Ask Phoebe
Phoebe Falconer answers your questions about Auckland

Ask Phoebe: Balance needed when providing bus lanes

Photo / Brett Phibbs
Photo / Brett Phibbs

Q: Can you please investigate why there is such a paucity of bus lanes on New North Rd. The lanes run only from Kingsland to Ian MacKinnon Drive and for city-bound traffic, the lane is an ineffectual token. Traffic flows smoothly once past the Kingsland traffic lights. A bus lane is desperately needed on the west side of New North Rd on both the approach to the Kingsland lights and the approach to the Mt Albert shops from Woodward Rd. Great North, Sandringham and Dominion Rds all have a greater metreage of bus lanes, and have done for some time. Why has New North Rd been ignored? - Roy Adams, Avondale.

New North Rd is not unique in having limited lengths of bus lanes. Bus lanes are typically provided only during peak periods and in the peak direction of the traffic flow. As bus lanes reduce the available number of general traffic lanes, consideration is given to the effect of the reduced capacity of the road on other road users. An alternative to bus lanes, where parking may block a lane, are clearways. These maximise the number of lanes available and can improve capacity and flow for all traffic, including buses.

This is the case for much of New North Rd.

The decision to install a bus lane takes into account traffic volumes, the number of buses using the road, bus and vehicle occupancies and the capacity of the route. Priority for the buses and the needs of general traffic often needs to be balanced to ensure efficiency in terms of people movement is optimised for the route. Traffic routes are regularly reviewed to check that they are operating in the best way.

Q: I'm curious about the roadworks that have been undertaken in Elstree Ave, Glen Innes. Outside the pool complex the road has been reduced to one-way for several weeks. The work carried out on the closed lane has been deep. Now that has finished there is a concrete layer that will be well below the road surface when it is all relaid. I haven't seen this with road repair before and wonder what it's for? - Peter Agnew, Glen Innes, and Murray McKinnon, Glendowie.

A concrete layer below the asphalt riding surface is a proven method to provide a strong supporting base for roads where there is soft or unstable subsoil material, which is the case along Elstree Ave.

Q: Has Auckland Transport ever considered opening up what looks to be a paper road on Ballarat St in Ellerslie? This would be a godsend to people in the area and those passing through (north to south). It would mean Lunn Ave would be a lot less busy and Abbotts Way, too. Most of us heading this way use Mitre 10 Mega as a shortcut, as Marua Rd is 1.5km long and has no joining roads through to Abbotts Way. - Nathan Hancock, Ellerslie.

No, not at this stage.

- NZ Herald

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