New Lynn to get 21st set of traffic lights

SHELLEY GRECO
Last updated 13:17 08/08/2014
New Lynn lights

LIGHT AFFAIR: There are 20 sets of traffic lights in New Lynn and another set is planned for the intersection of Titirangi Rd and Arawa St.

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The suburb with the highest concentration of traffic lights in Auckland is about to get its 21st set of signals.

New Lynn is home to 20 traffic lights. Nine of them are in a 1km stretch between Rata St and Portage Rd.

The latest additions will be installed at the intersection of Titirangi Rd and Arawa St within the first half of 2015.

The signals will manage traffic flow in and out of the new Bunnings Warehouse, which is under construction on the corner of Titirangi and Great North roads and is due to open early next year.

Residents and commuters are already frustrated at the number of signals in the area and many say they avoid New Lynn as a result.

Nicky McAnulty lives on Arawa St, about 300 metres from the currently uncontrolled intersection.

"Having the lights there isn't such a bad thing but it's just another set of lights we have to contend with," she said.

McAnulty believes a compulsory left-hand turn out of the Bunnings complex would be an alternative option.

"As soon as there's an orange light, people just go through anyway because they don't want to wait.

"We love living in New Lynn because you're close to the motorway, beaches and supermarkets.

"But the traffic just ruins it.

"You just wonder who is in charge and if they actually come back to see if it's effective."

The mother-of-five goes through eight sets of traffic lights taking her children to school in Avondale.

She says drivers coming down the Clark St overbridge and turning left often do not stop at an orange light.

They end up blocking the intersection causing extra delays for motorists travelling along Great North Rd.

Auckland Transport media manager Mark Hannan says all options were taken into account concerning the Titirangi Rd and Arawa St intersection.

"Left-in, left-out control was not seriously considered because this would significantly limit access to the site and there are few opportunities to perform a u-turn for people accessing the site from the south or exiting the site heading towards New Lynn.

"The roundabout option was not considered in detail because of space constraints and because of the close proximity to the Great North Rd signals, it is important to be able to co-ordinate flows along this corridor, which you cannot do with a roundabout."

New Lynn Business Association chairman Philip Parker says the traffic lights are a necessary evil.

"They could be better synchronised. Quite often you'll get red light, red light, red light, but in other cases you get a green light, green light, green light so synchronisation is the key," he said.

"They could be monitored to create better traffic flows from time to time and that is probably what we need to look at."

The New Lynn and Titirangi Facebook pages have received more than 70 comments with people expressing their thoughts on New Lynn and its many sets of traffic lights.

Comments include, "driving along either Clark St or Great North Rd requires superhuman levels of patience", and, "way too many lights, it's absurd. A waste of time and petrol. I avoid New Lynn as much as possible because of them".

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And one sums up his thoughts in two words, "grid locked".

"To add to the issues with the traffic lights, there does not seem to be any phasing between the lights going along Clark St," another said.

But one Arawa St man says the new lights are long overdue.

"It's a dangerous intersection and it is impossible to turn right onto Titirangi Rd during peak hour."

And someone else said, "It is a nightmare getting out of Arawa St at peak times so might not be such a bad thing".

The 20 sets of traffic lights counted by Western Leader staff include two sets of pedestrian lights.

- Western Leader

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