Category Archives: Roading

Hamilton’s Traffic change last 3 years

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From: Council meeting Wed 6th Dec 2017 – 2018-28 10-year Plan – page 69, line 37

Drivers of significant expenditure variances include “Over the last three years we have seen a 15% traffic growth on main routes, Hamilton is now the “busiest” Council traffic network in the country (based on VKT/km)”

It is true that traffic volumes are growing, but when this is mapped the growth decreases along main routes through Hamilton.

Another way to see change in growth is to graph traffic counts; (you can find data here –  Link) It is presented as a pdf not as live Excel, so after a bit of copying and typing , we have a graph that shows a trend line of traffic growth on State Highways, which are central government funded, and reducing traffic on local roads, which are partly funded from local rates.

Traffic counts are not the only way to measure changes in traffic volumes. At the same Council meeting Wed 6th Dec 2017  – page 69, line 37

“Hamilton is now the busiest council traffic network in the country (based on VKT/km)”

When asked, the very helpful staff at council added a bit more detail to this VKT/km.

‘The busiest Council traffic network information is from the One Network Road Classification tool which has been developed for Road Controlling Authorities. Hamilton City measures 1,272 VKT/km compared to Auckland at 1,136 VKT/km and Tauranga City 1,066 VKT/km.’

There seem to be numbers that support the idea traffic volumes are growing, but the opposite may also be true; looking back to past post on  Parking evidence, vehicle counts in Hamilton central appeared to be decreasing.

 

Grey St too be 75% safer

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Over the past 7 years no less than seven people have died travelling to/from/within the Hamilton CBD.
Grey St, Hamilton East has recorded ZERO fatalities.

Better than that, the people from the Hamilton East Community Trust teamed up with HCC, NZTA and WRC to be one of six case studies around Australia and New Zealand being assessed by a team of Austroads traffic safety experts.
The outcome of the team work-shop was that safety improvements were identified that could easily halve the risk of serious injury to people visiting and moving through central Grey St.

Key safety improvements included treatments that helped to manage vehicle speeds, such as raised platforms, gateway treatments, road narrowing, textured surfacing and additional measures.

In fact the Hamilton East team clearly are looking for transformational change – they have a tick for every box.

The ticking of every box is the right thing to do; this allows different treatments to act together to give the greatest overall benefit.
Here are concept drawings showing how different treatments could give a reduction in the risk of fatality or serious injury of up to 75% for many road users.

Lastly page 14 of the Technical Report tells us we can do better than 75% safer:
“Typically this requires speeds below 30 km/h to avoid death if a collision occurs, or even lower speeds (around 20 km/h) to avoid serious injury. For a speed choice of 30 km/h instead of 50 km/h, the estimated reduction in fatal crash risk is 95%”

But this would be a political decision as it was in Helsinki in the 1990s. “The optimal speed limit on an urban street is the lowest limit the political decision makers can accept”

Link to report – Safe System infrastructure on mixed use arterials