SH1 Cycleways : the real story

Received from Hilary Calvert
Wed, 22 Feb 2017 12:40 p.m.


NZTA has produced a Q and A sheet for their project news update on our cycle lanes along the one-way streets.

An annotated version is provided for reality junkies:

Q: Why is there a need for separated cycleways on the one-way system?

NZTA: Cyclists and pedestrians are over represented in fatal and serious injury crashes. There have been 2 fatalities since 2011. Short-term safety measure were put into place in 2013. Separated cycle lanes are the long-term solution.

Reality: There have been no deaths since the cycle lanes were widened in 2013. The two deaths since 2011 were likely contributed to by the very act of creating cycle lanes in the blind spot of vehicles. Had these cyclists been on the road they would have been safer.

Q: Where else in the country are they using these?

NZTA: These lanes are becoming familiar in major cities including Christchurch. Busy urban routes such as the one-way streets in Dunedin need higher standards of cycle lanes.

Reality: No one in their right mind would direct cyclists to State Highway 1, where all the trucks go. If these two parallel roads were returned to two-way streets, you might put trucks on one and bikes on the other. But this is mad.

Q: Why put the cycleways on the right rather than the left?

NZTA: Because it increases cycle safety and separates them from bus stops.

Reality: Bingo! NZTA has finally realised delivering cyclists to the blind side of trucks is very dangerous. But it was NZTA who chose to do that last time. A simple sorry would be a start.

Q: why not on the right-hand side from Duke St to Otago Museum then?

NZTA: This has been done in response to feedback received and supported by further cycle surveys. And there is a large number of cyclists who use this route who would have to cross the road.

Reality: Really? So feedback overcomes safety? Surely this brings into question whether they really understand the safety issues with the left-hand side. WE all know that cyclists are no different from the rest of us, they will take their bikes on the shortest route they can find. Which will mean that they are spending most of their time not on the new cycle lane. Actually, most of their time will be spent walking around campus because the University won’t let cyclists inside – safety issues, apparently.

Q: What impact will this have on parking?

NZTA: Keeping the cycle lanes on the unsafe side of the road will mean we lose 20 fewer parks. Parking will be provided in high demand areas. (see revised plans).

Reality: We will lose hundreds of parks, particularly in the highest parking areas around the hospital (made worse by the DCC proposal to build on the car parking area at Frederick St). Parking is already squeezed in high demand areas. These guys are in la la land, and I don’t mean the award winning movie.

Q: Will these cycle lanes disrupt traffic flows?

NZTA: The lanes are likely to smooth traffic flows and provide more reliable travel times because there will be fewer parking movements.

Reality: Yes more reliably longer times, which are likely to double for anyone using the one-way streets. More phases for cyclists and pedestrians, more traffic trying to find parks, more time needed to get to hospital appointments. It wasn’t that broke. Why are those from out of town so determined to get in the way of traffic in Dunedin?

Q: How many cyclists are likely to use the cycle lanes?

NZTA: Current usage peaks at 500 per day, but this could easily double. We will measure the change.

Reality: Weasel words. Try looking north from Lower Stuart St along the one-way street. There will be several vehicles on the cycle lanes and likely not even 1 cyclist. The reality is that we are likely to have fewer than 1 cyclist per kilometre of cycleway in Dunedin at any one time. The maximum of 500 is not relevant to the usage in general. (And indeed 500 per day is 500 over 1440 minutes, about one every 3 minutes. At the absolute peak. For a moment in time. So it may double to 1 cyclist at the absolute maximum every 1.5 minutes.) And having measured it later, we are still stuck with the cycle lanes even if they don’t create double the usage. Meanwhile there is no proposed monitoring of the time wasted on getting to hospital appointments, or the time spent by students walking further from free car parking to lectures, or any other flow-on effects of decreased parking where it is currently available.

Q: When is work likely to start?

NZTA: May 2017, taking around 15 months and in such a way as to ensure the one-way system is able to operate effectively and any disruption is kept to a minimum.

Reality: These streets are groaning at the seams already. Our entire one-way system will become impossible to operate usefully, and it will take double the time. By this time those who came to Dunedin because the traffic wasn’t so bad will have the start of every working day diminished and their Dunedin experience effectively destroyed around the central city. We have an elderly population, and this will be the last three years of the lives of some of us.

Q: Who pays and what will it cost?

NZTA: NZTA will pay for the work directly related to the cycle lanes. $8million.

Reality: More weasel words. There are large costs not included in the direct costs. Agencies are keen on doing guestimates of the multiplier effect of benefits to the city for, say, acts at the stadium. What about a study of the likely costs to the city of loss of parking revenue, loss of time spent driving around, loss of time spent walking from vehicles, anxiety around hospital appointments, loss of business for those relying on easy car access for their custom etc. There are also costs for the work connecting roads and footpaths etc between the cycleways and the rest of our DCC infrastructure, and the inevitable landscaping in the vicinity. And then the costs of fixing what we had to redo because none of the agencies are working together. An expensive nightmare.

Q: What is being done to provide more integrated transport in Dunedin?

NZTA: NZTA, DCC and ORC are implementing transport related projects: this is one. These cycle lanes will connect with cycling lanes being considered in North Dunedin linking University, Hospital, Otago Polytechnic and the CBD.

Reality: These institutions are already handy to each other. As regards the University the biggest obstacle to cycling is the size of the campus which cannot be crossed by cyclists.


Pity NZTA doesn’t have a booth in the heart of Dunedin where they could come and sit and listen to the issues. Perhaps on the corner of Stuart St and the one-way streets?


NZTA Dunedin Urban Cycleways Programme
Cycling in Dunedin contributes to improving transport options, providing a more efficient and integrated transport network, improving health, economic and social outcomes and city liveability. The Urban Cycleways Fund, subject to council approval, will help to accelerate the City to Harbour Bridge and the Central City and North East Valley cycle network.

NZTA Urban Cycleways Programme [general information]

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.


leisure-cyclist-on-beach-road-cycleway-auckland-nzta-govt-nz-1two-way-separated-cycleway-beach-road-auckland-nzta-govt-nzTwo-way separated cycleway on Beach Road, Auckland []


Filed under Business, Construction, Cycle network, DCC, Democracy, Design, District Plan, Dunedin, Economics, Education, Finance, Geography, Health, Hot air, Infrastructure, Name, New Zealand, NZTA, People, Pet projects, Politics, Project management, Property, Proposed 2GP, Public interest, Resource management, Sport, Tourism, Town planning, Transportation, Travesty, University of Otago, Urban design, What stadium

15 responses to “SH1 Cycleways : the real story

  1. Elizabeth

    ### Tue, 21 Feb 2017 at 7:27 a.m.
    Morning Report with Todd Niall
    Children cycling on footpaths “a no brainer” Link
    Audio: Download: Ogg MP3 (2′ 54″)

    Allowing children under 12-years-old to cycle on footpaths, as suggested in a new NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) report, is a “no-brainer”, says a cycling advocate. The report, which the NZTA commissioned, comes as MPs consider a petition pushing for those under 14 years old to ride on footpaths. Advocates for people with poor sight and the elderly oppose the move. They say young cyclists on the footpath pose a danger. Cycling Action Network spokesperson Patrick Morgan said children hitting pedestrians on footpaths was rare. “The main issues here are maintenance of footpaths, people driving across footpaths, wheelie-bins, mobility scooters – primary-age children on bikes are not a serious risk to people on footpaths. I think councils need to do a better job of looking after footpaths, and I think this will help.”

    • Hilary

      You might expect child cyclists hitting pedestrians on footpaths to be rare when they are not allowed on footpaths. There may be other reasons why child cyclists on footpaths are good but this reason does not make sense.

      • Elizabeth

        Dunedin has an increasing number of young (dark-haired fine-boned) women riding on CBD footpaths – because they’re too scared to be in the vehicle lanes when out shopping ? too oblivious to the NZ Road Code ? they’re culturally unaware ? they’re just rule breakers ? Who knew. But next time I see one they’ll find a ‘foreign object’ in their spokes.

  2. Gurglars

    I’ve been in Christchurch for a week observing cyclists in a “cycle friendly” flat city. Never saw one, not a dicky bird not a sausage, none, zero, nada.

    Just what sort of idiots do we hire to these positions or are they extremely smart!

    $47million is a lot of moolah to share around.

    • Elizabeth

      A good sum to offset losses incurred by Aurora/Delta; to help restore the Otago power network. Not to be spent by councillors Hawkins and Benson-Pope on MacTavish-inspired environment and food resilience strategies.

      A long wait for Trump effects to decimate the Greens at NZ.

  3. Ray McKendry

    Eight, read it, $8,000,000! Really? I think you and I are still paying for that and so are the rest of NZ unless they impose an additional regional transport tax to cover it. $8m to build what is clearly unwanted, unneeded, will be largely unused if present surveys are anything to go by.
    Thanks so much for posting this. Sadly, not many people will vote out this DCC next time or even protest this waste of public (NZTA) money on a project largely following the whim of Mr Cull.

  4. Mike

    No answer here about where visitors to the Physio Pool will park, they’ll be removing ALL the on-street disabled parks, in fact all the on-street parks of any kind within staggering-on-crutches distance from the pool entrance. That leaves 3 off-street disabled parks to be shared by the 20-50 people who do physio in the pool on any given afternoon

  5. Elizabeth

    ONLY TWO FATALITIES means $8M spend.
    INSANE [bloody] POLITICS

    Sat, 1 Jul 2017
    ODT: Tender soon for one-way cycleway
    By David Loughrey
    Construction of Dunedin’s $8 million one-way system cycleway should begin soon. Tenders for the work closed on June 16, and an NZTA spokeswoman said yesterday the tender was expected to be awarded at the end of next week. The end of the tender process should mean finer details of the work, including exactly how parking will be affected, will become clear. Early this year, NZ Transport Agency projects team leader Simon Underwood said the new cycleway would result in the loss of about 258 parks, 130 fewer than originally mooted earlier in design development. The separated cycleway will run on both the north and south-bound one-ways, between the Dunedin Botanic Garden and Queens Gardens. Cont/

  6. Calvin Oaten

    Oh!, so for now Mr Simon Underwood can, once the job is completed, guarantee that there will never be another fatality in that area. If so, then the price of 258 car parks will be well worth it. If not, then what price stupidity. Well, it seems, around $8million.

  7. Gurglars

    So we pay $8 million to lose a huge loss in amenity.

    258 car parks!

    There are fewer car parks on Princes/George street now.

    Driving to town I rarely see a bicycle commuter.

    Why are we being put through this ideological wringer?

    The only possible nett loss is shoppers and city users, meaning that ratepayers with business interests are paying to have their customers repelled.

    • Diane Yeldon

      Once the Government decides to spend $333 million, there’s plenty of people with all sorts of motivations to spend it. The nation-wide roll out of urban cycleways has had ups and downs. One in Auckland (Mission Bay/Kohi, I think) has been very popular but it is primarily recreational, whereas one in Wellington has been criticised as dangerous and blocking car traffic. Despite the ideology that cycling is always good everywhere, you cannot always fit a safe cycleways in over the top of the existing transport infrastructure. Dunedin city urban area is small and constrained on one side by the sea and the other by hills, all historically densely built up. So trying to put a safe and useful central city cycleways here has the problem that it is unlikely to fit.
      The other problem with lack of space is that if the cycleways proves popular, then that creates congestion problems which include accidents. So some popular cycleways have seriously needed expansive because they have become dangerous. But how do you fix this if you were short of space in the first place? Sometimes the best engineering solution is not to do the project in the first place. I expect the Dunedin central city cycleway to be in ‘break-fix’ mode for decades, possibly forever.

  8. Hype O'Thermia

    Too true, Gurglars.
    DCC seems to have “consulted with” – listened to – the cyclist lobby, without surveying the much higher number of Dunedin people who use private vehicles but haven’t (yet) presented a united and forceful group.

    Most people fib about how much alcohol they drink, when their doctor asks them. They also eat like sparrows and do almost as much vigorous exercise as an All Black … except the odd day when they go out for a meal, it’s a workmate’s birthday shout, the weather is too bad to venture out, they’re too busy…..
    Thus the figures for “would use bus if….” and “would cycle if there were safe cycle lanes” should be taken with a pinch of salt. Consult your doctor re amount, he knows because he uses the same several times a day.

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