower speed limit is required. Simply removing buses will not reduce the risk of a serious or fatal accident from occurring as an accident involving a modern large motor vehicle is also likely to have a similar outcome.
Longterm Plan for Links Avenue
29. The TSP project reviewed the transport network across the city and identified what were the primary function of roading corridors over the next 20years plus. TSP identified routes that were intended to accommodate vehicle movement, freight movement, Passenger transport and walking and cycling routes. This work was undertaken in 2019 and 2020 and approved by Council in 2020.
30. As part of this review, Links Avenue was identified as a key corridor and the modes that were prioritised for Links Avenue are walking ad cycling and passenger transport. Vehicle movement was not prioritised, and its function remained as a local road, and therefore it is not intended to be a third traffic route through the Arataki Area.
31. Walking and cycling was prioritised due to the presence of the schools in the area, its connection to the wider Area A cycleway planned to be constructed and the residential catchment. The passenger transport was prioritised due to the high number of students and residents that get on and off bus services in Links Avenue. There are approximately 6,000 passenger trips a month that use the bus services from Links Avenue.
32. Links Ave will always cater for the traffic associated with the residents that live on the street and the streets that come off it, but it is not intended to cater for rat running traffic using it a s a convenient shortcut to avoid congestion elsewhere on the network.
33. In a city the size of Tauranga, with our topography and growing population, our transport network will need to constantly change to keep up. 20-30 years ago, the smaller population that lived and worked in Tauranga resulted in relatively low traffic volumes and residents were able to move around the city relatively freely. As the Port activity and industry has increased and the population has increased, the city has gradually got more congested and is now at a point where there is simply not enough capacity in key corridors. During the key holiday periods with the additional numbers of visitors this situation gets worse.
34. The outcome of this is we have more congestion and delays. Drivers start to take smaller gaps in traffic and don’t look for cyclists, motorcyclists etc. Buses are less reliable as they are also stuck in the congestion and have to wait longer as they need larger gaps to turn.
35. The transport system is now at a point where it needs to adapt to the size and nature of the city and the way we move around the city needs to change to enable the city to continue growing as planned.
36. Tauranga is at a position where we are unable to ‘build’ our way out of the issues with traffic. Simply building a new harbour bridge or widening Turrett and 15th Avenue, as examples, will not solve the congestion issues as there are now so many issues across the network that fixing a single location does not create the extra capacity. Also, land values have increased significantly so the cost of purchasing land is prohibitive and it also reduces the number of houses for residents to live in.
37. The focus for the future needs to be based around improving safety for users of the transport network (a Safe System approach) to reduce the number accidents occurring, increasing the number of residents that move around the city on modes other than private cars, and undertaking roading improvements that improve traffic flows. This will ensure that those that need to move by vehicle have less congestion and the transport system can accommodate the ongoing growth. This will improve economic activity in the region, reduce carbon emissions in the long-term and provide a better quality of living for residents by reducing the time they are spending in traffic queues.
A Safe System Approach to the Transport Network
38. A safe system approach is one where a road is designed to ensure that if someone makes a mistake there shouldn’t be a serious or fatal accident as a consequence. We all make mistakes at times due to in attention, tiredness, etc and therefore the transport system should be able to accommodate those times without significant impacts. In a safe system approach, the road layout is designed to prioritise safety and protecting those using it.
39. Other considerations for a road, such as travel time, access etc are still considered, but may be compromised to achieve the safety outcomes needed first.
40. Over the last 10 years, there have been 12 fatal accidents in Tauranga city, 10 of those fatalities were either pedestrians or cyclists that were killed. In addition there were a further 95 injury accidents in the same period. The cost to society of these crashes was $175m, but there are also lifelong trauma from the injuries sustained and the impacts of the wider whanau from lost loved ones who were killed.
41. Waka Kotahi, Auckland Transport, Hamilton City and several local authorities have implemented a safe system approach on their network, and it is something Tauranga City should formally adopt for their roading network to reduce the number of serious injury and fatal accidents that occur.
The Community Conversation regarding Transport in Tauranga
42. The residents of Tauranga often raise congestion and delay as a significant issue in Council surveys and in complaints and correspondence with the Council. Over the last 10-15 years congestion has increased at the same time as there has been an under investment in maintaining the capacity of the network. In addition, large scale housing and commercial development has continued, with significant development in the Pyes Pa/ Lakes/Tauriko and the Papamoa areas which has added more traffic volume.
43. When the rapid growth of the city first started, there was spare capacity in the transport network, so the congestion was relatively minor, but as the growth has continued that spare capacity/buffer in the transport network that was available has been used up and now the network is struggling to cope with the traffic volumes in the peak hours.
44. A traffic lane can only move a certain number of vehicles per hour, and once that limit is reached, the traffic forms queues and these get longer as more vehicles try and get through. Intersections and traffic turning into and out of side streets reduce the volume a lane can move. The first areas of the city to experience this congestion issue were Welcome Bay, Hairini, Ohauiti and Maungatapu. The same issues are now being seen across the city as the housing growth has continued and more people live in the city.
45. As the city continues to expand the congestion will get worse, the number of hours the congestion exists will extend and the queue lengths will increase.
46. The TSP investment (approximately $4billion over the next 20 years) will not improve the existing congestion at a citywide level, it will only prevent it getting worse. Some parts of the city will see some improvements, but the additional traffic flows from the Takatimu Northern Link in 5 years’ time for example, will simply use any additional capacity that can be built into the 15th/Turrett Road corridor in the peak hours. Another example is the B2B project, while it will initially improve traffic flows in the Arataki area, future housing growth in Te Tumu area will result in congestion increasing through the area again in the future.
47. The TSP investment programme will take 20 years to be fully delivered as we can’t have all of the key corridors under construction at the same time and the approval process for Crown funding through business cases etc takes time. Therefore, we need to implement additional measures to reduce traffic volumes if we want to reduce traffic congestion.
48. A key way to reduce the congestion are to get those that can to use alternative modes to travel around the city. Alternative modes are walking, cycling and passenger transport. As an example of how effective this could be, during the school holidays traffic flows significantly easier and there is less congestion. The difference in traffic volume is only 10% typically, but that 10% reduction stops the roads being overloaded and as a result the traffic can flow. If we had 10% of the population using alternatives modes to travel we could achieve a reduced level of congestion year-round rather than just during the holidays.
49. The other ways to reduce congestion would be to have residents travel at different times rather than the majority trying to travel in the peak hours. Alternatives would be carpooling, increased housing density closer to where people work and play rather than the city continuing to spread etc.
50. Reducing the congestion will allow those that are dependent on vehicles to be able to move freer and for businesses etc that have tradespeople moving across the city, can get more work done in the day which lowers costs for travel time charges etc. It would also provide more reliable freight delivery times to and from the Port and other key business areas across the city.
51. The other key change that would make a difference is residents thinking about the number of trips they make in a day. Residents are unhappy with the congestion but don’t always recognise that they are part of creating that congestion. In feedback from the community during the Links Avenue trial, a lot talked about their need to travel to and from their houses multiple times per day for various activities or to accommodate exercise etc. Each of those trips adds to the total volume of vehicles trying to use the roads. The feedback was reflective of people expecting the road network to allow them to live like they could in a smaller regional centre, rather than a city that has limited road corridors due to the topography and the harbour.
52. The other change that needs to happen is the road layout on our busier roads and arterials. In a lot of cases the current street layout is more reflective of a local road with the availability of on street carparking in preference to bike lanes, safe crossing points for pedestrians or additional lanes. To ease congestion Council needs to review these busier road and arterial street layouts across the city and prioritise safety and movement of people over the convenience of on-street carparking.
53. A conversation with the community needs to be started to talk about the big picture of what Tauranga will look like in the next 5 to 10 and 20 years and beyond, why the transport system needs to change as discussed above. At the same time, a review will be undertaken of all the key corridors and changes implemented to get better movement to get some early improvements while the larger projects that will be delivered by TSP are built.
Community feedback from the Trial
54. There was a large amount of feedback from the community during and after the trial. In the first two weeks alone, over 250 calls and emails had been catalogued and responded to, eventually reaching over 400 by the end.
55. In early December, a mid-point pulse check was provided to the community with key observations of the feedback that had been provided thus far:
(a) Improved Safety
(i) Links Avenue is quieter and the sense of safety for children has improved during the operation of the cul-de-sac trial.
(ii) Lower traffic volumes are returning the feel of a residential street rather than a through-route.
(i) Buses are still perceived by most as the greatest risk to pedestrians and cyclists on Links Avenue, and that the bus lane should be removed.
(ii) There remains a high number of buses and they seem to travel too fast. This increases risk to the users of the shared path, due to the lack of a grass verge or buffer between the path and the general traffic lane.
(c) Community Impacts
(i) Directly affected residents
(1) More residents did not support the cul-de-sac at Ascot Road than those that did due to the impact on travel time, and most importantly access to Golf Road.
(2) Ascot Road has also become busy in the morning, with cars stopping at inconvenient locations, looping back or doing U-turns after dropping children at school.
(3) Many residents suggest a better location for a cul-de-sac would be towards the Concord Avenue end of Links Avenue. This would reduce the impact on residents who could use Spur Avenue to head towards Bayfair and open up access back to Golf Rd.
(ii) Wider community
(1) It was clear that this group did not support the cul-de-sac at all due to its impact on the wider transport network.
(2) There is an expectation that Links Avenue is one of three arterial routes towards the Mount and Tauranga with additional travel times and delays as the primary complaints.
(3) There were observations by a few that safety for pedestrians and cyclists was not an issue on Links Avenue and diverted traffic on other streets was now compromising safety for drivers and active travel users.
(iii) Hours of operation
(1) There were requests that the cul-de-sac operate only during the hours when the presence of children on Links Avenue peaks (8–9:30am and 3–4:30pm).
56. Two surveys were conducted by Council at the end of the trial.
(a) A survey that targeted students, parents of students, or teachers who attended either Omanu Primary, Mount Intermediate, or Mount College.
(i) Due to the evolving Covid-19 situation at the time of the planned survey launch, it was not possible to directly engaged with the students as planned. Instead, the survey was posted via the schools’ Facebook page after the school term had ended.
(ii) This resulted in nearly 550 responses overall, but only 9% from students overall and 4% from students who walk, bike, or take the bus to school. As a comparison – the percentage of students who walk, bike, take the bus to school on a regular basis is closer to 70%.
(iii) The main findings confirmed the feedback summarised in the mid-point pulse check:
(1) Some people noticed improvements on safety, but many felt the proximately and speeds of the buses that use Links Ave continued to be a safety risk
(2) The cul-de-sac increased travel times when using the wider travel network and specifically those who drive their kids to multiple schools
(3) The additional traffic on Oceanbeach Road was creating anxiety for those driving and additional safety risks for those who cycle on it or trying to walk across it.
(b) A survey available to the entire community but targeted directly affected residents and those who had provided prior feedback or expressed interest in the trial.
(i) About 300 people responded to this survey (it is unknown how many people responded to both surveys), with about 50% reporting they were directly affected residents.
(ii) The main findings also confirmed the feedback summarised in the mid-point pulse check, however additional insights from the data included:
(1) There was a significant difference in the responses of directly affected residents based on which side of the cul-de-sac they were on.
(a) When asked if the trial had improved safety, 74% on the Golf Road side of the cul-de-sac agreed, while only 31% on the Concord Avenue side did.
(b) When asked if the trial had made their street more pleasant, 83% on the Golf Road side of the cul-de-sac agreed, while only 24% on the Concord Avenue side did.
(c) When asked if the cul-de-sac were to remain where should it be placed, 87% on the Concord Avenue side said move it towards Concord Ave, while only 42% on the Golf Road side did.
(d) Among those who disagreed that the trial improved safety or enjoyability, almost all commentary on why focused on:
(i) the remaining bus lane and bus speeds
(ii) the proximity of the southbound traffic lane to the shared path
(iii) the impacts to travel time while driving from not having access to and from Golf Road.
57. A petition and survey with over 1000 participants led by the Papamoa Resident and Ratepayers Association (PPRA) in conjunction with the Tauranga Ratepayers Alliance (TRA) was presented to Council after the trial completed.
(a) 98% stated they did not support the Links Ave cul-de-sac
(b) 67% stated that Links Avenue should not have a bus lane. 48% said buses should travel 15km/hr or less while 32% said the speed should be 40km/hr.
(c) 62% supported installation of a barrier fence along the shared path to separate pedestrians from the buses
(d) The main themes of the commentary provided within the survey include:
(i) Frustration about increased travel times within and traveling through Arataki
(ii) Impacts on nearby roads such as increased traffic volumes and longer queues
(iii) A feeling that their voices and desires are not listened to
TRAFFIC COUNT DATA RESULTS
58. Six locations in Arataki were chosen to conduct traffic counts to monitor the effects of the cul-de-sac on traffic volumes. Baseline traffic counts were conducted from October 27th – November 2nd and trial traffic counts were conducted from December 7th – December 13th.
59. For Links Avenue, traffic counts were conducted on each side of the cul-de-sac, and additional counts from the APNR provided data on the number of vehicles entering and exiting the cul-de-sac.
60. The key findings from the traffic count data are:
(a) The traffic volume on Links Avenue is no longer averaging 5500 cars per day. The baseline counts conducted confirmed the weekday average is now 7000 cars per day with two days within the data collection period reaching 7500.
(b) The cul-de-sac reduced through movements on Links Avenue by approximately 70%. However, there was a difference in the reduction in traffic volume on either side of the cul-de-sac, with the northern end (Golf Rd.) achieving a 56% reduction while the southern end (Concord Rd.) achieved around 38%.
(c) Oceanbeach Rd. became the preferred alternative route for diverted Links Avenue traffic. This added an average of 3000 cars per day during the weekdays and 2400 cars on the weekend
(d) Golf Rd. and Concord Ave. also saw increases to traffic volumes, but the impacts were less severe than that of Oceanbeach Rd.
(e) Grenada St, which is commonly used in conjunction with Links Avenue as bypass route through Arataki did not see any noticeable reduction or increase in traffic volume
Travel Time Data Results
62. Data collected a week prior to the trial was used to establish a baseline, and travel times in both directions of each route were collected each day during the trial. While travel times were monitored 24 hours a day, impacts of the cul-de-sac on travel times were only observed for a few hours a day Monday – Friday during the peak commuting times (07:30-9:00 and 16:30–18:00).
63. Within each AM and PM commute time window, the peak 60 minutes with the longest commute times were aggregated daily and averaged by week to identify the largest time delays and reduce uncommon or non-recurring events such as an accident.
64. The PM commute (City/Mount towards Papamoa) was more impacted from the Links Avenue cul-de-sac then the AM commute.
(a) Route R2, which includes the Golf Rd / Maunganui Rd roundabout and Oceanbeach Rd was the most affected route. In the week prior the trial, the average travel time during the isolated commute window was 430 seconds (7.2 minutes). During the trial, that travel time increased by 187 seconds (3.1 minutes).
(b) Route R1, which includes the Hewletts Rd flyover and the Bayfair roundabout fared slightly better, with baseline travel time at 603 seconds (10.1 minutes) with trial travel times increased by 140 seconds (2.3 minutes).
65. The AM commute (Papamoa towards the City/Mount) did not register large travel time increases on the route segments that were measured.
(a) Route R2 had a baseline travel time of 714 seconds (11.9 mins) which increased by 38 seconds (0.6 minutes) during the trial.
(b) Route R1 had a baseline travel time of 711 seconds (11.9 mins) which increased by 14 seconds (0.2 minutes) during the trial.
Overall Results of the Trial
66. The cul-de-sac trial did achieve the safety outcomes sought. The trial showed that the cul-de-sac did reduce the traffic volume substantially on Links Avenue and if permanently implemented would allow the bus lane to be removed and make it safer for people biking to use the road in addition to the shared path.
67. Due to the short duration of the trial, the road layout on Links Avenue was not changed and the bus lane was kept. This did prevent the residents being able to see what could be achieved in the road layout if the bus lane was not required and space reallocated.
68. The wider traffic network did cope with the increased traffic flows and the travel times recorded through the monitored sections were <1m in the morning peak and 2-4minutes in the afternoon peak. There were increased queue lengths, but that was expected as the traffic moved off Links Avenue.
69. The location of the cul-de-sac at Ascot Rd. did cause some inconvenience for residents in Links Avenue and the streets immediately off it, as those heading towards the Mount needed to head in the opposite direction and use Oceanbeach Rd. which further increased the volumes there.
70. Due to the short duration of the initial trial, most of the traffic used Oceanbeach Rd. rather than Maunganui Rd/SH2. We would expect to see traffic splitting itself more evenly between the two routes if the trial had been longer.
71. The first trial showed that a cul-de-sac achieves the traffic volume reduction, but due to the short time frame we were not able to fully assess the network impacts and the road layout on Links Avenue was not changed and therefore the separation of the vehicles and shared path was not able to be tested. As a result another trial is needed to fully explore the impact of a cul-de-sac. The trial should be undertaken at the alternative location near Concord Avenue, so residents are able to assess the impact on their travel activities. Links Avenue should be posted at 30km/h during the period and appropriate temporary traffic management measures installed to keep speeds at that level. This temporary speed limit requires Waka Kotahi approval.
72. As part of the trial, Links Avenue should be chip sealed so the existing bus lane is removed, and the vehicle lane moved away from the shared path. This would allow the community to discuss how they would like to see the road layout including features such as street trees etc if this was to be permanently implemented.
73. The next trial needs to be a minimum 4 months. This will ensure that the wider community has the opportunity to adjust travel times, consolidates the number of daily journeys etc to better assess the road networks ability to cope which did not occur with the initial 5 week trial.
74. To ensure that the road remains safe until a decision is made on a permanent solution, the cul-de-sac needs to remain in place until Council has time to consider a report on the outcomes of the second trial.
75. Enforcement of the bus lane restriction at the cul-de-sac will be required on a 24/7 basis to ensure that the traffic volumes remain low. Drivers would be issued a warning letter on the first offense prior to receiving the first ticket. Tickets are $150 per offense and the fine value is set by the Government
76. At the same time as the trial, a wider conversation with the community should be started about the future of the transport system and how travel choices will need to change as the city changes and grows.
77. Staff would also review the road layout on key corridors to improve traffic flow and would prioritise Oceanbeach Rd. so this could better accommodate any increased traffic flow.
78. Council will have sufficient funding to undertake another trial from the original allocation. Activities such as the chip sealing of the road during the trail will be covered from existing maintenance budgets.
79. Council will be putting forward Links Avenue as a project for the Streets for People fund recently announced by Waka Kotahi (this replaces the Innovating Streets fund). If this was successful it would provide 90% of the funding and allow Council to trial various road layout’s, install street trees and talk to residents in Links Avenue and the surrounding streets about their desire for the long-term layout of the road allowing for the need to cater for walking and cycling and passenger transport services.
Legal Implications / Risks
80. The recommendation is for a further trial. A change to the Council bylaws will be required to revoke the existing bus lane and create the new bus lane cul-de-sac to allow enforcement. A bylaw paper will be presented at the Council meeting on the 28th February to make these changes.
Consultation / Engagement
81. Due to Covid restrictions, face to face meetings with the community were not held during the initial trial, but significant feedback was received from the community and Council have surveyed the community about the trial in January.
82. With the recommended new trial, consultation will be held with the directly affected residents on Links Avenue, and the streets immediately off it, on road layout changes that could be implemented if the cul-de-sac was permanent. Council would also undertake similar surveys to the original trial to gauge wider community views on the new trial. Monitoring of travel time and traffic volumes would also be undertaken.
83. If a further cul-de-sac trail was implemented, this would start in late February and continue through to a staff report back to Council in August 2022.
1. Links Avenue presentation - A13220601 ⇩
14 February 2022
File Number: A13218663
Author: Brendan Bisley, Director of Transport
Authoriser: Nic Johansson, General Manager: Infrastructure
Purpose of the Report
1. This report responds to the matters raised in the submission and petition from the Papamoa Residents and Ratepayers Association (PRRA) regarding the trial of the cul-de-sac treatment in Links Avenue.
That the Council:
(i) Receives the report Papamoa Residents and Ratepayers Association submission re Links Avenue trial.
(ii) Considers that the recommendations in the Links Ave Trial Update report appropriately address the points made by the Papamoa Residents and Ratepayers Association in their petition and submission.
2. Council undertook a trial of a cul-de-sac in Links Avenue between 15 November and 17 December 2021. The purpose of the trial was to improve safety for vulnerable users on Links Avenue and prioritised safety over the convenience of those that use the street as a through route.
3. The trial was undertaken following the receipt of a Safe System review that assessed the risk of a serious or fatal accident occurring on Links Avenue being unacceptably high.
4. The submission received from the PRRA (attached to the report) contains a number of matters and these are responded to in the following sections of the report.
5. On 13 December 2021, Philip Brown on behalf of the PPRA presented a petition to the Council (attached to the report). The matters outlined in the petition are generally covered in this report and the Links Avenue Trial update report included in this agenda.
Bus lane history
6. The bus lane was added to Links Avenue when the traffic volumes became unacceptably high and the delays to the bus services were impacting on the journey time reliability. The lane was installed to allow traffic to bypass the queued vehicles along Links Avenue. At the time the bus lane was intended to be a trial as it was anticipated that it could be removed upon opening of the Bayfair to Baypark (B2B) project in 2021. The estimated completion date for the B2B project is now late 2023.
7. At the time the bus lane was installed, estimated traffic volumes in Links Avenue would have been approximately 4,000-4,500 vehicles per day (vpd). The current traffic volumes are 7,000-7,500vpd and still rising.
8. The installation of the bus lane has moved the vehicles lanes closer to the shared path. If the traffic volume was reduced, the bus lane can be removed as buses will not be delayed, and this is proposed as part of the recommended stage 2 trial for Links Avenue.
9. Simply removing the bus lane does not improve safety as the traffic volumes are too high for a residential street where vulnerable users are having to share the road space with vehicles.
10. There are approximately 6,000 passengers who catch a bus in Links Avenue each month. 2/3 of these are school aged children and the bus services are an important travel mode for students in the local area. This patronage equates to approximately 200 people per day and approximately 130 students catching the bus. These same students are dropped off in Links Avenue in the morning peak.
11. In relation to the use of Links Avenue by buses, Links Avenue was identified as supporting three priority modes in the Transport System Plan (TSP). These were walking and cycling, public transport and residential traffic. Links Avenue is intended to remain as the primary bus route through the Arataki area.
12. Discussions have been held with the Regional Council about reducing the number of buses that use the street and only buses that stop in the street using it. Buses that are relocating (not in service) or express services may be able to use Maunganui Road.
Links Avenue Classification
13. Links Avenue is a residential street and designed to provide access for the residents that live in the street and the streets immediately off it. Prior to the B2B construction, the traffic volume was approximately 2,000-2,500vpd and at this traffic volume it was considered safe for school children to walk and cycle along the street.
14. The primary arterial routes in the Arataki area for moving vehicles are Oceanbeach Road, Golf Road, Girven Road and Maunganui Roads.
15. Links Avenue is not an arterial route and was not designed to provide a third route for traffic trying to move between Papamoa and the Mount and the Hewletts Road area.
Links Avenue pavement
16. The pavement in Links Avenue is struggling to cope with the traffic volume now using the street. The pavement was designed for a residential street and as volumes have increased sections of the pavement have failed. With the high traffic volumes Council was unable to undertake permanent repairs and had been patching the road to try and maintain a suitable pavement surface.
17. Council undertook some more permanent pavement repairs when the cul-de-sac trail was underway and traffic volumes were lower.
18. The road pavement will need to be reconstructed, but with a reduced traffic volume and chip sealing to waterproof the road it is hoped that the pavement will remain in a reasonable condition for another 2-3 years and this work can be done once the B2B project is completed. The existing pavement will need to be removed. The new pavement will be thicker, so access into and out of the street will be impacted significantly during that process.
Bus lanes on Maunganui Road
19. The PRRA have suggested an alternative solution would be to install bus lanes on Maunganui Road to provide for express services from Te Tumu, Papamoa East, Te Puke and further out.
20. The B2B project was not designed to accommodate bus lanes and there is insufficient width available to retrofit bus lanes into the project without removing vehicles lanes. This precludes the installation of dedicated bus lanes but does not prevent future express services using the State Highway.
21. Bayfair is an important destination for bus users so it is likely bus services will continue to have this as a drop off and pickup point in the future.
22. Waka Kotahi, Regional Council and Council staff would be happy to meet with representatives of the PRRA to discuss bus services for the Papamoa area.
1. Papamoa Residents and Ratepayers Association - Submission on Links Avenue Trial - A13220063 ⇩
2. Petition Links Avenue - Papamoa Residents and Ratepayers Association - presented to Council 13 December 2021 - A13220415 ⇩
14 February 2022
File Number: A13191535
Author: Andy Vuong, Programme Manager - Cycle Plan Implementation
Will Hyde, Senior Transportation Engineer
Authoriser: Nic Johansson, General Manager: Infrastructure
Purpose of the Report
1. To obtain approval from the Commission to introduce amendments to the appropriate Attachments within the Traffic and Parking Bylaw 2012 subject to the approval of phase 2 of the Links Avenue trial.
That the Council:
(a) Receives the Traffic and Parking Bylaw 2012 Amendments Report.
(b) Adopts the proposed amendments to the Traffic and Parking Bylaw 2012 Attachment as per Appendix B, effective from 28 February 2022
2. The Traffic and Parking Bylaw 2012 includes Attachments each of which lists various traffic and parking restrictions.
3. Council can amend the Attachments by Council Resolution.
4. This report sets out amendments to the following:
(a) Attachment 4.1: Special Vehicle Lanes – Passenger Service Vehicle Lanes (Including Bus Lanes)
(b) Attachment 4.3: Special Vehicle Lanes – Cycle Lanes
5. These amendments are proposed to reflect and support operational and safety needs on Links Avenue to support the phase 2 of the Links Ave trial.
6. Council adopted the Traffic and Parking Bylaw 2012 (the ‘Bylaw’) on 23 October 2012 and it came into effect on 1 November 2012. The purpose of the Bylaw is to facilitate traffic management and parking control measures in respect of roads, public places, parking areas and other transport assets owned or managed by Council.
7. Amendments to the Bylaw are presented to Council for approval several times annually so that any enforcement of parking restrictions can be carried out as required.
8. These amendments are proposed for general operational reasons, principally:
(a) Requests from the public or stakeholders for numerous small changes to parking controls; and
(b) To support special projects such as the Links Avenue cul-de-sac trial
9. The proposed changes are summarised in Appendix A.
10. The proposed changes to the Bylaw wording are contained in Appendix B.
Strategic / Statutory Context
11. The amendments are required to implement the vision and objectives of phase 2 of the Links Ave trial, which seeks to improve the safety for children walking and cycling to and from school and return the road to function as a residential street.
12. Negligible – the associate costs are accommodated within existing project budgets.
Legal Implications / Risks
13. The bylaw amendment is needed to allow enforcement of changes deemed necessary for safety and amenity purposes.
Consultation / Engagement
14. Consultation has been carried out with directly affected residents as part of the wider consultation as part of the initial Links Avenue trial, which occurred from November 15, 2021 – December 17, 2021 and has been summarised in Links Ave Trial Update report received by February 14, 2022.
15. The Local Government Act 2002 requires an assessment of the significance of matters, issues, proposals and decisions in this report against Council’s Significance and Engagement Policy. Council acknowledges that in some instances a matter, issue, proposal or decision may have a high degree of importance to individuals, groups, or agencies affected by the report.
16. In making this assessment, consideration has been given to the likely impact, and likely consequences for:
(a) the current and future social, economic, environmental, or cultural well-being of the district or region
(b) any persons who are likely to be particularly affected by, or interested in, the decision.
(c) the capacity of the local authority to perform its role, and the financial and other costs of doing so.
17. In accordance with the considerations above, criteria and thresholds in the policy, it is considered that the decision is of medium significance.
18. Taking into consideration the above assessment, that the decision is of medium significance, officers are of the opinion that no further engagement is required prior to Council making a decision.
1. Appendix A - T&P Bylaw Amendement 34 - A13219944 ⇩
2. Appendix B - T&P Bylaw amendement 34 - A13219945 ⇩