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Phoebe Falconer answers your questions about Auckland

Ask Phoebe: Light finally shed on upkeep of footpaths

By Phoebe Falconer

10 comments
Photo / Greg Bowker
Photo / Greg Bowker

We have been advised by our local board that the NZ Transport Agency and Auckland Transport are debating land ownership as to who is responsible for erecting footpath lights to all footpaths that lead to Williams Park in Viscount St, Mangere. Are you able to find out which of these two bodies has ownership?

Nick Bakulich, Mangere.

Good news. At a meeting in late August, responsibility for the walkway was transferred from the New Zealand Transport Agency to Auckland Transport and the Auckland Council parks department. Auckland Transport will be installing new lights and upgrading the walkway and the work will be done by Christmas. They are going to bring it up to the standard of other walkways, as it needs repaving and a good clean-up.

Can you please find out what the policy is for emergency (police and ambulance) vehicles in peak traffic on the Northwestern Motorway? Several times over the last couple of weeks they have tried to navigate their way through the queues of traffic using the two driving lanes - often going down the middle of the two lanes (where the motorbikes like to zoom down).

Surely it would be safer (and faster) for all concerned if they used the bus lane. Karen Preston, Auckland.

The NZ Transport Agency says emergency vehicles will often use the bus lanes where they are available. But if the bus lanes are not continuous, emergency vehicles can be trapped getting back into the general traffic lane, especially when traffic is stopped. Many emergency vehicles find it easier and faster to lane split - travelling between the two lanes with drivers in both lanes co-operating by moving over to allow access. The decision is over to the emergency vehicle driver as to which method is considered faster and safer at the time.

On a stretch of road at Dairy Stream Bridge by Greens Rd on Dairy Flat Highway (SH17) there has been a "temporary" 70km/h limit for months if not years. Why is it there? And what is planned for it? Don Donovan, Albany.

The Transport Agency says that the temporary speed limit was introduced for safety reasons. This section of SH17 has an uneven surface due to ground movement, which has been active for many years. The unevenness is a problem for heavy vehicles with stiffer suspension. The NZTA says the most effective way to manage the problem is to level out the surface of the highway. The next round of levelling is expected shortly, after which the speed limit can be removed.

- NZ Herald

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