Gridlock

This week, Gridlock – Tauranga's No. 1 issue has laid bare the extent and impact of the city's traffic congestion.

As solutions to this increasing problem are pondered and debated, in the short-term, those driving to work and school each day need help.

The finale to this comprehensive five-part series is a special online tool which you can use to avoid the worst peak morning and evening traffic.

Every morning and evening for two weeks, the Bay of Plenty Times used Google Maps data to track commute times from eight different suburbs around Tauranga.

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At 6.30am, 7am, 7.30am and 8am every weekday morning, we tested routes into the Tauranga CBD from Ohauiti, Pāpāmoa East, Mount Maunganui, Te Puna, Welcome Bay, Pyes Pa, Tauriko and Matua.

We then tested the same routes in reverse every weekday evening at 4pm, 4.30pm, 5pm and 5.30pm.

The first week of this traffic experiment was a normal working week in Tauranga. The second week was during school holidays – spot the stark difference for some of the suburbs.

Armed with all this data, we then produced the interactive map below, which you can use to help plan your daily commute.

You can select a route by clicking on the map or by using the menu below the map.

By clicking on the bars above, you can see the individual commute times. Morning and evening tabs are in the top right-hand corner of the map.

Compare the routes – see which were the most affected by school traffic, which were the most consistent no matter the time of morning or evening, and which saw the biggest rises and falls over 30-minute increments.

The map also gives you an idea of some of the worst traffic chokepoints in the city and how they are affecting commute times.

See below the map for more information on the eight routes tested, and when we conducted the experiment.

When the traffic experiment was done

The Bay of Plenty Times tested the eight routes between April 8-12, and between April 15-18.

The final Friday was tested on April 26 because April 19 was Good Friday, a public holiday when very few people would have been travelling to work.

April 15-18 and April 19 were during the school holidays.

The eight routes

Ohauiti – 10.7km

From the corner of Ohauiti Rd and Rowe Rd to 405 Cameron Rd in the morning, and the other way around in the evening.

Via Ohauiti Rd, the Welcome Bay and Maungatapu roundabouts, the Hairini Bridge, Turret Rd, 15th Ave, Fraser St, 11th Ave, Devonport Rd, 9th Ave, and Cameron Rd.

Pāpāmoa East – 22.8km

From the corner of Papamoa Beach Rd and Palm Springs Blvd to 405 Cameron Rd in the morning, and the other way around in the evening.

Via Papamoa Beach Rd, Parton Rd, Tara Rd, State Highway 2, State Highway 29A, the Maungatapu roundabout, the Hairini Bridge, Turret Rd, 15th Ave, Fraser St, 11th Ave, Devonport Rd, 9th Ave, and Cameron Rd.

Mount Maunganui – 8.6km

From the corner of Valley Rd and Tay St to 405 Cameron Rd in the morning, and the other way around in the evening.

Via Tay St, Maunganui Rd, Hull Rd, Totara St, Hewletts Rd, Takitimu Dr, Elizabeth St, and Cameron Rd.

Te Puna – 10km

From the corner of Te Puna Rd and Armstrong Rd to 405 Cameron Rd in the morning, and the other way around in the evening.

Via Te Puna Rd, State Highway 2, 15th Ave, and Cameron Rd.

Welcome Bay – 7.1km

From the corner of Forrester Dr and Rangataua St to 405 Cameron Rd in the morning, and the other way around in the evening.

Via Forrester Dr, Welcome Bay Rd, the Maungatapu Underpass, the Hairini Bridge, Turret Rd, 15th Ave, Fraser St, 11th Ave, Devonport Rd, 9th Ave, and Cameron Rd.

Pyes Pa – 10.5km

From the corner of Pyes Pa Rd and Keenan Rd to 405 Cameron Rd in the morning, and the other way around in the evening.

Via Pyes Pa Rd, and Cameron Rd.

Tauriko – 8.3km

From the corner of Cambridge Rd and State Highway 29 to 405 Cameron Rd in the morning, and the other way around in the evening.

Via State Highway 29 (toll road), 15th Ave, and Cameron Rd.

Matua – 6.8km

From the corner of Matua Rd and Levers Rd to 405 Cameron Rd in the morning, and the other way around in the evening.

Via Levers Rd, Otumoetai Rd, Ngatai Rd, Chapel St, and Cameron Rd.

Gridlock – Tauranga's No. 1 issue

Day 1:

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Day 2:
Developer warns of GFC-like event if Tauranga can't fix its traffic issues
Tauranga's traffic woes bad for business
Tauranga's traffic issues reveal a dire situation, writes Priority One's Nigel Tutt

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Day 3:
The chokepoints Tauranga drivers hate the most
On the street: What Tauranga chokepoint do you hate the most?
Hundreds of millions of dollars wasted, writes Stuart Crosby
Emergency workers struggling to get through Tauranga's traffic

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Day 4:
Buses and bikes – the battle to get people out of their cars heats up
Congestion is a symptom, and it can be our vehicle to change, writes Heidi Hughes
Cyclist starts driving car again after being abused and threatened
Kiri Gillespie editorial: Cyclists aren't the enemy

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Day 5:
Stuck in traffic? Tauranga leaders share their solutions to traffic woes
The Big Picture – Tauranga at a traffic crossroads
The Great Race: Car, bus, bike – which commute is quicker?
Congestion isn't the right problem to solve, writes this international expert
Data project: Use this interactive map to plan your daily commute in Tauranga
Gridlock: More gold plated expressways not the answer: Phil Twyford
Gridlock: We all need to be part of the solution, writes Dylan Thorne