Turn­ing lane changes cause con­fu­sion

Central Leader - - NEWS - By JOE DAW­SON

Changes to the road lay­out at one of Auck­land’s busiest in­ter­sec­tions have turned it into a con­fus­ing mess, a nearby res­i­dent says.

Auck­land Trans­port has changed the align­ment at the in­ter­sec­tion of New North and St Lukes roads as part of a ‘‘traf­fic op­ti­mi­sa­tion’’ pro­ject it is im­ple­ment­ing in con­junc­tion with NZTA.

Un­til re­cently traf­fic turn­ing right from New North Rd on to St Lukes Rd could do so from two lanes.

Un­der the new ar­range­ment only ve­hi­cles in the right lane can turn right.

St Lukes Rd res­i­dent Ali­son Curd no­ticed the change on June 23 and since then has had a cou­ple of near-misses.

She says there has been no ad­ver­tis­ing of the change and no sig­nage at the in­ter­sec­tion.

‘‘There has been ma­jor con­fu­sion, it’s a ma­jor in­ter­sec­tion,’’ she says.

‘‘There were three lanes and al­ways the left turned left or straight, the mid­dle went straight or right, and the right turned right only and fed into two lanes.’’

She says now those in the mid­dle lane are di­rected only straight ahead, which is where the con­fu­sion be­gins.

‘‘What hap­pens is buses now have to go from the far left to the far right lane if turn­ing right, and other cars are not aware of the change.

‘‘If you sit there and watch the traf­fic you’re still get­ting lots turn­ing right.

‘‘Ev­ery traf­fic phase cars and buses are mak­ing il­le­gal turns from the cen­tre lane.’’

This means those in the cor­rect turn­ing lane are find­ing them­selves up against traf­fic they weren’t ex­pect­ing to see.

‘‘There may be a valid rea­son for the change, I can’t see it but it would be use­ful if they put big signs up and made ev­ery­one aware.’’

Auck­land Trans­port spokesman Mark Han­nan says the change is part of a pro­ject to im­prove traf­fic move- ment on New North Rd.

The first step is to change the phas­ing of the New North Rd and St Lukes Rd in­ter­sec­tion.

He says traf­fic engi­neers mod­elled the change and found an im­prove­ment of 10 per cent could be achieved in flow speed for city­bound traf­fic.

An ad­ver­tis­ing cam­paign starts this week.

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