Tauranga City Council's trial closure of the 14th Avenue exit lane onto Turret Road began on Monday afternoon, garnering both positive and negative reactions from drivers.
SunMedia graphic designer Kym Johnson travelled the busy route at 5pm.
She says traffic was worse than usual on Fraser Street, but only because so few cars coming from the city are permitted to turn left at the traffic lights.
“But it was much smoother going down 15th Ave. It can take up to an hour for me to get home some days, but on Monday it took around 15 minutes.”
Craig Cate called SunLive just before 5pm, having only just made it home through the traffic.
He says he left the CBD at 4pm, and it took him 15 minutes to travel from the intersection of Devonport Road and 11th Avenue up to the lights at the intersection of Fraser Street and 15th Avenue.
Although he wasn't taking Turret Road home, he says Fraser Street was ‘backed up to Chadwick Road'.
“It's just stupidity.”
TCC transport manager Martin Parkes was down observing traffic at 5.30pm. He told SunLive some people didn't realise the exit lane was closed, forcing them to turn around.
“There was certainly more traffic using the Burrows Street link onto 15th Ave, although we expected that. The traffic was flowing quite well around the bottom corner, as there were no vehicles trying to get in.”
He says the council has thus far received one complaint, and two comments: one supporting the closure, and another suggesting the council close Burrows Street as well.
“It's difficult to draw any conclusions from day one. It think today will be better, as people now know it's closed. I think people will stick to Fraser Street and 15th Ave rather than going around, so there should be less pressure on Burrows Street.”
He says there didn't appear to be any improvement to congestion at the 15th Avenue/Fraser Street intersection.
“I think in a couple of weeks' time we'll have more information to think about the way forward.”
The trial is expected to last for six weeks.