Drive to reopen for vehicles

Bollards on John Wilson Ocean Drive.
Bollards on John Wilson Ocean Drive.
John Wilson Ocean Dr should be reopened to vehicles within the next month.

The long-running seesawing saga of whether to reopen the road to vehicles will finally reach some resolution as Dunedin City Council contractors prepare to lay a chip seal on the closed stretch of road, then paint on the road markings.

City councillors decided at their final council meeting last year to spend $80,000 to reseal the road so it can be reopened to vehicles between 11am and 3pm on weekdays.

A seaward-side section of the road will be reserved for cyclists and pedestrians.

The speed limit will be 50kmh in the interim, with a review a few months after opening.

The road was closed temporarily six years ago for the period of construction for an extended sewage outfall pipe.

Public debate and councillor indecision about reopening it to vehicles raged after deaths in the area were noticeably reduced while it was closed. The road became popular for walking, cycling and exercising dogs.

Those keen to drive on the road said exclusive non-vehicle access was unfair to the elderly or disabled.

Council roading project engineer Evan Matheson said the road would be sealed and marked before the end of January.

Parks manager Lisa Wheeler said it would then a matter of deciding when the council's security company would start daily moving and replacing bollards, to control vehicle access.

John Wilson Drive

At long last John Wilson Ocean Drive is to be reopened. I simply can't believe it has taken so long for the Dunedin City Council to come to a decision on what should have been a simple matter. It should have been reopened as soon as the outfall drain was completed as that's the only reason it was closed. Opening for 4 hours on weekdays is discriminatory in my view because there are people who won't be able to make use of it during those hours. My view is that the Drive should be open all the time as it was before.



Has it not occured to the council that people who work 8am till 4.30pm and longer can't go up there during the day? People who work are just as entitled to use the road. This compromise is not good enough - a weekend day should and must be included in the inerests of fairness.. Knock off a weekday if neccesary. When are the clowns at the DCC going to sort this out? It's not brain surgery.

Not before time

At long last John Wilson Drive will once again be exactly that...a drive, for tourists and residents alike. No longer will we have to watch as eager tourists, having attempted to enjoy this fabulous Drive, are faced instead with having to U-turn their campervans halfway along a Drive which has no turning area.
The compromise reached means that walkers and drivers alike will be able to enjoy the spectacular views of Dunedins two main beaches. 

Why bother?

Open four hours a day and not on weekends. Why bother? 

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