Yesterday’s council meeting, the last for this trimester, was an unholy dip into how mediocre, ‘unaware’ and closeted this council has become under Mayor Dave Cull’s leadership.
21 ● Report – Council – 23/09/2013 (PDF, 5.8 MB)
Cycle/Pedestrian Safety on One-Way Sections of State Highway 1 – An Update
22b ● Report – Council – 23/09/2013 (PDF, 7.8 MB)
Proposed Transport Strategy Amendments following Public Consultation
The only subtle highlight of the meeting was questioning by Cr John Bezett about consultation on the proposed cycleways and the draft transport strategy. He had picked up that the Draft Dunedin City Transport Strategy hadn’t been fully consulted across the transport sectors that stand to be the most impacted by the strategy, including major freight movers. He queried if the council’s formal partners to the economic development strategy had been consulted, and although Cr Kate Wilson replied they had, no clues were provided as to the depth of that consultation and who all had been involved.
Earlier in the meeting Cr Bezett clearly expressed unease in knowing the Automobile Association (AA) hadn’t submitted on the cycleways. This drew a superficial response from Mayor Cull when he said the council can’t subpoena people to submit.
Cr Bezett also noted submitters on the draft strategy didn’t appear to relate to the strategy itself in their submissions.
Cr Lee Vandervis said the council’s consultation had been held with cyclists, not the 90% of other road users. Regarding submissions, he said there was a “problem with trust” … “modern transportation users were not submitting, why?” In his view, modern technology drives change yet there was nothing about this in the initial draft strategy. He acknowledged some changes had been made to the draft, but said the thrust of the strategy was “Let’s go back to pedal power”. The strategy would gather dust in the future, he said.
The vision going forward . . .
In pointed reply to Cr Vandervis, Cr Jinty MacTavish said the strategy was not an “anti-car strategy”, it was a “pro-spatial plan strategy”. She reminded her co-councillors the strategy would come up for council review in five years.
Cr Chris Staynes acknowledged his own focus on economic development for the city, claiming the strategy “provides a platform on which the city can grow”. He considered an integrated transportation strategy was important for “more users than just car users”. He believed a rise in cycle use would see “less vehicles on key arterial roads”. A balanced integrated strategy would see “businesses and cars as part of the process”. [A hen feather to the Otago Chamber of Commerce.] “Stop looking at the past,” he said.
Simon Underwood (Projects Team Leader, New Zealand Transport Agency) had earlier addressed the meeting on the report [item 21] for cycle/pedestrian safety on the one-way (SH1). “There was a lot of support out there,” he said. The agency was looking to make short-term improvements to the highway system, “the agency was not about a single project”. For cyclists to travel from North East Valley to the university, hospital or South Dunedin there weren’t many route choices.
Cr Fliss Butcher had left the meeting by this time, and did not return.
NZTA had come up with two cycleway options to note to council — a one-way separated cycle lane on the right side of each one-way section between Rattray St and the botanic garden, or a two-way cycle lane along the length of Cumberland St. Mr Underwood said the proposed cycleways were for commuting cyclists more than tourism. Councillors voted to support the NZTA beginning consultation.
Cr Neil Collins had concerns about consultation with small businesses, he said a number were alarmed after seeing the plans. Mr Underwood said NZTA had consulted with small businesses and the AA. Taxis had been consulted but made no submissions. He said there had been mixed feedback on changes to parking, but not on the cycle lanes. Cr Bezett said NZTA should go back to the AA — he also wanted to know if NZTA would target submitters because “not submitting does not mean agreement”.
Cr Vandervis asked why there was no mention or consideration of the loss of parking in the report. He said it had been left to the Otago Daily Times to count the number of parking spaces that could be lost.
DCC General Manager Infrastructure and Networks, Tony Avery believed the lost parks would have people “redistribute” through the city. “It’s simplistic to suggest a loss of revenue will occur with that loss of car parks,” he said.
Cr Vandervis opined the transport strategy was “Lose Lose Lose” — loss of parks, loss of revenue, and he was indignant that the proposed cycle lanes didn’t separate at the most dangerous points in the roads, the intersections.
Cr Syd Brown supported the recommendations in the report because of the “Health and Safety City” — he jovially noted he would no longer be on council to face the community about loss of parking. Having chaired the committee on Parking Changes previously, he concluded, “Cars don’t go shopping, people do.”
[A profound realisation.]
Mayor Cull agreed with the positive outcomes but the report was about safety. “Why wouldn’t Dunedin be safer with separated lanes?” he asked. It was good to restrict this area for safety [as mapped in the report]; the council would then see how the cycle lanes link up to other parts of the transport strategy. Loss of parking is a “complete red herring,” he said. “Roads are for moving people along, parking is a bonus.”
Not many councillors appeared to have read the draft transport strategy before the meeting.
### ODT Online Tue, 24 Sep 2013
Parking put aside for now as cycle lane idea proceeds
By Debbie Porteous
Concerns about the loss of parking from a separated cycle facility in central Dunedin are a ”red herring”, Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull says. Installing a cycle lane on one side of the one-way system through the city was about safety. He was responding in part to comments from Cr Lee Vandervis, who led a discussion on a report to yesterday’s full council meeting on the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) recommendation to install separated cycle lanes on State Highway 1 through the city.
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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr, horrified meeting attendee…
*Image: growthegreen.com – The Flintstones