Traffic lights: Anzac Avenue/Frederick Street intersection

Four questions put to DCC Transportation Planning today:

● What work is needed to activate the traffic lights at Anzac/Frederick?
● Why it is requiring remediation?
● How much it will cost?
● Why weren’t the lights just switched on as planned in early December immediately after the site [Hall Brothers yard – Anzide Properties Ltd] was cleared?

The argument goes like this: there was a break made in a fibre optic cable during site clearance at Hall Bros yard. Chorus billed the property owner for the breakage. The property owner didn’t know the cable existed or that it had been attached to one of their buildings on site.

Meanwhile, DCC says the cable issue isn’t connected to the traffic lights not working.

So back to those questions:

DCC says new medians and yellow-dot pads are being added at crossings, and ‘green boxes’ for cyclists are being re-scoped — for improved traffic management, and cycle and pedestrian safety; the 5-way intersection is being turned to a *4-way* intersection (with the access way formerly used by Hall Bros being removed) — simplifying the intersection and lights control of it.

Tony Avery 3DCC says all work to cost circa $100,000.

Timelines as such around the holiday break meant the traffic lights weren’t turned on earlier [in December, immediately following site clearance by Hall Bros].

DCC says Tony Avery will likely handle media statements on completion of the project.
(why is Mr Avery still at DCC, he’s retained until the new GM arrives in February)

The real story?

Hall Bros had to clear their site by a certain date in December 2014. They did.
Chorus turned up the next day saying the property owner had broken the cable.
Chorus had no easement. The cable should not have been there.

The irony of the lights not working because they were connected illegally to a building on the land that had to be cleared because the lights were illegally installed, is THE ANSWER.

Remember, DCC says the cable issue isn’t connected to the traffic lights not working.

Ye Gods of Irony, please do not explode.

DCC Webmap - Anzac AvenueDCC Webmap – Anzac Avenue/Frederick Street [click to enlarge]

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr —with thanks to correspondents for their wording, collaged

*Image: Tony Avery – tweaked by whatifdunedin


Filed under Business, Construction, Cycle network, DCC, Democracy, Design, Economics, Fun, Geography, Hot air, Name, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Town planning, Urban design, What stadium

30 responses to “Traffic lights: Anzac Avenue/Frederick Street intersection

  1. reporter

    Why have we traffic lights here at all? It is a further example of the squalid thinking by the department and the self serving motives of generating work to meet their own ends.
    Without the road connection from Frederick Street to Ward street, that is the ‘on ramp’ over the girator, there is no need for traffic light control as current driving experience is showing. The intersection is working perfectly well now with the only condition being for wharf area traffic to proceed to St Andrew St to enter that precinct. Hardly onerous. Take the lights away.

  2. I agree. I drive that intersection daily and Traffic lights will impede the flow of traffic. But hey what would I know, I’m just a ratepayer.

  3. No need for lights. I cycle it daily. Never a problem

  4. John Sinclair

    Absolutely spot on. The lights are not needed as the last three years have proven. Get rid of them and let the traffic flow.

  5. Elizabeth

    This evening hundreds of you appear to be interested in these traffic lights. Who woulda thought :)

  6. Calvin Oaten

    This is just indicative of the myopic ‘dunderheads’ within the council transport dept. As is abundantly clear after three years of the road use with no lights operating that they are not needed. But hey! let’s spend another $100,000 and get them operating anyway. Tony Avery is the head of dept in this area so it looks like he will leave a legacy to stupidity thus verifying what an incompetent operator he has been all along. I suspect Doug Hall would second that. This is a time when the CEO should stand up and be counted, not much point I suppose in wishing for some leadership from Dave Cull. He would rather the big picture.

  7. Peter

    I wonder if the council is open to reconsidering traffic lights, elsewhere, if the lack of need for them has become apparent. Given the unnecessary Anzac Ave and Highgate lights, probably not.
    I am thinking particularly of the lights on Hillside Road where Gillion’s Funeral Parlour and the Sports Dairy are situated. The crossover street, I think, is Law St which is not a major intersection now, I would have thought, given Carisbrook is gone. I wonder what the rationale for having them there is?
    Any others?

    • Mick

      At the risk of sounding cynical – don’t hold your breath on this. We are in the hands of ‘control freaks’ who know best what’s ‘good’ for you and needed. Provided that you pay for it. Controlled intersections are good uncontrolled are bad. As the book said.

  8. Peter

    As a daring experiment maybe we could turn all the traffic lights off for one day and see what happens with traffic flow and make decisions about lights, roundabouts etc from that! (No, I haven’t been drinking.)

  9. Calvin Oaten

    Peter, you drinking!? But seriously, you have a point. There was an example not so long ago in an English town where the engineer, observing the endless traffic congestion decided to experiment by turning off all the control lights and leaving it to the motorists to sort by common sense the best way to negotiate their journeys. Staggeringly, the result, after a matter of a few days the congestion and hold ups disappeared and no detrimental happenings at all. Result, no lights in that town. I don’t remember the name, but no doubt it can be googled.

  10. Elizabeth

    And now, folks, the “official” word…. although, DCC makes no mention of the illegal fibre optic cable connection and remediation. Funny that.

    ### ODT Online Tue, 13 Jan 2015
    Work to begin on long-delayed Anzac Ave lights
    By David Loughrey
    Work will begin today to prepare an Anzac Ave intersection for the commissioning of a set of traffic lights that have been waiting for a green signal for the last three years. Late last year, final confirmation came the traffic lights at the intersection of Anzac Ave and Frederick St in Dunedin had been given the go-ahead.
    Read more

  11. Elizabeth

    Further to Calvin’s comment, a selection on Equality Streets (shared space):

    Martin Cassini Published on Jan 31, 2013

    Poynton Regenerated
    A community in decline, divided by decades of anti-social traffic engineering, is reunited and revitalised by streetscape redesign [elaboration for Poynton video] [video] Postishead High Street near Bristol German town of Bohmte

  12. Calvin Oaten

    The town I referred to was ‘Portishead’ population 22,000. There is a 5 minute video supporting the exercise. As Elizabeth has referenced there are numerous examples in Europe of similar actions. Why do our people not take notice, particularly with the example they gave in their own backyard? Too hard, or just too obvious?

  13. Hype O'Thermia

    Today’s Quiz
    Part 1: Without ever-increasing traffic fidgetting what happens to the role of the Chief Traffic Interferer ?
    Part 2: Why is a reduction in traffic fidgetting unlikely?

  14. Peter

    I’m relieved I’m not THAT crazy!

  15. Videos are edifying.
    The traffic light department is a parasitic organism on the ratepayers’ skin. It would seem that indeed we can get through life without traffic lights controlling us, our time and our existence. We all get very frustrated when we are required to unnecessarily stop, to arbitrarily wait and consume our lives swearing at traffic lights. These videos show that these false idols are not required and further traffic moves better with less waste if humans are left to look after themselves.
    How many sets of lights a are in Dunedin? Say 100. These anecdotally cost $400k a set which would be true if one considered design, consultants, hardware, roadworks etc including the bloodsucking department. That is $40 million folks. All because they say without these lights there would be death, maiming, productivity loss, chaos and mayhem which is patently untrue.
    It is all about them, their jobs, their spheres of responsibility and ensuring they capture their indispensability within the scheme of things.
    No more lights. Start removing some. Eviscerate the traffic light department.

  16. Peter

    I think considerations of safety, as opposed to necessity, are often at loggerheads with each other. Who knows the real story in any given situation? I don’t.
    The other day….forget where… there was even a pro and anti argument in the media for/against bike helmets! The antis reckoned they were more dangerous! Australia(?) doesn’t have a law enforcing the use of them.
    In many public organisations there is some form of ‘health and safety’ component. They presumably have some ‘mission statement’ which they have to adhere to, no matter what. I suspect if someone pushy and ardent says ‘we must have xyz in place’, it happens.
    The same goes for school playground equipment. Nothing deemed to be too dangerous. Hence we have ‘challenging’ McDonald’s style playgrounds.
    All very interesting, the psyche of us humans.

  17. Tom

    Peter, It is quite understandable why the Aussies do not have a law enforcing the use of bike helmets. There is nothing to protect.

  18. Phil

    Unless I have missed a very recent law change, all Australia states require the wearing of cycle helmets under law. In certain states, exemptions are made for those using “shared cycles” within the CBD. Otherwise it is Austalian Road Rule 256 which applies: “The rider of a bicycle must wear an approved bicycle helmet securely fitted and fastened on the rider’s head, unless the rider is exempt from wearing a bicycle helmet under another law of this jurisdiction. “.

    Many European countries do not require the wearing of cycle helmets within built up areas. The reason for this variation is that their cycle lanes are built with a physical barrier between bicycles and moving vehicles. The cycle lanes are placed between vehicle parking bays and pedestrian footpaths, removing the risk of contact betwen bikes and cars.

    Calvin, I lived in a European town which had a population of 120,000 people and a grand total of 2 sets of traffic lights. Bugger all accidents as it required people to actually drive.

  19. Hype O'Thermia

    Phil –
    “Many European countries do not require the wearing of cycle helmets within built up areas.” That’s how it was here for motorbikes, back when I got my license in the nineteen-twiddly-tumps. No helmet required in 30mph zone, but compulsory for open road.
    “….Population of 120,000 people and a grand total of 2 sets of traffic lights. Bugger all accidents as it required people to actually drive.” I am of the firm belief that “safety” measures that give the impression that all the thinking has already been done for you is unsafe, downright dangerous even. It’s the mental equivalent of saving petrol by putting the car in neutral and coasting downhill. Great as long as nothing the least bit out of the ordinary happens, but if it does it takes whole seconds too long to put car, or brain, into gear to take appropriate action.

  20. Elizabeth

    ### January 15, 2015 – 5:52pm
    State Highway 88 work expected to finish soon
    After years on hold, an intersection along State Highway 88 is finally being completed. It will improve traffic flow around Forsyth Barr Stadium and open up a road that’s been off limits. Contractors are on site, and work’s expected to finish soon.

  21. Elizabeth

    Council infrastructure and networks general manager Tony Avery said he knew of no further action regarding the issue.

    ### ODT Online Sat, 17 Jan 2015
    No costs awarded to Hall
    By David Loughrey
    Dunedin businessman Doug Hall has been refused court costs in his long-running dispute with the Dunedin City Council over the realignment of State Highway 88. The Environment Court has ruled Mr Hall’s companies, Anzide Properties, Dunedin Crane Hire and Hall Brothers Transport, will not be awarded 60% of more than $118,000 of legal and witness costs, which the companies had sought. But Mr Hall, who is now a Dunedin city councillor, has not ruled out taking on the council to recoup what he has said was more than $1 million in legal costs.
    Read more

  22. Elizabeth

    I hope to hell Mr Hall’s lawyers find a can opener and use it to their full abilities.

  23. Elizabeth

    ### February 3, 2015 – 5:58pm
    State Highway 88 traffic restrictions lifted
    Traffic restrictions along State Highway 88 have finally been lifted, after three years of delay.

  24. Elizabeth

    Slime ball Liability Cull rides again.

    Mayor Dave Cull described the moment as the end of ”a long-running irritant”.

    ### ODT Online Wed, 4 Feb 2015
    Lights, cones, action: traffic flowing again
    By David Loughrey
    Fluoro-vested workmen were still dragging barriers off the road, and just nine seconds had elapsed since the lights were turned on, when a truck took advantage of the first green arrow at Dunedin’s Anzac Ave traffic lights. […] [Doug] Hall said recently he had a case for damages, and had instructed his lawyers to approach the council to discuss a compensation package to recoup what he said was more than $1 million in legal bills and other costs.
    Read more

  25. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Tue, 24 Feb 2015
    Long queues at new traffic lights
    By Chris Morris
    The lights are on, but the pain is not over for motorists navigating a busy Dunedin intersection. Long queues have been forming during morning rush hour since traffic lights at the Anzac Ave-Frederick St intersection were switched on earlier this month.
    Read more

  26. Calvin Oaten

    That intersection operated for four years with no lights. Bingo! The lights are on. Now we have a new set of frustrations for the motorists to deal with. If ever there was a case for the motorists sorting it themselves then this is it. To my knowledge there were no major events over the four years. Now, within in a month it’s all turned to custard. Mr Ollerenshaw, what would it take to convince you that you’re wrong? Don’t tell me that it’s because of the reinstatement of the north offramp because that would be an excuse. It was never needed, as the last four years demonstrated. In fact, now might be the time for a whole review of traffic lights throughout Dunedin. That is what Cull and his sidekicks should be doing instead of taking ‘code of conduct’ cases against their mates.

  27. reporter

    This is a scandal. Fully predictable outcome of reopening ramp on and off the gyrator and installing traffic lights. The intersection ran trouble free until the lights switched on.
    Someone must call “time up” on this Transportation department and their profligate ways. It is quite unbelievable how they squander money in their wing of the Ivory Tower. Again they justify their self-serving extravagance with the precautionary principle. According to them these lights will save pedestrian deaths, cyclists deaths, fatal car crashes. All hogwash.
    Instead of arguing amongst themselves the councillors would be better achieving some real gains. Stripping down the Transportation department of its self-important minions would be a worthwhile start.
    Step up councillors, take a leaf out of Vandervis’s book and seek to rationalise the city expenditure to worthwhile, important and meaningful outcomes.

  28. Mike

    it’s now the first set of traffic lights coming into town from Port, traffic is likely evenly spread out in time and now needs to bunch up to pass through the lights, I suspect that part of this is that the existing backup at the next set of lights has just moved a couple of blocks.

    I almost only ever come through this intersection from Frederick St, it was a pain to pass through because there were few gaps in the traffic, personally I’m quite happy with the change, plus being able to get over the bridge directly to Emerson’s is a big plus.

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