Tag Archives: DCC Urban Design

STUPIDLY EXPENSIVE crossings, legal status? —Not universally recognised road markings

zebra-crossing-by-marian-kamensky-caglecartoons-com-1The urban design team(?!) lost it before they ever got it.

At Facebook, Alan Wilson says: “My concern is the cost. $140,000 for two crossings. Too many other things need money spent on upgrading”

Tony McAuliffe says: “….The Zebra crossing works, in part, ’cause they’re universally recognised for what they are. But 3-D pedestrian crossings? While they look fantastic, how will they perform functionally? If they don’t – and (hypothetically) a pedestrian gets clobbered because a driver fails to perceive them for what they’re meant to be – who’s prepared to answer the awkward questions?”

Too right. Bullshit City: Walk this way: 3-D crossings set to dazzle (ODT)
“Crossing the road in Dunedin’s tertiary precinct will be much more fun from this week, with the installation of two 3-D pedestrian crossings in Clyde St.”

Nothing grey pavement paint can’t remove on a dark night.

The frigging murals like a hippy rash about town are bad enough. A couple of internationally-authored ones are ‘art’, but the rest count as amateur copyist dross (mostly by technically challenged locals) wrecking our unique urban vistas.

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mural-applied-to-raw-red-brick-alley-next-to-104-bond-st-guy-mauve-at-flickr-comThanks to irresponsible building owners and ‘know-it-all-bend-the-rules’ city officials (friends of the irresponsible owners), this mural was applied to raw red brick in the side alley at 98 Bond St —contrary to the Dunedin City District Plan for listed precincts. This industrial building, a rare remnant, dates to the 1860s.
SHAME ON ALL INVOLVED.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

*Images: caglecartoons.com – Zebra Crossing by Marian Kamensky | flickr.com – mural at 98 Bond St by Guy Mauve

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Design alternatives to (pre-selected) bridge not canvassed by DCC

GOODBYE to Rattray St VIEW Shaft from Queens Gardens to the waterside.

HELLO to other serious impediments to unique and very significant harbourside cultural heritage and landscape values at the planned city.

Here is another DCC-inspired critically dead PLONK OBJECT.
An overhead rail bridge. Who gains.

Harbourside connector Rattray Fryatt Streets [DCC files] 1DCC files: Harbourside connector Rattray Fryatt Streets [click to enlarge]

It looks innocuous, nothing to scare the horses. A simple sling over the tracks at an estimated a cost of “about $3 million”.

What’s the fuss? Ahhh well.
The history of political deception through use of loose architectural sketches is tied (here as anywhere) to DCC departmental reports and estimates that hardly ever approximate REAL cost. Multiply by two.

Then the idea that the “hotel” is back on the drawing boards, if not a screw-us invitation to Asian investment for the south side.

By all means let’s escalate this (an idea) – the tame little cheapie bridge (pictured above, significantly downplayed structurally as a pencil mark) is another potential rort in the grand family of Council rorts that includes the Stadium*, Centre for High Performance Sport*, Carisbrook*, Dunedin Town Hall Redevelopment*, Citifleet*, City Forests*, Delta investments (severally)*, Cycle Network et al, and very probably the proposed Mosgiel pool if it gains traction for Taieri property speculators. For each, an independent forensic audit isn’t out of the question – for ratepayer ‘information’ that could depose the Council in favour of a Commissioner, presupposing later redress at Court. Visit resort to the *Crimes Act. Now, there’s a ‘visitor strategy’ for Dunedin !!

Meekly, more circumspectly (after all, it was just an idea, a stretch), those of us trained in architectural rendering and graphics as well as contemporary design philosophy of the marketplace know the tricks intimately; we’re not above exploiting them for a quick buck and a further string of new jobs by secret handshake.

Lucky for some, each deal at Dunedin (with links to Queenstown and Auckland if via Christchurch lawyers and accountants) can be sown up by a very small number of predatory boys. The same list we’ve had on our backburner books tracing the Stadium debacle —beginning to rise apparent at the ODT front page of Friday, 22 May 2015. An intriguing warning shot.

But is this right ? Has Dunedin City Council been wowed by just one bridge proposal ? Has DCC in the first place only ever been looking for a bridge —not seeking opportunities for alternatives, such as a designer underpass or an immediately legible automatically controlled crossing at grade, for light vehicle transit as well (shared roads) ?

It’s pretty poor and conflicting if Dunedin City councillors and senior council management have indeed sold out (under a red-carpeted table) to a lone solicited vision of an overhead bridge UNTESTED BY PROFESSIONAL COMPETITION – another signature WHITE model, to augment those other visions in WHITE for ORC sites at the Steamer Basin —nicely, satisfyingly calculated by that little list of club players.

It’s not hard to imagine that this mere slip of a concrete and steel flyover, is an “enlightenment” carrying the City re-brand. A cause célèbre for ego-fired DCC infidels and speculator man-pals. The very people who can’t bear to endure sage, conservative, long-term economic modelling for Dunedin, taking the city and region through 10 to 50 years of solid management to ensure business diversity and job creation. No, they prefer ad hoc spurts and short-term squander plans (how manly, even when couched as the soft-illustrated 2011 Central City Plan FFS).

Where, for this crossing, is the city council’s reasonably time-lined, broadly advertised, professional design competition with clearly expressed intent to utilise open tendering methods for architectural design, engineering and construction ??

TO SAVE US FROM COI’S AND RORTS.

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The Otago Daily Times has learned the bridge is among only a few New Zealand projects vying for the next allocation from the Urban Cycleway Fund.

### ODT Online Thu, 28 May 2015
Bridge on funding short list
By Chris Morris
A multimillion-dollar bridge linking Dunedin’s inner city and waterfront has been short-listed for Government funds. […] An announcement is expected next month, and, if successful, the bridge could be considered for construction over the next three years.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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