Te Rapa Rd – improving bus stops by Northway St

This post looks at the future improvements to the bus stops at 671 and 674 Te Rapa Rd, just south of Northway Street by PB Tech. Information comes from a WSP report to HCC Infrastructure Operations Committee Agenda, 7 Dec 2021. Before we look at the council proposal, walking to the bus stop at 674 Te Rapa road outside PB Tech shows that there is a 2.5 metre space between the boundary and the kerb available for pedestrian access to the bus stop, yet car parking signs have taken half this width and vegetation overgrowth has taken over two thirds of the space, forcing people to walk on the kerb edge. The council should not need a special plan to keep the full footpath width free of private signs and manage the trimming of vegetation.

Northway St crossing – here the footpath space at the corner has been reduced to the extent that a person in wheel chair or mobility scooter can no longer use the footpath. This street does need a lot of road width for the oversized loads that use Northway St. To make this accessible to all road uses the road needs to be raised with flush kerbs and clear contrasts (textures and colours) between the ideal tracking path for motor vehicles and the desire line/path pedestrians take/need.

On page 147 of the WSP report – 6.3 Location C: Northway Street – ‘The existing stops near Northway Street do not have a safe crossing in the vicinity and the northbound stop does not have seats or shelters … [In] the report Option 3 was identified as the preferred option because it provides a high level of service for pedestrians; it can be implemented without major concern. It does require the shortening of the existing right-turn-bay’.

There is 6m between the property line and the motor vehicle lane on both sides of Te Rapa Rd available for people to walk and bike and to accommodate a bus shelter waiting area. A point to remember is that peak traffic periods can happen throughout the day, with traffic at a standstill. There is a benefit to putting the bus stop in the traffic lane: it frees up road space in front of the bus, enabling business customers to exit car parks and allowing right-turning traffic to focus on moving through single lanes of traffic.

Hamilton has had buses stopping in the traffic lane on Victoria Street. This bus stop build-out was constructed between 2012 and 2015, and if we look at traffic counts we can see no reduction in traffic volumes from building this type of infrastructure.

Traffic counts #75 & #76 Victoria Street south of Mill Street – years 2010-14

Traffic counts #75 & #76 Victoria Street south of Mill Street – years 2015-19

Category: News

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