DCC spending + Cycleway redesigns #OutOfControl

ODT 8.2.16 (page 8)

ODT 8.2.16 Letter to editor Dickie p8 (1)

ODT 6.2.16 (page 34)

ODT 6.2.16 Letters to editor Vandervis Smith p34

Received from Lee Vandervis
Mon, 8 Feb 2016 at 10:11 a.m.

FYI The version with attached email that I sent to ODT.

—— Forwarded Message
From: Lee Vandervis
To: EditorODT, Nicholas George S Smith, Julian Smith
Conversation: Councillors kept in the budget dark
Subject: Councillors kept in the budget dark

Dear Editor,

Last year in my letter to the Editor I complained that DCC staff had wasted $500,000 on two incompetent unsafe attempts to turn the 4 lanes of Portobello Road [from the Andy Bay BP to the foreshore] into a massive cycle-lane plus an unworkable 2 lane road. I argued that a $200 spend on signage making the eastern footpath into the desired cycleway would have catered for the few cyclists that use this short stretch. In our Annual Plan opportunity to discuss big budgets last week when I asked our new head of Transportation how much the third attempt to create a Portobello Road cycle lane was costing, budget debate was effectively shut down with the answer that staff had no idea. This was confirmed in an email to me on 2/2/16 which said “Staff do not yet have a formal cost estimate for the works associated with the redesign.” yet the following day the ODT reported “a fresh redesign is expected to cost more than $500,000”, new design costs “about $70,000” with Mayor Cull saying “the community should be confident in its ability to roll out cycleways in the city”!!! I say we should stop throwing good money after bad, stop the $8 million proposed one-way separated cycleway experiment, and stop the obsession with further cycleway spending [which was justified assuming the crock of ever-increasing and unaffordable fossil-fuel prices] until we have clear evidence of the cost/benefit of such expensive projects.

Kind regards,
Cr. Lee Vandervis.

█ 2/2/16 email evidence:

From: Ian McCabe [DCC]
Date: Tue, 2 Feb 2016 01:21:49 +0000
To: Lee Vandervis
Cc: Sandy Graham [DCC]
Subject: RE: Portobello Road (Portsmouth Drive to Timaru Street) Redesign

Hi Lee

My apologies for the delay in coming back to you on this.

Staff do not yet have a formal cost estimate for the works associated with the redesign. The cost will become apparent once staff have evaluated tenders for the construction.

Staff are committed to tendering the works in order to get the best price possible.

Costs associated with the redesign will be met from the existing Strategic Cycle Network budget.


Ian McCabe
Group Manager Transport
Dunedin City Council

Related Post and Comments:
22.10.15 Bloody DCC —superlative cost blowout #cycleways #SUCKS

█ For more, enter the term *cycle* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Business, Construction, Cycle network, DCC, Democracy, Design, Dunedin, Economics, Hot air, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, NZTA, People, Pet projects, Politics, Project management, Property, Proposed 2GP, Resource management, Site, South Dunedin, Sport, Stadiums, Tourism, Town planning, Transportation, Travesty, Urban design

32 responses to “DCC spending + Cycleway redesigns #OutOfControl

  1. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Mon, 8 Feb 2016
    Old tunnel proposed as cycleway solution
    By Craig Borley
    A long-abandoned 144-year-old railway tunnel beneath Roseneath has been floated as an alternative route for a section of the proposed Dunedin to Port Chalmers separated cycleway. Progress on the cycleway, which at present extends only as far as St Leonards, hit turbulence this week when the New Zealand Transport Agency announced costs would be more than double the $6million earmarked for the route.
    Read more

    Roseneath’s 1872 Rail Tunnel: (via ODT)
    ■ 112m long, 4m wide, 5m high
    ■ Part of the original Port Chalmers to Dunedin railway line
    ■ Abandoned in 1948 when the current tunnel and causeway were opened
    ■ Partially destroyed during SH88 construction circa 1960

  2. Calvin Oaten

    Brilliant exposé of staff and committee failings with the financial fumblings of these ridiculous cycleway constructions/ reconstructions, by Cr Vandervis no less. The fact that Dave Cull has so firmly nailed his flag to the mast of the projects puts him in an invidious position which would take the wisdom of King Solomon to retrieve. And face it, our man just doesn’t display that sort of, or any wisdom.

  3. Calvin Oaten

    Jeff Dickie’s tableau of the financial failings of the Dave Cull era is an amazing summation when presented in one basket. It shows conclusively just how inept the current mayor and elected councillors really are. All this despite the constant ‘braying’ of economic sustainability and debt reduction that Mayor Cull constantly utters. The man has got to go.

  4. russandbev

    Congratulations to Jeff Dickie on his succinct and factual letter. When you think about it, exactly what skills does Dave Cull have to be Mayor?

  5. Hype O'Thermia

    Russandbev –
    (1) he’s not shackled by commonsense.
    (2) ahhhhhhhh um…………….
    (3) ….

  6. Peter

    Jeff Dickie’s summary is certainly a jaw dropping indictment of the council. If I was a councillor who agreed to many of these proposals I would, when confronted by this summary, be hugely embarrassed to be associated with these debacles.
    One of the good things to come from this council term is the development of the Warehouse precinct……at least with the council being helpful to those developers who have done the work in a private capacity. I can’t think of much else that has proven to be thought through that well.
    At least the 27 storey hotel was knocked on the head after they finally woke up to the games being played by Jing Song and her dubious mates. (This was after initially talking about ‘laying out the red carpet’ by Dave Cull and Paul Orders). Yet, a shame about the money lost entertaining these creeps.
    The development of cycleways is not something I object to, in principle, but the waste of public money through ill-conceived planning and execution has proven to be incompetence of the highest order. Good intentions have been derailed by attempting to do too much at once without thorough evaluation of cycle use now and what is likely to happen in the future. I hope the critics are indeed proven wrong about the imagined uptake of cycling as a mode of transport by the council providing safe and useable cycleways.
    The elephant in the room continues to be the stadium. Wait for the maintenance that is to come and the call on the council to ‘help’ bail out the bastard yet again. The white elephant will never pay its way… and they know it. Yet they pour more money into it to keep the show on the road. I will never vote for a councillor, or Mayor, who votes to prop up the stadium ‘to make it work’.
    Not all of the poor decisions made can be laid at Dave Cull’s feet alone. He is but one vote. All the council has to take responsibility for poor decisions as do those bureaucrats who have given the councillors bad advice. Responsibility in the bureacracy reaches all levels.
    I hope we get a better council next time, but I doubt it. Those who seek office are largely not that impressive. Inexperienced know alls, seat warmer types, second income streamers, job seekers, dead political career recyclers, seems to be what is the lot of too many office seekers to local government, here and elsewhere.

  7. pb

    The players consider themselves beyond the law, beyond being held to account for failure. Repeat such public admonishments loudly and frequently as the media have abrogated that role, as sold-out click baiters, chasers of ad revenue, rather than heralds of news.

  8. Rob Hamlin

    Dave Cull’s skills are what made him the Mayor. He rode into the job on the backs of the anti-stadium anti GOB movement. I believed him then, and I suspect so did most of you. However, was he ever anything other than the pro-stadium GOB stooge that he appears to be today? I don’t know…., and the fact that I don’t, and the fact that he is the Mayor, with no obvious viable opponent in sight, in or out of Council speaks volumes as to the skills that he really does have.

    He is not to be underestimated. Like John Key, he understands and uses the nano-memory, shrug, ‘I want to believe/move on/look forward’ culture that is politics today. Just like the two UK guys reported on here:


    It’s hard to see a clearer cut case of very serious political corruption. However, MR already appears to be on the verge of being ‘fully laundered’. I have no doubt that JS will be likewise in a short time once the peculiarly principled Corbyn has been dealt to. If not, I suspect that Cameron will happily supply the ermine to such a potentially useful, if supposedly socialist, individual.

  9. Elizabeth

    Rob says: “I believed him then, and I suspect so did most of you.”

    Not me.
    Opponents are a-coming.

  10. Elizabeth

    ### DunedinTV Wed, 10 Feb 2016
    Your word on cycling SH1
    The New Zealand Transport Agency is planning to separate cyclists from traffic on the city’s one-way system. It’ll cost about $8m to create raised cycle paths along the two inner city stretches of State Highway One. So our word on the street team asked members of the public if they’d cycle the one-way system if separated from traffic.
    Ch39 Video

    • Callum

      I mostly just catch a ride with someone or I catch the bus or just walk. I know how to use a bike though I’m scared biking on a busy road.

      • Elizabeth

        Join the club Callum – I mostly walk too, or bus or taxi occasionally as need. Like cycling according to the hour for lower traffic volume and it’s easy enough to bike through Dunedin avoiding main feeder roads and SH1. Doubt I would ever use cycle lanes in the CBD or in South Dunedin to the beach – safer existing routes to take. Thinking of getting another racing bike, sold my last – missing it. Need to increase fitness off hard surfaces following breaking my leg last year.

        • Callum

          Hahahaha thank you! =) That makes sense then as to why you prefer not to use the cycle lane, especially if you feel safe and comfortable biking through Dunedin. I enjoy reading your blog by the way! As I do look forward to hearing about the changes in Dunedin particularly on the urban planning and built environment. Are you urban planner by any chance? I’m thinking of doing postgrad next year in urban planning.

        • Elizabeth

          Background in architecture, heritage and urban design – and a healthy interest in planning, yes sir!
          Like your choice of postgrad (!!), hope you follow that path and enjoy it, Callum. A great field to get into.

      • Callum

        My interest in urban planning started with an interest in architecture, old buildings, public space, and gentrification. During my second year of uni I wished that I had done something else other than anthropology, like spatial design or interior design degree instead. But I didn’t want to change my degree as it may lead to complacency. It was only until the end of second year 2 years ago that I found out about urban planning/design and I thought it really blends in well with my broader interests as mentioned above. A lot of urban planners from my understanding have done an undergrad degree in something else before pursuing their masters in urban planning. That’s cool that you went to UoA! Because I’m thinking of UoA as my lecturer said its the best place to do urban planning from what I’ve heard and there’s also a urban design paper which most planning schools here in NZ don’t teach as it is more policy focused.

  11. Elizabeth

    ODT 10.2.16 (page 12)

    ODT 10.2.16 Letters to editor Mills Phipps p12

    • Hype O'Thermia

      “You’ll get used to it.” Yes, people and animals are very adaptable. Dogs and cats adapt to having one leg amputated after accidents or disease. People do, too. Is that an okay reason to randomly remove legs, on a whim? “You’ll get used to it” is one of the lamest (boom-boom) excuses for doing things that are stupid or cruel or both.
      Yucky meals supplied to old people, instead of the generally popular Meals On Wheels they were used to, is another non-improvement that fits the description.

  12. pb

    The cycling track mantra has been taken up by some misguided zealots. I commuted for a dozen years in capital cities in Australia, but quickly realised on arriving in Dunedin that to survive on a bike, you need to get off the roads, mountain-bike style, and get on the footpaths. Also the idea that people won’t use cycling options off SH1 is wrong. My measure of a bike track’s success is whether I’d take my 10-year-old kids on it. No chance on Cumberland Street! No chance on many of Dunedin’s poor compromise tracks. There have been many cycling fatalities on the one way. Encouraging more bike and foot traffic mingling with heavy traffic shows a mind not based in reality, driven by another purpose.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Pb, you’re not wrong: “Encouraging more bike and foot traffic mingling with heavy traffic shows a mind not based in reality, driven by another purpose.”
      There’s something seriously awry with the planning*, and seriously suss about the adamant determination that cycles MUST use SH1.

      *Planning? Apologies for limited vocab. There must be a word for the process by which the sequence of cockups got from someone’s mind, to computer model, thence to contractor and to hapless suburbs and Dunedin’s assorted road users.

      • Elizabeth

        As well as a seriously limited consultation of “who” NZTA/DCC think they need to consult as ‘äffected parties’ so to ramrod projects through willynilly on poor and incompetent design~!!!

        Forget the general public why not, because apparently Spokes and a couple of businesses losing their carparks (well, a whole lot more obviously) speak for the Future of Dunedin’s main arterial and its main purpose – which we’re TOLD, is to be inclusive of rocks-in-their-heads, kamikaze cyclists.

    • pb who gave you such common sense and experience? Most of those who have vested interests don’t seem to have any of what you have mate!

  13. Elizabeth

    Garrick Tremain 13.2.16

  14. Elizabeth

    Poor Ruth – what ever will go wrong next ???

    The repairs were being carried out at no cost to council.

    ### ODT Online Wed, 17 Feb 2016
    ‘Appalled’ by botched paint job
    By Chris Morris
    The Dunedin City Council has ordered its contractor to fix botched new cycleway symbols panned by critics as resembling “a primary school project”. Council infrastructure and networks general manager Ruth Stokes said yesterday she was “pretty appalled” by the quality of the recent work by the council’s contractor, Downer.
    Read more

    • pb

      These are just the mistakes that make the light of day.

      Biking and Dunedin will never mix. The hills are too big. Only the mountain goats or desperately frugal will ride. This demographic won’t bring in money, or many votes, just the opposite. In both cases.

      The men who built the 1872 tunnel have all since moved on.
      Without studying the tunnel proposal in detail, it’s hard to be sure, but going underground will be prohibitively expensive.

      The road that parallels this section of tunnel, Blanket Bay Road, is already great for cyclists. It’s on my list of one of the best rides in Dunedin. Low traffic. With a little work, it could be made cyclist friendly.

  15. According to the DCC and the Land Transport Authority, “Dunedin is expecting significant growth in the number of people who travel by bike and estimate up to 2,000 people a day will cycle across the bridge within five years of its completion.”
    Notice the use of language: ‘expecting’, ‘estimate’, ‘up to’, ‘within five years’.
    My goodness, they are tentative! So we should as ratepayers and tax payers question this, and if we see errors in logic resist this.

    Click to access Cycling-fund-regional-factsheet-Dunedin.pdf

  16. Hype O'Thermia

    I think you’re right, photonz. Parking is so difficult near the stadium.

  17. Elizabeth

    Fri, 6 May 2016
    ODT: DCC chops asphalting contractor
    The Dunedin City Council cut its ties with a contractor after finding problems with the now liquidated company’s work on the city’s footpaths. Contractor All About Asphalt went into liquidation last year, owing at least $212,873.51 to creditors, but the council says it did not pay the company for work that was not completed to contract standards.

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