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Futureproofing Cameron Road

We want to be prepared for growth on Cameron Road

Tauranga is growing and changing fast. This includes more people and more traffic. To help manage traffic congestion as the city grows, we need to make it easier for more people to travel by bus, biking and walking.

In that light we are currently exploring the role Cameron Road plays within our city now and in the future. We want to be prepared for growth on this road. 

Why Cameron Road?

  • It acts as the main corridor for people in Tauranga’s southern suburbs to get into the city centre; and for people travelling to the southern suburbs.
  • It plays an important role as a destination with i.e. the hospital, schools, churches, restaurants, shops and other businesses.
  • Currently, along certain parts of Cameron Road, buses are being held up during peak time and it’s not very safe for people on bikes or on foot.

What are the plans?

In 2018 an assessment was undertaken to investigate the potential options for Cameron Road for the short, medium and long term. Currently we are looking to progress the short-term option from this study in more detail, which is looking from the CBD (Harington Street) to Tauranga Hospital (17th Avenue).

Project goals

  • To improve the bus network: we are exploring peak time bus clearways which would replace the existing on-street parking with a bus lane during the morning and afternoon peak periods. This will make it more appealing to use bus services which operate along Cameron Road. Outside of the peak times, parking would be available. Early analysis shows that a clearway would only be beneficial from 9th Avenue to 17th Avenue.
  • To improve safety of people cycling by looking to implement a separated cycleway.
  • To make it safer and more attractive for people to walk along and to cross Cameron Road by adding crossings and making the area more pleasant.
  • To make it an attractive area where people want to spend time. E.g. by creating a beautiful street through more plants, parks and street furniture.

Our plans for futureproofing Cameron Road will align with future initiatives to address how people live, work, learn and play within the Te Papa peninsula. If you would like to learn more about the Te Papa peninsula project and how you can get involved, please visit the Te Papa webpage. There are many ways to get involved and be informed from attending community events, online surveys or signing up for e-newsletter updates.

The long-term transportation vision for Cameron Road

Tauranga is growing and changing fast. This includes more people and more traffic. To help manage traffic congestion as the city grows, we need to make it easier for more people to travel by bus, biking and walking. Cameron Road is the main corridor for people in Tauranga’s southern suburbs to get into the city centre; and for people travelling to the southern suburbs. Besides acting as the main transport corridor Cameron Road plays an important role as a destination with i.e. the hospital, schools, churches, restaurants, shops and other businesses. 

We are currently exploring the role Cameron Road plays within our city now and in the future. We want to be prepared for growth on this road. Our goal is to make it an attractive and vibrant area, not only now but also in the next 30 years.  

Public transport is an essential part of the solution and we’re trying to make catching the bus a better option than driving a car. Traffic congestion on Cameron Road during peak commute times (7-9am and 4-6pm) typically adds between 3 and 4 minutes to each vehicle journey. By allowing buses to use a bus clearway we could shorten the journey times as well as make the timetable more reliable.

Besides encouraging more people to use public transport we also want to support cycling and walking – this will improve the overall efficiency and reliability of the transport network and help address worsening congestion on Cameron Road. Every extra person on the bus or on the bike, is one less in the car.

Stage One – Preliminary Design

The preliminary design bridges the gap between the first concept and detailed design. This high-level design development process enables us to get a firmer overview of e.g. design options, elements and treatments, costs and benefits, staging and sequencing of interventions and how these support the project goals.

As part of the preliminary design process we review the information we have collected to date (i.e. traffic modelling, parking surveys, crash statistics, feedback from businesses, landlords, residents and schools) and consider that in the context of our project goal. That goal is to encourage a progressive shift in the way people travel on and around Cameron Road.

If Tauranga keeps growing at its current rate, we can expect 78,500 extra residents to be living here over the next 50 years. If we don’t start planning and implementing improvements now, traffic could come to a standstill. That’s why we are working closely with another team at Tauranga City Council who are looking to manage future population growth in the Te Papa peninsula project (the area between the Harbour Bridge and Greerton). Because we all know which core transport corridor runs right through this area. That’s right: Cameron Road.

We will continue to work with Cameron Road users, businesses and other stakeholders in the development of preliminary design options in order to achieve outcomes that reduce the impact on local businesses and residents as much as possible whilst still achieving the best possible outcomes for the wider community. 

The stakeholders who have already been involved will also be invited to participate as part of the preliminary design process. This process will take place from late October through to early 2020, when a report will be presented to the Urban Form and Transport Development committee with their recommendations. If approval is received to proceed, preliminary designs will go out for wider public consultation, including road users.

Community Liaison Group

The importance of the Community Liaison Group (CLG) is to help make sure that the community is kept up-to-date and well informed about this stage. It will help us determine what aspects are most important and which ones are more flexible, and bring the project to a level where public feedback will have a genuine impact on the preliminary design development process. Additionally, it will allow potential conflicting opinions and agendas to be recognised, considered and responded to in the preliminary design. Strategic stakeholders, partners and experts will also be involved in the initial development phase of the design.

The CLG will play a key role in the community engagement element of this project. Likely participants from geographical areas between Harington Street and 17th Ave will include a school representative, local business owners, landowners and local residents. Wider representation will also include a councillor, a bus user group representative and a representative from the Disability Advisory Group

The Project Team will meet with the CLG regularly to help inform the design of the project, with the final goal of producing options for public feedback in the next stage.

What are the elements Tauranga City Council is looking into for Cameron Road?

Tauranga City Council staff are looking at many different elements to help improve public transport reliability, cycling and walking. Things like:

  • Traffic signal phasing (priority measures) – Altering the phasing of traffic signals to provide a greater level of priority for public transport (through GPS tracking) and walking;
  • Peak time clearways – Involves a bus priority lane operating where the existing on street car parking bays are located, during the morning and evening peak periods. Outside of the operating times, on-street parking would be available. Minor intersection re-design will be required to accommodate this option. Bus clearway times that are being investigated are 6am-9am in the morning peak, and 3pm-6pm in the evening peak;
  • Consolidation of side street movements – To improve the safety of the corridor restrictions to movements in to, and out of, some side streets are being considered. This may take the form of grouping streets together with some streets having restricted access while one street may have improved/safer access onto Cameron Road;
  • Improving facilities for people on bikes (in line with Cycle Plan) – The Council’s Cycle Plan seeks to deliver a step change in how cycling infrastructure is delivered in the City with a greater emphasis on safer cycling facilities. The Cameron Road project will implement and align this with new cycling best practice. How this is achieved is yet to be determined; however, the cycle facility on the eastern footpath presents an obvious, existing, opportunity to explore. This facility would require upgrading, particularly at intersections, if it is to meet new standards; 
  • Improving facilities and the experience for people on foot – By making it easier and safer to walk along and across over Cameron Road as well by making the street a more pleasant and more attractive environment.
  • Providing additional car parking capacity close to Cameron Road – The northern section of the corridor has a high demand for car parking, especially near the CBD and close to the hospital. The project is already seeking to improve the existing parking situation for businesses along the corridor by changing parking restrictions and investigating opportunities to install new parking close to Cameron Road. Providing additional parking capacity is vital to support businesses along Cameron Road and is essential if a bus clearway option is pursued.

Quick wins

While Council staff have been visiting the business community along Cameron Road, they have also been asking if there are things that Council could make better. Things like improved parking times, more bike parks and better bus shelters etc.; these are called quick wins. Council staff have now added an extra five bike stations along Cameron Road and are working towards improved parking times for more than 30 businesses. We are also looking into improved bus shelters and pavement rehabilitation.

Please contact Greg Bassam on gregory.bassam@tauranga.govt.nz or clair.hill@tauranga.govt.nz if you are interested in finding out how Council could help your business too.

Parking survey results

To get a better understanding of how people currently use the area for parking, the project team staff undertook parking surveys. Two different sources have been used for this (Beca Ltd and TCC Parking Services team) and the information is summarized below:

  • The average corridor demand is similar to a previous study undertaken
  • Side roads have higher demand rates than Cameron Road itself, meaning the sides street parking is busier than on Cameron Road
  • Northbound demand is higher than Southbound demand: people want more parks in when they’re heading towards the city centre
  • Mid-day peak has highest occupancy rate (72%)
    • 80% Northbound demand
  • PM peak has low demand (37%)
    • 42% Northbound an 34% Southbound

See information below:

Cameron Road parking demand heat maps for am and pm peaksAverage corridor occupancy - showing peak occupancy of 72% at midday

Report: Zone occupancy (935kb pdf) Cameron Road parking Occupancy between 3pm and 4pm (106kb pdf)

Traffic modelling results

The Urban Form and Transport Development committee decided to discount the option of the removal of an existing traffic lane in both directions for an all-day or peak period bus lane or High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane. This decision was based on modelling, which indicated this option would significantly worsen traffic flows.

A modelling study was undertaken to understand the potential effects and benefits of the proposed Cameron Road bus lanes on traffic flow and public transport patronages.

From the traffic modelling data provided by Mooven, we can see that the most significant delays occur in the section of Cameron Road between the Hospital and 9th Avenue. The section between 11th and 15th Avenues is the most congested part of this corridor – see figure below.

Worst Journey Time Reliability (PTI) (82kb png)

Crash statistics for Cameron Road

Over the last 5 years (2014-2018), there have been a considerable number of injuries along Cameron Road, between 17th Avenue and Harington Street. This figure includes:

  • 66 minor injuries
  • 13 serious injuries
  • 1 fatality

Of these, there are have been 12 cycle related injury crashes (1 serious injury and 11 minor injury) and 7 pedestrian related injuries (1 fatal crash, 3 serious injuries and 3 minor injuries). These numbers indicate the need to consider safety improvements for the short and medium/long term solutions.

Next steps

At the Urban Form and Transport Development Committee (UFTD) meeting held on 20 August 2019, the committee agreed to move forward into preliminary design for Phase One (Harington Street to 17th Avenue). The UFTD Committee had previously agreed to discount the bus clearway from Harington Street to 9th Avenue due to the lower levels of traffic through this area even in peak times. Read more about it in this media release or in the presentation to the committee (860kb pdf). 

We will now work with the businesses, residents and landlords along Cameron Road between October and March to define optimum outcomes through the preliminary design process from the conversations that have been held within this community. Council staff will be engaging with Cameron Road users, businesses and other stakeholders to define optimum outcomes for the wider community through this preliminary design process.

If you are interested in reading more about enabling growth in Tauranga, you can find further information on this topic on the page below.

Enabling growth

Last Reviewed: 26/09/2019


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