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  Reply # 1970307 7-Mar-2018 07:30
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Linuxluver:

 

The on-ramp lights *definitely* ration the flow of cars onto the motorway and help keep the motorway flowing. You can tell when people are ignoring the lights as the ramp downstream than chokes the left-hand lane.....and then people try to move over and choke the next lane...and so on. So the cheaters actually slow themselves down AND everyone else. 

As for the side streets.....I was in Brisbane last week and they don't use ramp lights on the M1. Every car can than get on the ramp - bumper - to - bumper, of course - then slam into the side of the rolling traffic (who are tailgating)......and everyone soon grinds to a halt....AND the side streets are then completely blocked anyway. They can't get on the motorway because it's not moving right now....

 

 

All the proof you need about to see why not having lights doesn't work is demonstrated daily in Wellington at the Ngauranga Gorge merge on SH2. NZTA spent something like $6 million on this merge a few years ago and made it worse.

 

Traffic on the motorway grinds to a crawl and as an estimate I'd say probably 15% of vehicles try and move from the left (merge) lane into the right lane in the 100-200m before the merge with buses being a pretty much guaranteed offender. The result is the slowing down of all traffic as a result of these lane changes.

 

Considering how well proven the lights are I'm unsure why NZTA won't deploy them at this spot. Preventing the lane changes would speed things up, but I'm not quite sure how you can stop that.

 

 


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  Reply # 1970367 7-Mar-2018 09:33
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Solid painted lines with rumble strip would deter most from changing lanes.


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  Reply # 1970394 7-Mar-2018 10:06
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sbiddle:

 

with buses being a pretty much guaranteed offender.

 

 

Clearly you have yet to learn that the rules of the road simply do not apply to bus drivers.





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  Reply # 1970395 7-Mar-2018 10:07
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You only have to look at the Northern Motorway southbound where Greville road joins at the weekend when the ramp lights are off to see how important these lights are - there's always a tailback on the motorway and none on Greville road.  If the ramp lights weren't on at rush hour the tailback would probably reach Silverdale - it already stretches several km north of Oteha on a bad day


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  Reply # 1970400 7-Mar-2018 10:14
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We (Aucklanders/NZers) are just hopeless selfish drivers.

 

We cannot merge, and drivers already on the motorway don't want to let anyone in to merge.

 

We drive up closed lanes right to the end, cutting in and causing a ripple back effect of braking, slowing everyone else (who is in the correct lane) down.

 

I see it every day, just on my short drive from the Shore back to the city in the evening (so against peak-flow).

 

 

 

And, just this morning - coming north over the Bridge. A bus was broken down at the top of the bridge in Lane 2. The information signs all stated that Lane 2 was blocked (even back on Fanshawe St, before I got on the Motorway, I saw a sign telling me), the flashy arrow trucks were on the bridge, the lane closed signal was above the lane. STILL, people changed into Lane 2, drove right up to the flashy lights, and cut back into Lane 1, slowing everyone down. Asswipes.


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  Reply # 1970401 7-Mar-2018 10:18
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shk292:

 

You only have to look at the Northern Motorway southbound where Greville road joins at the weekend when the ramp lights are off to see how important these lights are - there's always a tailback on the motorway and none on Greville road.  If the ramp lights weren't on at rush hour the tailback would probably reach Silverdale - it already stretches several km north of Oteha on a bad day

 

 

So what that and other comments in this thread tells me is that the problem here is the management of the ramp lights. It's clear that at times they are not operating when they need to be, and at other times they are restricting flow when they don't need to be. 

 

I wonder if it's automated and the motorway flow sensor is faulty, or if some manual NZTA operator is supposed to be watching the webcam but is actually dozing off or watching the cricket on SkyGo.

 

Which reminds me of another annoying traffic management misfeature: dumb traffic lights on timers that make you sit and wait while *no* traffic is present on the green lighted lanes.

 

 

 

 


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  Reply # 1970403 7-Mar-2018 10:21
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MikeAqua:

 

sbiddle:

 

with buses being a pretty much guaranteed offender.

 

 

Clearly you have yet to learn that the rules of the road simply do not apply to bus drivers.

 

 

Taxi drivers are the worst. They don't give a sh*t and quite happily do 3 point turns blocking Quay St at rush hours. 

 

Buses should indicate and then people should just let them in. I wouldn't last a week as a bus driver, it would do my head in.

 

 


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  Reply # 1970433 7-Mar-2018 10:59
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trig42:

 

We (Aucklanders/NZers) are just hopeless selfish drivers.

 

We cannot merge, and drivers already on the motorway don't want to let anyone in to merge.

 

We drive up closed lanes right to the end, cutting in and causing a ripple back effect of braking, slowing everyone else (who is in the correct lane) down.

 

I see it every day, just on my short drive from the Shore back to the city in the evening (so against peak-flow).

 

 

 

And, just this morning - coming north over the Bridge. A bus was broken down at the top of the bridge in Lane 2. The information signs all stated that Lane 2 was blocked (even back on Fanshawe St, before I got on the Motorway, I saw a sign telling me), the flashy arrow trucks were on the bridge, the lane closed signal was above the lane. STILL, people changed into Lane 2, drove right up to the flashy lights, and cut back into Lane 1, slowing everyone down. Asswipes.

 

 

As was stated above, the best place to merge is where the number of lanes reduces, providing merging is done correctly.  This is contrary to practice in UK, where merging happens at some ridiculous large distance before the lane reduction, with miles of empty lane reserved solely for those who want to merge correctly (or in UK drivers' eyes, "jump the queue").


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  Reply # 1970436 7-Mar-2018 11:01
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sbiddle:

 

Ramp meters improve the merge by ensuring that the left merge lane isn't swamped by excessive vehicles which slows things down for everybody.

 

They're incredibly effective at their intended goal with huge amounts of data to back that up hence they're not incredibly popular globally because they're so effective.

 

 

Funny I read a study recently that found they achieved no measurable gains and didn't really normalise anything. It also stated that even though they did not have much impact on freeway (motorway over here) flow they did have a massive negative impact on surrounding streets and traffic networks. Which also seems consistent with most peoples experience as well. I did read another article that stipulated much larger improvements would be made by  improving merge behaviour and ensuring that there is a single merge point (e.g people can't merge at random points along a 100 meter merge area), instead there is an area right at the end of the merge lane that traffic is allowed to merge in, which should be a lane that does not have broken white lines (which cause people to panic and stop) but one that has the line end abruptly where you merge so both cars have right of way and are forced to follow the zip merge rule.

 

However I am not sure this would work in NZ because we are terrible at matching our speed to that of the motorway, which I think is what starts off a lot of the traffic jams we often see (people in left motorway lane being forced to slow down significantly to make way for merging traffic).


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  Reply # 1970564 7-Mar-2018 12:56
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gmball:

 

 

 

East bound North Western to Northern SH1 is what I encounter every morning. As as you rightly point out, that on-ramp becomes its own lane so there is no traffic merging onto the Northern.

 

I usually meet the on-ramp queue heading north at Western Springs, takes about 30 minutes to travel the 3km distance from there to the Northern motorway. I've followed many drivers who will actually drive into the city to enter at Wellington street which simply moves the bottleneck from a 5 lane motorway to a single lane central city street.

 

 

Would an alternative of travelling down Nelson, and then turning left onto Fanshaw be any better ?





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  Reply # 1970770 7-Mar-2018 16:48
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SepticSceptic:

 

gmball:

 

 

 

East bound North Western to Northern SH1 is what I encounter every morning. As as you rightly point out, that on-ramp becomes its own lane so there is no traffic merging onto the Northern.

 

I usually meet the on-ramp queue heading north at Western Springs, takes about 30 minutes to travel the 3km distance from there to the Northern motorway. I've followed many drivers who will actually drive into the city to enter at Wellington street which simply moves the bottleneck from a 5 lane motorway to a single lane central city street.

 

 

Would an alternative of travelling down Nelson, and then turning left onto Fanshaw be any better ?

 

 

 

 

Yes it could be and will certainly give that a try, thanks for the suggestion. I suspect a lot of the traffic at the Wellington St on-ramp is North bound traffic coming from the North Western, and trying to avoid the ramp signals between the North Western East Bound and Northern SH1.

 

It certain beggars belief when they install ramp signals on joining motorway links after spending such a vast sum of money completing the western ring route with the water view tunnels. All of the traffic which previously would have headed South to North through Spaghetti Junction, now sit for 30 minutes at a ramp signal between motorways, certainly not encouraging people to use the alternative route. There are a lot of drivers heading from south Auckland to the North Shore who use this route. Those heading to suburbs north of Albany use the north western to head in the direction of the Upper Harbour motorway. 

 

On that topic, its reminded me of the ramp signals between the South Western and Southern at Manukau, where else in the world does a main arterial motorway end at a set of ramp signals? Surely it would have been a better idea to widen the motorway at that interchange to allow for multiple additional lanes, instead they built a water park!

 

 


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  Reply # 1970780 7-Mar-2018 17:13
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The thing that gets me is traveling south over the bridge at peak and everyone knows that it's down to 3 lanes there are big signs saying the 4th lane is closing and you get people still driving all the way to the end and forcing there way in which makes everyone break.  Then they jump to land 1 or 2 as they don't want to go over the bridge in lane 3.  If they merge earlier (when people already in lane 3 make room for people to merge) then it would flow a lot better.




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  Reply # 1970943 7-Mar-2018 23:30
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SepticSceptic:

gmball:


 


East bound North Western to Northern SH1 is what I encounter every morning. As as you rightly point out, that on-ramp becomes its own lane so there is no traffic merging onto the Northern.


I usually meet the on-ramp queue heading north at Western Springs, takes about 30 minutes to travel the 3km distance from there to the Northern motorway. I've followed many drivers who will actually drive into the city to enter at Wellington street which simply moves the bottleneck from a 5 lane motorway to a single lane central city street.



Would an alternative of travelling down Nelson, and then turning left onto Fanshaw be any better ?



Worked a treat. Long queue at the on ramp from the North Western east bound to the Northern, potentially a good 30 minute wait for the poor buggers sitting there at 7pm this evening. Drove to the bottom of Nelson st, and along Fanshawe St, took less than 10 minutes.

Does seem ludicrous that this option is far more efficient than a motorway, I just hope that any congestion charges for entering the central city are many years away or abondoned completely.

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  Reply # 1970946 7-Mar-2018 23:40
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SepticSceptic:

 

gmball:

 

 

 

East bound North Western to Northern SH1 is what I encounter every morning. As as you rightly point out, that on-ramp becomes its own lane so there is no traffic merging onto the Northern.

 

I usually meet the on-ramp queue heading north at Western Springs, takes about 30 minutes to travel the 3km distance from there to the Northern motorway. I've followed many drivers who will actually drive into the city to enter at Wellington street which simply moves the bottleneck from a 5 lane motorway to a single lane central city street.

 

 

Would an alternative of travelling down Nelson, and then turning left onto Fanshaw be any better ?

 

 

I doubt that Exit Nelson St, Drive through CBD, Back on at Fanshawe st would work. As lots of traffic lights on that route. And in the mornings, my understanding is that there is often a large queue to get through the lights at the end of the Nelson St offramp, other times general CBD traffic.

 

Edited for above reply

 

Can see why it worked at 7pm though (why the **** were the ramp signals still on then?)

 

/edit

 

Sometimes I will exit the motorway at St Lukes. And drive through Grey Lynn, Westmere, Herne bay. And the rejoin the motorway at Curran st onramp. To avoid the ramp signals on the NW to North link.

 

Another option is to exit at Gt Nth rd. Drive through Point Chevalier, Westmere, Herne bay. And on at Curran st. (This route can be driven with very few sets of traffic lights).

 

Also exit at Newton rd, K Rd, Howe st, Then Wellington st, Wellington st onramp.

 

And finally - Exit at Newton rd, Drive through Ponsonby, Back on Motorway at Fanshawe St or Curran st.

 

All of these options show why it is silly to persist in keeping the Wellington st onramp open during peak traffic times. As it in turn causes far more congestion elsewhere. Especially as more people start using Google maps for live rerouting. As NZTA might start to think that they can restrict the ramp signals on the NW to North link more, but without increasing the queue much. But in reality, people will be reacting by driving alternative routes, and pushing the traffic onto local roads.

 

You can already use Google maps to see when the ramp signals are turned on, And to see how long the queues are.

 

NZTA also doesn't seem to operate different sets of signals differently based on whether the onramp lane joins the motorway as a merge. Or becomes a whole new lane.






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  Reply # 1971104 8-Mar-2018 10:51
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Aredwood:

 

SepticSceptic:

 

gmball:

 

 

 

East bound North Western to Northern SH1 is what I encounter every morning. As as you rightly point out, that on-ramp becomes its own lane so there is no traffic merging onto the Northern.

 

I usually meet the on-ramp queue heading north at Western Springs, takes about 30 minutes to travel the 3km distance from there to the Northern motorway. I've followed many drivers who will actually drive into the city to enter at Wellington street which simply moves the bottleneck from a 5 lane motorway to a single lane central city street.

 

 

Would an alternative of travelling down Nelson, and then turning left onto Fanshaw be any better ?

 

 

I doubt that Exit Nelson St, Drive through CBD, Back on at Fanshawe st would work. As lots of traffic lights on that route. And in the mornings, my understanding is that there is often a large queue to get through the lights at the end of the Nelson St offramp, other times general CBD traffic.

 

Edited for above reply

 

Can see why it worked at 7pm though (why the **** were the ramp signals still on then?)

 

/edit

 

Sometimes I will exit the motorway at St Lukes. And drive through Grey Lynn, Westmere, Herne bay. And the rejoin the motorway at Curran st onramp. To avoid the ramp signals on the NW to North link.

 

Another option is to exit at Gt Nth rd. Drive through Point Chevalier, Westmere, Herne bay. And on at Curran st. (This route can be driven with very few sets of traffic lights).

 

Also exit at Newton rd, K Rd, Howe st, Then Wellington st, Wellington st onramp.

 

And finally - Exit at Newton rd, Drive through Ponsonby, Back on Motorway at Fanshawe St or Curran st.

 

All of these options show why it is silly to persist in keeping the Wellington st onramp open during peak traffic times. As it in turn causes far more congestion elsewhere. Especially as more people start using Google maps for live rerouting. As NZTA might start to think that they can restrict the ramp signals on the NW to North link more, but without increasing the queue much. But in reality, people will be reacting by driving alternative routes, and pushing the traffic onto local roads.

 

You can already use Google maps to see when the ramp signals are turned on, And to see how long the queues are.

 

NZTA also doesn't seem to operate different sets of signals differently based on whether the onramp lane joins the motorway as a merge. Or becomes a whole new lane.

 

 

I Take these routes daily and they do result in significantly reduced times. When the Western is backed up past Newton Road I generally wait over 30 minutes to get onto the Northern motorway and regularly take 'alternative' routes if i'm going to be late:

 

1. 15 minutes - Exit at western springs, go Selbourne to Richmond then John St to get to College hill then onto Fanshawe onramp via Beaumont

 

2. 10 minutes - Exit at Newton, Then down Franklin to Fanshawe onramp

 

3. 13 minutes - Exit at Nelson then either down to Fanshawe or via Cook St 

 

All of these save time but you have a more convoluted run over the bridge.

 

It seems insane to have Ramp lights where one motorway joins another, They don't do this for the reverse where the Northern joins the Western. Doing this causes traffic to block up the Western Motorway at least up to Western sprints (i get on via the tunnel so could be further). You see people wanting to exit at Newton going along the side of the motorway to get past the barely moving queue. Even if you must put these lights on regular onramps, putting them between motorways is just counter-intuitive and definitely does not reduce time spent on the motorway (unless they manipulate the statistics and don't consider the end of SH16 part of the motorway).


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