Residents against plans to remove turn
Residents are questioning new plans to remove a right-hand turn at a busy Auckland intersection.
A public meeting and petition have been organised by Mt Albert residents after Auckland Transport (AT) revealed proposed plans to remove the dedicated righthand turn from New North Rd onto Mt Albert Rd.
It comes as AT and Auckland Council explore plans to upgrade the Mt Albert town centre which includes widening footpaths, making the area bike friendly and adding bus lanes.
Business owner Calab VincentGoncalves says removing the turning lane will encourage illegal U-turns on New North Rd as well as increasing traffic flow along side streets. He also expects some motorists will use driveways to turn around.
The Mt Albert Business Association vice-chairmen says there are also plans to remove the slip lane with a free left turn in the opposite direction.
‘‘Everything is focused on bicycles but realistically there will be a couple of bikes an hour and then hundreds of cars.’’
Vincent-Goncalves has created a petition calling to keep the turn. So far it has received more than 150 signatures.
According measurements, to NZTA at peak time around 1300 cars travel through Mt Albert towards the city every hour with about 75 cars turning right.
Bruce Morris from the Mt Albert Residents Association says there is concern that removing the turn will encourage people to use residential streets to get onto Mt Albert Rd.
Labour MP David Shearer says the reason to remove the turn is to help Mt Albert become a destination people are attracted to.
Shearer is therefore puzzled as to why residents want to keep the dedicated turning lane.
‘‘I think right now the argu- ment is quite one-sided,’’ he says. ’’I want to see Mt Albert as a big shopping area where people want to come to … this plan gives the possibility for this to happen.’’
Shearer says removing the lane will make traffic quickly move through Mt Albert which will make the town centre more welcoming.
An Auckland Transport spokesperson says a review of the proposed Mt Albert town centre upgrade is currently under way and will include public feedback on the proposal.
It is expected to be completed by mid-November.