Bus lane proposal upsets

Residents say removing the centre median creates safety issues for right turning traffic. Photo. Tracy Hardy

Today is the last day for Welcome Bay residents to object plans to place a short bus lane on Welcome Bay Road between James Cook and Meadowviews Drives.

Residents of the affected strip of road were informed of the proposal on March 21 and have until today to respond.

The council want to remove the central median between 166 Welcome Bay Road and Meadowviews Drive, and paint a bus lane on the landward side of the street.

As well and the loss of the central median which provides a turning bay for turning traffic, the council proposes removing the flush median on the harbour side, which provides a safety buffer for left turning traffic.

All parking on the harbour side of the street will be removed. The area features long shared driveways with many properties set back from the road.

The city council is proposing to remove all car parking on the harbour side of the street, remove the flush median, while retaining the cycle lane on the inland side.

Residents have been given less than two weeks to respond to the council letter informing them the changes are expected to be taking place later in April or early May.

Local resident Kym Johnson says the removal of the central median will increase the chances of more rear end accidents.

“For us and many others on this section of road the median is the only way we can turn into our own driveways, and it is precarious enough as it is.

“Whenever I come from the direction that requires me to use it I am constantly looking in my rear vision mirror with bated breath watching the cars approaching from behind.

“Without it residents will literally be a sitting duck on the road for someone to rear end – this has happened before even with the median. It is going to be totally dangerous and put residents’ safety at risk.

“Add to that anyone wanting to pop into the dairy from either direction and we have a certainty of regular vehicle accidents.”

A neighbour says the bus lane will not solve any problems. The bus lane is about 500m from near the bend outside the dairy to Meadowviews Drive, and then the lanes merge.

“And then after that the bus is still coming on the main road. So what difference is it going to make in the time?”

The woman who does not want her name used, says the neighbourhood should get together and ask the council people to come to the site and see what they are talking about, rather than sitting in their offices and planning

“When you see something it’s a different outcome.

“If they are going to take that median strip off, people from the houses on both sides are going to be in more danger turning in and out from that road.”

Tauranga City Council transport manager Martin Parkes says the promotion of bus lanes along Welcome Bay Road came about following receipt of numerous complaints from local residents about the levels of congestion currently being experienced in the area, particularly during the morning peak period.

“The congestion has affected the performance of bus services, with a number of schoolchildren regularly being over an hour late for school,” says Martin.  “The community has asked Council to help alleviate the problems. In response, we’ve developed up a bus lane proposal, which will give buses a time advantage by removing them from general traffic queues.“

Council staff are aware of the safety concerns, says Martin.

“However the design is yet to be completed and still has to go through a rigorous safety audit process before any final decision is made.”

In December the Bay of Plenty Regional Council will increase the frequency of bus services from Welcome Bay.

“Therefore it is vitally important that measures be provided to ensure these new services operate as efficiently as possible if we are to see an uptake in the use of public transport, which will help reduce the level of congestion being experienced in the area,” says Martin.


16 Comments

Grr parents

Posted on 25-04-2018 19:29 | By Captain Hottie

How about we start charging parents who decide the local school is not for their wee poppets (too many brown faces, usually) and cart them halfway across the city? Or parents who give teenage Tarquin and Holliday a car to get to school because the kids whine that riding the bus is too uncoooool. It’s not just chauffeuring parents who are the problem, it’s the teenage kids who drive to school, and they can’t car pool because they are on restricted licences so can’t carry passengers. I’d love to know how full the bike racks are at the schools.

Easy

Posted on 01-04-2018 02:55 | By Tgaboy

Adults on bikes and kids on bikes. Make it safe for everyone though. I lament all the kids being ferried to school by car when schools arent that far away. Im sure everyone notices the lack of traffic in school holidays. Kids in my day used to bike or walk. More children around these days but fewer using their legs to get to school. It takes me 15 minutes to bike from W bay to the CBD. I dont understand how folks seem happy to sit in congestion for 35 minutes + to go the same distance in a car.

Cover of darkness

Posted on 31-03-2018 20:51 | By happykiwi

Old Trucker you are correct, they will do it at night despite the protests.I see paint marks on the road now in preparation!A 200m bus lane is pointless on a 2km stretch of road that is gridlocked. It is also on a bend with a dairy on one side and childcare centre on the other. How unsafe is this?

move forward

Posted on 30-03-2018 20:25 | By Capt_Kaveman

most large cities in the world remove parking on main routes to install bus lanes and extra lanes,i also support taxis using bus lanes as well, the only way to make people use transport is to make the trip faster

Free up everything.

Posted on 30-03-2018 16:39 | By kinakat

Free bus rides to school would be amazing!Just hurry up and get the roads sorted.

golly gosh

Posted on 30-03-2018 16:31 | By old trucker

Look out it will get done in the COVER OF DARKNESS as was Hewletts road, that BUS LANE outside Hard stand over Bridge is a JOKE the buses are still having to merge as cars did and more DANGEROUS, as along Hewletts rd by Totara St put in bus lane before there, it was good having 3 lanes to start,especially when heavy trucks are in the middle,by the time they have to move 60 ton the light changes to red,NZTA WILL NOT LISTEN to reason.most of the buses are running empty,and should run every 2 hrs not half hr,my thoughts only on this,by the way Transport manager has and does not care about you,see him on his electric bike (SUPPLIED) by us,and says he is sick of the GRIZZLERS) calling him and writing to him, he does not CARE,Sunlive, Thankyou. 10-4 out. phew.

bad traffic

Posted on 30-03-2018 16:30 | By Delboy

stop the people all taking the kids to school in their cars,get the school buses back again.also we have all the cars coming from Bayfair motorway area blocking our road.You have to four lane the road all the way to and including 15th Ave.Another option would be a Barrier machine like they have on Auckland Harbour Bridge that can shift lanes over to suit flow of traffic morning and afternoon,simple really

What is wrong with this Council?

Posted on 30-03-2018 13:55 | By TheCameltoeKid

This idea is almost as stupid as the idea to raise Rates by 40%. All it will achieve is more backlog caused by the (empty) busses merging back into traffic. You know, the problem really lies with the people of Tauranga for voting these clowns in in the 1st place! I can tell you this, if these stupid ideas somehow get approved there will be a vast cleanout of Councillors at the next election! These people aren’t experienced in Commerce with the exception of Brownless. In a Commercial reality they simply wouldn’t survive. TCC needs to freeze Rates at the level they are now and learn to live with the Rate take they already have! They also need to start making rational decisions and cease these stupid ideas. A great idea would be compulsory kids on schoolbusses and stop parents driving their Little Darlings too school!

TCC Idiots

Posted on 30-03-2018 12:32 | By happykiwi

I am all for getting people out of cars and using public transport having lived in Sydney and see how it can work but this idea is a joke.40 plus homes in that small length of proposed bus lane and how do they get in and out now? not to mention the dairy and childcare centre with no medium strip to pull into. a serious accident will happen. The traffic is backed up each morning to the Welcome Bay Shopping center so a tiny bus lane is ridiculous. by the way there is a bus stop halfway along so the buses stop anyway!Whoever thought of this idea have they sat and watched the traffic?

TCC Idiots

Posted on 30-03-2018 12:32 | By happykiwi

I am all for getting people out of cars and using public transport having lived in Sydney and see how it can work but this idea is a joke.40 plus homes in that small length of proposed bus lane and how do they get in and out now? not to mention the dairy and childcare centre with no medium strip to pull into. a serious accident will happen. The traffic is backed up each morning to the Welcome Bay Shopping center so a tiny bus lane is ridiculous. by the way there is a bus stop halfway along so the buses stop anyway!Whoever thought of this idea have they sat and watched the traffic?

yes it has all come back to bite them

Posted on 30-03-2018 12:19 | By CC8

It’s simple, Welcome Bay residents have paid ( through developers contributions, rates and road tax ) for years . The suburb has grown and the council have received the funds , but would rather spend the money elsewhere. They widened the road, said it would futureproof , when that didn’t work they blamed the intersection , even though they provided for a tunnel back in 1975 but didn’t build it. Then they decided we all live in the Netherlands or New York or ? so we should all ride a bike or catch a bus... Stupid "educated" ideology , not being tempered by practical experience . We live in New Zealand ,NOT Zeeland. Move cyclists to the path with pedestrians , widen the road to 4 lanes and let the buses run with the now moving traffic.

Scrap bus lanes

Posted on 30-03-2018 12:01 | By The Hobbit

Scrap bus lanes!!! Most buses are virtually empty so why try and benefit the extreme minority at the expense of the vast majority? Opening bus lanes to all will reduce the length of queues e.g along Welcome Bay Road, Hewlette’s Road etc.. Transport that people Don’t want to use is causing more problems than it’s worth.

Schoolies

Posted on 30-03-2018 10:55 | By overit

Get the kids to ride the school buses. Problem solved.

Bus lane

Posted on 30-03-2018 10:19 | By Rikster11

This proposed bus lane will not work. The current proposal means bus will move out of flow of traffic and then back in after under taking like two cars this will create more delay not save. Also by removing the parking on the harbour side of the the road where are the residents supposed to park their cars or have visitors. by removing the median will create more safety issues for traffic and pedestrians to cross the road safely. should wait until the underpass is completed before doing anything else.Maybe widen the road to create bus lanes without removing parking and median lanes. also bus lane would have to be a lot longer to make it worth while.

Ideology vs Intellect

Posted on 30-03-2018 09:55 | By backofthequeue

Every week day morning traffic is backed up for several kilometres along Welcome Bay Road all the way through 15th Avenue. The proposal to alleviate bus timetable delays by installing a few hundred metres of bus lane in a minor section of this carriageway is simply farcical if not an outright absurdity. This push by certain bureaucrats to get people out of cars and onto public transport by whatever means has to be tempered by common sense. Removing available car park space in the CBD is one thing but putting the safety of residents and road users at risk for such negligible gains is just irresponsible ideology that must not be allowed to gain traction.

Communists

Posted on 30-03-2018 08:25 | By maildrop

At it again with bus lanes for empty buses. The lady is right. We need buffers for all those dopes who drive too closely, too quickly and not focused because of the dope in their system. We should call median strips "kiwi buffers".

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