Ngapipi lights – waste of money

separated-bike-lane

This is my submission to Auckland Council about the proposed traffic lights on the corner of Ngapipi Road and Tamaki Drive in Auckland, New Zealand:

1. This submission from a bicycle rider opposes the proposed upgrade of the intersection of Tamaki Drive and Ngapipi Road (Application numbers R/LUC/2016/3297, R/REG/2016/3298, R/REG/2016/3299, R/REG/2016/3307 & R/REG/2016/3493) and suggests a more simple and cost effective solution to the problem the proposal seeks to solve. Millions of dollars could be spent much better elsewhere to improve bicycle saftety in Auckland. Images below are from the notified documents.

2. Before giving my reasons for opposing the proposal I’d like to say I am unhappy with having to download a slew of 27 separate PDF documents in order to assess the proposal. This level of inefficiency is unacceptable. The documents should have been consolidated into one. I am also unhappy that Auckland Council refuses to accept the industry standard .odt format for submissions and instead forces the use of Microsoft or another standard just to upload a submission.

3. I note that a major rationale for the proposal is cyclist safety. Unfortunately the most simple, the cheapest and the most obvious solution has not been considered. The documents show 9 crashes involving cyclists were reported at the intersection from 2011-2015 (one of these was between 2 cyclists on the shared path). All remaining crashes with cyclists were vehicles turning right into Ngapipi Road failing to give way to oncoming cyclists. There were no other cycle crashes reported. I suggest the obvious solution is to install a sign on the cycleway heading west that requires cyclists to Give Way. The fact that more crashes were not reported suggests that most cyclists are already giving way and cycling defensively. Further analysis of the cycle crashes may be buried somewhere in the 27 documents but I am unable to determine the times of day or whether the cyclists were wearing reflective safety vests or had adequate lights.

ngapipi-crash-stats

4. I note that the proposal will increase traffic delays for very little gain. That is unacceptable.

ngapipi-travel-times-up

5. I am also concerned that the likely impact of sea-level rise has not been properly assessed. The word “normal” in the following quote is unacceptable when we are facing abnormal changes. I would prefer to see a fuller discussion of the estimates and likely impacts using the NIWA definition of red alert tides.

ngapipi-lights-sea-level

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