South Dunedin streets could become low-speed quiet zones,
as part of a $4.5 million plan to improve the area's cycling
The proposal was part of the South Dunedin Cycle Network Plan
announced yesterday and to be considered at a Dunedin City
Council meeting on Monday.
If approved, work could be under way within months on the
first ''quick wins'' that could provide an almost continuous
route from South Dunedin to the central city, Mayor Dave Cull
The plan, which was still subject to public consultation,
would see a network of new cycling facilities across South
Dunedin, eventually linking to new facilities in the central
city and beyond.
The council and New Zealand Transport Agency were working
together on plans for the central city and North Dunedin,
which had been accelerated in response to cycle safety
Among plans unveiled for South Dunedin yesterday was a
proposal to turn some streets into ''quiet streets'' that
encouraged the safer sharing of roads, with 30kmh vehicle
speed limits. Traffic calming measures, changes to Give Way
priority at intersections, and new vehicle entry, exit and
turning restrictions, would also be included, although
residents' vehicle access would remain.
The idea was among four different styles of new cycleway
facility proposed for the network, depending on the location
of each route, traffic engineering and planning consultant
Axel Wilke, of ViaStrada, said.
Separated cycleways or paths would be built along other parts
of the South Dunedin network to provide routes completely
separated from the dangers posed by passing vehicles.
And, in other areas, more common roadside cycle lanes,
already found in parts of Dunedin, would be added, Mr Wilke
Council transportation planning manager Sarah Connolly said
the council had budgeted $4.5 million for the work over three
years, beginning in 2012-13, but the New Zealand Transport
Agency was expected to contribute $3 million of the total
cost. If approved, it was hoped work would begin about the
middle of this year, she said.
Mr Cull said public submissions on cycling received by the
council in recent years showed the ''huge latent demand'' for
better cycling facilities.
However, the recent deaths of cyclists on Dunedin's State
Highway 1 one-way streets - including 34-year-old Dr Li Hong
''Chris'' He last November - also helped put the expenditure
in perspective, Mr Cull believed.
The $4.5 million upgrade compared with the Ministry of
Transport's value of statistical life - an attempt to measure
the social cost of road crashes - which stood at $3.77
million per fatality, or $4.44 million per crash, in June
''I think it does put the expenditure in context, when the
cost to the wider community of one death is pretty much what
we have allocated over three years for the cycleway
network,'' Mr Cull said.
The new details unveiled yesterday came after the council
endorsed a Strategic Cycle Network plan for the city in 2011,
Ms Connolly's report said.
The council had assessed and prioritised 37 city routes,
giving more weight to safety improvements, which resulted in
South Dunedin's routes being given priority. The South
Dunedin project had also been renamed, from the Southern
Commuter Routes to the South Dunedin Cycle Network, to
reflect the wider uses catered for.
Mr Wilke said the majority of people were put off cycling
because of concerns about mixing with high volumes of
Investment in dedicated, separated cycleways was needed to
cater for those potential riders, but a ''huge'' 15% jump in
cycling in South Dunedin could result over time.
Quiet streets, already used overseas, could be controversial
but were the most economic way of improving safety.
They would provide residents all the benefits of living on a
cul-de-sac, but also ''the slight disadvantage of a longer
journey'' for some motorists, Mr Wilke said.