The next set of ramp signals on the Northern Motorway are now live, as part of the ongoing delivery of the NZ Transport Agency’s comprehensive traffic management system for Auckland.
The ramp signals have started operating on the Northcote Road northbound on-ramp as well as the Oteha Valley Road, Greville Road and Constellation Drive southbound on-ramps. Managed priority lanes for trucks, buses and car-pool vehicles (two or more people per vehicle) are also now operating at the Greville Road and Constellation Drive locations to improve traffic flow and merging onto the motorway during peak times.
The remaining group of southbound ramp signals at Tristram Avenue, Northcote Road and Esmonde Road on-ramps will also start operating during October.
NZTA Acting State Highways Manager for Auckland and Northland Sumi Eratne, says the ramp signals as well as the local approaches to the on-ramps are being closely monitored, ‘Our operators have detailed data from an extensive array of traffic detectors together with a range of cameras giving them a real time view of traffic operations throughout the areas where the ramp signals are operating to effectively manage traffic demands. However we’re also advising motorists to take extra care when approaching the on-ramps particularly as they adjust to using the managed priority lanes,’ he says.
The Police will also be monitoring the on-ramps and priority lanes as part of their regular motorway patrols.
Ramp signals are traffic signals at on-ramps that manage the rate at which vehicles move down the ramp and onto the motorway. They help improve traffic flows and safety on the motorway, while enabling more consistent speeds, safer merging and more predictable travel times. Ramp signals operate only when needed in assisting flows during busy periods. At all other times they remain switched off.
The measured results show that with the ramp signals operating, there is an overall 15% improvement in travel speeds and a 5-15% increase in the rate of vehicles flowing on the motorway. At nearly all locations, the numbers of vehicles using individual on-ramps have increased by between 120 and 180 vehicles per hour compared to the same period before the ramp signals were commissioned.
The signals are scheduled to be completed across all three motorways - the Southern, Northwestern and Northern - by November this year. Another 14 are being installed on the Western Ring Route between Manukau and Albany as each part is being built.
For more information visit www.nzta.govt.nz/rampsignalling/
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