High Street Cable Car a possibility

This story appeared under the grainy headline “Rocky road for cable cars” on page one of Otago Daily Times print and digital editions.

### ODT Online Mon, 23 Nov 2009
Stuart St cable car plan rejected
By Chris Morris
A plan to have cable cars rolling through the centre of Dunedin for the first time in more than 50 years has been rejected in a report by Dunedin City Council staff. However, a second plan – for cable cars to run from the Exchange up High St – remains a possibility. The Dunedin Cable Car Trust was developing plans for a 1.5km cable car route between the Exchange and the Mornington shopping centre.
Read more

Dunedin Cable Car Trust
Trustees: Bill Campbell, Tony Chance, Phil Cole, Neville Jemmett, Don Myers and Sue Russell.
Email: dcctrust@gmail.com

Report – EDC – 24/11/2009 (PDF, 2.1 MB)
Cable Car Proposals

Related Posts and Comments:
19.10.09 Cable Car Meeting @Dunedin
7.9.09 Various comments at Super ward at Dunedin?
25.7.09 Richard at Dunedin City Forum held
16.6.09 David at NSC ruckus: Mr Hide and council core services
3.4.09 David at “People: work very hard NOW”
1.4.09 David and Elizabeth at In smooth pond

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

11 Comments

Filed under Design, Economics, Geography, Inspiration, Politics, Project management, Site, Town planning

11 responses to “High Street Cable Car a possibility

  1. meg55

    I’m right behind the High St cable car. Never fail to be surprised by the ODT subeditors’ headlines though – ‘Rocky road for cable cars’ doesn’t quite do it. And as for ‘Cadbury puts Dunedin first’ when Cadbury is axing 140 jobs here – more than in Avondale …! Pollyanna is obviously alive and well at the ODT.

  2. Richard

    Headlines! Well that makes two of us! “Rocky Road” or “Case Lacks Pull”?

  3. Eckhard Marthen

    I personally maintain, that if any route is to have the slightest chance of financial viability and tourist appeal it must connect with the common tourist trails; being: Railway Station – Octagon – City Centre.

    I lived in Melbourne for many years and remember the days when traffic rolled through Bourke Street. It was a courageous, momentous decision then to divert the traffic around Melbourne City centre, but look at it now – they have Bourke Street Mall, with trams operating through it. What a fantastic, attractive landmark and destination for tourists and locals alike.

    This is long term thinking bearing the fruits of success, whilst short term thinking seems to be prevailing at the DCC chambers.

    Eckhard Marthen

    {Eckhard Marthen is a Dunedin accountant and a member of the Dunedin City Cable Car group promoting the Stuart St cable car project. See story and photograph, ODT Online 22/5/08 – Editors}

    • Elizabeth

      Re any transport going “Railway Station – Octagon – City Centre”, this is one very walkable short distance. The local retailers and businesses do need that pedestrian count right at their doors (as happens week days, even more so when the cruise ships are in), not gliding past. Things to consider…

  4. Phil

    That’s a very good point, Elizabeth. A number of high end tourism boutiques are well established along Lower Stuart Street. They would be unsustainable without the lucrative cruise ship market. And then I’d have nowhere to buy my overseas Christmas pressies. So we need rich foot traffic down there.

    I’ve been trying to look at this from a tourist point of view, rather than from a local commuter point of view. As I can’t really see Dunedin commuters changing the habit of a lifetime. The residents of Mornington will still have to get to where they are going from the bottom of High Street. And the recent parking debate shows that we just plain don’t like walking anywhere. So I’m not convinced that it’s a genuine mass transit option. Not on its own.

    The majority of tourists to Dunedin arrive one day, stay a night, and then leave the following day. Or spend 8 hours in the city, in the case of cruise ship tourists. A fair chunk are going to take the Taieri Gorge train for the day. So that they can sit and relax, and see something new in the countryside. Another large group will head straight for the Peninsula, where they can tick off 3 or 4 tourist spots in one hit. A smaller group will opt to stay in the city, and wander around taking in the sights, a bit of souvenir shopping, and then back to the bus. If I was a tourist (which I am on a regular basis) I’d be thinking about how to best use my limited time in the city. If I had to give something up, then it would probably be a tram ride up and down a fairly ordinary road. It’s worth remembering the majority of overseas tourists will have nice historic houses in their own countries also. So the ride up is not all that unique. It’s also not like it’s a ride that will take you to another tourist spot to tick off. Although the views from Mornington parks are rather nice, so maybe that’s an attraction. But it would have to be chosen as an event on its own. At the expense of, say, visiting the albatross colony. It’s an historic route, and that might appeal to some, but it’s not the same track, and it’s not the same car. A bit like forking out to see a medieval castle site that had a new castle built on it in 1970. It’s kind of cool, but you know it’s not the real thing. So I think, in my opinion, the tourist market is limited.

    Which takes us back to local commuting. The idea does appeal to me of somehow incorporating it into the existing one-way street system. I don’t know if that was intended as a joke or not. But I think it’s got local potential if it can be coupled to the public transport network hubs. I could see it being a bit of a hit with the student commuters. Especially if it operated as a regular shuttle service.

  5. Otto

    Who the heck are you people – Elizabeth, Peter, Richard, Phil, Calvin …? Members of the mutual admiration society?! Your comments could cause migraines in a rock! Have you got no jobs to go to? I’ll only write this one comment, then I’ll be off to work.

    First to you Elizabeth: This chap’s comments about the Stuart Street Cable Car route connecting the Railway Station to the city centre makes perfect sense to me, as this is only part of their proposed route – haven’t you read their proposal?!

    You are worried about the Cable Cars ‘gliding’ past shops?! Firstly, it will wake up the shop owners; secondly, the Cable Cars have windows. The tourists see something they like, they’ll walk back – as you aptly pointed out, the distance between the Railway Station and Octagon is walkable.

    Furthermore, it would be the first step into the future – being: get the f…g cars out of the city centre and make the Octagon an environmentally, pedestrian friendly place – turn it into a mall – move it into the 21st century!!

    This brings me to another point I need to make: If one more person comes up to me and says: ‘Ah, but we Dunedinites don’t accept changes easily – we are a stubborn, a special (special alright) kind of breed’ – and makes it sound like it is an attribute to be proud of – I’ll make the ODT headlines for all the wrong the reasons!

    Dunedin is undoubtedly surrounded by stunning, most beautiful landmarks, but what else apart from the Railway Station, the Robbie Burns Statue, Baldwin Street, the Albatross colony, Larnach’s stately home, the Taieri Gorge… and the Cadbury factory tour has it got to offer? Answer: Sweet f a!

    Do you seriously believe tourists come here by choice? They are either thrusted [sic] into this town by cruise ship operators, or stop over for a day before embarking on to central, the Fiordlands or going up north.

    You need a reality check if you believe that their impression about it all is any other than: ‘What the f… was that all about?’ Or: ‘We’ve been somewhere that hadn’t caught up to the rest of the planet!’

    The fact that most tourists don’t stay longer than a day proves my point.

    So, it clearly needs more attractions than those above.

    Let us also be thankful they only stayed for a day and therefore haven’t had time to cotton on to the fact that we pump ‘purified’ sewage into the sea, still burn fossil fuels and blanket large areas of flora and fauna with 1080 and cyanide to kill possums and everything else with it.

    And yes, Calvin, the Gondola idea is a great one, but it’s not yours. If you are so passionate about it, why don’t you get off your derriere and put a proposal together?!

    At least these Cable Car Groups went beyond vapid polemics and got something done. What? You don’t have time? Too busy posting smart arse comments?

    Mind you, whilst I take my hat off to the Cable Car Groups, if I, as a tourist were lured into a cable car, being pulled up High Street, and have the driver point out to me those fantastic heritage buildings, I guarantee I’d look like a pit-bull terrier that…[deleted] For god’s sake – most tourists live in buildings older than these heritage buildings, with a major difference: their homes are in a better state of repair, heated and insulated.
    What are these tourists expected to do once they’ve reached the top of the hill? Go shopping at Countdown? I am afraid the motto with that route would be: ‘Jump on and experience the route where expectations are first to die’.

    To summon it up: There are quite a few more situations to be unf…..d here before we can jump on our high horses and pretend to be the Southern [Person]!

    {This comment has been moderated. -Eds}

    • Elizabeth

      Otto seems to write well, sort of. Here and there she misses any appreciation of the Dunedin potential. And has suffered some editorial red pen. Sorry about that. Is Otto a member of the Stuart St cable car project or the Lower Octagon Forum. She appears much less entrepreneurial than the people named who post here. Just an impression. But knows a great deal about Tourism. Spam!

  6. Phil

    Wow, that’s like, like, about 50 threads all rolled into one. Kinda impressive actually. And a little scary, sorry, Otto.

  7. Mark

    Oddo, you are my man. But what did you mean by …. ‘I guarantee I’d look like a pit-bull terrier that…..?’

    {the remainder of Otto’s sentence was deleted -Editors}

  8. Richard

    Quite satirical, actually! I did have a bit of a chuckle!

  9. Odd the sort of comments that get thrown up. Otto – is his name spelt backwards? – is a somewhat erudite though thoughtful commentator with the odd turn of phrase which suggests that he may have some serious unfulfilled desires to do something for the city but doesn’t know how. But hey! he sure can make a point.

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