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The Gauntlet: Issue #18



Newsletter #18 – 19 January 2017


As people are returning from their summer holidays, there has been an increase in online petition signatures and activity relating to the Hill Street intersection. To the surprise of many, the traffic counters installed on Sandspit and Matakana Roads are not Auckland Transport’s. Auckland Transport suspect that the NZ Transport Agency laid them. Go figure.


Meanwhile, Auckland Transport are arranging a series of meetings relating to the Hill Street intersection. It seems that the council is leading the way. Watch this space.


SINCE IT WAS BROUGHT UP

There were several letters to the editor printed in the latest edition of Mahurangi Matters mentioning the Hill Street intersection. Check them out here: http://bit.ly/2juF4D3


Our campaign didn’t intend to stage protests at the intersection. We know that people are already annoyed at the length of time they spend there. Knowing the effect that protests have with raising awareness, however, we are happy to assist any way we can.


So far, there has been several meetings, petitions, and protests independent of our campaign raising concerns about the Elizabeth Street trial. Frustrated by the lack of action to fix Hill Street, Tony Arthur plans a protest at Kowhai Park on 1 February between 7am and 9am. We’ll be there to support him. Watch this space.


OUR CHALLENGE

We’re a group of experts challenging the NZ Transport Agency and Auckland Transport to abandon their excuses and come up with something better than us to fix Hill Street now before it gets worse. We dare them to do better than this: http://www.fixhillstreetnow.org/discussion


APPLES WITH LEMONS

Rodney Local Board Chair Beth Houlbrooke posted a link to Deputy Chair Phelan Pirrie’s Muriwai Roundabout FAQ (at Waimauku) on the Rodney Traffic Issues page. See for yourself: http://bit.ly/2iD61Ff



So, we have a state highway intersection with an arterial and local road, several roads nearby, and an adjacent school. Recent local traffic growth has raised concerns about pedestrian and vehicle safety and congestion.


Sound familiar?


The above diagram is what is proposed at the intersection of State Highway 16 and two other local roads. Visit the NZTA project website here: http://bit.ly/2jam1KX. Find the intersection here: http://bit.ly/2jAs3Ye.


To justify the roundabout, NZTA worked out that “Nearly 40 deaths and serious injuries are predicted on State Highway 16 in the next decade without safety intervention.” (See for yourself: http://bit.ly/2iKSCWR)


Waimauku residents have suffered. “Residents claim it has been over 10 years since they were promised a roundabout and the time has finally arrived.” (http://bit.ly/2jajCzJ)


By now, have you been making any comparisons with the Hill Street intersection? We have.


Let’s recap. Kumeu and Waimauku wanted a bypass and got a roundabout. Warkworth wanted a roundabout and got a bypass. (See for yourself: http://bit.ly/2k1DAgb.) After a period of consultation, locals settled for a template roundabout, costing $6million. With a petition and lobbying of their local Member of Parliament (who just happened to be Prime Minister John Key), NZTA pushed planned works forward from 2022-2023 to 2016.


Here is a graphic comparing the locations of the intersections and the annual average daily traffic (AADT) of the connecting roads. (The Muriwai Road traffic volumes have undulated over the past five years so we chose the highest of the traffic volumes for that period. We couldn’t find any traffic data for Waimauku Station Road.)