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SH2 Elizabeth Street roundabout metering

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Project Introduction

The roundabout metering at SH2 Elizabeth Street roundabout will improve traffic flow in the morning peak. The lights on Takitimu Drive northbound are activated by citybound traffic queues. The traffic lights will have orange and red lights - no green. Give way rules still apply at the roundabout.

  • Estimated project dates

    Dec 2018–Apr 2019
  • Estimated project cost

    $370,000
  • Project type

    Road improvements
  • Project status

    Construction

Purpose

To improve peak traffic flows and improve overall travel reliability.

Overview

We are introducing roundabout metering at the SH2 Elizabeth Street roundabout to help improve traffic flow in the morning peak.

From mid-April 2019, traffic lights will be operating on SH2 Takitimu Drive northbound at the Elizabeth Street roundabout. The traffic lights will have orange and red lights - no green.

The traffic lights on SH2 will be phased to ease queues for SH2 citybound traffic onto Elizabeth Street during the weekday morning peak.

The lights will only operate when traffic queues on SH2 southbound activate the metering. When this happens, the lights will turn orange then red to stop the vehicles, allowing SH2 citybound traffic to enter the roundabout.

Give way rules still apply when entering the roundabout.

Roundabout metering helps control the traffic flow entering the roundabout and spreads the queuing more efficiently.

The roundabout metering follows an Australian system that uses orange and red lights only, with no green.

It is also the same system that was installed at SH29A Barkes Corner roundabout.  It will be trialled for 12 to 18 months, and may become permanent

This work is part of a wider programme being implemented across the Bay of Plenty to improve safety and efficiency.

SH2 Elizabeth Street map.

See larger map of SH2 Elizabeth Street roundabout metering [PDF, 165 KB]

Frequently asked questions

  • Why have you not installed lights for traffic coming from Elizabeth Street onto the state highway in the evening peak?

    The NZ Transport Agency has not installed roundabout metering to support Elizabeth Street evening peak traffic onto the roundabout for several reasons. 

    There is currently a delicate balance between queue lengths on the Takitimu Drive southbound and Elizabeth Street approaches to the roundabout.  Creating a benefit to one of them in the evening peak would result in delays on the other. 

    Additionally, the Transport Agency and Tauranga City Council are looking at options for the Elizabeth Street/Glasgow Street intersection and whether the new traffic lights the city council is proposing at the Third Avenue/Cameron Road intersection will improve traffic flows on Elizabeth Street.

    Additional roundabout metering at the SH2 Elizabeth Street roundabout has not been ruled out, however it is just one of a number of options being investigated.

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  • What other options did you look at?

    Other options included widening approach lanes, adding an extra lane to part of the roundabout, and full signalisation of the roundabouts.  A number of these options exceeded the $1m budget.

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  • Why was this the best option?

    Roundabout metering provides the best solution for the available budget. We have not installed traffic lights that would operate all the time, even when there are low volumes, because these introduce unnecessary delays outside of peak times.  Roundabout metering is a good tool for balancing unequal flows at peak times.

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Project Contacts

connectrotorua@nzta.govt.nz