Safety improvements to reopen Welcome Bay Lane
Construction has started on safety improvements at both ends of Welcome Bay Lane.
NZ Transport Agency Project Manager John McCarthy says the improvements will allow Tauranga City Council to reopen Welcome Bay Lane to cars while managing the risks to people on bikes and other vulnerable road users.
The improvements have been through an independent safety review process, in collaboration with council, and are specifically designed to improve safety at the entry and exit points of Welcome Bay Lane.
The previous give way arrangements for exiting the old lane will be modified to a compulsory stop in the new design.
“We are also building a traffic island at the entrance of Welcome Bay Lane to slow down vehicles before they turn into the lane, as well as limiting the size of vehicles that can access the lane,” says John.
“The design recognises that confident cyclists will probably choose to stay on the road however cyclists do have two options to get across the Welcome Bay Lane intersection, including diverting left along Welcome Bay Lane to a new off-road crossing location or staying on the marked cycle lane,” says John.
Other small safety improvements will include new signage and road markings, providing a safer left turn access into Greenwood Park Retirement Village, and a speed cushion traffic calming device on Welcome Bay Lane.
Welcome Bay Lane was closed in September 2018 after a cycle safety review, commissioned by TCC and the NZTA, confirmed the road needed to be closed for safety reasons.
For safety reasons, the new improvements mean Welcome Bay Lane will be re-opened to cars, however all heavy vehicles – including buses – will still need to use the signalised intersection on Welcome Bay Road.
Construction is expected to take about two months to complete, with the road scheduled to re-open in November 2019.