$11m spend aims to ease peak-hour congestion on roads in Johnsonville

News from WCC – March 19
Better transport for Johnsonville is one step closer today. Wellington City Council and the NZ Transport Agency will jointly fund a project to improve traffic moving through Johnsonville, Moorefield and Broderick roads — known as the ‘Johnsonville Triangle’. Works will include widening the State Highway 1 off-ramp and changes to some intersections to help ease peak-hour congestion.

Over the next six months, the Council and the Transport Agency will liaise with the community about this work, complete detailed designs and plan the construction timetable for this project — worth over $11 million. Construction is expected to get under way later in 2014.

Councillor Andy Foster, who chairs the Council’s Transport and Urban Development Committee, says that these long-awaited changes will do more than just make it easier to get into and around Johnsonville. They will also provide a much needed foundation for future commercial and residential growth in the area.

“The community has wanted this for many years, so this week’s confirmation that the Council and the Transport Agency will be working together to finish off the detailed designs is great news,” he says. “The upgrade work planned is very much in keeping with the Johnsonville Town Centre Plan and should ultimately boost the area’s economy. It will provide a range of safety and other benefits for pedestrians, cyclists, bus users and motorists, and allow for the improved bus routes planned in the area.”

Cr Foster says the changes should happen over the next two to three years.

“These works will make a huge difference to everyone coming through Johnsonville. They will also pave the way for the additional work that will be needed if and when DNZ Property Fund decides to go ahead with the planned Johnsonville Mall redevelopment.”

Transport Agency Regional Planning and Investment Manager Lyndon Hammond says the Johnsonville project stands out because it ticks so many boxes.

“This project is about so much more than improving Johnsonville’s roads. This work will also make bus journeys easier and walking and cycling easier and safer. And by working on State Highway 1 and the Johnsonville roads at the same time, the Council and the Transport Agency can maximise the project’s benefits while minimising traffic disruption. Working together, we will deliver this project more efficiently.

“Unlocking the Johnsonville Triangle is potentially a complete transport solution. This project will free up Johnsonville for everyone, however they choose to travel, and create a platform for economic growth and new jobs.”

Mayor Celia Wade-Brown also endorses the focus on improving transport for everyone, regardless of how they choose to get around.

“Wellington can make cyclists welcome and safe and encourage locals to walk to facilities where possible.”

The work planned includes:

· a two-lane off-ramp from SH1 and new traffic lights at the intersection of Johnsonville Road and Fraser Avenue

· upgrading the intersection of Johnsonville and Broderick roads

· new traffic lights and a signalised pedestrian crossing at the intersection of Broderick Road and Gothic Street

· replacing the existing Broderick Road/Moorefield Road bridge over the railway lines with a new bridge that will be longer and one lane wider to future proof for potential double-tracking into Johnsonville Railway Station

· improving the signalised pedestrian crossings on Johnsonville Road, and a new signalised pedestrian crossing to replace the zebra crossing on Broderick Road

· a new path for cyclists and pedestrians to by-pass the two northern roundabouts (at the intersection of Johnsonville and Moorefield roads and further north at the intersection of Ironside, Helston and Middleton roads)

· cycle stop boxes (waiting areas for cyclists) at intersections

· better bus flow around the Johnsonville Triangle (Johnsonville, Moorefield and Broderick roads), new bus stops on Johnsonville Road and upgraded bus shelters

· real-time bus travel information.

Cr Foster says that involving the Johnsonville community is a top priority, and the ball will get rolling early next month.

“An information session for the local community will be on at Johnsonville Community Centre on Tuesday 8 April, from 3–8pm. We’re also setting up a community network as a way of keeping residents up to date at key times during the project, and people can sign up to be part of it at this session.

“As plans develop over the next few months, there will definitely be opportunities for Johnsonville residents and businesses to find out more, ask questions and make suggestions.”

 

4 comments:

  1. Michael, 20. March 2014, 23:25

    What astounding spin from the WCC! A shame that maximus never bothers with anything so provincial as such suburban issues, but if he looked hard here he’d have a field day!

    WCC’s plans for Johnsonville traffic seem good on the surface, but look deeper and you’ll find that the REAL Johnsonville triangle funding has been – and continues to be – withheld by NZTA because WCC have failed to make a sufficient case for it in 4 years of trying. Not that the case is not there to be made – they just have failed to sell it.

    What NZTA are paying for, is for bigger ‘pipes’ to take traffic off SH1 at Ngauranga, filling Johnsonville up with more traffic (not less). Because emptying SH1 is pretty much all they care about!

    There is a minimal investment in increasing ‘pipes’ out of Johnsonville – which is FAR too small. This because the investment in this infrastructure has been under-funded. End result: MORE traffic in Johnsonville, not less!! The opposite of WCC’s claim.

    Combine this with the destruction of nearly half of Johnsonvilles’ park-n-ride parking spaces, ( encouraging more people OFF public transport or into parking on even more residential suburban streets in Johnsonville!!) and this all starts to look somewhat less than what WCC are talking it up to be. Much less.

    And then there is the massive safety hazard of several new uncontrolled pedestrian crossings near Wellington’s busiest roundabout.

    Johnsonville needs serious investment in infrastructure to solve its traffic nightmare, but until WCC and NZTA concentrate on a proportionate increase in ‘pipes’ OUT OF Johnsonville, it will get worse, not better.

    And until they focus ‘thru traffic’ AWAY FROM Johnsonvilles shopping centre, it will always be in gridlock.

    looks like another “bypass grade” muck-up and waste of money in the making: Why can’t WCC spend the money necessary to do it once, and do it RIGHT?

     
  2. Tony Randle, 21. March 2014, 10:57

    Very well put Michael.You are correct and another problem is the inadequate expansion of the Broderick Road Overbridge beside Moorefield Road.

    Quoting from the Traffic Assessment done for the new Mall and incorporated into the Mall Resource Consent:

    Moorefield Road / Broderick Road traffic signals
    Improvements include:
    - re-phasing of signals
    - widening of rail bridge to provide FOUR lanes and improved turning for buses
    - widening of Moorefield Road
    - widening of Broderick Road west
    The purpose of the improvements includes:
    - widening provides significantly increased capacity at the stoplines
    - re-phasing of the signals reduces the presence of conflicting manoeuvres and assists in queue management

    However, the current proposal only has a bridge that is THREE lanes wide which has already been deemed inadequate by the WCC itself! What is the point of spending millions on expanding a 2 lane bridge to 3 lanes when 4 lanes is required?

    The WCC has said on a number of occasions that the delays in fixing our roads are so they can to a proper job for the future. As you rightly point out, they are now proposing a major patch, not a proper fix as promised.

     
  3. Graeme Sawyer (JCA hat), 26. March 2014, 16:00

    Some good points here from both Michael and Tony.
    All interested parties from Johnsonville are welcome to attend the JCA meeting in the Johnsonville Community Centre Main Hall, 7:30pm Wednesday 26 March (today). In attendance will be Senior transport officials from WCC, and two councillors, one of whom is the “Transport portfolio” lead for WCC. Those from outside Johnsonville are also welcome to attend by invitation (see contract details on our website at http://WWW.JohnsonvilleCA.co.nz to request an invite). Hope to see lots there!!

    The Johnsonville Community Association has been prominent in advocating for “serious” redevelopment of Johnsonville’s roading infrastructure since its inception in 2005 – largely due to the efforts of Tony. We were heartened when, in Sept 2010, WCC agreed (by a special resolution to WCC) to look seriously at bringing “major” improvements to the Johnsonville Triangle forward from the (then planned for 2017-2018) timeline. This agreement was an acknowledgement by WCC that Johnsonville’s dilapidated roading was inadequate to cope with existing traffic, let alone the impending boom from high-density Johnsonville (MDRA) and northern suburbs growth channelling through Johnsonville.

    Already 20 years overdue, it’s a bit disappointing that it’s taken nearly four years since the 2010 resolution by WCC to get any progress at all on these roading improvements; but we are certainly grateful that some progress appears to finally be on the way. But the devil is in the detail……The challenge now is to ensure that the work done will represent a significant progress towards actually improving Johnsonville’s traffic situation, and as Michael suggests, this is by no means a “given”” , despite the large sums mentioned.

    It was always known that NZTA would increase the “pipes” for traffic into Johnsonville from Ngauraunga this year – NZTA have budgeted for that for years, so it could not be less of a surprise to anyone that it’s happening now; what is a surprise is that WCC appear to be presenting this in their press release to look like it’s a $ 11million spend ON THE TRIANGLE, whereas the two are quite separate.
    The initial budget estimates for The Triangle (i.e. Triangle ONLY) works in 2009-10 were $ 18.5m. “Estimates” were then reduced to $14.4m and now it’s $ 11m including – which still sounds like a very big chunk of money – UNTIL you realise that this NOW includes all the SH1 Northbound Off-Ramp at Johnsonville work that NZTA had planned to do anyway (and which will INCREASE traffic in Johnsonville, as Michael rightly points out)

    This means that $11m spend “on the Triangle” is actually considerably less – perhaps $7m? We don’t know, exactly, because over the last week WCC have declined our request to release these numbers. You get what you pay for in roading build. And in real terms, the amount WCC say will be needed to solve Johnsonville’s problems appear – after inflation – to have reduced by between 60% and 70 % since 2009. Our fear is that this “budget reduction” is because the “serious” infrastructure they propose to develop is now only a corresponding fraction of what is required to solve the problems. What’s left could be little more than “paper over the cracks”…..or worse, bigger pipes in could mean worse congestion (not better)

    Data is Key, and let’s hope that WCC have the numbers of traffic movements to back up what they think will happen. But recent experiences have shown that it might be advisable to get a good consultant – independent & highly capable – to foo that for us, without “let or hindrance”: independence & rigor here could be well worth the price of a consultant…..

    We look forward to WCC explaining to us exactly how this apparently very much reduced investment – relative to 2009 estimates – is proposed to resolve the current and increasing traffic pressures on Johnsonville. (If we get a big turnout, maybe one of our guests can feed us all with a fish & a loaf of bread? )

     
  4. Graeme Sawyer (JCA hat), 31. March 2014, 12:07

    This is still topical & ongoing, and is arguably the biggest “issue” that the northern suburbs will face this year.

     

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