Te Puna Station Road closure a ‘positive thing’
The closure of Te Puna Station Road is reducing a driver’s commute as he makes his way from Aongatete to Tauranga each morning.
Scott Robertson says his commute time has reduced consistently by 20 to 40 minutes, whilst the road has been closed.
He says a commute that was taking 65 to 75 minutes with the road open, is now taking 40-45 minutes.
“It’s about 30 to 35 minutes off peak. You can also monitor this on google maps.”
In the past, Scott says the traffic came to a stop on State Highway 2 at the junction.
“You could also see the traffic backing up to Omokoroa. Currently the traffic is flowing straight through and only backing up to Te Puna, but crucially, it remains moving.
Scott is pretty sure there will be plenty of scientific evidence available to NZTA on how to maintain and improve traffic flow.
“One would assume that at the top of the list of their responsibilities is to ensure the safe and smooth flow of traffic on state highways.
“If that means closing Te Puna Station Road, then so be it.
“The problem at present, and going forward, is the disruption to traffic flow on SH2 during the morning peak caused primarily by the increase in traffic on the highway through population growth, especially Omokoroa.
“This has resulted in an ever increasing number of commuters using Te Puna Station Road as a rat race to skirt the traffic on the highway. The more that do this, the worse the tailback becomes. So it’s a behavioural thing as much as traffic density thing.
“I can think of a number of ways to fix this without permanently closing the road; closure at peak times only, a traffic light controlled intersection like used on motorways, to deter rat runners at peak times, plenty of speed bumps, and a barrier that is operated at peak times at some point on the road.”
Scott sees the road being closed as a positive thing.
“It’s certainly a positive thing for hundreds of commuters that are delayed every morning. Close it now until either another solution is found or until there are alternative routes/systems into Tauranga for commuters from the north.
“Any simple fix that can be made today to improve traffic flow, is a no brainer.
“I expect there is a political element to this and there will obviously be those who will swear it’s their God given right to use the SH2 junction either as a resident or as a rat runner, otherwise it would have been done already.
“It’s up to NZTA to rise above the noise and local politics, and perform its basic function to keep the traffic flowing on its highways as efficiently as possible for as many vehicles as possible.
“Apologies to NZTA if the current road works are being undertaken under the radar as part of some cunning plan to address the problem. If not then they need to grow some balls and do their job.
“Never before have we been so grateful for roadworks.”