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The key to make V8 International run smoothly

MEDIA RELEASE

31 May 2004

8700 northern suburb vehicles main key
to make V8 International run smoothly

One of the major keys to managing traffic during the running of Auckland’s V8 International race in April 2006 involves the closure of the Fanshawe Street motorway on and off ramp.

Traffic modelling shows this is achievable and will involve deterring 6am to 1pm travel by only about 8700 vehicles from the northern suburbs.

They were considered the most challenging group identified by traffic engineering experts now preparing a traffic demand management plan for the event.

Other routes still need to be modelled.

These initial findings are in a report to Auckland City’s Transport and Recreation and Events Committees, meeting on Wednesday and Thursday this week, and published with the agenda today.

The co-operation of these commuters, specially on the Friday of the three-day event, will ensure journey times are the same as commuters currently experience. Road closures, including the Fanshawe Street ramps, will apply from 7pm on the Thursday before the event until 6am the following Monday.

The numbers whose co-operation is required is substantially less than the 155,000, two-way 24-hour harbour bridge vehicles trip figure previously reported. This figure does not take into account the fact that the Cooks Street, Curren St, Shelly Beach and Victoria Park Viaduct remain open.

Auckland City’s transport and roading services group manager, Mr Joseph Flanagan, says that recent city research shows 31 per cent of all trips into the central business district (CBD) are for recreation, leisure and dining. Thirty one per cent is work or business related.

“It will be a case of people thinking ahead and deciding they don’t really need to make a trip in a private vehicle on the Friday and weekend of the event, when the Fanshawe Street off and on ramps will be closed to all but regular bus services,” Mr Flanagan says.

Commuters will have a choice of other traffic demand management solutions to consider.

These include working from home, which initial feedback from people in the race circuit area is indicating might be the most popular choice, to taking advantage of park and ride facilities – catching buses and ferries (and trains from the west, south and east), taking leave, working from satellite offices, car pooling and individuals deferring CBD appointments to another day.

Public passenger transport, including buses, trains and ferries, will be a key to transporting people to and from the event and park and ride areas will be established. There will be some surplus capacity on these for peak hour commuters.

Details of the preliminary traffic management thinking, aimed an ensuring people enjoy reliable journey times for the three days and can travel past the CBD on the motorway system, are also included in the joint Auckland City – IMG application for a resource consent for the event. The application has been filed and will be publicly notified tomorrow (1 June) and will be heard by an independent commissioner.

The traffic impact assessment included in the application, notes that traffic in Ponsonby is said to be manageable with traffic light sequence and other minor changes.

The report says: “Overall, it is considered there should be enough capacity in the passenger transport system to meet the needs of those who are willing and able to change travel mode to avoid congestion that would be created otherwise.”

KEY TRAFFIC ASSESSMENT FINDINGS:

Spectator management
Some 150,000 spectators are expected for the event.
Of these 30,000 will attend on the Friday and 60,000 on each of the other two days.

The race and event programme is designed to stagger spectator arrivals and departures.

Park and ride options
Park and ride options need to be developed for race goers. They include:

- Facilities like race courses
- North Shore busway stations (if completed)
- Various stadia, parks and school grounds (with existing parking capacity)

It is desirable that Park and Ride facilities not be too far distant from the event in order to minimise bus running time and allow for multiple trips by individual buses.

CBD car parking:
The CBD has 49,400 car parking spaces.
Some will be “trapped” within the race circuit, bounded by Fanshawe, Beaumont, Victoria and Hobson streets.

The report says options to make available more public parking are being investigated (for example, using spaces not usually occupied during the weekends). More work is being done to model the shift in parking space use within the city to determine whether there will be a parking shortage or surplus.

Bus access:
It is proposed buses will still run to the CBD using the Fanshawe Street motorway on and off ramp. A special diversion is proposed onto Gaunt Street. Most other bus services will not be affected by the three and a half-day closure of streets used by the circuit.

Circuit street closure times:
Fanshawe, Beaumont, Victoria and Hobson streets will be closed from 7pm on the Thursday night before the event and will re-open for normal traffic at 6am on the Monday after the event.

Halsey Street, between Victoria and Fanshawe streets will be reduced to one lane on the Tuesday to Thursday before the event while it is used as a track set-up area. And will then be closed for the event.

Business and residential access:
While the race circuit roads will be formally closed, they will be open between 7pm and 7am for pass holders. Pass holders will include businesses and residents and service providers. Major industries in the area will have night time and other special access they need.

Pedestrian access will be available for all residents at all times and three over-bridges will provide access to properties inside the track.

Emergency services access and access for the disabled will also be provided. Emergency help may be available in the circuit area faster than normal because of the event.

Should an emergency occur during the event, racing will be stopped.

Access guaranteed:
Pedestrian access from numerous entry points for those whose homes and businesses are inside the circuit will be guaranteed throughout.

And everyone needing to go about their business in the area by vehicle will have special accreditation authorising them to use the closed track roads at certain times.

The accreditation system will include residents’ and business passes, and 24-hour and two-hour suppliers’ passes.

Works that directly affect property access (like installing access barriers and grandstands) will be carried out only in the 24 hours before the event starts.

Vehicle and pedestrian access requirements will be worked through with every property occupier. Occupiers’ needs will be managed through a specially appointed Community Relations Manager.

Grandstands folding out of trailers will be installed on Hobson Street bridge, Nelson Street, either side of Victoria and Wellesley streets, and within the road area in Fanshawe Street.

Rubbish collection times will be negotiated and agreed.

Large vehicles and the immobile get closed track road use:
Times will be made available for access or:

- large vehicles needing access between the motorway and western reclamation, and

- mobility impaired people, for whom pedestrian over bridges are unsuitable.

Security:
A strong security presence is planned to manage access and police a 35kph speed limit for those vehicles given access to use circuit roads during the event road closures. The security arrangements will also help ensure the safety of people in the area, including those setting up and breaking down the circuit.

Consultation campaign:
A major consultation programme is under way to determine the needs of residents and businesses in and around the circuit.

Property occupiers are being asked to indicate how they might change travel plans and how the race might affect them.

The event organiser and Auckland City has deployed three consultation teams in a bid to personally consult with all businesses and residents – and find answers to all issues raised.

One of the keys to successful traffic demand management for the event will be a comprehensive communications programme, advising people to choose one of the alternatives available.

Communications campaign:
The organisers are proposing a major communications campaign to advise motorists of the closures, how to make alternative plans, and of the public transport and park and ride alternatives.


Ends

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