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Links Avenue cul-de-sac trial

Reducing traffic volumes on Links Avenue to improve safety.

Update July 2022: Links Avenue community panel

On 13 June, Tauranga City Council Commission approved the creation of a community panel to develop a community-led solution that will provide permanent safe road environment for the Links Avenue community. This is a group of citizens who will work together to propose a solution independent of Council but with access to experts in the field as requested. Council has provided an independent facilitator to assist the panel in establishing themselves and will continue to provide administrative support. The community panel is in the early stages of being established and we’ll have some news to share soon.


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.

Safety first: Links Avenue cul-de-sac trial

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Answers to common questions

Below you’ll find some answers to common questions. Should you not find the answer you are looking for, use the contact details below to send us your question.

Following safety concerns raised by the community and schools, a council commissioned safety assessment found links Avenue unsafe for young people given the current road layout and volume of traffic. With three schools on Links Avenue and many children using the road to commute to and from school, it’s important we take urgent action to improve safety.

The underlying challenge on Links Avenue is traffic volume. Links Avenue was built to function as a residential street with approximately 2000 vehicles a day. In 2020, the road averaged about 5500 vehicles a day and the latest data for 2021 showed volumes had increased to between 7000 and 7500 vehicles. Based on this rate of traffic growth, in another 12 months traffic will likely be between 9000 to 9500 per day.

A cul-de-sac is the best way to reduce traffic volume by limiting the ability for through movements on a road while still providing some use for residential traffic. For Links Avenue, it's estimated a cul-de-sac would reduce traffic volume by about 75%.

The first trial tested the effect of a cul-de-sac on Links Avenue and the surrounding road network. There was a clear preference from directly affected residents for the cul-de-sac to be moved to the Concord Avenue end of the road.

The second trial will test the impact of the new cul-de-sac location (between Solway Place and Concord Avenue) on Links Avenue. It will also test the impact on the surrounding road network during a different time of year.

The second trial will run for at least four months so that we can measure the impact on the network and observe any changes in travel behaviour over time.

As part of the second trial, the existing bus lane will be removed. With the reduction in traffic volume from the cul-de-sac, the removal of the bus lane should not cause any delays to the bus timetable.

After a reseal removes existing markings and some speed humps, a new temporary layout will be marked for the purpose of the trial. Links Avenue will return to a two-lane road and a buffer of at least 2metres will be provided from the kerb to the traffic lanes. As part of the trial, different treatments/functions within the buffer will be provided to facilitate conversations with the community about what Links Avenue could be, should the cul-de-sac remain.

To help manage speeds and guide drivers who may not be aware of the cul-de-sac restrictions, new speed humps will be installed at key locations; Spur Avenue will receive new markings, and a roundabout will be installed at Solway Place.

Tauranga City Council is responsible for bus infrastructure such as the roads, bus stops, footpaths, and shelters. The Bay of Plenty Regional Council is responsible for operating the services which include what the bus routes are, what buses are used, and the frequency/timetables.

We can't delay action any further while school children are at risk. Running the trial when school is in session also provides the best data to understand how the cul-de-sac will impact the network. We are working with the Maunganui Road project team to limit impacts as much as possible.

Girven Road roadworks are part of the Baypark to Bayfair Link project, which is run by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency. Girven Road has been reinstated to two lanes in each direction.

For the latest updates visit the NZTA – Baypark to Bayfair link webpage.

Later this year the existing zebra crossing will be upgraded to a signalised crossing. This crossing is frequently used by students from the three schools in the area and will provide a safe way for them to cross, as well as allowing vehicles to move through the area, stopping what can be a constant flow of pedestrians.

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Survey closed Sunday 31 July 2022.

Timeline

  • Start of trial

    Week of 8 November
  • Trial period

    Starting 15 November
  • Mid-trial pulse check

    Week of 29 November
  • Post-trial analysis

    December to March 2022
  • Road maintenance

    March 2022
  • Second Links Avenue trial

    From March 2022

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Email us at linksavenue@tauranga.govt.nz or
please phone Tauranga City Council on 07 577 7000

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