Airport to Botany (A2B) Improvements Continue. Can See a Dangerous Problem at one intersection in Manukau though

The good news is the fix is some paint and some signs

On Sunday I was in Manukau attending a Christmas Service meaning I got to see the latest advancements on the improvements for Airport to Botany Rapid Transit Stage 1. These improvements include separated Cycleways, and bus lanes that operate from 6am – 7pm, SEVEN DAYS a week. For more information see HERE.

The improvements as of December 2020

The separator for the cycleway. You can see the general and bus lanes as well.

A word of caution: people are using the soon to be Bus Lane as a second general lane. I would strongly advise against that as once the Bus Lane goes operative next year a lot of people use to using the Lane will get caught by any enforcement. So even though the Bus Lane does not go operational until next year, treat it as such now to build good habits.

Cycle Lane and Floating Bus Stop

This is how the cycleways and bus stops will work when they meet. This is best practice as seen below:

Exit strips

As this part of A2B will have driveways, strips have been added to remind drivers that there is a cycleway and bus lane in the area.

Dangerous Intersection Needing Remedy by May 2021

One problem I can see is once the Bus Lane becomes active next year there will be a very tight merge just north of the Lambie Drive / Cavendish Drive Intersection. I am surprised Auckland Transport had the Bus Lane start that close to the intersection and not north of the driveway to Reduced to Clear, and the bank with the problem of cars backing into the intersection will occur if the layout remains the same south of the intersection.

The area concerned is here:

The Bus Lane will begin at about between the second and third dash line on the northbound side of Lambie Drive, north of the intersection. As you can see with two general lanes plus the bus priority lane going straight ahead it is already a mess now and will be a bigger mess post May 2021 when the Bus Lane and enforcement goes live.

The fix though is pretty easy and there is precedent in doing this (as there was another example just down the road in Manukau with two general lanes dumping cars into a bus lane which caused problems). The fix also gives us a bit of irony as it would better match the road hierarchy in the area with thoroughfare traffic going onto Cavendish Drive and local traffic going north on Lambie Drive.

So what is the fix?

The A2B Cavendish/Lambie Drive fixes

The fix:

  • Two Right Turn Lanes (which presents the Irony as it gives more stacking space as the single right lane gets clogged fouling the straight ahead lane. Having more traffic go right matches the hierarchy as well for thoroughfare traffic)
  • One straight ahead lane (this will match the one general lane on the northern side of the intersection and prevent cars ending up in the bus lane inadvertently). One less general lane also triggers reverse induced demand as you are taking away space)
  • Bus Priority Box remains but buses feed directly into the bus lane without interference from cars. Handy with the bus stop in the proximity of the intersection as well

Nothing expensive, just some paint.

And we have done this before as mentioned earlier:

Manukau Station Road / Wiri Station Road intersection and bus lane

What is proposed for Cavendish Drive/Lambie Drive is similar to what happened here with Wiri Station and Manukau Station Roads. Where the Bus Lane is now was a General Lane. This resulted in cars being dumped into the Manukau Station Road bus lane and being fined. The solution was to flip the right turn lane into a bus lane. Consequence? Problem fixed and no problems since (apart from deliberate attempts).

So what happened with Wiri Station Road we can do with Lambie Drive. What say you Auckland Transport?

The improvements for A2B are coming along well. With a very simple fix at one problematic intersection we can make the improvements even better!

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