An impassioned plea by Cr Jinty MacTavish to get
something done soon to improve the safety of cyclists in
central Dunedin followed a two-hour discussion on the matter by
''All that's really been done is two stretches of road have
been widened to modern standards. There is no timeline [for
more work], no funding allocated and no work done, including
no timing for work in the very area where the most recent
fatality [outside Dunedin Hospital in November] was.
''I personally am not happy with that scenario ... Measures
need to be implemented in urgency.''
Two cyclists had been killed in Dunedin recently, she said.
''Surely, we can finalise quick wins in a more timely manner.
Let's not drag this out over years ... or we will all be
responsible for another death.''
Her comments came as the council's infrastructure services
committee considered a progress update from the New Zealand
Transport Agency on work under way to improve cycle and
pedestrian safety in the central city.
The NZTA reported it had widened two sections of the central
city cycle lane network and had funding to make permanent by
July a temporary layout at the intersection of Anzac Ave and
Castle St, which it believed improved the safety of the
intersection since a cyclist was killed there in November
It was still investigating was whether more widening should
be done in conjunction with other resurfacing or all at once
if funding was available, a review of parking and other
Much of the councillors' discussion centred on the changes at
the intersectionThe committee ''reluctantly'' agreed to
support the NZTA's proposal to make permanent the temporary
arrangement at the intersection, but councillors made it
clear they still viewed it as a temporary solution as it did
not improve safety sufficiently.
They agreed their preference was to close the intersection
and turn it into a cul-de-sac - despite limited consultation
by the NZTA with business users of the intersection
indicating overwhelming support for it to stay open.
NZTA project manager Simon Underwood said its preference was
to keep the intersection open, but to reduce the volume of
traffic using the intersection by directing traffic to St
Andrew or Ward Sts. However, this would require a lengthy
process of investigation, costing, testing and consultation.
Asked the existing arrangement
precluded turning the intersection into a cul-de-sac in the
future, he said that was not the case and it would still be
possible to do so as much of the investment was in a new
footpath, which would remain in any case.
Councillors expressed concern it appeared drivers, under the
new layout, were still not stopping completely at the
intersection before driving across a cycle lane, despite a
new stop sign.
Mr Underwood said he had watched a video taken by cycle
advocates Spokes Dunedin last week that showed many vehicles
not stopping at the intersection. However, it showed vehicles
were slowing significantly compared with speeds recorded
during the time of the original layout.
The NZTA considered the new layout a success, he said.
Asked for the council staff's view, senior traffic engineer
Ron Minnema said they believed the NZTA's proposal addressed
several of the causes of the fatality and made the
While not reducing traffic volumes, the new layout had cut
exiting speeds, improved visibility and reduced the potential
conflict area between vehicles and cyclists.
Mr Underwood agreed with Mayor Dave Cull that the only way to
make it completely safe was to block it off, but the NZTA had
dismissed that option because in the limited consultation the
council had asked it to undertake, it found businesses were
opposed to that.
After various discussions about why trucks could not simply
turn at St Andrew St and use the heavy-traffic bypass south,
Cr MacTavish raised the issue of trucks entering and leaving
Cadbury via Anzac Ave.
Councillors agreed to ask the NZTA to have urgent discussions
with Cadbury over access issues.