In response to your article featuring comments by John Deck – as another longstanding resident of Mt Albert I heartily agree with him.
While the traffic island may have addressed the illegal overtaking on the central line ( Auckland City Harbour News, December 5), it has added considerably to the danger of cars being trapped on the railway lines, as well as adding hugely to the traffic jams along Woodward Rd.
Before cars could access the right turning lane for turning, and in an emergency.
Now they can’t access the new ‘‘emergency’’ area once vehicles are backed up to the railway lines, as they frequently can’t fit between the back of the last car and the pedestrian walkway or there is a bus parked in the ‘‘emergency’’ area and the traffic island bars access to the alternative emergency escape of the rightturning lane.
The advantage of a right-turning lane to increase efficiency in traffic flow has been negated by cars being unable to access the lane because of the traffic island.
Traffic jams along Woodward Rd are now not just at peak hours, but are occurring throughout the day as the traffic island impedes the traffic flow so badly.
Suggested solution: Use the ‘‘hockey stick’’ idea that was used at the Gillies Ave motorway entrance to stop cars crossing lanes.
This will stop cars crossing the central line, but assist traffic flow by allowing access to the right-turning lane.
As a local resident who regularly travels along Woodward Rd, I have:
1) Seen more incidents of cars across the rail area in peak hour traffic since the advent of the traffic island.
2) Can frequently not exit my road because of the traffic backlog at all times in the day, ie, outside of peak hour times – something that did not happen before the traffic island.
3) Found the reduction in street parking (as a result of its conversion to an ‘‘emergency’’ area) a nuisance as regards visiting the shops on the corner of Woodward and New North roads. whose responsibility the problem is (does the rail cross over the road or vice-versa).
At times I have despaired that only a fatal accident would prompt action.
I put up a resolution to the first meeting of the Albert-Eden Local Board in November 2010 calling for ‘‘action to ensure progressive grade-separation of all railway level crossings’’.
Two years later Auckland Transport reports that it is ‘‘planning to investigate the top five in terms of priority’’, but there is still no money budgeted for construction.
Still, I am hopeful, and Woodward Rd is high on the list as it has the highest vehicle count.