Reducing traffic volumes on Links Avenue to improve safety.
Update 1 December: Partial reopening of Links Avenue before Christmas
Plans are underway to partially reopen the cu-de-sac end of Links Avenue before Christmas (this is expected the week of 19 December – weather dependent). The work required to allow the reopening is expected to start on Sunday 4 December and take about two weeks to complete, again depending on factors such as the weather.
The immediate plans consist of the following:
- Work taking place at night will include the installation of speed tables
- Work taking place during the day will include the installation of signage consisting of electronic speed indication signs, speed limit road markings and time-based flashing signs
- During the construction period, a traffic management plan will be in place.
The partial reopening is the result of the Links Avenue Community Panel’s hard work over the past five months in coming up with a three-phase proposal covering the next two years, with some aspects of Phase One expected to be implemented before Christmas which include:
- Restricting access Monday to Sunday between 7am and 10am and 2pm and 6pm. At all other times of the day, access through the cul-de-sac will be unrestricted
- Maintaining a 30kmph speed limit, with a recommended bylaw change to be considered at a Council meeting on 12 December and expected to take effect from 19 December
- Installing temporary speed tables until pedestrian crossings can be installed
- Installing new improved signage and road markings.
Once the above aspects of Phase One are in place, a period of monitoring and data collection will take place for several months after the Christmas and New Year holidays, to see how this part of Phase One is tracking. The result of the monitoring will help inform the next phases of the Panel’s proposal, and the Panel and Council will continue to work together on next steps.
Over the last few years, parents of school children using Mount Maunganui’s Links Avenue have repeatedly raised safety concerns about the proximity of shared path users to traffic with Council. A safety review confirmed the road layout of Links Avenue to be unsafe for young people with peak traffic of up to 7500 cars a day. Restricting access was identified as the most effective way to significantly reduce traffic, resulting in improved safety for vulnerable road users.
Following the presentation of the report’s findings the commissioners approved the trial of a cul-de-sac to test the impact on the safety of school children using Links Avenue and the impact on the network. The trial took place between 15 November and 17 December 2021.
Outcomes, data and community feedback from the first trial show that the numbers of cars travelling through Links Avenue decreased significantly and that people’s perception of safety improved. However, it didn’t fully test all aspects of a cul-de-sac solution. Residents have told us the location should be changed and travel engineers need a longer trial to accurately test and observe changes in road user behaviour.
To make an informed decision about the future of Links Avenue, commissioners have approved a new trial at the Concord Road end of Links Avenue.
Second Links Avenue trial
From the week beginning 28 March 2022, a temporary cul-de-sac will be established on Links Avenue, between Solway Place and Concord Avenue. The trial works in a very similar way to the last, but there are some differences. In summary:
- Thoroughfare is limited to emergency vehicles, buses, bikes and motorbikes.
- Rubbish collection trucks, clearly marked taxis and delivery trucks – please ensure that your vehicle is servicing properties specifically in Links Avenue (or streets only accessible from Links Avenue).
- Reduced speed on Links Avenue to 30km.
- The road will be resealed and temporary road marking will remove the bus lane.
- The trial will run for at least four months to test the impact on the wider roading network and observe commuting behaviour over time.
- Infringement of the bus lanes that create the cul-de-sac will result in a fine of $150.