Octagon: What?! DCC pointy heads actually care about small businesses?

So they should.

The following report will be tabled at the Council meeting to be held on Monday 3 November 2014 at 2:00pm (Council Chamber, Municipal Chambers).

Report – Council – 03/11/2014 (PDF, 1023.1 KB)
Options to Trial Pedestrianisation in Lower Octagon and Lower Stuart Street

Octagon tweaked 1.1 [via etourism.coOctagon to Steamer Basin, cherry stains by whatifdunedin

Octagon Webcam

█ [Agenda and Other Reports, including Financial for Monday]

The “do minimum” option – one of five options councillors will consider – has the support of lower Octagon and lower Stuart St business owners and retailers, who have banded together to oppose any road closures.

### ODT Online Fri, 31 Oct 2014
Council cools on Octagon trial
By Debbie Porteous
The Dunedin City Council may back away from trialling any ban or restriction on vehicles in the lower Octagon and lower Stuart St. Council staff are concerned rushing any “pedestrianisation” trial in the area could be costly and potentially have negative effects if it goes ahead without proper investigation.
Read more

Related Posts and Comments:
19.10.14 Dunedin: Randoms from inside warehouse precinct 18.10.14
● 3.10.14 DCC: Octagon entrée to more spending
● 28.9.14 “DCC entitlement” about to ramrod change at CBD #manipulation
24.9.14 Dunedin old boys, councillors & staff collude on 5-star accommodation
● 5.8.14 DCC staff-led CBD projects that impact ratepayers…
4.8.14 Cr Wilson’s integrity ‘in tatters’
23.6.14 DCC Annual Plan 2014/15 + Rugby and Rates
● 22.6.14 Vogel Street Heritage Precinct (TH13)
22.5.14 DCC Transportation Planning —ANOTHER consultation disaster
7.5.14 DCC Draft Annual Plan 2014/15 hearings
6.5.14 Roading network screwed by council staff
● 30.4.14 Octagon mud
21.4.14 Dunedin economic development strategy — low flying Year 1
1.4.14 HOTEL Town Hall… Daaave’s pals from… [April Fool’s?]
14.1.14 DCC: Hospital area parking changes #cyclelanes
24.12.13 Daaave’s $47 million Christmas present to Jinty. We’re paying.
4.12.13 Dunedin cycleways: Calvin Oaten greeted by DCC silence
17.11.13 Dunedin cycleways: Calvin Oaten’s alternative route
11.11.13 DCC: Councillors delegated street furniture decisions to staff
8.11.13 Dunedin Separated Cycle Lane Proposal
5.11.13 DCC, NZTA: Cycle lanes controversy
● 21.10.13 Harbourside: Access to a revamped Steamer Basin…
24.9.13 Mediocrity and lack of critical awareness at DCC
4.9.13 Draft Dunedin City Transport Strategy
8.3.13 Stupid bid for two-way highway ditched for now #DCC
31.10.12 Cull’s council takes business away from retailers
● 26.10.11 Dunedin Harbourside: DCC “caved”

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Images: etourism.co.nz – Octagon aerial; pxm-tut.com – cherry


Filed under Architecture, Business, Concerts, Construction, Cycle network, DCC, Democracy, Design, DVML, Economics, Enterprise Dunedin, Events, Fun, Geography, Heritage, Hot air, Media, New Zealand, NZTA, Otago Polytechnic, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Tourism, Town planning, University of Otago, Urban design, What stadium

34 responses to “Octagon: What?! DCC pointy heads actually care about small businesses?

  1. Elizabeth

    Lovely comment to ODT Online, shaking with fear…………. *laughs

    They’re coming to take us away!
    Submitted by Hype.O.Thermia on Fri, 31/10/2014 – 1:55pm.
    “Council would be better to spend money beautifying the Octagon and bringing people to the businesses there.” Uh? How? My heart sinks at the thought of what Council’s “beautifying” would consist of, having see the cookie-cutter applied to South Dunedin, and various other tartings-up from the Municipal Adornment Checklist.
    Read more

  2. Elizabeth

    The council meeting fully showed up the mental failings of elected representatives, in particular Daaave Liability Cull and Aaaaron Hawkins. ODT reports the acting urban design team leader as saying: “In the meantime, the council had “tens of thousands” of dollars available in its street furniture budget which could be used for temporary seating, children’s play equipment or other temporary improvements.” [Maybe that’s where some of the missing $20M cash on hand went.]

    Report – Council – 03/11/2014 (PDF, 1023.1 KB)
    Options to Trial Pedestrianisation in Lower Octagon and Lower Stuart Street

    ### ODT Online Tue, 4 Nov 2014
    Brakes on pedestrian-only trial
    By Chris Morris
    A proposed trial closure of Dunedin’s Octagon and lower Stuart St has been put on hold, despite a warning something needs to help protect central city retailers. Councillors at yesterday’s full council meeting instead voted to explore ways of encouraging greater public use of the lower Octagon for this summer.
    Read more

    Councillors favoured Option 2:
    [from the council report]

    Option two – do minimum – encourage greater use of existing Lower Octagon area
    In this option, no trial of pedestrianisation would be undertaken and no permanent physical changes would be made to the Lower Octagon or Lower Stuart Street. However, temporary initiatives would be trialled, particularly in order to encourage further use of the existing, underutilised open space in the Lower Octagon. Ideas could include such initiatives as making movable furniture available, installing tables and umbrellas, play equipment, public art, interactive activities, and enabling/incentivising small pop-up performance performances.
    During discussions with building and business owners in the Octagon-Moray Place section of Lower Stuart Street, a number have indicated that they could also be interested in building improvements/enhancements and trialling other initiatives within existing pavement space to enhance vitality and encourage further use (eg planters, enlarged seating areas, increased art and lighting), rather than trialling pedestrianisation at this time.
    The key advantage is that while there may be some additional budget required to advance such initiatives, it is more likely that these costs can be met within existing budgets or through sponsorship/crowd-sourcing than the options presented below. However, the staff resource required for facilitating such an approach and its impact on other projects should be considered. The key disadvantage is that it will not specifically resolve any existing conflict between the Octagon acting as a link and a place, although it may encourage movement towards the area functioning more as a place.

    ● Likely to have more support from retailers in the area.
    ● Will not restrict access to venues for people with impaired mobility.
    ● Offers a cost-effective way to try to encourage a greater range of uses and users of the Lower Octagon, prior to implementing any more costly physical works outside the pedestrian space that is already available.
    ● Does not complicate future redevelopment of the Octagon.
    ● Does not disrupt bus services or require the re-routing of buses or alternative arrangements for deliveries.
    ● Offers opportunity to assess impacts of changed bus routes/bus hub on area.

    ● Is likely to disappoint advocates for a trial of full pedestrianisation.
    ● Will not establish whether perceived criticisms or opportunities of pedestrianisation are well-founded or not.
    ● Will require working around other events and uses of the Lower Octagon.
    ● Does not specifically influence the environment in the Lower Octagon and Lower Stuart Street.

    • Elizabeth

      Also from the council report:

      Staff have continued to receive substantial informal feedback from retailers, building owners, and other businesses in the area.
      This has predominantly been opposed to the proposal for full or partial closure of the Lower Octagon and Lower Stuart.
      This feedback demonstrates there is still a great deal of opposition to the proposal and suspicion that Council is determined to close the Octagon, irrespective of any consultation.
      [Seedy, the report writer cites the unscientific poll] In contrast, is an Otago Daily Times poll of 13 May 2014 which asked the question: Should the lower Octagon and lower Stuart St become a pedestrian-only zone? Of the 522 votes recorded, 376 (76%) said yes, and 146 (28%) said no (as of 23 October 2014).

      The main issues raised by opponents with regard to the removal or restriction of cars from the area can be summarised as:
      ● The impacts of reduced vehicle access to businesses and impacts this will have on business viability in the area (particularly when there are pre-existing issues with retail viability due to more global changes in retail activity).
      ● Reduced accessibility for those with impaired mobility to businesses or key locations in the Octagon such as Age Concern and the Regent Theatre.
      ● The risk that removal of vehicular access will only benefit the hospitality providers and increase problems associated with alcohol in the area, rather than encourage broader use of the area.
      ● Concerns that other positive benefits of vehicle through-traffic were not being considered (e.g. passive surveillance and safety, particularly after hours).
      ● Concern that Dunedin’s weather, attachment to cars, low central city resident population or other factors would mean the area becomes a dead space, rather than a vibrant hub following pedestrianisation, particularly if physical changes were not made to encourage different behaviours or improve the look and feel of the area.

      Fear not DCC, micro-management to get your way will close all business in the area before long and The People will come back at you legally for FULL COMPENSATION. By which time staff officers responsible will have moved on to larger salaries and new houses elsewhere around New Zealand.

  3. Elizabeth

    Related post:

    21.9.11 John Montgomery: The Economy, Culture and Design of Cities

    (Excerpt) Dr Montgomery provided a presentation [PowerPoint slideshow – PDF, 5.94 MB] on the economy, culture and design of cities, building on his work in the UK and Australia. His views are particularly relevant for the development of Dunedin’s Central City Plan and Economic Development strategies.

    Surprise! One or two of his slides show DCC prompting….

  4. Elizabeth

    Dr Seuss reminder for DUD ~[entertainment, with a message or three for Jints’ pals at generation zero who would pedestrianize the world, overnight]
    video post | “sometimes I think progress progresses too fast….”
    eeeeek !! BIGGERING…. [greenie crap is also biggering]

    21.1.14 Jints, this one’s forya

  5. Elizabeth

    ### radionz.co.nz Updated at 5:28 pm on 3 November 2014
    RNZ News
    Council delays closing off Octagon
    By Ian Telfer, Otago Reporter
    The Dunedin City Council has put off a planned trial closing the Octagon in the central city to traffic. The council had planned to test making the lower Octagon pedestrian-only or a shared space with vehicles for several months this summer to reinvigorate the central city area. Several retailers had objected, saying that even a trial could threaten their businesses.
    A report from council staff recommended that the trial be postponed indefinitely until a “holistic” plan is drawn up for the future of the Octagon. Councillors this afternoon agreed, but set a timeframe for the matter to be debated again next year when it renews its long-term plan.
    RNZ Link

    University students Georgi Hampton and Alexi Belton [Photo by RNZ Ian Telfer]GUILTY The plan to close off the Octagon was proposed by University of Otago students Georgi Hampton (left) and Alexi Belton. Photo: RNZ / Ian Telfer

  6. Elizabeth

    NOTE: Ch39 has unhelpfully subtitled Glen Hazelton as “Urban Designer”- he has no professional accreditation or qualifications to support that title. Glen is an ‘acting urban design team leader’ only. His proper/full-time DCC job title is “Policy Planner – Heritage”.

    ### dunedintv.co.nz November 5, 2014 – 7:15pm
    Council delays trial for the Octagon’s Pedestrianisation
    The closure of the Octagon to traffic hasn’t been ruled out by the Dunedin City Council. But councillors have delayed a trial for the Octagon’s pedestrianisation. Council staff are looking at different options, and encouraging residents to better use existing public spaces.

  7. Phil

    I have always quite fancied the idea that the Octagon be closed and that Moray Place be formally converted to a two lane roundabout.

  8. There’s a reason malls get a big-draw tenant as anchor. Supermarket, KMart, places people go repeatedly for basics. The Octagon has no “necessities”, and even the cafes are boring to walk past, not like shops with tempting window displays. Banks used to occupy all (it seemed like “all” to me when I was young) the corners, huge imposing buildings with nothing to look at in their windows while one waited for the pedestrian crossing lights to change.
    The main shopping centre used to have necessities all along, with tempting nice-to-haves between them to catch the eye of the most practical shopper and lead to impulse buying. Butchers, fishmongers, Wardells (the best grocery and only deli), plants (Deans), fruit & veg (Wing On had basics but also had interesting exotic produce new to the average Kiwi), and the big departments stores (DIC, DSA, Brown Ewing and Penroses of glorious memory, as well as Arthur Barnetts which, while still alive in name is a shrunken relic of its former self) had clothes from basics to high fashion plus fabrics and zips and reels of thread and patterns, home sewing being common before cheap imported clothing from Asian sweatshops turned it from a necessity for most households, to a hobby for a few creative souls. Bookshops that specialised in books, not novelties and nicknacks. You could buy almost everything you needed in the CBD, the city’s main street extending both ways from the Octagon.
    Now the “main street” is cafes, takeaways, trendy clothes, travel agents and empty shops, and few everyday necessities for the average household. The basics can be more easily obtained elsewhere by anyone with a car, and if it takes a little longer to get to the other big stores (depending where you live) it’s more than made up for by not having to pay the exorbitant CBD parking fees and not having to rush to get back to a meter..
    Pay and display parking is another disincentive. With meters, if you needed or decided to spend longer that you originally thought you would you could go back and put more coins in the meter then go for a coffee, take a bit of time seeing if there’s something in the Sale in the next block that you could put by for Christmas presents. Now you can’t add more time to your parking, you’ve got the first one that expires in 10 minutes, you can’t pay for one that starts when that one runs out, no, you have to pay again for that 10 minutes if you want to stay parked there for another 40 minutes, and at the greedy rate the DCC demands that’s just not on. Result, decide to go home, make coffee at home, browse online for Christmas gifts, there could be something good on Trademe.

  9. Peter

    Yes, Hype, Big Box shops,online shopping,global economy free trade, with labour exploitative economies, have all taken their toll on the Main Street here and overseas. We see how councils (including ours), on the one hand, encourage Big Box shops on the periphery while at the same time try to do something about CBD decay. It is all very sad.
    We have noticed a lot more For Lease signs around town. Not a good look, nor a good sign, concerning the local economy.
    Still, there is some hope that by encouraging the trend for close inner city living in buildings converted into housing we may rescue ourselves from the prospect of having donut cities. I am heartened that in places, like Melbourne, the CBD hasn’t died and the city still has a heart.
    Another factor, anecdotally, seems to be the exorbitant rents charged to retailers in Dunedin. It must be hard for them to hang on for the busier times when at other times during the week you walk by and they are virtually empty.

    • No retailer wants to sign up for a lease on a shop at high cost lease in an environment that looks like it’s dying a slow death. Main Street must be interesting. Even the presence of “window shoppers” who aren’t intending to buy just look, make the place livelier so the sooner we make sure there is plenty to look at the better. NOT DCC cookie-cutter refurbishment, please! It’s poor use of my rates money!

      Dunedin has the off-beat delights of small failing towns with a reasonably large population of people who are prepared to live in cheap un-w.o.f-able rentals so they can afford to do their painting, music, niche market clothes designing, jewellery. Please can’t one of those vaguely defined DCC coordinators or whatever they’re called be sent out to chat with owners of empty buildings about letting creatives show their wares, display their passionate collections of model trains and vintage technology, beautiful or strange knitted items – anything that’s interesting to look at. The ex-book shop in the Gardens Mall has a window with a regularly changed display of NEValley artists, the latest is some beautiful woven items. The artist’s contact details are displayed discreetly, with any luck she’ll get some sales and people checking out her web site, with any luck this small display in what would otherwise by a signal of Dunedin’s failure to keep businesses alive will lead to one person rising in her chosen role and generating income. From little acorns….
      Next door to that Westpac has a “dead” window displaying a blowup of the local newssheet, Valley Voice, and SPCA dogs and cats awaiting adoption. Again, something interesting to look at, something that says “There’s plenty interesting in Dunedin.”
      I’m delighted with the paintings on those tidy but dull Chorus boxes. Another thing they could have been used for – and we need far more of this – is as places for posters. Commercial promoters have sewn up the notice boards, leaving community event organisers and musicians not allied to commercial promotion companies with few places to legally paste their posters. A lively city has fairs and gigs and displays large and small, expensive to free, in the Regent and school halls and unfashionable bars in the ‘burbs, please make it easier for them to make the low-budget events successful. Those acorns, again.

  10. Peter; the difference between Melbourne and Dunedin is ‘PEOPLE’. One has millions and growing, the other has barely 100,000 permanents, and shrinking. It would take a whole different mayor and council with whole different mindsets to turn this around. And frankly it just ‘ain’t’ there.

    • Good point, Calvin. If 0.01% of a city’s population including long-stay impermanents like students came into the city centre at the same time how many would it be, for a selection of cities? Likewise say, 20% of tourists in each town at any time because tourists are likely to check out the CBD and do some shopping and eating out even when they are staying only a couple of days.

    • Peter

      Calvin, I feel a bit more optimistic. In terms of people, anything of what is possible is in proportion to what you have available. Small places can do things to attract people whether they are permanent or transitory.
      Wanganui, which is economically more on the ropes than us, has still managed to uplift its main street to make it an attractive place to stop. If it hadn’t done so, you could argue it would be even worse off.
      I don’t think it is just up to a Mayor and Council to turn things around….though it helps if not done in a top down way.
      Our city has been ill-served as much by destructive, wealthy private sources, such as the Farry’s of this world with their barmy schemes, as much as poorly led councils.

  11. Peter, what I was getting at is, it’s been [Farry types + council] and also [council without outside influence]
    – plague of locusts AND cane toads.

  12. Elizabeth

    Retailers want more parking not pavers. Very impressed by their practical reaction to the DCC pointy heads that have NO grasp of business and retailing whatsoever. We all know DCC via its acting urban design team leader remains firmly poised to pedestrianise the lower Octagon and a section of lower Stuart St.
    Personally, I’d rather the pointy heads moved on from Dunedin, tails between their legs regarding what I hope will be their failed attempts at ‘pedestrianisation’ of surveyor Charles Kettle’s well laid out central city for (cough) ‘transit’ (1867)…

  13. JimmyJones

    As part of the DCC’s 2GP and part of Dave Cull’s Final Solution, the planners and schemers have a new way to attack car owners. The plan is to first not require a minimum amount of on-site car parking for new inner-city developments, and then later to restrict the amount that will be allowed. They expect this to cause problems with insufficient on-street parking to cope with the normal commuter parking as well as the extra demand from their proposed policy. Their preferred solution to this problem is to restrict on-street parking (with time limits and more car-park removals). People smarter than a two-year-old will see that their solution doesn’t solve the problem, and in fact it creates another problem. Their motivation for this makes more sense if you understand their goal. Sometimes the DCC planning staff consult with themselves. Some of the comments from an internal survey are these:-

    To discourage car use overall, the reduction of on-site car parking requirements and the reduction of kerbside car parking should go hand in hand.

    Getting rid of on street parking in the central area would also provide additional space for footpaths, cycle lanes and public transport

    When they say they want to discourage car usage, what they are really meaning is that they want us to reduce car ownership – so as to create bus dependency and bicycle dependency. You can see that Dave, Kate, Jinty, Sue and the staff are not being honest with us about their car-hating project.

    The planners and schemers invite you to fill in a survey about this. You have until 5 pm today (Friday). Info and a link to the survey is here » http://www.dunedin.govt.nz/whats-on/2gp/parking-survey

    • Elizabeth

      Sorry JimmyJones, I didn’t clear your message before 5pm, I was in a meeting at DCC !!

      • JimmyJones

        That’s OK, I think they closed it early anyway. I hope you had a good meeting.

        • Elizabeth

          About my meeting, we’ll see.

          I agree, we have a problem, Houston – wrt inner city residential parking, see everywhere circumscribed by the Town Belt up for densification/intensification, and other such long words.

  14. Great scheme, pity it’s totally incompatible with changes in the city since the days when very few households had a car let alone 2 or 3 or more, and a trailer, boat, caravan … registration on hold vehicle that they’re doing up ….
    In my mother’s day, blimey more recently than that when I came to Dunedin as a teenager, there were shops scattered all over the place. Corner groceries, local butchers. Milk delivery. Sometimes they were scattered, some formed little clusters of shops with a hairdresser, a general goods store, newsagent, chemist, as well as butcher and grocer and post office. You can still see the remnants of shops turned residences, front wall right to the footpath. Even a whole household’s necessities could be bought and brought home by foot (adult and children – children had to “do the messages” and be useful members of Team Family) by shopping several times a week. Before fridges were common household appliances you didn’t want to store meat very long, not in summer!

    “To discourage car use overall, the reduction of on-site car parking requirements and the reduction of kerbside car parking should go hand in hand.”

    This Great Leap Backwards can only work if the rest of yesteryear’s facility are also put in place. What these people are doing is narrow-scoped planning, devoid of wide-angle observation, paper thin in its understanding of what the people of Dunedin currently do, would like to do, can be forced to do. The disrespect they show towards us is mind boggling.

  15. JimmyJones

    The DCC Parking Survey that I mentioned on Friday (a few posts up the page) has returned so that you can express your view. The planners and schemers are seeking support for their plan to remove the minimum requirements for on-site car parking for new inner-city developments, and then later to restrict the amount that will be allowed. They expect this to cause problems with insufficient on-street parking – they plan to fix this shortage of on-street parking by restricting on-street parking. See above for more. The survey has seven tick boxes and one box to write something if you want:

    • Elizabeth

      Thanks JJ. I think we’re all worked up sufficiently well now to give DCC sharp and aggressive but ever so reasoned box comments.

      • Anonymous

        That survey is pretty tricksy. The sneaky wee buggers in council really thought about loading their bases with that one. I think the baffle-with-bullshit rule applies to this process.

      • Elizabeth

        I wrote a separate response then loaded it into each box lest they misunderstand (!!) – and provided my name and contact details,. I bet they won’t ask me to respond to anything further.

  16. Elizabeth

    Go to this DCC YouTube clip and watch from 1:21:58

    Endure (SORRY FOLKS, torture) the nauseating high-pitched nasal Jints wrt trialling Pedestrianisation of the lower Octagon and lower Stuart St for next summer 2014/15.

    She is talking about her Generation Zero flatmates’ project to close the area to vehicular traffic – Cr MacTavish has a direct conflict of interest (not just perceived). She can pretend she does not and lie about it all she likes but her politics in this clip and who she is acting for are VERY CLEAR. The darling screamer freakshow, also refers to this TEDTalk to legitimise her position, as well as that of Cr Aaron Hawkins and Mr Glen Hazelton. The grease and greasing is patent. Lead her out at dawn.

    TED Published on Oct 8, 2013

    Janette Sadik-Khan: New York’s streets? Not so mean any more
    “The work of a transport commissioner isn’t just about stop signs and traffic signals,” explains Janette Sadik-Khan, who was appointed to that role in New York City in 2007. In this funny and thought-provoking talk, she details the thinking behind successful initiatives to reshape street life in the 5 boroughs, including the addition of pedestrian zones in Times Square and the arrival of Citi Bikes. Watch for the special cameo at the end of the talk.

    TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world’s leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes (or less). Look for talks on Technology, Entertainment and Design — plus science, business, global issues, the arts and much more.

    Follow TED news on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/tednews
    Like TED on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TED

  17. Elizabeth

    Old Post:
    31.12.09 Rebuilding Baghdad’s Rasheed Street

    [excerpt] Muwafaq al-Taei, an architectural planning engineer, said the reconstruction plans were shortsighted, in part because the car-free zone was unworkable, and in part because Baghdad today lacked the infrastructure — municipal or cultural — to regenerate the life that made Rasheed Street.

  18. Elizabeth

    From the What if? Dunedin archives —DCC is reliably unchanged.

    A punchy sermon from my former co-admin Paul Le Comte, also founder and previous owner of the website:

    25.6.07 Turn it up!

    Paul’s great when he’s on a spin, doesn’t matter if he’s right or wrong. Read him at Twitter these days.

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