Tauranga Council to consider Links Ave cul-de-sac
Tauranga City Council commissioners will receive a recommendation next week to turn Links Ave into a cul-de-sac, on an initial trial basis, to increase safety along the busy street.
The recommendation follows council engagement of contractors to undertake a safe system review.
The review indicates the implementation of a cul-de-sac, therefore preventing motorists using the street as a rat run, to reduce traffic volumes as the most viable way to improve safety.
The recommendation follows the identification of a “tangible risk” to pedestrians and cyclists using the path on Links Ave.
A 'No Exit' sign, per the recommendation, would be placed at Golf Road.
Long-term, the bus lane along Links Ave could also be removed due to the decrease in overall traffic.
Safety concerns have previously been raised from residents along Links Ave.
Mount Maunganui Intermediate School is located on the road, which, according to the Council recommendation, has seen a 3000 vehicle per day uptake in usage since the start of construction works on the Baylink to Bayfair project began.
The review suggests implementation of the cul-de-sac could significantly reduce the amount of traffic, especially in the area around the school at peak traffic times.
The recommendation to commissioners suggests the best way to improve safety for all users is to reduce traffic volumes, with a cul-de-sac considered the most practical option to do so.
Commissioners will consider the recommendation at a council meeting next Monday.
Following the meeting, a trial could be implemented quickly.
The recommendation to commissioners highlights a trial period, likely to last at least six months, could have an almost immediate start to hasten any safety improvement.
Wider consultation could then be undertaken with the community during the trial period.
An innovative streets style consultation process is part of the recommendation being put toward commissioners with a timeline of three to six months likely. A $400,000 budget is recommended to be set aside in the Long Term Plan in order to undertake that consultation.
The notes show the Arataki Community Liaison Group discounted the cul-de-sac option due to the impact on traffic volumes.
The ACLG clarify they are not a decision making body and that the group has not ruled out any options.
“The Arataki Community Liaison Group is not a decision making body and the group has not discounted any options, but have been waiting on the safety report, along with many others in the community,” says an ACLG spokesperson.
Traffic is likely to increase along Maunganui Road and Oceanbeach Road as a consequence of the cul-de-sac on Links Ave, with council predicting an additional 2000 vehicles per day on each road.
Installation of a permanent cul-de-sac could cost an estimated $500,000 to $1 million, dependent on its location, according to a council staff report.
Other actions currently in progress to improve the safety along Links Ave include the recently approved heavy vehicle ban in some Mount Maunganui residential areas, the installation a 30km/h variable speed zone in the vicinity of Mount Maunganui Intermediate School and an additional pedestrian crossing on Golf Road.