Confusion over MP’s opposition to road developments

May 8, 2019

Confusion over MP’s opposition to road developments

Local MP Dan Bidois says AT should focus on widening the Birkenhead Ave/Onewa Rd intersection. Photo: Esme O’Rafferty

A National MP is running a petition against a T3 lane on the North Shore, despite a community group being unaware of any complaints.

Northcote MP Dan Bidois, who started the petition against a T3 lane on Birkenhead Ave, said it received wide-ranging support.

“I hope that Auckland Transport listens because over 1000 signed that petition in two weeks,” said Mr Bidois.

However, Gillian Taylor, chair of the Birkenhead Residents Association, said they had not received any concerns from their members about the road.

“Most of the feedback we’ve had is not too negative…no-one has said anything about loss of parking, or increasing congestion,” she said.

“The big question, I guess, is whether it needs to be T3.”

Auckland Transport’s proposed developments would introduce a T3 lane from the junction with Onewa Rd up Birkenhead Ave to Recreation Drive.

The lane would join up with the existing T3 lane on Onewa Rd.

“The fact that Onewa Road is T3, it is logical that the one joining it would be T3,” Ms Taylor said.

“If it achieves a reduction in congestion, then that’s a good thing.”

When interviewed by Te Waha Nui, Mr Bidois said he did not want to “rehash the issue”.

He said in a letter to AT’s CEO Shane Ellison that while he supported AT’s proposal for a pedestrian crossing on Birkenhead Ave, he did not feel a T3 lane would fix a “clearly identified problem”.

“There is no clear issue with productivity on the road, therefore why implement a solution to a non-existent problem?” he wrote.

He recommended dropping the T3 lane proposal and asked AT to focus on widening the road at the junction of Onewa Rd to ease congestion instead.

He also recommended changing the T3 lane on Onewa Rd to a T2 lane.

“Congestion builds up on Birkenhead Ave towards the intersection with Onewa Rd – this is the main pain-point for commuters on Birkenhead Ave and therefore AT ought to focus its efforts where it can have a positive effect on commuters,” he wrote.

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