Traffic signals Heaphy Tce/Boundary Rd

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In the 1980s the current Heaphy Tce/Boundary Rd roundabout was a light-controlled intersection.

East Hamilton has two dominant north/south biking routes for schools. In the 1980s the Heaphy Tce/Boundary Rd light-controlled intersection was giving a fairly usable crossing, probably safer than the Five Cross Roads roundabout.

Cycling in Hamilton 1988, Figure 2 page 7: Library REF 711,7209931151 HAM

Sadly, Hamilton’s transport study Basic data report: 1968 – (p36) states that “It was considered that the prediction of future cycle trip movements would be of little value”, and Hamilton’s highway engineers had a plan to have Boundary Road as a cross-city highway. The fact that it was being crossed by school children was of “little value”. Kindly the 2015-25 Long-term Plan Vol. 1 (p16), $5.7m in years 5-7 (2020 to 2022) was set aside to introduce traffic lights at both Heaphy Tce/Boundary Rd and Five Cross Roads.

In the 2015-25 long-term plan Vol. 2 (p65), the Heaphy Tce/Boundary Rd intersection was scheduled to receive $2m in years 5-7 (2020 – 2022).

It is 2020 now and on the ground little can be seen in terms of making the Heaphy Tce/Boundary Rd intersection safer. The reason is that in the December 2017 planning for the 2018-28 long term plan it was called ‘Economic Development’ with a $4,875,000 price tag for years 2018-2028.

Page 263 Council Meeting agenda 2/3 Wed 6 Dec 2017

Six months later, this became an $186,000,000 road-widening project. To many people this looks like 1960s thinking, in which “cycle trip movements would be of little value”, but a wide road is seen as necessary to ensure this ‘critical route remains effective’.

Long Term Plan 2018-28 Volume 2 page 20

After decades of the Heaphy Tce/Boundary Rd intersection suppressing walking and biking access between homes, Claudelands Park and local schools in both directions, we continue to have a never-ending delay on safety measures.

Ask yourselves: is a Mill St-style road an example of ‘improved transport outcomes (safety, travel choice, efficiency)’?

Maybe ‘safety, travel choice, efficiency’ could be as simple as reinstating it as compact traffic light intersection, and most importantly reducing speeds through Heaphy Tce/Boundary Rd intersection by installing raised traffic tables on all four arms. 

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Double Tracking River Rd

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When Hamilton double-tracks the rail lines across the river, River Road will be 2 metres above the existing road height at the intersection with O’Neill St, removing motor vehicle access between the two.

For people walking, biking or scooting, existing paths heading north would be similar to now, and the southern corner path gradient could remain the same. To build an underpass under River Road, the gradient to the south would be less forgiving.

Claudelands Rd  / River Rd has no need to be grade separated; it can become an at-grade light controlled intersection, allowing full access in all directions. No longer will people get lost trying to find their way between the city centre and Claudelands.

From Hamilton’s 2005 ‘2020 vivsion plan’

The other benefit of double tracking from Ruakura to Frankton will be grade separation of railway road crossings at Heaphy Terrace and Peachgrove Road, improving traffic flow on existing road surfaces and enabling fast, frequent and high capacity services along a rail corridor separated from general traffic and thus not affected by road congestion.

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