Station naming deals announced
Runaway Rail Car Kicked Loose by Teen Hits New York Station
Škoda unveils its second tram for the Chinese market
Wabtec to buy Faiveley Transport for US$1·8bn
Constantine tram extension contract
Channel Tunnel: '2,000 migrants' tried to enter
Ottawa urban rail gets federal funding
UK and Italian operators order Vossloh locomotives
First Great Western and Eversholt sign Hitachi AT300 train contract
Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi invite interest in DIKKM railway
Green may be one of nature's prime colours, but it has become unpalatable to city councillors spreading more bus lanes through Auckland.
Auckland City Council's transport committee is turning off green in a review of lane markings, claiming it is aesthetically unappealing as well as prohibitively expensive as more tarmac is reserved for buses and bikes.
Says committee chairman Greg McKeown: "It is hard to imagine, for instance, the sort of bus lane markings we currently use on Dominion Rd being regarded as an enhancement to Tamaki Drive."
The Auckland Citizens and Ratepayers Now councillor denies his committee's anti-green sentiment is politically driven, just as there is no push to paint bus lanes blue or red, a colour used in Australia and Europe.
Neither does it signal any slackening of its commitment to bus lanes.
"If anything it has increased - as we roll out more lanes, drivers are becoming increasingly aware of them and cars are staying in their own lanes during the peak periods."
As well as questioning the visual appeal of long stretches of coloured tarmac, he says keeping them in their full greenery is becoming more expensive.
For example, it costs the council about $75,000 to maintain the colour treatment of just over 6km of bus lanes along Dominion Rd.
Bus lanes are in force on 16 busy Auckland routes and the council has also decided to spread them along Fanshawe St, Albert St, Vincent St, Mayoral Drive, Anzac Avenue and Symonds St.
Mr McKeown's committee now wants to designate a bus lane along the eastern top side of Queen St, from the pedestrian-crossing half-way up the hill, to 80m past the Karangahape Rd intersection.
About 14 street parking spaces will need to be removed to give buses the run of the road from 3pm to 7pm inside two lanes of general traffic.
Although decisions are some weeks away on a draft standard for lane markings generally, the transport committee has ruled out green for Queen St, saying it would clash with neighbouring heritage buildings.
It wants a regional standard by which green would be reserved for special cases only, to alert road users to bus priority zones.
Bus and Coach Association executive director John Collyns is disappointed it is turning against green, although grateful for its continuing commitment to bus lanes.
"No one has done more for bus lanes than Auckland City, but we think because they have done such a good job, taking green away would be a retrograde step.
"Green is symbolic, it means go, and is a positive colour for transport operators - but at the end of the day, we want bus lanes which work, and we'll live with whatever colour they are."
Mr McKeown said green was first used to raise awareness of bus lanes, but had been made redundant by effective enforcement. Mt Eden Rd's lane was functioning well despite having remained uncoloured for two years.
The council took over bus lane enforcement from the police in March last year, and by August recorded a reduction in morning offending from 6 per cent to 2.5 per cent of drivers since the previous year, and from 13.2 per cent to 1.9 per cent in afternoon peak hours.
Most offenders pay the $150 without argument, but protester Penny Bright says she will go to court to avoid being fined for driving in one of Dominion Rd's lanes, calling them a violation of the public's freedom of movement in favour of private bus companies.
She says the council's bylaw bans cars from the lanes at peak hours without reasonable excuse.
"But I had a reasonable excuse - the car lane was completely clogged with vehicles but there weren't any buses or bikes anywhere in the bus lane."
New Zealand Herald
About this website
Railpage version 3.10.0.0037
All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owner. The comments are property of their posters, all the rest is © 2003-2020 Interactive Omnimedia Pty Ltd.
You can syndicate our news using one of the RSS feeds.