Te Rapa Rd roundabout – improving bus stops by Bryant Rd

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The Te Rapa roundabout has so many auto-centred layers that it is impossible to describe how to make it safe for people not in a motor vehicle in a single post. The core issue is the design speed of the roundabout exits, making it hard to judge the speed of vehicles leaving the roundabout. For this reason, this post first looks at the future improvements to access bus stops just south of the Bryant Rd Tui Medical Centre (564 Te Rapa Rd), and at 573 Te Rapa Rd, just south of Sunshine Ave. The FIRST thing to note is that three times more people use the bus stop on the east side (Tui Medical Centre side) than on the west side [link]The mystery here is how do people return home if they are only catching south-bound buses?

Information on future improvements comes from the WSP report to the HCC Infrastructure Operations Committee Agenda, 7 Dec 2021 (page 147-149), where the report proposes a staggered, signalised pedestrian crossing south of the roundabout: ‘Option 2b, a staggered signalised crossing located approximately 60 metres from the intersection, was identified as the preferred option. This was because it was on the desired line of people crossing the road’.

Te Rapa Rd / Bryant Rd Roundabout Cycle Measures – Minor Safety Improvements 2017/2018

A past safety improvement reduced part of the roundabout to a single lane, provided kerb cut-downs before and after the roundabout for cyclists, and added build-outs to shorten crossing lengths across Te Rapa Road. However, the most frightening aspect that still exists for pedestrians is the speed of motor vehicles exiting the roundabout. Ideally, the Bryant Rd/Sunshine Ave speed limit should apply to this roundabout, as the Hukanui Rd speed limit applies to the Wairere drive/Hukanui Rd roundabout.

The photos show the Bryant Rd crossing – here the kerb cut-downs are brutal to wheels, whether they be on wheelchairs, prams or bicycles. The intention of the cycle ramp cut-down before and after the roundabout was to have people on bikes share the footpath route around the roundabout. Disappointingly, the kerb cut-down for the crossing at Bryant Rd is at such a steep angle that cyclists trying to use this route find their bike wheels in need of straightening within a short time. More frightening is the speed of motor vehicles exiting the roundabout and how hard it is to judge whether the vehicle is exiting into Bryant Road or continuing on to the next exit. Ideally this should be a raised traffic table crossing, warning motorists to adjust their speed and to expect to see people wanting to cross Bryant Rd.

Expect to see more plans for the Te Rapa Rd/Bryant Rd intersection. The issues this post highlights are: first, why are there three times more people using the bus stop on the east side (Tui Medical Centre side) than on the west side? Second, can the design speed of the roundabout exits be made safer? Third, can the Bryant Rd crossing be made more comfortable for all road users?

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