Getting parked vehicles off Auckland‘s arterial routes to start decongestion of roads

3 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineAugust 3, 2017

Simple, practical steps, such as no parking zones 24/7 on all Auckland‘s main arterial routes, need to be introduced now to reduce the congestion clogging the city‘s roads.

That is one of the short-term solutions proposed by National Road Carriers, one of five organisations that commissioned a report by the New Zealand Institute for Economic Research on the need for decongestion of Auckland‘s roads.

“We know there are big projects in the pipeline,” said NRC chief executive David Aitken. “But we need to make better use of the existing roads right now.”

The NZIER report said there was a need to encourage the use of public transport, traffic management options, better use of technology and the continued upgrading of motorways and arterial roads.

“Those things have to happen and the sooner the better even though they take time, but there are some things we can do right now,” said Aitken.

While some main routes have clearway restrictions for traditional rush hour periods, that was no longer sufficient, said Aitken.

“The NZIER report shows congestion is occurring throughout the day and it‘s expected to get worse,” he said. “Those clearway zones need to be permanent ‘no parking‘ zones 24/7 to free up another lane for free-flowing traffic.”

He said doubling what are effectively one-lane roads in each direction to two lanes would enhance traffic flow.

Congestion has increased considerably in the past three to five years and was affecting productivity as well as pollution levels. Aitkin said getting parked vehicles off major routes with high traffic volumes was a priority, as it restricted traffic flow not only for trucks delivering goods and services, but also emergency services, buses and general traffic.

“People everywhere say the traffic is worse now than last year and it‘s strangling the city,” said Aitken. “Something has to be done urgently.

“Not allowing vehicles to park on main arterial routes is one simple way of getting the traffic flowing better now. We can make better use of existing roads if there is a will to get things done.”