#Roads & Transport
Auckland Transport
New Zealand

Auckland Transport have chosen to ignore opposition from the local Kaipatiki board and concerns from the public and go ahead with the completely illogical T3 lane extensions on Onewa & Lake Rds in Northcote from Monday 30 April. The new T3 times will be 6:30-10am to the city (Onewa & Lake), and 4-7pm from the city (Onewa only).

AT seem to think that the best way to tackle congestion is to make things as difficult as possible for motorists and force us all into buses. What they are not taking into consideration is that for many of us taking a bus will never be an option.

For example:
• Anyone whose place of work is not on a bus route
• Parents on the school run in the morning
• Tradespeople and anyone who has equipment to carry
• Salespeople who need their cars to get to appointments
• People who live a long walk away from their nearest bus stop (especially an issue when they get home from work late at night)
• Anyone with a small child in their car whose daycare is close to their work

Aside from the odd time when there is a crash on the motorway, after 9am the traffic runs pretty smoothly for both cars AND buses. The only issue is people parked in the LH lane, which can be fixed by making it a clearaway. By extending the T3 hours to 10am all AT are going to do is INCREASE congestion, by forcing all motorists into one lane.

At that time of day, outside of peak hours, it is never going to be quicker to take a bus rather than a car, whether the T3 hours are extended or not, so very few people will end up switching to buses. (Especially as most office workers in the CBD, who are the most benefited by buses, are at work by then). All this decision will do is add at least an extra 20 mins per day to the journey of every motorist for no good reason.

Congestion is obviously caused by everyone trying to get somewhere at the same time. So, one of the best ways to lower congestion is to encourage people to work outside of the usual peak hours. All of us who have arranged to start work at 9.30 or 10am to avoid the nightmare of Onewa/Lake Rd at peak hours are doing a good thing for the community as we are contributing to less cars on the road between 7-9am. Instead of encouraging this, AT want to take away our incentive and force us all to have to leave earlier to get to work on time, which will actually result in an INCREASE in congestion during peak hours (ie all those who currently leave at 9am being forced to leave at 8.30 and so on).

AT has a ‘blanket approach’ to introducing transit lane time extensions Auckland-wide, however they have not taken into account the unique problem of the Kaipatiki region which is that if we need to take the Harbour Bridge to get to work we cannot take back roads and all have to head in the same direction.

Instead of focusing on the 9-10am hour, when there isn’t a serious congestion issue, AT should instead be focusing on the nightmare traffic problem between the 7-9am peak hours, and consider options such as dynamic lane control (ie three lanes down, one lane up in the morning) which would make a huge difference to the lives of residents. The only thing we need between 9-10am are No Stopping At All Times (NSAAT) markings, to ensure that cars, buses and cyclists no longer need to manoeuvre around parked vehicles outside of the current transit lane hours.

We, the undersigned, urge Auckland Transport to cancel the planned T3 extensions on Onewa & Lake Rds in Northcote.

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The Stop the Onewa & Lake Rd T3 extensions petition to Auckland Transport was written by Nikki Flint and is in the category Roads & Transport at GoPetition.