On 17 February 2022 I Zoomed into a 90 minute meeting about the O2NL Expressway and safety improvements on SH1 between Ōtaki and Levin.
There were several particularly interesting pieces of information.
SH1 safety improvements
Some of the following NZTA plans may be subject to a road safety audit or further consultation.
- extend the roadside barrier from Waikawa Beach Road to the dairy and possibly add a proper footpath behind the barrier.
- pedestrian crossing to be updated to a larger refuge style where there are extra barriers that create a more protected kind of zigzag path for pedestrians. See an example refuge style crossing.
- at the intersection with Waikawa Beach Road: remove several of the safe hit posts, widen the lane in the middle of road so there’s more room to turn; make the northbound shoulder immediately south of Waikawa Beach Road narrower in order to increase visibility.
The above items were all listed on Page 9 of the Report on July-August 2021 engagement. See link below if that link stops working.
Based on stakeholder feedback the project team have reviewed traffic movements at this intersection and agree with the feedback, particularly regarding the difficulty of making a right turn out of Waikawa Beach Road into SH1. The project team reviewed this intersection against other similar intersections with similar traffic levels and are proposing the following improvements to make right turns safer out of the Waikawa Beach intersection:
- Permanent removal of four of the safe hit posts from the painted median area to provide a longer merge length
- Marking a longer right turn ‘pocket’ so that it is clear that people have a longer length in which to merge
- Widening the painted central median area so people are more comfortable turning into, and waiting to merge, in this area and feel safer while doing so
- Narrowing the northbound left turn shoulder leading up to Waikawa Beach, whereby addressing the feedback that left turning vehicles (and those parked on the shoulder) block visibility for right turning drivers exiting Waikawa Beach Road.
The speed review is at Stage 3. Next comes formal review and consultation in March 2022, open for 4 weeks, then a final decision. Keep in mind that if NZTA decide to change speed limits along the road they then have to go through a legal process to do so. They can’t simply declare a new speed limit.
O2NL Expressway updates
- the latest Expressway design now has a roundabout between Taylors Road and Lawlors Road. This will allow southbound traffic to join the Expressway without needing to go through Ōtaki. See screenshot below.
- there is a shared path for bikes and pedestrians beside or near the Expressway (yellow line in the screenshot below)
- the shared pathway allows cyclists to connect to Manakau from the Expressway
- The Expressway goes over the top of South Manakau Road
- there is a bridge over the Expressway at the south end of Manakau
- North Manakau Road will go over the Expressway
- the plan we were shown should be online in April 2022.