TRAFFIC

Public meeting on Onerahi intersection options

Tuesday 16 October 2012, 12:57PM
By Whangarei District Council
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WHANGAREI

Onerahi road users are invited to a public meeting at the Onerahi Bowling Club on 23 October at 7pm to discuss proposed improvements to the intersections of Raumati Crescent, Cartwright Road and Onerahi Road.

​“We want to give people time to think through the range of options that have been investigated to address the safety issues at  the intersection between these three roads,” said senior roading manager Greg Monteith.

“We have looked at three options – installing traffic lights, installing a  roundabout and changing the layout where the two roads intersect with Onerahi Road.

Considerations have included:

  1. the impact on private property owners nearby
  2. the effect on traffic speed
  3. how people will change their driving in response to any changes
  4. gaps in traffic
  5. queue times.

 

“At this stage our thinking is tending towards creating two intersections further apart from each other to replace the current complicated intersection of all these roads in a limited space.

“At the moment we have an ‘off centre cross road’ intersection. This causes a lot of confusion as to who has right of way.  Drivers not only have to look for gaps in the traffic on Onerahi Road, they also have to determine whether they have right of way or if the other vehicle has right of way.  This confusion results in drivers missing the gap, getting frustrated and then taking risks.

“We are considering moving the Cartwright Road exit closer to the Library and increasing the separation between it and the Raumati Cres intersection. That may simplify each intersection, making it easier for drivers to enter and exit each one,” Mr Monteith said.

“It will not help to create gaps in the through traffic, but may  provide better opportunity for drivers to utilise the existing gaps. It will also prevent right turners into Raumati Cres blocking the right turners out of Cartwright Rd.

“We will also look at improving the visibility at the Raumati Cres intersection to help drivers identify gaps in the traffic.

Mr Monteith said if Council were to install a roundabout at the current intersection it would  cut off access to a number of private properties, and that large flows towards Whangarei Heads would cause queues as people entered the roundabout.

Traffic lights would also cause queuing and delays because of the unevenness of the traffic volumes on the streets concerned.

“We have looked at a range of options to figure out which one is most likely to deliver the result closest to the one the public wants.  A roundabout looked like the logical option at first, but indications are that it may not work  properly in this location.”