A cyclist heading north on Cumberland St, a Dunedin one-way
street, passes St Andrew St and enters one of the new,
wider cycle lanes being added by the New Zealand Transport
Agency. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
The New Zealand Transport Agency plans to press ahead
with improvements to a deadly intersection as part of a push to
improve the safety of cyclists on Dunedin's one-way streets.
The agency has written to the Dunedin City Council to update
it on work boosting cyclist safety on the city's one-way
streets forming part of State Highway 1.
It included work to widen on-road cycleways along Cumberland
and Castle Sts to 2.4m wide, allowing extra ''buffer'' room
for cyclists to avoid parked cars' doors being opened or
close vehicle traffic, NZTA project team manager Simon
Underwood said in his letter.
The work covered Cumberland St, between St Andrew and Hanover
Sts, and Castle St, between Dundas and St David Sts and
between Hanover and St Andrew Sts, as the roads were
resealed. The work was expected to be completed in March.
The agency had also settled on a preferred option for
improving safety at the intersection of Castle St and Anzac
Ave, near the Dunedin Railway Station, where a cyclist was
killed in a collision with a truck in November 2011.
Mr Underwood said the agency had consulted businesses in the
area which ''overwhelmingly'' favoured keeping the section
open to through traffic. The safety work would include
construction of a new footpath from Anzac Ave through the
lower Stuart St intersection and continuing further south,
towards Toitu Otago Settlers Museum.
If endorsed by the council, Mr Underwood expected the work
would be completed by July. Mr Underwood was part of a
working group involving council and NZTA staff, traffic
engineering and planning consultant Axel Wilke and a cycling
group, Spokes Dunedin, representative.
He said the working group was also considering longer-term
improvements in the central city and North Dunedin, but
details were yet to be revealed.
The widening of on-road cycle lanes in the meantime would
improve safety, although ''it remains that the safety of
cyclists is heavily reliant upon other users of the road
network'', he said.
A council suggestion that the agency consider building a
separated path for cyclists through the central city was
something cyclists also wanted, based on feedback from
cyclists to the agency, he said.
However, the loss of roadside parking that would result meant
there would need to be further discussion with the council
before any ''robust proposals'' were developed, he said.
In the meantime, parking arrangements beside cycleways,
including the length of vehicle stays allowed, would be
reconsidered, as longer-term parking meant less risk to
passing cyclists from opening car doors, he said.
Mr Underwood's letter would be considered by councillors at
Tuesday's infrastructure services committee meeting.