A bunch more keys to gridlock

Straight from city council
A personal view,
by Councillor Steve Morris

The asphalt is there 24 hours a day, but traffic isn’t. A couple of weeks ago I wrote about a port congestion charge during rush hour as one way to ‘spread the load’ on the road and pay for upgrades. This week we look at some further ideas.

Better use of the black stuff on Hewletts Rd could be achieved by making the bus lane a ‘T3’ transit lane for vehicles with three or more passengers. Of the 300,000 vehicle movements on Hewletts Rd each week, all but a tiny fraction are single-occupancy vehicles. T3 would enable a great queue jump during rush hour and encourage more cars off the road. At present there are only 16 cars with three or more passengers travelling Hewletts Rd during peak hours!

A return by Regional Council to peak-time, point-to-point bus services is needed rather than the new system which requires many users to change buses at an interchange. The need to change buses has been one of the more criticised aspects of the new service. Park-and-ride services to the suburbs are a must, provided they can be serviced by bus lanes. For example, carparks on council land in Papamoa and at BayPark would be well served by a city-bound bus lane along Maunganui Rd. It could slip into MacDonald St after the golf course and then connect with the Hewlett’s Rd bus lane. From BayPark to the bridge without traffic, now there’s a thought!

Next week, I’ll discuss commuter rail, whether it has a future, and cycleways.


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