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Lanes cleared for buses and bikes

Lanes cleared for buses and bikes

A review of colouring the city’s bus and bike lanes green was presented to Auckland City’s Transport Committee today.

The committee has endorsed the development of a regional standard for bus and bike lane markings that does not require the colouring of the road surface, while supporting efforts to decrease the number of signs currently required to mark the lanes.

“We believe we can make a huge improvement to how the street looks, while making an even stronger commitment to the bus priority programme,” says the chairperson of Auckland City’s Transport Committee, Councillor Greg McKeown. “It is hard to imagine, for instance, the sort of bus lane markings we currently use on Dominion Road being regarded as an enhancement to Tamaki Drive.”

Bus and bike lane colouring was originally used as a tool to reduce illegal use of the priority lanes, communicate the permanence of the measures and promote the use of bus systems to road users. However the subsequent introduction of effective bus lane enforcement has lowered illegal use of the lanes, reducing the need to colour the priority lanes that have been installed on many of Auckland city’s arterial routes and central business district (CBD) streets.

“The city’s commitment to bus lanes has not decreased in any way,” says Mr McKeown. “If anything it has increased. As we roll out more lanes, drivers are becoming increasingly aware of them and cars are staying in their own lanes during the peak periods.”

The committee believes that while colouring may have been required in the past, the same will not need to apply in the future.

“We’ve made good ground with the public on bus lanes,” says Mr McKeown. “On balance we’re seeing a decreasing need to paint the increasing number of major arterials and CBD streets green. Not painting our streets green will improve how they look and lower overall road marking costs.”

Council officers from the region’s local authorities are working on the development of a regional standard for the treatment of bus lanes. It is intended that the Transport Committee will consider a draft standard in August. This standard may still involve colouring some small areas, for example bus priority advance areas at traffic lights.

“As bus and bike lanes are introduced across Auckland, it is necessary to consider a regional approach to the colouring and markings of priority lanes. This will assist in reducing driver confusion while helping to protect the region’s streets from becoming a tapestry of colours and designs,” says Mr McKeown.

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