Res­i­dents against plans to re­move turn

Auckland City Harbour News - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - ELESHA ED­MONDS

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.

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