Investigation Into HOV Access For Esmonde Rd’s Bus Lane Urged

Posted by on Feb 18, 2011 | Leave a Comment

As competition for space on Lake Rd increases, some Devonport mums have abandoned their SUVs for more robust vehicles

As competition for space on Lake Rd increases, some Devonport mums have abandoned their SUVs for more robust vehicles

An urgent investigation by Auckland Transport into the feasibility of high occupancy vehicles (HOV) utilising Esmonde Rd’s city-bound dedicated bus lane has been requested this week by the Devonport -Takapuna Local Board.

Local Board Chair Chris Darby, who moved the notice of motion, says the current dedicated bus lane could be opened up to other high occupancy vehicles quickly and easily.

“Along this stretch of dedicated bus infrastructure, which starts just west of Eldon Ave, there appears no obvious impediment in the way of it becoming a shared high occupancy vehicle lane.

“Our residents are familiar with transit lanes with two operating on arterial roads in nearby Northcote and Milford,” says Mr Darby.

An investigation undertaken by transport planners at the former city council stated that a shared HOV lane would provide local commuters with immediate travel benefits at negligible cost or impact to bus service operations.

Mr Darby is hopeful that an investigation from Auckland Transport into the matter will lead to a golden opportunity to further encourage and reward carpooling in his board area.

“Currently, a good ninety per cent of vehicles travelling out of the peninsula area each morning are doing so single occupancy.

“This means that there is ample room for growth and significant opportunities for reducing congestion.

“An HOV lane in this location may shave up to twenty minutes off peak travel time to the city, and this would be good news to a good many,” says Mr Darby.

The Esmonde Rd bus lane and motorway fly-over currently carries, on average, one bus every six minutes during the morning peak.

The Board also requested, subject to the outcomes of the investigation, that Auckland Transport look into a second stage extension of an HOV lane to link up with the Northern Busway upon completion of the Victoria Park Tunnel Project.

“It is hard work reducing congestion around the Devonport Peninsula area. “It requires a proactive, multi-faceted and progressive approach to traffic management in our area. It is important for the future well being and success of the region that we provide residents with attractive incentives for switching to more efficient modes of transport such as carpooling,” says Mr Darby.

Senior Auckland Transport staff were thanked by the Devonport-Takapuna Local Board at this week’s meeting for their comprehensive report on the Lake Road project.

Devonport’s Lake Road, which connects to the arterial Esmonde Road, serves as the sole access road for residents travelling in and out of the peninsula area.

It carries around 40,000 vehicles a day from across the peninsula, making it one of the busiest roads in the Auckland region.

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