DCC Cycleways: SEEING RED, apology NOT accepted

DCC Cycleways Incompetence 18.7.15 (4)

Laundry at ODT today:

Costly cycleway mistakes
Parts of South Dunedin’s cycle network will be ripped out and replaced, costing hundreds of thousands of dollars, because of council mistakes.

Vow to make good bungled cycleways
Council staff and management bungled the roll-out of South Dunedin’s cycle network, letting down the mayor, the councillors, and the city in the process.

Measures satisfy
How affected parties responded to the Dunedin City Council’s acceptance of responsibility for the SDCN faults, and its commitment to put things right.

Otago Daily Times Published on Jul 17, 2015
South Dunedin by bike

Behind the handlebars: South Dunedin by bike
What’s it like exploring the South Dunedin Cycle Network for the first time? Reporter Carla Green – a newcomer to the city – grabbed a map and hopped on her bike last week to find out.

[screenshot as at 18.7.15 —click to enlarge]

Tony Avery LinkedIn profile as at 18.7.15 [screenshot]

●●● http://www.averyassociates.nz/

█ For more on Dunedin’s inordinately expensive Strategic Cycle Network, enter the term *cycle* in the search box at right. Or WTH, search *citifleet*.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Business, Construction, Cycle network, DCC, Design, Economics, Media, Name, New Zealand, NZTA, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Stadiums, Tourism, Town planning, Transportation, Urban design, What stadium

41 responses to “DCC Cycleways: SEEING RED, apology NOT accepted

  1. Elizabeth

    First, there was (Citifleet et al, ongoing!)
    DCC logo (fraud) 2

    Then (broken wheel!)
    DCC logo landscape broken wheel

    Tweaks from whatifdunedin….
    Universal despair —(Greater Dunedin, hello!) the GREEN ain’t GREEN.
    The staff couldn’t cope and you, Greater Dunedin Councillors, led them down that path without full helmets.

  2. Peter

    To be fair, Ruth Stokes came into the job a short time before May when she realised there were obvious problems and put the SD cycleway project on hold while identifying what was going wrong. She listened. I appreciate she has been upfront and apologised.
    The problem seems to lie with her predecessor who has made a dog’s breakfast of how the project was going to be organised and delivered.
    How worse would it have been if Ms Stokes had tried to barge ahead regardless and lied about the whole thing and putting down the naysayers.
    The effect of her intelligent analysis of what has gone wrong is to have more confidence in her. It is her predecesor who should be pilloried. A shame he has been insincerely praised for his abilities as he was being give the heave ho.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Yes, Ruth Stokes seems ready and very willing to do more than the usual bullshitting and papering over the cracks.

  3. Elizabeth

    Comment at ODT Online

    Submitted by HereNow on Sat, 18/07/2015 – 12:35pm.

    My two main concerns re the cycleway issues:

    Firstly, attitudes of Council staff that came across as condescending, arrogant and patronising during the consultation, design and early implementation phases. Dogmatic and with no real or sincere inclination to listen or change their viewpoint. This should be addressed within Council across all of its departments.

    Secondly, that the cost of remediation will not require new ratepayer funding is simply not correct – the $300,000-400,000 of additional costs are a marginal cost of the project regardless of if there is a scope reduction elsewhere. If a scope reduction or saving was available elsewhere then this should have been exercised regardless of this remediation work.

    Sue Bidrose and Dave Cull – point one in particular still needs work.

  4. Jacob

    Where is Kate ? Always looking for a photo opportunity and accolades when things look good, not to be seen when the shit hits the fan.

  5. Lyndon Weggery

    I totally agree about Councillor Kate Wilson. Since replacing the competent Andrew Noone as Chairperson of the Infrastructure Committee the total disaster of 3 June flooding of South Dunedin without the operational effectiveness of clean Mudtanks and working Pumping Stations has happened on her watch.Also the dysfunctional management of Ocean Beach coastline continues to deteriorate on her watch. Any opportunity to switch more funding for shonkey pipes has come and gone with the passing of the LTP Plan. My faith is now in Ruth Stokes to put things to right in a number of areas urgently needing attention.

  6. Calvin Oaten

    Why is it that most comment on matters council these days seem to be about incompetent operators with control. We constantly hear of costly mistakes in basic simple tasks, the latest being the “Costly cycleway mistakes”. For goodness sakes! are we a long established city with nearly two centuries of progressive sane development history, or are we a new green fields kindergarten project? A visitor from outer space would have no doubt. For the salaries we pay these people we don’t expect it to be for learning how to do practically everything they undertake, but that they can do the job right first time. A very seldom occurrence nowadays I’m afraid. Ruth Stokes, to her credit stands up and takes the flak. But what of the costs? It’s not good enough to simply say that $320,000 is lost by this, and that it it is simply covered by the existing $6.07 million South Dunedin Cycle Network budget. How can a budget be arrived at with contingencies for that sort of ‘cock up’ built in?
    Mayor Dave Cull (where the buck truly stops) is “disappointed that mistakes have been made but he’s pleased that very assertive measures have been put in place to correct them.” What!!? No mention of the money frittered away by incompetence. But the money was never Mayor Cull’s concern. He has always had his eye on “the big picture”. The fact that the city is groaning under the weight of over $600 million of debt, with pressure points bursting all round the infrastructure and no insurance for much of the vital stuff, as we saw demonstrated in the aftermath of the South Dunedin floods seems of little bother.
    His view of the “big picture” is spending money on cycleways to nowhere for nobody except the minority of fit, able and selfish. The overseeing of the introduction of countless strategic ‘thingys’ to develop programmes to take the city and its inhabitants back to the days of ‘yore’ when we all wore hair shirts and crinolines, dodged horse shite and wished for better times. The whole demeanour of this city’s rulers is hellbent on following the 1960s’ Pentagon philosophy, that ‘we have to destroy the city in order to save it’. The Greater Dunedin cabal of Cull, Staynes, MacTavish, Thomson and Wilson et al, are well down the track of doing just that. It’s a toss up of what comes first, the destruction or the ‘bankruptcy’. Either way it won’t be pleasant. Still, I suppose that’s the outcome of democracy. When you vote for monkeys don’t be surprised when you get monkeys do.

  7. Peter

    Given what has happened clearly ‘strategic plans’ ain’t always cracked up to what they are supposed to be.
    Ya gotta see the funny side….after forgetting about the lost $320K plus.
    Tony Avery must be feeling like a dick. Another consultant along with that other loser, Malcolm Farry, who also advises on finding your way around local government among other things.

  8. Hype O'Thermia

    Yet another Lookit-Us ra-ra slogan – Dunedin, Dickful City!

  9. Simon

    Why is Stokes the front person on this. She has only been on board since February. Surely the buck stops with CEO Bidrose, as the person who employs council staff. Where has she been hiding while all this is going on.

  10. Peter

    Any new manager especially if they are joining an organisation with multiple problems is probably wise to draw a line between him/herself and their predecessor. In that way they can avoid being tarred with the same brush. Never cover for their mistakes. Pick over their work and undo the fuckups as much as possible.
    With the stadium most of the present council stupidly covered for the stadium charlatans, putting themselves in the firing line for the continual bleeding of ratepayer money while the charlatans slip away from the criminal scene. If only they had put the onus on ‘making the stadium work’ on those who pushed for it. So simple really.

  11. Elizabeth

    Comment at ODT Online:

    Submitted by Keoghc on Sat, 18/07/2015 – 8:49pm.

    What an astounding waste of taxpayer [money].
    This should have an independent enquiry to establish the core reasons and people responsible for this ridiculous waste of taxpayers’ money.
    There was a good opportunity to provide provisions in parts of the city for both cyclists and other road users; instead this was stubbornly pushed in unrealistic areas to leave a half finished network that is not an asset to the city.

    Read comment on same thread by Heike Cebulla-Elder, ‘Cycle lanes – learning curves’. OMG – no sense of justice or it’s time for Council to be fiscally responsible for Dunedin ratepayers.

  12. Anonymous

    On the Gigatown front, a Project Coordinator position has been advertised and applications just closed. It’s for 12 months, so would suit an…independent contractor. Watch this space.

  13. Anonymous

    In South D, it’s not about the cycleways as such. It’s about a “mental shift”. It’s quite clear who was orchestrating the programme.


    “It’s as much about a mental shift in the way we experience our roads and the way we experience the streets outside our houses as it is about physically changing our environment.” –Cr MacTavish

    • Peter

      Well spotted historical reference, Anonymous. This heads up was a year ago, but it still took till May this year for Ruth Stokes, once she got the job, to have the wherewithall to have a tea break and further assess what was going on. Thank goodness she did.
      I have only casually followed the whole cycleway thing. Not convinced either way, but still thinking, gosh, that’s a lot of money for an unproven asset.
      The issue does have similarities to the stadium. A ‘We want’ irrespective of the financial merits of the project.
      The early estimates, which were way out, also compares to the deliberate efforts of the CST to minimise the costs so as to move things along.
      Time for more honesty, DCC. Is that too much to ask?

      • Elizabeth

        WAY too much to ask of this Council, Peter.
        Remember when Jinty MacTavish had no actual grip on the $45M cycle network budget for Dunedin – and tried to pass it off as $27M, having not read DCC’s annual reports properly. Oh yeah, something about subsidies through NZTA’s Jim Harland & Co.

        Covered in previous posts at What if? Dunedin, also by JimmyJones at ODT Online who gave it his best shot to reveal, in my words, MacTavish’s wetness behind the ears! Which no pearl-wearing and grovelling to the mayor will ever fix.

  14. Calvin Oaten

    Cr MacTavish is right about the “mental shift”. But it’s not as she says, “in the way we experience our roads and the way we experience the streets outside our houses as it is about physically changing our environment”. Since when did she get a mandate from the people to do that? The “mental shift” I’m afraid is all between her ears and it is not good for the city. It’s becoming dangerous.

  15. Hype O'Thermia

    Mentally shifty, that one.

  16. russandbev

    The most basic thing a planner could do when installing a roundabout is to lay over the accurate plan a template to scale that defines the turning circles of vehicles that do or could do use the road. That is so basic that it doesn’t even need any thought.

    The problem appears to be that the ones defining what is to be done are those that are only interested in cycles.

    Just look at the history of roundabouts in Dunedin – and compare their layout to those in Christchurch for example. Dunedin roundabouts are invariably tight little constructions with the only way to stay in your lane to drive over the roundabout. The one on Andersons Bay Road is an excellent example – imagine driving a B train truck round that thing while staying in your lane.

    As for this nonsense about the 1/3 million cost to fix things not being a real cost, then either those that proffer this argument are idiots or they think the Dunedin ratepayers are idiots. Or both.

    At the root of all of this are two problems – the DCC itself can no longer undertake work on basic infrastructure that it is responsible for and must rely on contractors. The DCC doesn’t seem to be able to manage contracts either. The second issue is that Councillors are not competent in general terms to be responsible for governance. Have a good look at the current crop and identify those that have a proven governance record of managing very large organisations with visible success.

    • Elizabeth

      Rightly so, russandbev. Turning circles, curve tracking and vehicle dimensions (standards!) are the essential tools available to all design and planning professions (online resources). Mind you, not sure graduates of ‘planning’ per se from Geography (Otago), England and Australia would know the back end of a bus, and certainly not a B train or 50MAX. Probably still have trainer wheels on their bicycles. However, the DCC transportation planning crew have no excuse for not being able to read develop design drawings and do the critical checks. OMG what is a fire appliance to do….. How can we make Dunedin residents travel MORE blocks than they need to, to get to their homes, schools and usual destinations, using as much vehicle fuel as possible! As for the DCC Urban Design team. In general, DCC SILO alert.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Planning for roundabout, Dunedin style:
      “Is it a crossroads?”
      “Is there room to place a butter-dish upside down in the middle of it?”

  17. Gurglars

    I’d be a lot happier if the mental shift was undertaken without the increased debt burden imposed by the propagandist.

    In 1933 Goebbels was responsible for the social engineering in Germany. Dunedin has Jinty MacTavish.

    Draw your own conclusions, but I for one like my mental shifts to occur “in house”.

  18. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Mon, 20 Jul 2015
    Cycleway report draws comments
    By Craig Borley
    Saturday’s Otago Daily Times report on the bungled South Dunedin Cycle Network drew plenty of interest […] Readers’ comments were mostly scathing of the Dunedin City Council and its work on the cycleway’s design, consultation, and construction. […] A common theme was that, for some, cycleways were seen as less important than other council work needing more funding and attention.
    Read more

  19. Elizabeth

    ### dunedintv.co.nz July 20, 2015 – 5:57pm
    Councils admits to costly cycleway catastrophe
    City council staff are admitting costly mistakes in the development of South Dunedin cycleways.

  20. Elizabeth

    ODT at Dunedin TV tonight says tomorrow’s newspaper has more on the Dunedin Cycleway Network, expect to see new cycle lanes on the State Highway 1 one-way system within two years….

    The project pushed by Minty Jinters, Kate, Dave and Co at ScrewTheRatepayers-Greater Dunedin, and NZTA.

  21. Elizabeth

    Extra work, such as parking changes, changes to side streets, cycle parking facilities, and landscaping over and above the NZTA’s will be the DCC’s responsibility.

    ### ODT Online Wed, 22 Jul 2015
    2017 one-way cycle-lane goal
    By Craig Borley
    Purpose-built separated cycle lanes along Dunedin’s one-way system could be up and rolling as early as winter 2017, but some road users are not happy with the plans.
    One-way route – why and how
    Cycle lanes: What the Mayor says
    Will they or won’t they?
    The scheme, in gestation since 2012 after two fatal cycling accidents in the central city, is budgeted to cost $7.5 million – all of which will be funded by the New Zealand Transport Agency.
    Read more

    370 car parks will be removed from the one-way system.
    Otago Museum badly affected. How will this be mitigated?
    █ Multilevel parking building for DCC’s Cumberland-Frederick St car park?
    █ Mayor: “We’re confident that we can mitigate any parking losses.”

  22. Elizabeth

    Not wrong.

    Comment at ODT Online:

    DCC are driving blindfolded.
    Submitted by photonz on Wed, 22/07/2015 – 2:37pm.

    Where is the evidence of the number of bikes who want to use the route down the one way? Or will the DCC do what they did in South Duneidn and spend millions of dollars only to find out that no one uses the routes they planned, and they’ve made several intersections far more dangerous?

    They could have bought all the users a helicopter each, and still have saved money.

  23. Gurglars

    Can you buy a helicopter with pedals?

  24. Elizabeth

    Ferries would be used to link passengers from Port Chalmers to Portobello.

    ### ODT Online Sat, 25 Jul 2015
    Harbour trail ‘quantum change’
    By Craig Borley
    Dunedin will see a ”quantum change” in its tourism industry when the Otago Harbour Cycle Trail is completed in three years’ time, Mayor Dave Cull says. […] The 40km trail would allow cyclists to ride on separated lanes from Port Chalmers, through the city, and along the Otago Peninsula to Harington Point.
    Read more


    ODT: Why Dunedin is investing in cycling
    Dunedin appears divided over the cycle network. Some see it as unnecessary. Others see it as vital. ODT reporter Craig Borley spoke to Dunedin city councillor Kate Wilson, chair of infrastructure services committee, about why the city is investing in cycle infrastructure.



    ODT: Mother and son cyclists
    At St Clair …. the tide is moving in a different direction, principal Richard Newton says. More children are scootering, and fewer are cycling, than compared with 10 years ago.


    ODT: Profit and personnel advantages proffered
    Improvements to safety, congestion, pollution, and health – there is no doubt cities stand to gain a lot from cycle infrastructure. But there is also a dollars and cents gain, a coup for industry, and Dunedin is in line to profit.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      “Ferries would be used to link passengers from Port Chalmers to Portobello.”
      Jim Sullivan tackled this topic in his Nothing Too Serious column , ODT July 24, Opinion page (sorry, can’t find a link) titled “Norman’s cycleway a bridge too far”.
      He starts off, “Before you get too depressed about the cycleway shambles, just remember it could have been a lot worse…….”

      • Elizabeth

        We’re talking Elsie Evans and such.

        • Hype O'Thermia

          Yes, that would be excellent. Nonetheless there is something to be said for the Bridge Vision – you know I love a good Vision – of “the well-known urban designer Norman Gridlock” as revealed by Jim Sullivan.

          “Norman’s brief from the city council was to design a cycleway from Port Chalmers to Portobello within a budget of $6.07million. Imagine Norman’s excitement. His biggest job before that had been the $3.3million project to build a footbridge over one of the deeper parts of the Avon for the convenience of non-swimmers, but the Christchurch earthquakes had put paid to that….”

          And it’s hard to know where truth lies, since this is a not-unfamiliar scenario, vague pet projects funded greenly if you think of the sums as recyclable sacks full of $20 notes, commissioned and overseen with lashings of oversights by management highly skilled in spending OPs’ money –

          “….In the subsequent court case Norman’s counsel argued that his client had been asked to plan a cycleway between Port Chalmers and Portobello and this he had done….”

  25. Calvin Oaten

    Mayor Dave Cull really ought to choose his words more carefully. To say; “Dunedin will see a ‘quantum change’ in its tourism industry when the Otago harbour Cycle trail is completed in three years’ time.” It’s a nonsense, does he even think to look up the meaning of the word ‘quantum’? In the context he uses it, it makes no sense whatsoever, much like most of his ramblings.

  26. Gurglars

    One thing about the cycleways it has increased the scope of the English language.

    We now have Wilsondrivel an extension of Wilson Drive, where we have a road to nowhere, populated by cyclists who did not cycle because of fear of being hit by a car now but not when she was 14.

    Culldrivel, Adelaide now has cycleways and that WILL BE an attraction to tourists. NB. Adelaide is a flat city and there is no evidence yet of the increase in cycling tourists. Certainly far more likely than mountainous Dunedin. Incidentally, a recent visit to the Gold Coast shows extensive cycleways in a relatively flat huge city area. In two weeks continuous travel around the city I have not seen any cyclists.

    Spokesdrivel, people in an aging population will prefer to ride a bike? The ORC are complaining about the importance of gold card subsidies to their budgeting, which implies that large numbers of persons aged over 65 will take a bus! Now that is a possibility.

  27. Elizabeth

    Hey, Prof…. you don’t give a flying F about the taxpayers and ratepayers. You should be re-cycled back to where you came from. Jinty will take your hand, and Kate your big fat toe.

    Prof Wooliscroft himself had been the victim of aggression on a regular basis.

    ‘Active transport’ worthwhile goal
    In the final part of a series on Dunedin cycleways, reporter Carla Green talks to associate professor Ben Wooliscroft, from the University of Otago Centre for Sustainability, about how safe cycling routes can create an active city.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      He’s not exactly a neutral evaluator of the worth of cycle lanes, is he!

      It’s like prostitutes lobbying for brothels to be allowed in all parts of town, or the insurance industry calling for house, contents and vehicle (and bicycle) insurance to be mandatory.

      ”I grew up in Christchurch in the 1970s during the oil shock, and everyone in Christchurch cycled.” I remember Christchurch as a city with cyclists everywhere. Couldn’t have been anything to do with the flatness of the place, could it? Not as many bicycles the last 40 or so years though. Couldn’t have anything to do with the cheap 2nd hand Japanese car imports, could it? When I was a kid you couldn’t get a car without direct intervention from the Archangel Gabriel himself, or overseas funds. Then there was some easing-up, but cars were enormously expensive. For a time second hand cars cost about as much as new. And people used bicycles, just as during the war people ate dried egg and tinned snoek, neither of which have featured as popular nostalgia foods like lamb shanks and bread and butter pudding.

  28. Gurglars

    Stop press. Today, I saw my first cyclist in five weeks. A student (or lecherer) waiting to cross the Smith Street Freeway heading to Griffith University, at Traffic lights, no cycleways in sight. Typically any cyclists no matter how rare, do not wish to travel on public inspired cycle routes. Just as helicopters do not wish to follow main roads. NOR Do CYCLISTS!

  29. Gurglars

    Spokes, The DCC – take a bow.

    Less cyclists have been killed, but car drivers are now at risk.


    One of the problems with social engineering is that the old song appears and reappears.

    “You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone”

    When will the idiotii realise that death is inevitable. Part of the fun is the risk that it might happen sooner rather than later and all attempts to stave it off are doomed to failure.

    Let’s just get rid of traffic lights, cycleways, speed humps and speed limits and let everyone go at their own pace. The earth has too many people now, a Cull (unfortunate term) is going to be good for your kids and grandkids.

    You know I’m right.

  30. Hype O'Thermia

    Attempts to eliminate all risks are succeeding in eliminating vital survival skills.
    Noticing; watchfulness; thinking; mentally calculating speed, direction and possible unexpected variations by others; reading people and situations (being street-wise); being “present” not occupied with reading & phoning & listening to music when you need to be aware of what’s going on around you.
    Too much “safety” leads to carelessness because people expect there will be no risks, anywhere, ever.
    The safety culture will probably lead to your wished-for “CULL”, Gurglars! Just give it a few more years of increasingly stupid rules….

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