With Dr Grant Hewison, specialising in local government consultancy and legal services.
A number of roads throughout the Auckland region experience tidal congestion, including Patiki/Rosebank.
In an attempt to find an innovative solution to address this congestion, Auckland Transport initiated the trial of a dynamic lane system on Whangaparaoa Road in 2018. While other sites in Auckland already operate dynamic lanes, this is the first location with side roads and private accesses to trial dynamic lanes and the design and technology used in this trial may have a broader application across the region.
During the year-long trial, the central area on Whangaparaoa Road, between Hibiscus Coast Highway and Red Beach Road operated as a general traffic lane during peak periods and reverted to being a flush median at other times. Overhead gantries and directional LEDs along the route provided drivers with information on lane usage. For the purposes of the trial, the speed limit along the route was reduced form 60km/hr to 50km/hr and regular monitoring was undertaken to provide information on how the lane operated.
Evaluation of monitoring data shows that the criteria for success was being met in 10 of the 11 trial monitoring measures. These measures included travel time, safety, compliance and public and emergency service feedback. This positive result was especially true for travel time savings which were consistently met or exceeded in both the AM and PM peaks despite increased traffic volumes. This successful aspect of the trial has generated high levels of public support and has also led to the extension of the dynamic lane operating hours.
In general, driver understanding and use of the scheme has been excellent following the initial settling period. There have been some isolated instances of misuse of the dynamic lane which typically involved prolonged merging by turning vehicles.
The only monitoring measure which did not meet the criteria for success concerned the LED road studs which have required higher than anticipated maintenance.
Overall the trial is having the intended effect of easing congestion and improving travel times for commuter traffic on Whangaparaoa Road without compromising safety and thus it has a high level of public support.
Auckland Transport is seeking agreement from NZTA that the Rules be amended to allow for dynamic laning. Additionally, Auckland Transport is seeking approval from NZTA to allow AT to continue to use the trialled controls in their current location in Whangaparaoa and to authorise the trial of the controls in other locations.
The RBA has been advocating for dynamic laning to be trialled in Patiki/Rosebank roads.
Waste Management and Minimisation Bylaw Review
Auckland Council has been consulting on a proposed new Waste Management and Minimisation Bylaw 2019 and amendments to the Trading and Events in Public Places Bylaw 2015.
The new bylaw proposes to:
- align the definition of clean-fill with the Auckland Unitary Plan, which may require some previously exempt waste management facilities to obtain a licence (such as bricks, ceramics, concrete, tiles, pavers and pipes)
- require a waste management and minimisation plan for all trading, events, and filming that takes place in a council-controlled public place
- requires a waste management and minimisation plan for any existing or planned multi-unit developments (including those with mixed use business and residential), and
- clarifies the rules to minimise the potential for shopping trolleys and unaddressed mail to become waste.
Of particular interest is the emphasis on replacing the word “waste” with “material” in the Bylaw to focus on a circular economy, the advanced requirements for ‘zero waste events’ in council-controlled public places and the new requirements for waste management and minimisation plans for multi-unit developments (including those with mixed use business and residential).