The NZ Transport Agency expects to have the traffic lights at SH29A Barkes Corner back in operation within the next four weeks, following changes to the roundabout metering system.
The green light will be removed from the traffic light, and more sets of traffic lights and signage will be added on Pyes Pa Road and SH29A westbound.
The traffic lights will be different to the ones there before. When the traffic builds on one of the roads, the lights will activate by turning amber, then red.
The red lights will stop the vehicles for between 30 seconds and one minute, allowing traffic from the busiest road to enter the roundabout.
When the red light turns off, traffic can approach the roundabout. Standard give way rules apply when entering the roundabout, even if drivers have stopped at the red light first. When no amber or red light is showing, vehicles can approach the roundabout in the normal way.
“It is important to reinforce to drivers that standard give way rules apply when entering the roundabout, even if drivers have stopped at the red light first,” says Bay of Plenty transport system manager Rob Campbell.
The roundabout metering began operating on September 17, however the traffic lights were turned off on September 20 due to safety concerns. The sets of lights were removed from October 5.
Rob says most people were navigating the new lights at the roundabout well.
“However, we recognised it was not intuitive enough for all road users, and as such, we turned them off, and will make improvements.”
“Barkes Corner is a critical intersection for people in Tauranga and we recognise that it is important that it operates both efficiently and safely,” says Rob.
New Zealand guidelines state that roundabout metering lights require a green phase. A process has been initiated to now allow this project to operate differently with just the amber and red lights used as they do in parts of Australia.
The changes will be trialled for 12 to 18 months. The Transport Agency will collect data to analyse improvement in journey times.