More Urban Roads and Centres up for consideration
Auckland Transport is preparing to engage the City again on which roads will have their speed limits lowered. Stage 1 was done in 2020 (consultation was done in 2019) and was met with mixed results given its high focus on rural roads over urban roads. Stage 2 this time brings focus to roads outside schools, urban roads, and our Centres.
From Auckland Transport:
Auckland Transport progresses second stage of safer speeds
Auckland Transport (AT) will soon start investigating the speed limits of the next group of high-risk roads across the region, to be consulted on with Aucklanders.
Investigations for the second stage of AT’s Safe Speeds programme were given the green light by the AT board of directors at their December 2020 meeting.
Three years ago, AT was confronted with grim statistics that showed road safety was a serious issue.
AT adopted its Vison Zero Strategy to address this. Vision Zero for Tāmaki-Makaurau Auckland is a transport safety vision that states that there will be no deaths or serious injuries on our transport system by 2050.
The first stage of Auckland’s high-risk roads were consulted on in February – March 2019 and were included within the Speed Limits Bylaw 2019.
The safe new speed limits outlined within the bylaw have been successfully implemented, or are due to be implemented till June 2021.
The second stage will propose speed limit changes to around 40 per cent of roads near Auckland schools.
Following a request from Mana Whenua, and recognising that several marae have kura or kohanga (te reo schools) associated with them, there will be a focus on marae – with the aim of expanding community support for safer speeds.
This recognises that Maori are over-represented in crashes that cause deaths and serious injuries.
Bryan Sherritt, AT’s Executive General Manager of Safety, says speed management is about achieving safe and appropriate speeds that reflect road function and design.
“We need people and goods to move efficiently around our transport network, but we need to see a reduction in deaths and serious injuries.”
Mr Sherritt says the first consultation had very strong engagement with Aucklanders.
“In total we received 11,719 submissions. This was Auckland Transport’s most successful consultation. Just as important, has been the transparency we provided about how we considered the feedback and made changes to the bylaw that was approved by the AT Board.
“No other region in New Zealand has implemented speed limit changes on this scale before. stage two builds on the lessons learnt during stage one, where it was identified that there would be greater benefit in engaging with decision-makers more regularly to ensure they are included throughout the journey.
“Key decision makers have been involved early to fully understand the process. This aims to save significant time and rework later,” Mr Sherritt says.
Consultation for stage two will be carried out in a two-stage approach and more details will be provided as AT prepares its investigations.
Stage 2’s work streams are:
- Rural roads
- Town centres
- Residential areas
- Urban roads
- Requested roads (from members of the public, stakeholders and elected members)
- Complementary speeds i.e. this stream focuses on speed limit reviews in areas where recent changes in infrastructure would be better served by speed limit reviews.
- 70km/h roads i.e. Tranche two of the Safe Speeds programme will look into changing speed limits on about 50 – 70 individual roads across the region. Under current legislation Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency (as the national regulator) wants to phase out 70km/h speed limits on all roads across New Zealand. The reasons are outlined in Table 2.4 Interim speed limits, page 21 of the NZ Speed Management Guide First Edition, November 2016
Residential Roads, and Town Centres will be the one I am keeping an eye on as residential roads do not need to be 50km/h while Metropolitan Centres certainly do not need to be 50 nor 60km/h.
We await to see what Auckland Transport has in mind this time around.