Elizabeth St roundabout metering deemed a success

The lights were activated on April 11. Photo: Daniel Hines/SunLive.

Elizabeth Street roundabout metering is being deemed a success in helping traffic flow on State Highway 2/Takitumu Drive in morning peak hour traffic.

The signals went live on Thursday 11 April and were activated for an average of two hours daily during the peak morning commute hours.

NZ Transport Agency's Bay of Plenty System manger Rob Campbell says early reporting shows that the roundabout metering is reducing travel times for people driving from Mount Maunganui by about four minutes in the morning.

”The average morning peak travel time for the Takitimu Drive southbound approach from Mount Maunganui was reduced from 250 seconds pre-metering to 50 seconds, post metering.”

“Essentially, what used to take more than 2600 vehicles about five minutes each is now only taking approximately one minute per vehicle.”

The lights are activated automatically when traffic queues build up along the SH2 Takitimu Drive southbound approach. Vehicles on the northbound approach are stopped, allowing SH2 southbound traffic to enter the roundabout.

“There has also been a slight increase in average travel time for the offramp northbound traffic, but this is only around 10 seconds. Overall it has been great to see a reduction in traffic congestion times and to see motorists understand and travel safely through the site, says Rob.

The agency had received feedback from road users asking why roundabout metering lights have not been installed to support Elizabeth Street in the evening peak.

“We have not installed roundabout metering to support Elizabeth Street evening peak traffic because it is more complex as there is currently a delicate balance between evening queue lengths on the Takitimu Drive southbound, Elizabeth Street and Glasgow St.

“We don’t want to create a benefit to one of the approaches and end up with delays on other roads in this area. This is an issue that needs careful consideration by TCC and NZTA to manage effects across the entire network."

The Transport Agency and Tauranga City Council are looking at options for improving safety and efficiency of the Elizabeth Street/Glasgow Street intersection and whether the new traffic lights the city council is proposing at the Third Avenue/Cameron Road intersection will improve traffic flows on Elizabeth Street.

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