An opportunity to provide more information and get feedback on the design that has been chosen for Penlink is expected to be offered by Waka Kotahi/NZ Transport Agency next month.
When these local information sessions come up, Cr Wayne Walker suggests residents take a close look at the design, particularly what is proposed for the intersection with Whangaparāoa Road (HM June 27), which is in the vicinity of New World supermarket.
Cr Walker says there are several factors that, to his mind, mean the proposed intersection design will not work.
He considers the proposal will make it even more difficult for people to get around.
A previously planned T-intersection with Beverley Road was changed because of its potential for traffic disruption during construction.
The design now has an intersection to the west of Whangaparāoa Rd, next to Cedar Reserve, which joins to the bridge.
Vehicles heading to/from Penlink from the Red Beach end of the peninsula will use a short new section to the west of the current Whangaparāoa Rd alignment, which connects to Penlink at a T intersection with traffic lights.
The design includes controlled pedestrian crossing points, walking and cycling links.
Chief among Cr Walker’s concerns are that the road prioritises Penlink over Whangaparāoa Rd.
“Most trips are local trips – to shop, go to services/schools or leisure activities – to Silverdale or Ōrewa, to Coast Plaza, or New World. This design would make the bulk of those trips longer and more difficult,” Cr Walker says. “If you are heading west on Whangaparāoa Rd, you will have a right hand turn at a signalised intersection. To get into New World, from the east, you will have to wait at lights, go around an island and then onto Beverley Rd.
But if you’re a Penlink user, there is a single lane with no apparent queuing. Plus, any accident at that intersection would be significant.”
He says there are alternative designs that could remedy these things, including an earlier one which had a large roundabout.
“There is room for a roundabout, which can cope with large volumes of traffic and keep the flow going. A flyover that separates Whangaparāoa Rd and Penlink traffic could also have been considered.”
Cr Walker says he is raising these issues with Waka Kotahi and is seeking more information, including any alternate designs and the traffic modelling.
“I have indicated that this is a major issue and rates as highly as the consideration of tolls. It is a significant issue for users of Whangaparāoa Road and until now no one’s been consulted or offered any options.”
Waka Kotahi is currently exploring dates to hold some public information sessions on O Mahurangi (Penlink). The sessions are likely to be held in mid-August (more info in the next issue of HM).