'Robust resolution' sought over SH88

Doug Hall.
Doug Hall.
The process to designate land for the new State Highway 88 realignment around Dunedin's Forsyth Barr Stadium is on hold while the city council focuses on finding "a robust resolution" to longstanding issues resulting from the bungled handling of the original process.

The council has spent 18 months and $485,000 trying to find a resolution to the issues, which revolve around the safety of the configuration of the new road.

The council originally designated some of Dunedin businessman Doug Hall's property for the new road, before realigning the road around his property in 2010 without notifying him.

Mr Hall has concerns about the layout of the new road, and says it has resulted in safety issues over access to and from his yard.

He has applied to the High Court for a review of the council's decision to alter the original designation without notification.

Temporary access to his property has been put in place.

The council is concerned that the ongoing lack of a permanent resolution to the road layout is restricting the full execution of traffic management plans for the road, particularly the switching on of traffic lights to control the intersection of Frederick St and Anzac Ave.

Asked why the council wanted to continue trying to reach a resolution with Mr Hall when it had not been able to agree with him in 18 months and had already started a new designation process, council operations manager Tony Avery said he had no comment to make, other than that all parties were trying to reach a resolution.

At a hearing in late April, the council backed down and came to an agreement with Mr Hall that the temporary arrangement at Anzac Ave remain in place until either a new designation was complete and Mr Hall had exhausted his appeal rights, or there was a further order from the court in relation to any application for an alternative temporary access arrangement.

The council had started the designation process, which was expected to be publicly notified this month and take at least a year.

Mr Hall said he could not comment other than to agree that both parties were working together to find a solution.

debbie.porteous@odt.co.nz

A bouquet

Either someone from the DCC/LTA read this or, in a remarkable conincidence, someone has been out with the white paint and addressed my concerns about the intersection. It was much safer when I cycled through yesterday.
I did note though that the lowered 30km/h speed limit is still posted but not observed. Will this post trigger some enforcement? If not, the lowered limit may as well be removed, as it is currently pointless, being so unanimously ignored.

Why this intersection is 'special'

Roadwarrior - this corner is very different and much worse than the other two that you mentioned.

1. Travelling citybound on SH88, the barrier to separate SH88 and the entry to the Hall yard means that lane is exceptionally narrow. Try going round there on a bike, with a vehicle (or better yet, a truck and trailer) attempting to pass you and not cross the centre line.

2. Because the road was re-designed to avoid the Hall yard, it sweeps round quite sharply, providing very poor visibility of traffic coming from Port Chalmers. This is especially problematic for pedestrians and cyclists trying to cross SH88 from Frederick St.

3. The intersection geometry is designed for traffic lights. This means the shape of the corner is quite different to an uncontrolled intersection. The 'give way' line (when there is one painted, which there is not always) is miles back from the corner (to accommodate the pedestrian crossing that is not there. Which means again, as a cyclist turning right from Hanover, you have extra distance across the intersection, with less sight of cars coming from your left. And for pedestrians, the 'mouth' of Frederick St is widened to accommodate the turning lanes.

These differences are quite profound when cycling. Finally, when the temporary solution was first implemented, there was a speed reduction to 30km/h. Which sort of helped, until people started ignoring it, and I think it has subsequently been removed.

 

What's good for the goose...

I totally agree with "russandbev" - I say "Go Mr Hall"!

Absolutely - ridiculous is the word

"Tens of millions" to buy the land? It's not sitting on a gold seam is it? .

I completely agree with you.  The price tag is ridiculous.  However, that price has been set by the DCC in its purchases of adjacent industrial land - the stadium and SH88 land purchases.  "Ridiculous" is a word that can be amply applied to Council's conduct (through their staff) throughout this matter. 

If the SH88 realignment had been properly designated, then the Anzide Properties land would have had to be purchased at the same rates - that is the process. What is more ridiculous is that for one parcel of land in that area, there were valuations ranging from $230,000 to $630,000 to $2.8 million, for the same piece of land.  The $2.8 million figure there was commensurate with the values paid for other parcels of land in that area for SH88.

What complicates the Anzide Properties situation is that the land is freehold.  Therefore any purchase under Public Works Act must compensate the landowner not only for the value of the land, but also for its potential.  So yes, it will be more than the GV. 

The "tens of millions" price tag comprises the following:

- purchase of Anzide Properties land at market rates

- redesignation of the SH88 realignment and associated hearings

- compensation for business disruption and lost profits, relocation costs etc

- associated legal costs

There is no escaping redesignation - it must be done in order to set the road on a proper legal basis.

There is no escaping purchase of the Anzide Properties land as it is clear that the intersection cannot be made safe while it remains as an operating facility.

I stand by my estimate of at least $10 million for the above.  

[Abridged]

A price has been set.

The fact is that when all the land was being purchased for the stadium, the land owners or lease holders received on average 3 times the going rate for the land.  Readers may well recall one of those owners, John Farry's now famous quote about his windfall as being nothing other than "a piss in the bucket".

Those actions set a price for the land which Mr Hall should reasonably expect to be maintained in his case.  But maybe Mr Hall is not part of the same group of very fortunate sellers and as such received less attention.

What is way worse is that we know that despite the mammoth bungling by the DCC in this whole sorry mess, no accountability for actions taken will be looked into by the DCC.  The lesson to be learned obviously is that you can muck up to your heart's content, but you will not be held responsible.  I hope Mr Hall teaches City Hall a big lesson.

[Abridged]

It works well now

"Tens of millions" to buy the land? It's not sitting on a gold seam is it? The combined rateable value of Anzide Properties land there is $930,000. Are you suggesting it attracts an 1100% premium to get into the "tens of millions" - ridiculous.

Jamesg please explain what makes this particular corner (or intersection actually if one wanted to nitpick) so much more dangerous than for example the next  intersection to the south, that of Anzac Ave, Hanover St and the overbridge to the wharf area, or the roundabout to the north of the stadium, or any other non traffic light controlled intersection of busier roads? I can't see why this corner is special, especially if those cyclists and pedestrians follow road rules and use their eyes and ears and excercise due care and self preservation, once again what makes this intersection any different to others?

 

Cyclist and pedestrian safety

This corner is an accident waiting to happen for cyclists and pedestrians. There is urgent need for a better temporary solution while this is sorted out, because another 12 months of the current temporary solution is too great a safety risk for cyclists and pedestrians.

Quite simple

Either:

1.  Buy the land.

2.  Go through the redesignation process.  Then have to buy the land.

There is no way out of this for Dunedin City Council other than the status quo being maintained or them having to buy the land.

The issue for the Dunedin City Council is that they have set high land prices through their original purchases of adjacent land in the SH88 transactions.  This means they have to acquire Hall's land at the same prices.

Either of the options above incurs an expense to the Council of tens of millions.  No wonder they want to delay the process.

The staff responsible for the original process should have no part in the continuing process.  There should be a full investigation of the SH88 transactions. 

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