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Ask Phoebe: Colourful character still keeping bug-eye on traffic

By Phoebe Falconer

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Gordon the gecko is still stationed at the Khyber Pass motorway offramp. Photo / Janna Dixon
Gordon the gecko is still stationed at the Khyber Pass motorway offramp. Photo / Janna Dixon

Do you know what has happened to the lizard (tuatara?) which was under the Khyber Pass offramp? It was the one attractive thing in a bleak area. Brenda Claridge, Auckland.

Conscientious to a fault, I went out to check, and yes, Gordon is still there, lolling under the offramp. He's a gecko, by the way, not a tuatara. The Transport Agency wonders if you are not getting mixed up with the geckos that used to be under the Gillies Ave bridge at the northern end of the Newmarket Viaduct. These - and three mosaics - have been moved as part of the Newmarket Viaduct replacement project. They haven't gone far though. The Transport Agency has given them to Newmarket Primary School down the road. What a good idea.

On the Northern Motorway, between the Stafford Rd and Onewa Rd offramps, there is a large orange sign that reads, "Warning: Trucks exiting at Onewa Road from Lane 3". There are five lanes heading north at this particular spot, which makes lane three the middle one.

The sign has been in place since the beginning of the construction of the two overpasses at Onewa Rd. It didn't make any sense then, either. What is its meaning? Barbara Fredric, Birkenhead.

The sign was installed when strengthening work was started on the Harbour Bridge clip-ons and heavy trucks were not allowed to use the two outside lanes on the bridge, heading north.

Trucks had to use the centre lanes on the bridge and then move over quite quickly to lane one if they wanted to exit the motorway at Onewa Rd.

There's not a lot of distance between the end of the bridge and the Onewa offramp, so the sign is there to warn all drivers that trucks could be changing lanes quite quickly.

Although heavy trucks can now use the inside clip-on lanes, the sign will remain until all the strengthening work on the bridge is finished.

If I am legally travelling on a motorbike in a bus lane and stop at traffic lights with a "B" for bus priority signal, can I go when the B comes on or do I have to wait for the general green light. If a motorbike has to wait for the green light and is at the front of the queue, won't this delay the bus? Phil Josephs, Auckland.

Go, man, go. If you are in a bus lane that allows cycles and motorcycles, you can take advantage of any bus lane signals, otherwise, as you point out, you're holding up the bus, and we can't have that.

Are scooters or motorbikes allowed to use cycle lanes? I know they are not meant to use cycleways, such as the one alongside the Northwestern Motorway (although they do) but what about lanes such as those in Vincent St in the city? Surely they have their own lanes - called the road. Geoffrey Mickleson, Auckland.

In general, cycle lanes are for cycles and nothing else. However, motorbikes and cars and other vehicles may use cycle lanes to turn left or get to a parking space, but for no more than 50m.

- NZ Herald

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