Updated Post 29.3.13
Received yesterday by email.
Something that seems to have slipped the radar in Dunedin news of late is the WIDENING of Portobello Harington Point Road on the Otago Peninsula.
Looking at the Draft Annual Plan, the City Council intends to spend the following on what amounts to an environmental and heritage damaging folly. That’s only 33-34 % of the budget, given NZTA will subsidise the remaining 66-67% of the project.
[click on image to enlarge]
See page 24, Section 1 Group of Activities (PDF, 1.5 MB)
and page 142, Section 2 Financial Statements (PDF, 1.2 MB)
The road widening (including the Vauxhall and Macandrew Bay areas already completed) will reclaim nearly 11 hectares of the Otago Harbour — a conservative measurement given plans show significantly more reclamation if the topography requires it.
Consultation on the current design closed yesterday, Thursday 28 March, indicating approval of the plan is a given despite the consultation process for the Annual Plan this year and in years to come.
[29.3.13 – The plans are not available for viewing online, why not?]
There will be irrevocable damage to the Peninsula and Harbour landscape, heritage features and the ecology if this misguided piece of engineering continues.
It is feared the Council has the bit between its teeth on this project — described as being about “liveability”, according to Mayor Cull at the Portobello Annual Plan ‘roadshow’.
It might be worth pointing out to your readers that they look closely at the Draft Annual Plan in regards to this area of Council expenditure.
Searching Council for cost benefit and recreational analyses fails to show much other than what is in the June 2008 Cycle Strategy (PDF, 787 KB).
[See also: Dunedin’s Proposed Cycle Network, adopted August 2011]
Few will have problems with the desirability of access, but the lack of design sensitivity and impact on the values of the area seem inconsistent with the value of the Peninsula and Harbour to the community and our economy.
This is certainly an issue worth looking at more deeply.
Posted by Elizabeth Kerr