Plastic barriers blocking vehicle access between 14th Ave and Turret Road have been filled with water to prevent people moving them.
But that is not enough, says Tauranga City Council transportation manager Martin Parkes.
“The barriers have been moved several times despite being filled with water to make them heavier, so we're probably going to put in concrete barriers.”
Access was blocked on Monday to see if it would free up peak hour traffic flows on 15th Ave/Turret Road.
But since the trial was initiated on Monday, people have moved barriers and even driven around the ends of them through the bushes, says a nearby resident.
The lane is popular with drivers trying to avoid traffic on 15th Ave and slip onto Turret road at evening peak hour.
It creates a ‘stuttering effect', interrupting the flow of traffic all the way back along 15th Avenue, as cars stop to let these vehicles in, says Martin.
“We've been looking at several options for 15th Avenue and Turret Road. We've got plenty of data about traffic movements in the area, but now we want to find out what impact the closure could have on the transport network in that area.
“The trial is giving us important data that will help us design improvements for the whole area between 11th Avenue and 17th Avenue. We need this data, so the trial will continue for the full 6 weeks as planned.
“It's confirming for us that we'll need to look at using traffic lights to control the Burrows/15th intersection. More people are taking Burrows street, which we anticipated.
“The queue back along 15th and Devonport Road has increased by around 300m, but the traffic flow past the closed road has improved. If people stop trying to use Burrows, traffic will flow better along the length of 15th Ave and everyone will get home a bit quicker.”
So many people have been arriving at the Fraser/15th intersection, that the traffic lights can't cope, so vehicles are not getting through the green light, says Martin.
“To help address that, we'll need to find ways to stagger the inflow of traffic from as far as 11th Avenue and 17th Avenue. We're working on a longer term project to achieve this, which will include signalising the Burrows intersection.
“In the shorter term we have a project going into next year's budget to widen 15th Avenue between Grace Road and Burrows Street. That's an interim fix to help ease the pressure on the Fraser/15th intersection.”
A lot of local journeys through the area have nothing to do with Welcome Bay and Maungatapu traffic, says Martin.
“If we can create conditions that encourage just a 10% shift to other modes of travel, like public transport or biking, it will help make the whole corridor more efficient for everyone to move through. This is at the forefront of our thinking.”
The council will be seeking community feedback on 15th Avenue/Turret Road in February.