Lessons from the Turret road experiment

Turret Road traffic data may result in Burrows Street traffic lights being installed sooner rather than later. Photo: File.

One of the more obvious findings from the six week experimental traffic closure of the slip lane from Turret Road onto the bottom of 15th Avenue, is the need for traffic lights at Burrows Street.

The intersection needs traffic lights to help control the amount of traffic able to get out from Burrows Street onto 15th Avenue, says Tauranga City Council transportation manager Martin Parkes.

“When we closed that slip lane the same sort of behaviour then just transferred to Burrows Street, so people were letting other people out, which is having a knock on effect back up to the 15th/Fraser lights.

“So it just transferred that type of behaviour. It makes complete sense to put traffic lights there particularly with that commercial development going in there as well. There’s going to be a lot more activity in that area which needs to be controlled.”

The current pedestrian lights will be removed and incorporated within the intersection traffic lights, says Martin. The question facing the council is when.

In the next financial year the council is widening 15th Avenue between Grace Road and Burrows Street.

Whether traffic lights will be installed as part of that work, or held off until later major works depends in part on the data amassed over the last six weeks.

They are in the process of analysing the data which will take a few weeks and from that determine what long term solutions might be developed for that area.

“It was a bit mixed really,” he says of the experiment.

“Sometimes the queues went back down Devonport Road, a lot further than we had anticipated. Then other days there was no queue at all. It was a bit odd really. There was no rhyme or reason to that particular pattern.”

Feedback from the community is mixed.

“We’ve had emails, phone calls, all that information sent back to us has been really useful,” says Martin.

“Some really like it, want to make it permanent straight away. Other people didn’t like it at all, felt their journey had been disrupted and they wanted it sort of taken away within the first couple of weeks of it being there.

“The whole exercise was about information gathering, particularly that traffic data, it is really, really useful for us going forward.”

The council will be doing more community engagement probably February or March next year says Martin.

It will include the views of the people from the south western suburbs for which 15th Avenue is a major corridor; residents from, Maungatapu, Ohauiti, Welcome Bay.

The barriers across Turret Road were installed after Labour Weekend and had to be beefed up in the first week because people removed them in order to drive past.

The plastic water filled barriers were replaced by concrete ones which enabled the data gathering to proceed.

Drivers using Turret Road to avoid the traffic lights on 15th Avenue create a stuttering effect in the traffic flow because people driving south on 15th Avenue stop to let them in - even though entry from Turret Road is on a Give Way sign.


@ strangekiwi and dbunk

Posted on 07-12-2017 16:54 | By MISS ADVENTURE

mess around with lights, new wonderous paint schemes, new signs or whatever, The problem is to much traffic for the raod capacity, answer is 4-lanes, it always was the answer and is always going to be the answer besides a car compactor to take out every second car morning and night. Lights, more lights and roundabouts and any other nonesense just creates stop/starts in th etraffic flows, the only answer is 4-lanes.


Posted on 30-11-2017 09:21 | By 82m

"There will be NO improvement UNTIL the Hairini Bridge is 4-lane (with additional shared off road pedestrian / cycle facility, and from Baypark to 15th. Avenue / Cameron Rd inclusive"He did say 15th ave inclusive.. maybe read it properly before personally attacking someone.it is actually a very good idea and the first step to getting the traffic sorted. one main arterial route through the city.

@ MUrray.Guy

Posted on 30-11-2017 07:56 | By dbunk

What will happen to the 4 lanes when the meet 15th Ave. Bang you have just shifted the problem 400m north with no actual resolve, That Sir is why you are an EX Councillor

Turret road.

Posted on 29-11-2017 14:29 | By petebennett@xtra.co.nz

I return from work from 17th Av., and want to turn right into 15th av., at Fraser St. If the turn right lane traffic is long, I go straight across and turn down 14th av., which gives me the option to turn at Grace St., or the bottom of Turret, if the traffic light phase at Fraser was lengthened, this would alleviate the long queues to turn right.

One way

Posted on 29-11-2017 12:59 | By strangekiwi

How about a one way system. Harvey st and 13th one way from Grace to Fraser, 14th becomes one way from burrows to Grace and no exit at Grace... it’d take longer to get through that than down 15th


Posted on 29-11-2017 12:40 | By dumbkof2

forget about lights down 15th ave. just make it no left turn out of grace burrows and turret rds 4 pm to 6pm and prohibit traffic from stopping and letting vehicles out of these streets. thats whats slowing everything down


Posted on 29-11-2017 12:40 | By dumbkof2

forget about lights down 15th ave. just make it no left turn out of grace burrows and turret rds 4 pm to 6pm and prohibit traffic from stopping and letting vehicles out of these streets. thats whats slowing everything down

First Burrows then Grace

Posted on 29-11-2017 11:58 | By Lvdw

So the Turret road traffic bubbled up to Burrows - no surprise there.Put lights in at Burrows and mmm lets see - oh wait I know, the traffic will then bubble up to Grace.Also put some darn CAMERAS in at 15th and Fraser and 15th and Cameron!! Too many people are skipping these lights and causing congestion in the intersections which also doesnt help any.

No 4 land bridge, no change!

Posted on 29-11-2017 11:48 | By Murray.Guy

These buggers are just throwing good money after bad, playing games with their computor programs at huge ’rate and road user’ expense and frustration. There will be NO improvement UNTIL the Hairini Bridge is 4-lane (with additional shared off road pedestrian / cycle facility, and from Baypark to 15th. Avenue / Cameron Rd inclusive. Design it and DO IT! Why these, so-called, experts continue refusing to invest in critical infrastructure in preference to destroying perfectly good buildings beggars belief, likewise that the Governance and CEO choose to allow it!

Lights waste of money

Posted on 29-11-2017 11:43 | By MISS ADVENTURE

The obvious answer is that already determiend by NZTA, 4-lane the road all teh way from 15th Ave to the tunnel/underpass. Problem then permanently fixed rather than rattling around wasting money inbetween.


Posted on 29-11-2017 09:44 | By rogue

Is it obvious to everyone but the Council & Transit that 15 th ave needs to be 2 lanes each way.... no merging & that a 2nd bridge needs to be started yesterday to allow traffic to flow? Once that is done double lane through Maungatapu & another bridge across to Matapihi ( as was the plan in the 80’s ) .Wakey wakey City Council.

Am I being to simplistic?

Posted on 29-11-2017 09:27 | By Petrolhead

"Stuttering" occurs whenever two lanes or streams merge, its worse when the merge is uncontrolled (ie give way or stop rather than "merge like a zip" or roundabouts). Also minimising the length of single lane traffic will always help, conversely lengthening it will make it worse. The current thinking will increase the length of single lane and still use stop (lights) or give way rules - seems illogical. Why not simply make Turret rd exit a "merge like a zip" like many free left turn roundabouts. Everyone would know the rule and the stuttering is minimised. Traffic flows is fine out of turret rd when people merge like a zip, its when the waiting car gets mixed or unclear indications from the 15th ave traffic if they will be let in or not that stuttering occurs. Could do this at Burrows st as part of the 4 lane upgrade?

Keep it going!

Posted on 29-11-2017 08:23 | By WestieMum

Please keep Turret blocked off?!! It was so nice to finally get passed Burrows and not still be "stuttering" all the way to Turret. I think it’s more stop/crawl than stutter! Here’s a thought - put the stop/go lights you see at road works, on 15th/Burrows - long phase on 15th (obviously where the majority of traffic is coming and those that don’t queue jump) and a VERY short phase for the impatient cretins on Burrows who are causing the horrid "stuttering"! The stop/go lights would only need to be there during peak hours. Do something please soon please TCC and don’t sit on your hands and naval gaze for months, just do it! The sanity and precious time of residents is at stake! :)

15th Ave

Posted on 29-11-2017 08:09 | By collydogz

That will work fine as long as they phase them correctly and have a longer phase for the traffic travelling along 15th Ave. If they don’t nothing will change, infact it could get worse.


Posted on 29-11-2017 07:32 | By whatsinaname

Turret road needs to be widened as well . How dumb leaving it as it is that’s the problem now.

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