Dominion Road Upgrade
The Auckland Transport board has approved an upgrade of Dominion Road through several Auckland suburbs. Dominion Road is a key route that is vital to Auckland’s public transport network. It plays a significant role in moving large numbers of people on foot, bicycle, public transport and cars between Auckland’s central city and suburbs to the south.
Media release: 24 October 2012
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Dominion Rd is one of the few transport corridors in Auckland where there are more bus passengers than drivers in peak hours.
It carries about 2.2 million bus passengers a year, three per cent of the entire region’s public transport trips.
The project will help improve the reliability of buses on Dominion Rd and increase its capacity so it can deal with an expected growth in travellers.
A 30 per cent increase in bus passengers is predicted along Dominion Rd.
The Dominion Rd upgrade is designed to enhance the existing qualities that make the road one of Auckland’s most iconic.
It extends from State Highway 20 in the south through to View Rd in the north. It includes the entire road reserve, the three village centres of Mt Roskill, Balmoral and Eden Valley and the new cycle routes through quieter streets to the east and west of Dominion Rd.
The project was developed further through feedback on previous studies, stakeholder and community consultation and Auckland Transport’s overarching vision to provide transport as well as choice and capable, integrated public transport.
The Dominion Road Project will:
Improve the quality of the infrastructure to improve bus travel time reliability
Improve safety for cyclists by creating parallel cycle routes on streets with less traffic
Improve the quality of footpath surfacing, the number of street crossing facilities and maximise footpath width.
Increased support for local businesses through improved pedestrian facilities including the continued provision of short-stay on-street parking
Improve the quality of village centres and streetscapes to support local businesses
Adjust property boundaries and modify walls, gates, driveways where necessary
Dominion Rd is one of Auckland’s longest roads, spanning 5 km through the middle of the Auckland isthmus, carrying a large number of users.
On any given day, some 25,000 vehicles go through the road, with up to 1100 people travelling into the city in 30 buses during the morning peak hours of 7am and 9am.
As well as this, 900 people in 800 cars also make the trip into the city on Dominion Rd during peak hours. The road is also home to three village centres, four signalised pedestrian crossings and hundreds of driveways and 50 side roads. At present there are no bus lanes south of Mt Albert Rd and they don’t operate continuously along the rest of the road.
Upgrades to footpaths, the road surface and village centres have also been deferred while plans for Dominion Rd were still under discussion.
June - September 2010: Following proposals in previous years that included possible light rail and diverting bus lanes off Dominion Rd, the former Auckland City Council undertook public consultation for a proposed upgrade to Dominion Rd. This proposed bus/T2 lanes that would operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week and require on-street parking to be removed.
2011: Auckland Transport begins reviewing the Dominion Rd upgrade project after inheriting responsibility for it from Auckland City Council. Plans were revised to address some of the key concerns received through the Auckland City Council consultation - including loss of on-street parking, concerns that use of bus lanes by other vehicles would effectively create a four lane highway.
Late 2011 to mid 2012: Consultation with key stakeholders including local boards, MPs, potentially affected residents, councillors, Cycle Action Auckland community and business groups.
June 2012: Preliminary concept design presented to Auckland Transport board. Board requests analysis of options and their costs/benefits. Consultation on options with key stakeholders.
October 2012: Auckland Transport board approves concept design for Dominion Rd upgrade.
2013: Final design will be carried out.
Auckland Transport will submit a funding application for the project to NZTA.
Design in 2013 will include planning for defining the detailed scope of the works, measurement of boundary adjustments, optimization of cycle routes, planning to deal with 50 side road intersections, and temporary traffic management.
Engagement with community in 2013 on tree types, other design elements
Construction is expected to begin in 2014, subject to NZTA funding approval.
Continuous bus lanes will be created along each side of Dominion Road (from State Highway 20 to View Rd). The northbound lane will operate during morning peak and the southbound lane will operate during evening the peak
The bus lanes will be used for parking outside peak hours
New 4.5m wide bus lanes will be created south of Mt Albert Rd to State Highway 20 by widening the road
The existing bus lanes will be extended through each of the three village centres (Mt Roskill, Balmoral, Eden Valley), and at intersections. North of Mt Albert Rd the bus lanes will be 3m wide, meaning the road won’t be widened in this area
The cost-benefit analysis showed having wider bus lanes along the length of Dominion Rd didn’t provide enough benefits to travel times to outweigh the extra costs. Widening the road would cost up to $52m extra because it would require services (power, stormwater, telecommunications) to be relocated
Bus lanes will continue to operate 7am – 9am northbound and 4pm – 6pm southbound. Operating hours will be included in a region-wide review of bus lane operating hours
Some bus stop locations may change.
The project provides for new cycle routes through quieter roads either side of Dominion Rd.
Public feedback is needed on:
Eden Valley village centre upgrade
Eden Valley is one of the three village centres along Dominion Rd that will get a major upgrade to make them more attractive. Balmoral and Mt Roskill Village Centres will also be upgraded.
Auckland Transport will work closely with the Albert-Eden Local Board and Dominion Road Business Association on the upgrade plans.
The village centres feature a mix of shopping facilities and have their own distinctive character, being neighbourhood and community focal points with a range of facilities.
Under the new plans, the centres are intended to to have a stronger emphasis on pedestrians.
For urban design purposes, the Eden Valley village centre is between Onslow and Grange roads. It will get an upgrade that includes:
Balmoral village centre upgrade
Balmoral is one of the three village centres along Dominion Rd that will get a major upgrade to make them more attractive.
Eden Valley and Mt Roskill Village Centres will also be upgraded. Auckland Transport will work closely with the Albert-Eden and Puketapapa Local Boards on the upgrade plans.
The village centres feature a mix of shopping facilities and have their own distinctive character, being neighbourhood and community focal points with a range of facilities. Under the new plans, the centres are intended to have a stronger emphasis on pedestrians.
For urban design purposes, Balmoral village centre is between Balmoral Rd and Carmen Ave.
The upgrade will include:
Street furniture (seating, bike stands,)
Pedestrian priority crossings
Mt Roskill village centre upgrade
Auckland Transport will work closely with the Puketapapa Local Board and Mt Roskill Business and Community Groups Association on the upgrade plans.
The village centres feature a mix of shopping facilities and have their own distinctive character, being neighbourhood and community focal points with a range of facilities. Under the new plans, the centres are intended to have a stronger emphasis on pedestrians. For urban design purposes, Mt Roskill village centre is between Keystone Ave and Mt Albert Rd.
The upgrade will include:
New cycle routes
The project will focus on providing new cycle routes through quieter roads either side of Dominion Rd. This will benefit less experienced or casual cyclists who want to make short trips.
See map of new cycle routes
The new routes can also be used by cyclists who travel to and from the city regularly, who may not want to use Dominion Rd. The routes will be clearly marked through the residential streets.
Among the improvements being considered for the cycle routes are:
New traffic lights at major intersections
Raised tables and other measures to slow vehicle traffic
New sections of shared paths or widening paths
New links between streets for cyclists and pedestrians.
To create more space along most of Dominion Rd to allow for cyclists, buses and cars would require widening the road.
This was ruled out because of the $50m extra cost, mostly related to moving services like power, water pipes and telecommunications.
Widening the road through the village centres is not an option because it could only be achieved by demolishing a number of heritage buildings.
The challenges and limits to catering for all types of travel is also a major reason for focusing on cycle routes off Dominion Rd.
Parking and pedestrian improvements
Parking on Dominion Rd will remain available outside peak hours when the bus lanes operate (at all times except 7am to 9am northbound side, 4pm to 6pm southbound side)
The project will also make provision for off-street parking on council owned property adjacent to Ewington St in Eden Valley.
See map of proposed Eden Valley parking location
Other parking along the corridor, including existing public off-street car parks and side street parking bays in each village, will be improved through the use of parking sensors that will be connected to new real-time information signage.
The project will see additional and improved pedestrian facilities, including signalised pedestrian crossings and raised pedestrian islands in village centres and pedestrian ‘refuges’ approximately every 100m on the rest of the road. New and better quality walkways will make it more pleasant and easier to walk along Dominion Rd
Due to cost factors, widening the road along the entire Dominion Rd corridor to cater for cyclists, buses and cars was ruled out.
However, the project will introduce new 4.5m wide bus lanes that will operate south of Mt Albert Rd to State Highway 20.
The new lanes will form part of the continuous peak hour bus lanes that will run along the length of Dominion Rd on both sides. The north-bound lane will operate from 7am to 9am and the south-bound lane from 4pm to 6pm. Cars will be able to park in the lanes outside peak hours.
The existing bus lanes will be extended through the village centres, and at key intersections, including Balmoral Rd and Mt Albert Rd through to Denbigh Ave, where the roundabout will be removed and replaced with new traffic lights. This will help make the bus service more reliable and help to reduce travel times for passengers.
Bus stop locations
Currently, bus stops are generally located at 200m to 400m intervals. The project proposes to consistently have bus stops along the corridor at 400m intervals, which means pedestrians are within four minutes walk of a bus stop once on Dominion Rd.
The proposal seeks to ensure that bus stops are located as close as possible to the village centres to emphasise their importance as a destination. The exact location of each bus stop is still to be determined and the public will be able to give feedback on bus stop locations during the detailed design phase.
See illustration of new bus stop propositions
Denbigh Avenue intersection
The introduction of new bus lanes south of Mt Albert Rd will see the Denbigh Rd roundabout replaced with new traffic lights. This will help reduce travel times for bus passengers and make the bus service more efficient.
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