Dominion Rd Plan Update


Dominion Rd is one giant traffic jam along its 4.5 kilometres – yet is considered a major public transport poster child, getting buses running every 15 minutes.

There’s even talk of one day running 24 hour buses post 2017 as Auckland grows. In fact, the legal designation to protect Dominion Road as a key 24-hour passenger transport route was confirmed in 2004.

The road is currently at capacity for cars during peak hours and improving PT services is considered the most cost effective way to increase the people-carrying capacity of the road.

So it’s good to see a positive update of the much tauted Auckalnd City Dominion Road project, which  is divided into three phases, (with each phase progressing independently.)

Here’s the latest from the council’s planning.

Phase 1 includes the mid-block widening works along the length of Dominion Road, with construction scheduled to begin in January 2012.

The design scheme includes physically separated bus and cycle lanes with no on-street parking.

An extension of the project to include the connection from Denbigh Ave to SH20 is also proposed.

Phase 2 comprises the village centres at Valley and Balmoral Roads.

The preferred option is now retaining both buses and cars along Dominion Road around the village centres, which may see some tricky moments to work out for buses getting back into the traffic in a confined space.

There are now also not intended to be any no land purchases around the centres, especially as it appears a lengthy and difficult negotiation would be needed with the Balmoral Rd Warehouse complex, which occupies land originally proposed to obtain.

A village lane is proposed for the designated land at Valley Road to provide and improve service access, off-street parking and opportunities for integrated commercial development.

The village centre construction would start in 2014 for Valley Rd and 2015 for Balmoral.

The design scheme for the midblock widening works comprises a separate bus and cycle lane along the length of Dominion Road (between View Road and Denbigh Ave) noting that this includes removal of on-street parking along Dominion Road.

The legal designation to protect Dominion Road as a key 24-hour passenger transport route provided for 1-2 metres of street frontage  to be acquired by council for the purpose of widening Dominion Road.

The road widening designation extends as far south as Denbigh Avenue and stops short of the connection into SH20.

This project is also good news for cyclists.

Dominion Road is an important commuter cycle route and part of the regional cycle network. It connects the new SH 20 cycleway and the CBD via Ian McKinnon Drive.

The last cycle monitoring  shows that in the morning peak (7-9am) approximately 60 cycle movements occur along Dominion Road near the intersection of Balmoral  Road.

With the extension of the cycle network, the estimated cycle growth rate of 6% and the provision of a separate cycle lane it is predicted that the number of cycle movements along Dominion Road will increase.

It’s proposed the bus lanes in the village centres shall be shared bus/cycle lanes with a minimum width of 4.2m, better than at the moment.

Balmoral village will have cars and buses

Phase 3 involves the necessary land purchase.

Since the project began, NZTA has completed the connection into SH20 at the southern end of Dominion Road. The council already owns 6 properties southwest of the Denbigh Ave intersection and negotiations are currently in progress with NZTA for the purchase of the remaining 3 properties surplus to SH20 requirements. Purchase of these properties would enable the Dominion Road project to be extended to connect to the motorway the support of NZTA.

Purchase of remaining properties needed for the project is underway.

Dominion Rd will become a great working example of giving priority to suburban public transport needs in Auckland.

Good on the council for pushing it ahead.




  1. Jeremy Harris says:

    I live just off Dom Rd so this matters a lot to me:

    - Why do we insist on putting buses and cycles - two of the most incompatible vehicles - in lanes together..?

    - Dome Rd already has minimum 10 minute frequencies during peaks, often as good as 7…

    I’m looking forward to the improvements though - light rail should happen in due course…

  2. Sam says:

    I catch the bus along Dominion road most days… I was thinking just thismorning as I went througb at about 9:05 (just after the parking restriction lifts) just how disruptive those few parked cars can be- it took almost twice as long to get in to town.

    I think the frequencies are good- theres one 20 minute period in the morning peak where there are more than 10 busses through- thats a frequency of less than 2 mins on average! Even during the day there is a bus every 5-7 minutes which makes it far more convenient than most routes- once we get these wider, permanant bus lanes I think we will see a massive shift to catching the bus along there.

  3. ingolfson says:

    Jeremy, the good oil that I have from the planners is that the bus lanes and cycle lanes will NOT be lumped together. If you read Jon’s post closely, the fact that they are mentioned separately also spells out hope.

    However, we will still need to ensure this actually happens!

  4. Richard says:

    I use Dominion Rd at times but not at peak time. The road is as mess, the lanes go all over the place, all for the sake of car parking. I suggest no parking 24hrs and tidy the road up would help. My brother lives at the city end of Dom. Rd and tells me catching a bus is hopeless, long waits then banana buses, all full and don’t stop. He therefore motors to work in a quarter the time, common sense would suggest starting some buses part way along the route?? Common sense went out the window many years ago though.

    Suggestion……. ban all parking and make Dom. Rd one way southbound, except a contra flow for buses and bikes. Do the same with Sandringham Road the other way for city bound traffic. One lane should of course be converted to light rail.

    The shop keepers wouldn’t like it but motorists should park in carparks or side roads.

  5. DanC says:

    Richard, spot on.

  6. ingolfson says:

    Except for the one-way road. Having arterials as one way roads leaves a bad taste in my mouth (tastes like Nelson Street). May make some sense, but I’m sceptical.

  7. Graham says:

    Re Richard’s brother’s problem

    When Auckland was lucky enough to have a tram system, what was called `short working’ was a very common and sensible practice. Along Dominion Rd for instance, in peak periods some outbound trams would only go as far as Valley Rd and then return to the city. Similarly others would turn back at Balmoral. Meant passengers waiting at inner city stops didn’t see crowded trams going by without any of them stopping to pick them up.

  8. Rod says:

    I have at no stage seen any comment or rational as to how or in what form business/property owners will be helped or compensated in regards to complete loss of custom in some cases due to inability that viable pedestrian traffic is completely the direct rental effect that finding and maintaining stable tenancies will prove nothing short of impossible if at all retail based.My view being that whilst the principle idea is sound the reality application is socially and in the act community wise quite flawed.WHAT ABOUT SANDRINGHAM RD,with its low retail/business activity geography,as a transport corridor.(past Eden Park)


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