Transport Agency returns merging lane
Immediate changes have been put in place to quell road user frustrations about delays on the westbound off-ramp onto St Lukes Road.
Traffic backed up for nearly 2km in peak hours as motorists were having to stop before turning left onto the arterial road.
Traffic used to be free-flowing for those exiting the northwestern motorway - until a give-way sign was installed at the top of the offramp.
The free left turn onto St Lukes Road has been temporarily reinstated by NZTA to help traffic on the off-ramp and motorway exit lane flow more freely.
‘‘We have listened to the feedback from our customers and are now making some immediate changes to improve the queues for motorists using the westbound off-ramp,’’ NZTA Auckland highway manager Brett Gliddon said.
‘‘The Transport Agency understands the frustrations of motorists who are experiencing changes at the St Lukes Interchange while we manage current traffic on a layout designed for future traffic flows,’’ Gliddon said.
Mt Albert resident Vikki Watson said she had been disappointed to learn that when the sign was installed it was to be a permanent fixture and is delighted that the NZTA has decided to remove it.
‘‘This was a classic example of: if it ain’t broke don’t fix it,’’ she said.
Watson said the off-ramp had turned into ‘‘a car park’’ in rush hour after the installation of the give-way sign, with traffic at a standstill.
Albert-Eden Local Board member Graeme Easte said ‘‘it’s a triumph of common sense’’.
‘‘To have the traffic merging off the ramp on to St Lukes Road again is a good interim solution,’’ Easte says.
Bike Auckland expressed concerns about the off ramp merging traffic.
‘‘While the lane merge would essentially be as before, for a person on a bike riding from the bridge south along St Lukes Road, this was always a problematic outcome,’’ Bike Auckland infrastructure liaison Max Robitzsch said.
NZTA confirmed that upgraded traffic signals will be commissioned in the next couple of weeks. These will make the traffic lights more adaptive to changing traffic flows and will create longer periods for traffic to turn left without having to merge from the overbridge.
Vikki Walton from Mt Albert is delighted that changes have been put in place on the off-ramp on to St Lukes Road.