Meadowbank Road is bearing the brunt of increased busy-ness in our area. With two major crashes this month, we look at what’s being done to improve safety on this busy road.
As anyone who reads our Facebook page will know, there has been a spate of car crashes on Meadowbank Road recently. We’ve reported on two of them, both involving high speeds; there has been one more in the last few days. And residents on Panapa Drive reported a car crashed into a tree a couple of weeks ago.
These may be coincidental; isolated incidents of dangerous driving. We’re not party to the individual police investigations that may follow. But they serve to highlight a general issue that was raised at our August meeting: namely how to improve road safety and at the same time address the wider transport challenges that come along with intensification of Meadowbank and St Johns and the surrounding suburbs.
Improving road safety on Meadowbank Rd
Specifically in terms of Meadowbank Road, we’ve been advocating to Auckland Transport (AT) along with the Orakei Local Board for safety improvements for two or more years. Many residents have raised these issues in previous years. We understand AT are looking at radar speed signs, pedestrian crossing facilities and other treatments that may result in an improved environment for all users.
Increased traffic due to people driving to Meadowbank train station
Given the increasing numbers of people commuting to the CBD from Meadowbank Train Station, our advocacy for a bus service to connect with the train station is also relevant in this context: everyone heading there by bus would mean one less car. Looking back, there’s been a dramatic change over the years: from barely 50 people a day catching the train on a weekday in 2003 to more than 600 a day in 2016. That’s hundreds more daily peak time car journeys up and down Meadowbank Road, increasing by 15-20% a year. By the time the Central Rail Link opens in 2021, allowing through trips to Aotea Square, K Rd, Grafton and Newmarket, there could be well over 1,000 a day.
And of course traffic continues to grow and incidents happen on other streets around Meadowbank and St Johns too.
Auckland Transport response
AT have an engineer working on the issues. Some measures are being planned. We are working with AT to arrange for them to speak on this and related transport issues at an open meeting in November.