Plans for a $4.5 million investment in cycleways in South
Dunedin have passed another hurdle, despite a suggestion that
cycleways offering only the protection of a painted white line
should be abandoned.
Councillors at yesterday's full Dunedin City Council meeting
voted to endorse the South Dunedin Cycle Network for public
consultation, after updated details of the work were unveiled
The plan would see a variety of routes - from quiet streets
to separated pathways - developed over the next three years
to improve safety and encourage more people to cycle.
The work was expected to cost the council $1.5 million over
the period, while the New Zealand Transport Agency provided
the remaining $3 million, although the agency's subsidy was
yet to be confirmed.
That was likely to happen this week, after a meeting between
council and NZTA staff yesterday, council transportation
planning manager Sarah Connolly told yesterday's meeting.
If approved, work would begin within months, focused
initially on ''quick wins'' that could provide an improved,
continuous cycling route from Tahuna Rd, in South Dunedin,
via Portsmouth Dr, to the central city.
Other routes and facilities were also planned, including
turning some South Dunedin streets into low-speed and
cyclist-friendly ''quiet streets''.
Most councillors backed the plans at yesterday's meeting,
including Cr Jinty MacTavish, who praised the ''really
worthwhile'' investment that would save fuel, reduce health
costs and bring other benefits.
However, she admitted to some ''nervousness'' because the
network plans included new cycling lanes painted on some
roads, including Forbury, Hillside and Macandrew Rds.
She thought the council might be better off abandoning
plans for the ''lines on roads'' and using the money to help
pay for other, better, facilities that provided more
She also wanted the community to have their say on the issue
during consultation on the network plans.
Cr Bill Acklin also questioned how the council's $1.5 million
investment would be measured, and the benefit for ratepayers
- ''especially those that don't ride bikes'' - shown.
At Moana Pool, ratepayers paid for part of the cost of each
admission, while users paid the rest, but for cycleways in
South Dunedin, only the ratepayers would pay, he said.
Council traffic engineering and planning consultant Axel
Wilke, of ViaStrada, said he would expect a 200% increase in
cycling to result over time if the improvements were made.
At present, about 5% of all trips in South Dunedin were made
by cycling, and, in five to eight years, that could increase
to 15%, he said.
''That would be a 200% increase. I would think that would be
pretty good value for money.''
Ms Connolly said that would also mean a decrease in traffic
congestion on the city's roads, as more people cycling meant
fewer people in cars. Cr Acklin agreed there were ''good
things'' in the plan, but ''time will tell what benefits come
to the community as a whole''.
He supported moves to improve safety, but believed motorists
and cyclists both needed to do more to achieve that goal.
While motorists needed to be more careful around cyclists,
''cyclists need to look after themselves, as well''.
Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull said he did not understand
suggestions cyclists were being favoured, as the council
already provided facilities away from motorists for
Councillors voted to approve the new plan for consultation,
although only affected party consultation would be needed for
the first stage of work, between Tahuna Rd and the central
city, before work on it began later this year.