Staged Ocean Dr work rejected

A plan to stage redevelopment of the long-running and controversial John Wilson Ocean Dr project over three years was lost at this weeks' Dunedin City Council council draft annual plan meeting, despite a last-minute push by deputy mayor Chris Staynes.

The stretch of scenic seaside road beside St Kilda beach will go to the city's residents for public consultation with its full, almost $500,000, price tag planned to fall within the next financial year.

Mr Staynes told the meeting completing the project in two halves, the first in the 2011-12 year and the second in the 2013-14 year, would help the council manage its borrowing.

A decision councillors hoped would resolve the long-running saga over the road was made last week, when the council voted to spend $487,519 to develop the road into a shared space for motorists, pedestrians, cyclists and others, install a mechanical arm to control vehicle access to the road, as well as other additional improvements.

The idea of staging the work did not gain majority support from councillors, who were concerned about the already extended time the issue had taken to be resolved, and the original option will go for public consultation, and hearings from May 4.


John Wilson Drive

Seems to me the only people disadvantaged by the continued closure of John Wilson Drive are the disabled.

Instead of spending all that money so it can become a rubbish tip for boy racers again, why does the council not simply open the gates one or two afternoons a week to cars with disability stickers?

It would need to be policed but that's what we have parking officers for.


Great solution

Hi Diane, I think your idea is a great one. I hope someone from the council is listening to us. If two people on opposite sides of the car/walker argument can come to such a commonsense solution, it shouldn't be too hard for them to organise such a plan. You have my email, councillors...

I do know quite a few walkers who like to walk during weekdays, and you probably know a few drivers who would like to drive up to Lawyers Head in the weekend too, but those are details that can be worked out with goodwill on both sides. I do hope you get a chance to cross Lawyers Head off your "must revisit" list before too long.


Staged Ocean Dr work rejected

Hi Judy.  I think you have summed up all our feelings well.

I know there are many places I am unlikely to visit again and tell myself I should just add the Drive to the list, but then the debate is re-opened by letters to the editor or council meetings and I feel totally frustrated all over again.   It is a worry that the council is so involved in big expenditure, they have forgotten simple pleasures can be free and shared.

To me, and my friends with whom the Drive is often discussed, a simple solution would be open it for cars on weekdays when the elderly, unfit or infirm could drive and park. Close the barriers about 5pm and leave evenings and weekends for those who have more energy and time to walk or cycle. 

This could be a win win situation for the majority. and only cost the time of the person designated to open and close barriers.

We will keep hoping comonsense will prevail.

Must we eternally give in to 'Mechanised Neanderthalia'?

Back in the days when I used to go for a daily run,on John Wilson Drive, use of the drive was very moderate. The only 'danger' to those walking and cycling on the drive, in my experience, is the more recent phenomenon of the 'boy-racer',.

My point is, that closing John Wilson Drive because of the antics of a handful of clowns who didn't make-it very far up the evolutionary scale, is a cop-out, and one for which every responsible Dunedinite will undoubtedly suffer if the one-size-fits-all solution of banning all motor-vehicles is enforced. There will be emotive pleas about 'our children's safety', but the risk of danger to youngsters would be minimal, in my experience, if the 'boy-racer' element was kept in check. Simple speed-bumps might be an answer.

As for the problems of 'our children's safety'. How do some of the parents we encounter these days allow their kids to get out of bed in the morning? Learn, please, to dissassociate the two entities, 'likelihood' and 'remote possibility', because, in your minds, they are obviously one-and-the-same.



How about letting drivers and walkers work something out?

Hi Diane, you are one of the most passionate supporters of JWOD being opened to cars along its whole length. I get the feeling you don't really feel as if you've been listened to. I'm on the walkers' side, but I feel the same way, I don't think this expensive solution meets either drivers' or walkers' needs, not the latter, anyway.

I wish that the Council staff and the DCC sub-committee had sat down with a group of us from every side of the debate to try and find a win-win solution that was cheaper and quicker. Many walkers don't appreciate how important it is for some people to be able to drive right to the top of Lawyer's Head to enjoy the view, while many drivers don't understand that it is the peace and safety of not having to worry about cars anywhere on that smooth stretch of road that is so appealing to walkers and novice cyclists.

I personally think we could all enjoy the drive on a time share arrangement, with the bollards open on certain days at fixed times, but if a car misses the deadline and gets shut in, well the driver leaves it there or pays a fee to have the bollards opened to let them out. That beats a fancy electronic arm, and leaves the responsibility with the user.

John Wilson Ocean Drive

In 2010 there were submissions and consultation on the opening of John Wilson Ocean Drive. and we were led to believe it would open at the end of January 2011 on a monitored basis.  Then it suddenly turned into an expensive exercise, so remains closed while the City Fathers struggle to keep rates within some limits.

I have overlooked the area of the drive for 54 years, firstly as sandhills covered in lupins, then the exciting years of constant truck movements as the fill went in that eventually extended the road from the street lights to Lawyers Head.  This was followed by a steady stream of cars for many years until the treatment plant development required road closure.  

Now there are many hours when the drive is bare, occasionally there is a walker or two and rarely more than a dozen or so walking at any time, but there are constantly cars travelling as far as the locked barriers, and squashing for car parks.    This has turned the area into a sad sight.

Please don't drag the opening on until the city is financial again.  Many of us are not likely to survive that long.

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