Independent consultants are reviewing more than $20 million worth of Tauranga City Council transport projects.
Among other things, the reviews will check the risk that safety-driven projects might worsen the city's congestion.
The Bay of Plenty Times investigated the growth in congestion, and its impact on the city, in its recent Gridlock series.
The council has asked Christchurch consultants John Hannah of Impact Transport Consulting and Mike Smith of Stantec to review 26 projects.
Several major, multimillion-dollar projects were on the list, including upgrades to 15th Ave, Turret Rd, Fraser St, Domain Rd and Maunganui Rd, as well as the rollout of the council's Cycle Action Plan.
The high-level review was in two parts, with 17 projects due by May 29 and the rest to be done after June 24.
Acting infrastructure manager Martin Parkes said the council wanted to ensure the projects on its books aligned with the Government's transport goals and the council's long-term planning.
"It is also to understand the risks of compounding current congestion problems when balanced against safety upgrades," he said.
Funding, project timing and how well the council was consulting with the community on its plans and the impact of the work would also be considered.
The Bay of Plenty Times asked if the council was seeking to avoid a repeat of the heavily criticised roading layout changes in Greerton.
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Motorists complained the safety-driven changes on Cameron Rd made traffic worse, and many surrounding businesses also were not happy.
The council has since reviewed the new layout and was planning to take some options to the community for feedback.
"It's not just Greerton," Parkes said.
"Other projects with the best intentions of enhancing safety have had significant knock-on effects, which compound the congestion issues."
He said some of the projects faced funding issues, with the NZ Transport Agency still considering which projects it would support with its 51 per cent subsidy.
In total, the council was planning to spend $20 million on the projects in the next financial year but with many projects spanning several years, that was only a portion of the total worth of the project.
The council is still finalising its budget for next year.
One of the consultants, Mike Smith recently helped with a review of options for the future of Welcome Bay Lane, which was closed due to the danger it posed to cyclists.
Discussing the review in a meeting today, Councillor Rick Curach asked whether there was a risk of the reviews putting too much emphasis on "the interests of the cycling community rather than motorists".
Parkes said the review was not cycling-focused.
The transport review is one of a series of independent reviews the council has commissioned into its own projects in recent months.
They follow a major review of four messy projects, including Greerton, by consultant Max Pedersen in September last year.
His report, released in April, criticised the council's culture and project management in general, and project budgeting and community consultation in particular.
That report has spawned a series of secondary reviews at various stages of completion.
Technical reviews of Greerton roading and the Kulim Park redevelopment design have been finished.
The council has also commissioned Pedersen to review its new Marine Precinct, which has been the subject of complaints from some fishing companies.
Transport projects in the review
- Domain Rd upgrading
- Ngatai Rd separated cycleway
- Maunganui Rd upgrades (four separate projects)
- Maunganui Rd and Tweed St intersection
- Maunganui Rd safety improvement
- Cycle Action Plan implementation
- Cameron Rd/9th Ave traffic signals
- Cameron Rd North traffic signals installation
Cameron Rd/3rd Ave traffic signals
- Cameron Rd and Maleme St signalised roundabout
- 15th Ave, Turret Rd and Fraser St upgrades
- Arataki bus interchange
- Peak hour traffic management and public transport priority
- Devonport Rd 11th Ave signalised intersection
- Various minor improvements
- Construction of Te Marie/Newton St link
- Upgrade bus infrastructure at key public transport locations
- Waihi Rd/Otumoetai Rd intersection upgrade
- Fraser St/Chadwick Rd intersection upgrade
- Cycleway improvements, Fergusson Park to Maxwells Rd
- Elizabeth St/Takitimu Dr/Glasgow St intersection improvements
- Blake Park cycle connection
- Bellevue area-wide traffic management
Source: Tauranga City Council