Dunedin's transport future could include the reintroduction
of Barnes dance pedestrian crossings and a vehicle-free
Octagon and George St.
The ideas were covered in a long list of changes to the
Dunedin City Council's draft transport strategy agreed by the
hearings subcommittee yesterday after two days of public
That meant the council would include investigations of Barnes
dance crossings and vehicle bans in future planning.
That could lead to the changes being trialled, although
exactly when, where and at what cost would be considered at a
later date, councillors decided.
The public would also get to comment on any changes coming
out of the strategy, Cr Kate Wilson indicated.
The draft strategy outlined planned improvements to the
city's transport network over the next 30 years, primarily
aimed at improving road safety, but including everything from
cycleway improvements to an eastern freight bypass.
Some of the 64 submitters to the draft strategy had called
for the council to reintroduce Barnes dance crossings and
include pedestrian-only zones in the Octagon and George St.
Council transportation planning manager Sarah Connolly told
the hearing yesterday earlier traffic modelling had shown
Barnes dance crossings would cause small delays for motorists
That meant councillors and the public would at some point
have to decide if that was acceptable to improve pedestrian
safety, she said.
Cr Jinty MacTavish said the need for change was clear, given
the city's vulnerable population of young and ageing people,
and significant rate of injury and death on the city's roads.
Councillor Andrew Noone asked for anyone who disagreed with
the need to prioritise safety over small delays for motorists
to say something, prompting silence around the table.
Cr Wilson later said changes would be about improving
everyone's safety - including motorists.
Council staff said the document would also emphasis the
strategic importance of roads to Dunedin International
Airport and Port Otago, although many of the concerns raised
by the Chamber of Commerce were already addressed in the full
Councillors spent much of yesterday afternoon working their
way through the list of submissions, agreeing to changes to
the wording of the draft in places to accommodate public
The changes would be finalised when the subcommittee meets
again on Monday afternoon, before the strategy was sent to
the last full council meeting of the term, on September 23,
for final approval by councillors.