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Glenfield Road widening plans under review.

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Glenfield Road widening plans under review.

August 15, 2003

The North Shore City Council is to re-examine plans for the upgrading of Glenfield Rd at a special joint committee and community board meeting.

A meeting of the council's works and environment committee also asked for other changes to the plans, including providing planted solid medians along some sections of the road. Other amendments may also be made, and plans for the staged introduction of lanes for buses and multi-passenger vehicles (a transit lane) are to be prepared. Any significant changes will involve community consultation.

A special joint meeting of the works and environment committee and the Glenfield community board will be held when the revised plans and further information is ready.

The road, an important city link and carrying 35,000 vehicles a day, runs between Birkenhead and the Wairau area.

Committee chairperson, Joel Cayford, says the committee has asked that the amended plans and digital images of the proposed intersection designs be presented at this meeting so that committee members gain a good understanding of what is proposed. Officers have also been asked to provide a traffic management plan for the area, which takes into account changes in traffic flows, which followed the shopping centre development.

The current scheme provides for the widening of Glenfield Rd, giving space for two general purpose vehicles lanes going southbound, plus bus priority measures at the Sunset Rd, Hogans Rd and Bentley Ave intersections. One option being considered is to use one of the two proposed southbound lanes as a transit lane in the morning peak.

"This priority lane could function like the Onewa Rd transit lane and operate during the morning peak, but be available for general traffic and parking perhaps during off peak hours," Councillor Cayford says.

"We have a commitment to the provision of bus priority measures across the city, but we need to ensure that road space is used efficiently. There is no point in having a bus lane that is empty. On the other hand we need to give the public clear indication in advance if a priority lane is to be built in future, because it has proven difficult to take road space back from car users once they get used to using it.

"All of these issues are a little hard to predict - and that's why we need to consult properly and widely, to get the best result for all, now, and into the future," he says.

Traffic engineers' investigations suggest that unless the number of vehicles carrying three or more people travelling southbound in the morning peak increases from the existing five per cent of all traffic to 15 per cent, the transit lane is not justified.

The council will also consult on the extent and type of planted median barriers. While they look attractive, they can restrict property owners' turning movements.

"Once we do these works this road will remain essentially unchanged for 50 years or more, so we need to plan now for how it might look then. That planning must include the option of providing avenue-style tree planting in this residential environment," says Joel Cayford.

The two stages of the project, involving the reconstruction of the road from Bentley Ave and Camrose Place and the Sunset Rd intersection, will cost an estimated $5m over the next two financial years, although any changes to the plans at this point may cost more.

(ends)

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