Myopia fails our multimillion dollar Road Programmes

Thakur Ranjit Singh

Auckland, July 22, 2018

One of the issues that touches on shortsighted Auckland Council and New Zealand Road Transport agencies and the movers and shakers making is the increasing congestion on our roads, risking safety as well.

Hope Auckland Mayor Phil Goff and Transport Minister Phil Twyford read Indian Newslink, so they can get informed and make a difference.

As a school bus-driver-journalist with a window-seat, I have a better perspective and real-life experience than many bureaucrats, some very ill-experienced, giving wrong advice, and making our life more difficult.

Waimauku, Whenuapai and Riverhead Chaos:

Waimauku: Thanks for the multi-million dollar roundabout at State Highway 16 – Muriwai Road -Waimauku Station Road junction. Traffic flows very nicely now. But with new housing developments and increased student traffic at a growing hub of Waimauku, there are no designated bus stops. Collectively, we pick and drop some 200 school students there – but, sorry, no bus stops.

I drop students with my hazard lights on and urging speeding motorist with hand, to slow down for school buses, where they need to pass at 20km/hr. But nobody seems to know this rule.

Accident is waiting to happen.

I hope that National (Helensville) MP Chris Penk, who replaced Sir John, also reads Indian Newslink  so that he can ruffle a few feathers.

Whenuapai bottleneck

As there is no ramp linking busy State Highway 16 to Motorway 18, (wonder why) Brigham Creek Road substitutes as that link. This busy road runs through de-facto Whenuapai shopping centre, past the Airforce base. Realising this is a major link, one would assume planners would have this is mind. But no, we have a bottleneck and traffic jams because of poor planning, at traffic lights at junction of Brigham Creek/Totara and Mamari Roads.

Going towards Airforce base at traffic lights there are three designated lanes: one turning left into Totara Road, one going ahead, connecting Helensville and Massey traffic to Motorway 18 and Hobsonville, and one turning right into a half-horse settlement into Mamari Road.

My estimate is, some 4% of traffic turn left, less than half a percent turn right, and over 95% go straight towards Airforce base. A sensible planner would allow at least two lanes for straight traffic, to ease daily queues for major “ramp” linking State Highway 16 to Motorway 18.

And like Waimauku, there are no bus stops for the ever-increasing houses and developments in and around that area.

The Riverhead neglect

Again, this is a hotbed of development and ever-increasing population. The newly –renovated and developed shopping centre has a new-humped pedestrian crossing. I would estimate over 100 students catch school buses and are dropped.

Again, there are no bus stops in or around the newly decorated shopping centre. Accidents are waiting to happen.

Somebody will get hurt on the humped crossing as there are no advance warnings-somebody will get a big jolt, and a damaged vehicle suspension.

I take my hats off for, it seems, novice Auckland Transport planners. People (like me) on the fields, who have experience and could reason things out, should sit in some of their planning committees.

Cry, West Auckland.

Over to you, two Phils and one Penk to provide us some solution, or pass the towel to wipe the tears!

Thakur Ranjit Singh is a media commentator and a critic with a civic sense. He runs, ‘Fiji Pundit,’ his blogsite. Email: thakurji@xtra.co.nz

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Photo Caption:

  1. Waimauku Hub has a new roundabout, but no designated bus stops for 200 students travelling in buses
  2. Brigham Creek Road in Whenuapai links State Highway 16 to Motorway 18. But poor traffic planning caused traffic delays

(Pictures by Thakur Ranjit Singh)

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