The Gordonton Rd corridor has become increasingly busy as more houses are built in the northeast of the city and the Waikato district, resulting in more traffic. The following projects are underway, or planned to improve safety:
Thomas Rd/Gordonton Rd intersection
Major work on the Thomas/Gordonton intersection is now complete, however, some berm work and final road marking work is continuing over the next few weeks. Road users are asked to be careful and patient during this time while everyone gets used to the new change at the intersection.
As well as the traffic lights, other safety measures have been implemented at the intersection including the introduction of raised safety platforms. These are a new safety innovation at the site and are being installed at the intersection approaches to help manage vehicle speeds. Staff have worked closely with the NZ Transport Agency regarding the design and implementation of these, as this will be a demonstration site for further planned implementation at other locations across the country. More information can be found below on RSP's.
The benefits of an intersection with traffic lights over a roundabout are:
- Improved safety through better intersection control and traffic flow management
- Safer for people on bikes
- Smaller footprint so less need to buy land, allowing quicker installation
- Lower cost.
Speed limit reduction from 80km/h to 60km/h
To support the traffic lights at the Thomas Rd/Gordonton Rd intersection and improve safety for people who use this road, a permanent reduction in the speed limit to 60km/h along Gordonton Rd from Wairere Dr to north of Thomas Rd has been agreed by the Council. This will take effect from 10 October, and follows strong community support through the consultation process.
A 60km/h variable speed limit has been in place since late 2017, triggered by turning vehicles. This has worked well as an interim safety solution, and has been supported by the community.
To support this safer speed limit and so the road 'feels' like 60km/h to drivers a range of treatments will support this, including a northern gateway, flush medians, and street lighting.
Gordonton Rd corridor
Work is also underway to address safety issues along the rest of Gordonton Rd between Wairere Dr and the city boundary north of Borman Rd. This includes:
- An upgrade of the Puketaha Rd/Gordonton Rd intersection is planned during the 2020/21 year, and includes the connection of St James Dr to Gordonton Rd
- A walking and cycling improvement project which would see a safe alternate route parallel to Gordonton Rd through residential streets and reserve areas.
Raised Safety Platforms
The Council in partnership with NZ Transport Agency, will introduce Raised Safety Platform (RSP) at the Thomas/Gordonton intersection, a first for New Zealand.
RSP's are elevated sections of road that aim to reduce vehicle speeds on the approach to a conflict point, such as at signalised intersections. RSPs are like speed humps, in that they aim to reduce vehicle speeds using vertical deflections. One of the notable differences between RSP's and conventional speed humps, is that RSP's use a much gentler gradient to achieve the desired speed reduction. This enables them to be safely used in higher speed environments than speed humps.
The New Zealand trial is being developed by the National Safer Intersections Working Group, which includes representation from The NZ Transport Agency and local Government authorities. Initially, The NZ Transport Agency are looking to trial RSPs on the approaches to signalised intersections, located within areas that currently have a posted speed limit of 80km/h.
The use of RSPs at intersections has been pioneered by the Province of South Holland (Netherlands) on a significant scale. Safety platforms, accompanied by 50km/h intersection speed limits, have been constructed at more than forty signalised intersections, mostly on higher speed 70-80km/h urban roads. A large-scale evaluation conducted in the Netherlands showed that fatal and serious injury crashes fell by a statistically reliable 40-50%. Similar trials have also been carried out in Victoria, Australia in recent years with encouraging results.
For more information check out our FAQs here.
1 shows examples of existing RSP installations