Stupid bid for two-way highway ditched for now #DCC

The way Dunedin City Council has conducted itself through the spatial plan exercise, including the (rigorously un-critiqued) central city framework, plans for (curiously gentrifying) amenity improvements in the warehouse district, the (nasty, cheap-looking) South Dunedin mainstreet programme and the proposed (hyper expensive $71+ million) South Dunedin cycling network to name but a few ‘vanity’ schemes, you would think the local authority has money to burn, or some virulent disease of the skull chamber. Probably, both.

The mayor, councillors and council staff might be thick as planks but that’s only the beginning of it. There is no money, no council surplus, for ‘own-legacy’ presents of the Cull years (hopefully, to end in October).

There is, now, a well-exceeded $660 million council debt and not far over 50,000 rate accounts to meet that debt at the same time Council continues spending on ill-conceived luxuries, questionable amenities, fripperies and non-necessities. Imperative infrastructure works that we shall refer to as “core council business”, are languishing for want of budget.

Things, thanks to DCC, are terrifically ‘hit or miss’ in the Dunedin district – rural and metropolitan.

All this “imbalance” occurs on a city council platform that refuses to be transparent and fully accountable to the Dunedin community. Council processes and financial (mis)management are a longstanding impenetrable ‘blind’.

Give us strength…
The contentions are not historic heritage and its redemption. Rather, the proponents of the council spend in the warehouse district have subordinated a 40-50 year community (spatial) plan to an accelerated 3-5 year rats nest of conflicted interests chiming in on microcosmic private property speculation – a blip on the radar, despite all manner of talking up by the suits, jean-wearers and council domeheads, and a mayor after another term of office.

Proposed two-way Crawford St, Dunedin 1Proposed two-way Crawford St, Dunedin

Proposed Warehouse Precinct, Dunedin 1Proposed Warehouse Precinct

### ODT Online Fri, 8 Mar 2013
Council parks two-way roading plan for city
By Debbie Porteous
A key component of Dunedin’s Warehouse Precinct Revitalisation Plan – making Crawford and Cumberland Sts two-way – has been shelved because of its controversial nature and a lack of funding. But city council staff say it is not vital anyway, as momentum behind the reuse of buildings in the city’s historic warehouse precinct continues to grow without the roads being altered.
Road Transport Association lower South Island representative Alan Cooper was pleased to hear the proposal was off the table, even if only temporarily.

”It was a stupid idea anyway. They’d be better putting that money into doing up the buildings.”

The council will reword its plan to instead look at ”options” for reducing the negative impacts of Crawford and Cumberland Sts, which are one-way arterial routes on either side of the warehouse district.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

24 Comments

Filed under Business, DCC, Design, Economics, Geography, Heritage, Media, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums, Town planning, Urban design, What stadium

24 responses to “Stupid bid for two-way highway ditched for now #DCC

  1. This one’s a cracker at ODT Online (see lead-in and link below).
    When JimmyJones unleashes he does so pretty convincingly, for the public good.
    Pity the council planners are now calling themselves ‘urban designers’ (many without an ounce of tertiary Design education or appropriate work experience that is nationally recognised….) – they’re in control, under Liability Cull’s tawdry (‘elect me’) wing.

    No means no
    Submitted by JimmyJones on Fri, 08/03/2013 – 4:55pm.

    The DCC should learn to listen. They have been told by many citizens that messing with our one-way system is not wanted. Even the normally accommodating NZTA finds no merit in the idea. Instead of listening to the clear view of the people and abandoning the project, the DCC planners have decided to change the wording of their report and wait for another opportunity to force their will on us. Most likely they will try to slip it in with their unnecessary and unwanted revised Transport Strategy.
    {continues}

  2. Calvin Oaten

    The whole concept of the DCC Planning Dept is a hangover from the deplorable Harland days when ‘blue sky visionary ideas’ were encouraged, regardless of how outrageous and uneconomic they were. The now dropped Harbourside Complex came within an inch of starting with Apartments, cafes and public spaces all encroaching on scarce industrial land, in arguably the most hostile climate zone one could imagine for relaxation activities. Then they moved onto this ‘Warehouse District’, and as JimmyJones says, flew in the face of public opinion and logic, spending any amount of time and money on a ‘nonsense’. It is time this whole dept was told to go away and just breath through their noses for a while, and preferably get a proper job. If CEO Orders is serious about taking this bankrupt city in hand he just has to get down to basics. The city is bleeding enough over the Harland excesses, it needs a time out.

  3. Hype O'Thermia

    That “artist’s impression” above, how was it going to be so wide? Was an entire block’s width, for the entire length, to be demolished so as to fit in all the trees on lawns, the cars and the cycle lane almost as wide as the car lane?
    I think a clue to this lies in the colour palette chosen. It’s “Scarlett and Tahu’s Holiday in the Big City”, a retro-styled entrant in the Children’s Book Awards.

  4. Hype O'Thermia

    Can someone please remind me of the _sensible, useful_ work the DCC Planning Dept has done in the last 3 years? All I can think of is the high-profile bull Calvin instances. The trouble is these people do their fantasy-weaving on our time, hire people to do the expert reports on our money. Couldn’t they daydream while doing something else – if not off our payroll then perhaps doing something important like clearing broken glass from around the student area and other problem parts of town?

    • Rosebud is responsible for City Planning and City Development Team – the buck stops there. She seems to want the budget that Tony Avery has. But together, well we could get rid of both their salaries as a start on economising. Their job descriptions could be rewritten in a way…

    • Office junior Hassledown (no architecture or urban design tertiary qualifications and no nationally acknowledged work experience) has to go; a frigging “recipe book” he says? Yeah, for know-it-alls on the make. An exercise in wheedling ways. Thanks to him, and his close friends in the private sector… ‘Anecdotally, gentrification brought about by the area’s revitalisation was already happening,’ he said.

      And here’s a sampler of who’s involved at the council, care of ODT:
      City Planning/City Development Team + ‘Other council departments[…]including, water and waste services, transportation, which had been able to include Vogel St, initially at least, in the city’s strategic cycle network, and Otago Settlers’ Museum on heritage interpretation design.’

      Vogel Street (Heritage Precinct), Dunedin 1Vogel St, before gentrification

      The BS (read F****** waste of money) continues:

      Work plan
      Some of the work planned for Vogel St before July. –
      • Build-outs at the northern end and along the street and a raised platform at the Vogel/Water St intersection, to slow traffic.
      • Commissioning of an art installation for beneath the Cumberland St overbridge.
      • New trees and plantings, street lighting and furniture.
      • Installation of recycling bins and a recycling depot beneath the overbridge.
      • Bollards/way-finding from the Exchange along Rattray St.
      • If enough funds left over: new paving, the commission of creative entrance treatments for the north end of Vogel St and additional heritage interpretation.

      Money to benefit a very few private building owners and lessees. DCC captured.

      ### ODT Online Sat, 9 Mar 2013
      Creative forces may be priced out of precinct
      By Debbie Porteous
      Gentrification has been signalled as a potential issue that could need addressing in the future as the revitalisation of Dunedin’s warehouse precinct continues. The precinct immediately south of Queens Gardens, once Dunedin’s commercial hub but lately in disrepair, is slowly being developed by private enterprise with some assistance from the city council, which wants to see the area become a ”creative” hub for the city.
      Read more

  5. Hype O'Thermia

    “Getting rid” is expensive. When do their contracts run out, and do they have automatic right of continued renewal until they reach retirement age – something I’ve never understood about the contract-period system – and have to be given monstrous payouts if contract is not renewed?
    Perhaps if they were helped to understand that they could dream and draw and colour-in all they liked but please file their outpourings straight into the round file so as not to waste anyone else’s time…..? And no hiring consultants without the approval of 3 grown-ups; and council-employed engineers etc should put any work originating from their offices at the bottom of the pile, under the more important stuff like “Has anyone any suggestions of an amusing theme for the Christmas party?”.

  6. Peter

    I actually think the development going on in the Warehouse area is a positive thing for the city. Those who are renovating those buildings are private people doing it at their expense and if they can make it work, and get a great income from their endeavours, so be it.
    What do we want? The whole area to deteriorate further and for it all to be eventually pulled down? What about ‘heritage’ then? If Oamaru can do it, surely so can Dunedin.There may be some expense for us for street landscaping, but this is an ongoing expense throughout the city and I imagine the DCC is prioritising this area from existing budgets.

    • Which council grants have gone to which people (private sector building owners) that have been ‘invited to sit in’ on which booster committees with the ‘community in mind’ ? Thanks to Hassledown. Rorts.

      • Plus.
        Real streets don’t have “build-outs”. Look at the mess in George St and what King Edward St is fast approaching. Now Vogel St. It’s completely UNNECESSARY.

        I quote from Ian Athfield, architect (RNZ National, Sunday Morning, 3.3.13 – see post):

        “Get rid of those traffic engineers, which is another bloody thing, y’know, they’re singularly minded, quite stupid, y’know, they don’t think of anything else other than how long it takes to move a car from one space to another – that can’t happen in our cities in future” (approx. 4:44 – 45:56)

        “The word “urban design” is now an abused profession – just like planning was in the sixties, y’know, and I said in the sixties if we knew as much about planning as we thought we knew about apartheid, we’d be demonstrating against planning, before we demonstrated against apartheid, because it is really really important. We had zoning at the time, absolutely ridiculous…” (46:07 – 46:30)

  7. Hype O'Thermia

    Oh plurrrkkkhh, I just brought up a furball. What a load of frightful fluff. Why the obsession with slowing traffic – turn the city into a bigtime major metropolis by making it take longer to get from A to B, just like Auckland? Increase unnecessary obstacles called “traffic calming” to increase road rage, thus requiring more “traffic calming” thus increasing….. ah, job security?
    An “art installation”, O-horror. “Installation” tends to mean something that is without visible artistic merit, lacking evidence of technical skills and relying on a “statement” written by the artist to justify its leaving his/her studio without being on a one-way trip to the landfill.
    “Bollards/way-finding from the Exchange along Rattray St.” How about hiring someone to drop breadcrumbs. then confused people could follow the seagulls. A good steady job for one of those put out of work e.g. when the council rated homestays so high that many went out of business.

  8. Peter

    But wouldn’t you expect the council to work with those who are doing these developments? Otherwise, the council would be seen as ‘not consulting’ with those who are putting in the hard work and… dollars… and all manner of aggravation, for something that is actually very positive,could ensue.

  9. I’m particularly delighted that if there is money left over that they might do some paving. Nothing says quality or imagination like morange paving.

    Having said that, I’m not sure why people are sooooo attached to the One-Ways (except that obviously it would cost much kachingoes to change them). I’d like to see some objective analysis on whether they actually get anyone anywhere faster. For example, if you are heading in to the CBD area, does the time you spend waiting to cross the other one-way actually cancel out any apparent travel benefits by using the one-way? I think it is a little like driving ages out of your way to use a motorway for part of a journey. You feel like you’re getting there faster, because of your higher speed, but you probably aren’t cutting your actual travel time…

  10. Anonymous

    I think he should give them a computerized virtual environment where they can be kept busy designing and implementing their perfect virtual world without causing any actual cost or damage to our city. – JimmyJones

    Timing! For around a hundred Dunedin City Ratepayer Dollars those council ‘urban designers’ could implement JimmyJones’ suggestion with the latest version of SimCity:

    ### Stuff Online Last updated 05:00 09/03/2013
    World’s greatest urban planner
    SimCity: The Best Urban-Planning Simulation Ever
    By Farhad Manjoo
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/games/8401339/Worlds-greatest-urban-planner

    • Hmmm, an art historian gave me a copy…

      At YouTube LordoftheKaty says: (1 week ago)

      Too bad the actual game looks NOTHING like this, which is a shame. The graphics in the trailer are five times better than the real game. How deceiving.

      Think of graphics for the Warehouse Precinct.

      • But wait, mastermind councillors are coming at us again…

        ### ODT Online Sat, 9 Mar 2013
        More talks on footpaths
        By Debbie Porteous
        The Dunedin City Council will consult again on the review of its policy on the commercial use of footpaths. A draft revised policy on what businesses could and could not do with signage and furniture on Dunedin’s footpaths was considered by a council hearings subcommittee last year, following a round of public consultation.
        The original revised policy was considered by some councillors to be too prescriptive, but several even more restrictive ideas will be considered. A new hearings panel will be formed to hear feedback.
        Read more

      • Anonymous, I like the line…
        “For one thing, like in real life, your city’s resources are now finite.”

        New SimCity via stuff.co.nzNew SimCity via stuff.co.nz

  11. Hedgehog

    Ya don’t like motorists, then lets build a by-pass around dunyden. From the leith valley, over swampy and down on to the Taieri. Then we will see how dunyden survives without vehicles, there will be plenty of one-way streets to play tiddlywinks on then.

  12. JimmyJones

    At the ODT, some un-named, spineless, soft centred, thumb-sucker deleted large parts of my comment “No Means No”. It was there, untouched for five days before the deletions occurred, which is unusual. I don’t believe that the On-Line staff were to blame. I know deletions occur all the time, but it is more annoying if the deletions are delayed: someone with a backbone would make a decision and stick with it. Here is the original comment –

    No Means No

    The DCC should learn to listen. They have been told by many citizens that messing with our one-way system is not wanted. Even the normally accommodating NZTA finds no merit in the idea. Instead of listening to the clear view of the people and abandoning the project, the DCC planners have decided to change the wording of their report and wait for another opportunity to force their will on us. Most likely they will try to slip it in with their unnecessary and unwanted revised Transport Strategy.

    Dr Glen Hazelton clearly recognizes that we hate the idea, but somehow he feels supported by the “limited opposition” during the consultation that no-one had heard of. He seems to disregard the “substantial negative feedback” received from the Annual Plan/LTP consultation process, which was more widely known about.

    Glen Hazelton and the rest of the Strategy And Development department should understand that we hate the whole of their Warehouse Precinct idea as well. Their visions of hoards of workers heading off to Vogel Street to have their lunch and enjoy the pedestrian and cycle friendly environment is delusional. Too much ratepayer money has already been spent subsidising building renovations and rents for the benefit of private building owners.

    It seems to me that the DCC Strategy And Development department is massively overstaffed and is overflowing with expensive, impractical and ideological ideas. If the new Chief Executive can’t control its staff numbers, I think he should give them a computerized virtual environment where they can be kept busy designing and implementing their perfect virtual world without causing any actual cost or damage to our city.

    • Thanks JimmyJones – I see nothing in your comment that required deletion(s) – except that Hassledown may feel aggrieved at lack of solidarity for his vision (adopted by Dave). Witness the Spooks/ODT partnership in action.

  13. Calvin Oaten

    I have never been too excited about the whole ‘Warehouse Precinct’ idea at all, until I realised that Dave Cull was enthusiastic. That was when the worry lines grew on my forehead. As Jimmy says; there is/was never any public enthusiasm for the ‘one way’ being interfered with, nor any belief that it could be another ‘pseudo’ replacement for the ‘Harbourside Dream’ of Jim Harland. Dave, on the other hand seems determined to leave his mark on the city even though it is already bankrupt. On the bright side, I think the enthusiastic folk who are doing magnificent things with the buildings in that area are to be applauded and left alone. Hassledown will only make their lives a misery if he can have his way.

  14. Hype O'Thermia

    Agreed, Calvin and Jimmy.
    That “precinct” crap came out of nowhere sane. Likewise the notion that jamming 2-way streets back into the width of one one-way would make any improvement to anything.
    Have you taken a good look at the artist’s impression of Crawford St, above? Check it for scale – width of cars, width of lanes (car and bike) and garden beds separating the lanes. Now check out Crawford Street. It’s wide – but not that wide, not if there are to be turning lanes to prevent major hold-ups.
    How much more likely is it that pedestrians can cross two lanes going different ways? Press the button to cross and the lights change, bringing not one stream of cars but 2 to a halt?
    The building owners are major heroes in this, battling city clipboardy mentality and still getting on with the job. Leave them to decide who does what in their buildings, they’ve taken the risk, let them choose the rewards. If they want cafes and boutiques that’s fine. If they don’t that’s their damn business – literally. They should be left alone to make the best decisions to repay them for what they are doing for the city. It’s not cheap and there are a heap of difficulties to surmount, doing up an old building on that scale.

    • (Forget Urbanismplus, consultants) Main local drivers of the warehouse precinct have been those on the ‘former’ YCOF (your city our future) leadership group for built environment (led by Hassledown), the DCC’s (mayor-led, with Hasseldown as supercharger) Heritage Buildings Economic Reuse Steering Group – and property investors, they own the buildings that have been or are in the process of being strengthened and redeveloped. This is not an angel exercise, despite the layers of good (private) intent. So many quiet coffee meetings outside Civic Centre meetings (not on trackable DCC credit cards this time).

  15. Hype O'Thermia

    Aha. The private people I’ve talked to are in a different sector then.

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