Newsletter #38 - 8 June 2017
Welcome to this special edition of our weekly newsletter. This newsletter is also being circulated to every person who signed our online petition. Thank you for your support.
This issue is dedicated to providing an update on the petition and also letting everyone know that a primetime TV show tonight is dedicated to our campaign.
WE’RE ON TV TONIGHT @8:30 on TV2!
Yes, we’re on TV2 @8:30pm on TV2. You can later watch it on demand at: https://www.tvnz.co.nz/shows/gutsful.
There is a screening party at The Bridgehouse, next to the intersection on Elizabeth Street. Come along from 7:30pm and enjoy the show.
The show was filmed early in our campaign, before the billboards and the petition. We were still testing roundabout designs with and without an overpass. It is an entertaining look at the issues and the solutions.
Since the tabling of our petition in Parliament, the chair of the Transport and Industrial Relations Select Committee has invited us to present to their committee. We have accepted the opportunity to cover in depth the problems with the intersection and what will fix it. A date has yet to be confirmed but we expect it to be later next month.
In the week that we presented the petition to Rodney’s Member of Parliament, Mark Mitchell, NZTA announced a $2 million project to investigate and redesign the intersection. The proviso was that, due to their perceived ‘risk of disruption’, road works won’t commence until the completion of the Puhoi to Warkworth motorway and the Matakana Link Road. (See the announcement here: http://bit.ly/2pIW6Rc.)
Obviously, we aren’t happy with this unsubstantiated proviso. Auckland Council’s parks department has since commenced a major upgrade of the adjacent Kowhai Park which hasn’t caused disruption. The environmental assessments conducted for the project also addresses the concerns if a roundabout was to be built on Kowhai Park.
What really irks us is that NZTA revised their traffic growth projections, which shows that traffic volumes will be much greater even after the motorway, Matakana Link, and Western Collector roads are completed in 2021. Sandspit Road, which will increase from 9000 vehicles per day to 18200 by 2021, is subsiding and deteriorating.
Our team is now pressing for a four-pronged approach of:
Minor improvements at the intersection, including relocating the Sandspit Road pedestrian crossing from between Millstream Place and Elizabeth Street to next to the traffic lights;
Minor lane improvements and traffic signal sequencing on Sandspit Road between Matakana Road and Elizabeth Street that improves flow;
Working with stakeholders to push for the completion of the Sandspit Link at the same time as Matakana Link so a large section of Sandspit Road (and the Hill Street intersection) can be rebuilt; and
A fast-tracked major upgrade of the Hill Street intersection with minimal disruption.
Auckland Transport needs to get on top of this problem before it snowballs anymore. Our campaign has been successful with applying pressure and we intend to maintain the momentum until the problems are fixed.
Thank you for subscribing and thank you to donors and volunteers who have got our campaign into full swing. Please contact us if you would like to donate, volunteer, or have any suggestions.
To make a donation, our bank account details are:
Account Name: “FixHillStreetNow Action Group” Bank Account Number: 12-3095-0042062-00.