Single-direction cycle lanes favoured

An artist's impression of a one-directional cycle lane in Cumberland St, Dunedin. Image from NZTA.
An artist's impression of a one-directional cycle lane in Cumberland St, Dunedin. Image from NZTA.
The vast majority of the 2000 submissions on Dunedin's State Highway 1 separated cycle-lane proposal favour a one-direction lane on both one-way streets.

The consultation over improving cycle safety on the two stretches of SH1 through Dunedin - Great King, Cumberland and Castle Sts - showed cyclists would use such a lane, which was generally regarded as a safer option.

NZTA conducted the four-week consultation, in which people were asked if they would use the cycle lane, whether it should be one-directional or two-way, and what other issues they had.

A summary of the submissions, released yesterday, showed nearly 2100 people, including 1500 who made their views known via cycling advocate group Spokes, made a written submission on the proposal to introduce separated cycle lanes, which would require the removal of hundreds of car parks.

Another 883 people filled in an online NZTA survey.

More than 1000 cyclists said they would use the one-way routes.

The Otago Chamber of Commerce said more investigations into parking solutions were needed.

AA Otago's support for the two-way option, in which fewer car parks would be lost, was conditional on alternative parking measures in adjacent streets.

Most of the nine retailers and property owners who made submissions did not support either option.

NZTA projects team leader Simon Underwood said the submissions gave a clear indication people would use the lanes, which was part of the information NZTA was seeking from the consultation.

Three hundred and ten submissions were from out-of-town people (mainly cyclists) and 128 from motorists, pedestrians, ratepayers, retailers, businesses, property owners and other stakeholders, such as the Southern District Health Board and the University of Otago.

The university, the SDHB public health unit and Otago Regional Council favoured the one-direction option.

The SDHB said it would prefer a state highway did not run through the hospital campus, but it was aware diverting the highway would be difficult.

It said close and accessible parking for people using the hospital was paramount, and any changes to incorporate cycle lanes would need to take into account alternative parking options.

While Dunedin Hospital was one of the larger generators of demand for on-street parking, the SDHB supported a one-direction cycle lane for its improved safety and because it provided people with more active choices for transport.

Detailed submissions were received from 48 submitters concerned about the potential loss of parking, with many saying alternative arrangements must be made.

Cadbury and Otago Museum, which would lose parking on both sides, and tenants of Radio Otago House were among businesses in Great King, Cumberland and Castle Sts concerned about the potential loss of short-term parking and safe access for deliveries.

Individuals were concerned about access to and convenient parking outside the hospital and physio pool.

The university supported a one-direction cycle lane because it believed the current reliance on on-street parking was not consistent with its long-term sustainable travel targets for staff and students.

It also saw cycling as a credible alternative to vehicles and was extremely concerned at the limited safety of the existing cycle lanes.

Other issues raised in submissions included additional safety concerns, costs and Dunedin topography being unsuited to cycling.

A series of alternative ideas for improving cyclist safety was also put forward.

Mr Underwood said more information would now be gathered, including more detailed cycle counts, right-turn traffic counts (those who would cross the cycle lane) and parking occupancy assessments.

Alternative parking would be further investigated and discussed with affected businesses.

The full summary was available on the NZTA's web page and anyone who felt their point of view was not taken in to account should contact him. The submissions could also be read at the NZTA's Dunedin office.

A progress report on the project would be delivered to the city council's infrastructure services committee in April. Businesses and property owners directly affected would then be consulted.

A report recommending a preferred option is likely to be presented to the council in May or June next year.



Ah yes, the anonymous recommendation

The NZTA, I believe, are only really interested in state highways. My impression, right or wrong, is that the city's roads and what it does with them is up to the city, but the NZTA looks after the state highways.  So, it seems to prove my point.  If the NZTA were involved in this fiasco, then they would only really be considering state highway solutions.  The DCC are very keen that the NZTA meet any costs because they are as close to bankrupt as they can be.  If the cycle routes were to be decided to use Calvin Oaten's route (previously published on the ODT site) then the NZTA would not have to come to the party and the DCC would have to meet the cost.  So putting the cyclists on a state highway is really good for the DCC.

Wouldn't it be good if there was a bit of transparency round this issue?  But that is highly unlikely based on experience.

But let me make my position clear.  I do believe that there should be cycle lanes in Dunedin, I do believe that those lanes should be in relatively quiet places to minimise risk to cyclists.  Putting a state highway route through areas of high pedestrian and city traffic was a stupid idea at the start and maybe should be reviewed - although the alternatives might not be cheap and NZTA doesn't really consider Dunedin of national significance.  And lastly if this recommendation goes ahead, it is yet another example of fuzzy and uninspirational leadership by all concerned.

As a postscript, what is Dunedin going to do about skateboarders on these streets?  Open gaming season?

One-sided approach

"with two clear options offering the best safety gains for cyclists and linking to a wider cycle network for Dunedin."

Fair enough to consider those things, but what about considering motorists as well? Seems to be a one-sided approach. 

Regarding State Highway 1

There has been much wailing and gnashing of teeth over the fact that the survey only considered two options.  Allow me to read from the book of the New Zealand Land Transport Authority (amen).

Quoth the book: "Several potential routes were assessed by the Cycle safety working, with two clear options offering the best safety gains for cyclists and linking to a wider cycle network for Dunedin. These options are now open for community comment."

So, according to the NZTA they considered several potential routes, and settled on these two as providing the best saftey gains.  How they reached that conclusion I do not know, but there is the justification.

Why SH1?

I stand by my comments entirely.  The survey was nothing other than feedback on 2 options based on an entirely false premise, and largely hijacked by a well-orchestrated campaign.  That premise was, and remains, that it is sensible to install cycle lanes on SH1.

Plainly it is not. To purposely route cyclists on the busiest through-roads in the city is not only stupid it - could well be tantamount to putting cyclists lives at risks. 

The survey was inherently flawed.  Some have adopted the view that SH1 should not be adjacent to the hospital, nor go through the University campus.  Indeed it wasn't all that long ago that there was a plan to submerge SH1 below ground level beside the campus.  No issues with that being considered.  But to blindly adhere to this faulty premise that cycleways must be on SH1 is madness. 

Why does everyone think that cyclists are banned from SH1 over the Northern Motorway?  Why was the recently completed cycleway between Roxburgh and Lawrence separated out from SH8 that it so closely follows for long distances?

Lastly, it is the prime behavioural trait of almost every politician that they believe they are right. Whether it was Shipley, Clark, Chin, or lately Key and Brown - all ignore views other than their own unless it would be damaging to their own position.  Its called arrogance.

Following the leader

Raymondo12 is the one with memory failure.  Jenny Shipley was PM from 8 December 1997 to 5 December 1999.  Helen Clark was PM from 5 December 1999 to 19 November 2008.

As I said previously, others in positions of power have taken enthusiastically to the Shipley model of "consultation".  This has not done the people of NZ any favours.  Its popularity may be due to some other reason.



Follow the leader

Hype, it was Helen Clark who was the kind of leader you describe. Don't you remember?

Survey very questionable

I agree with russandbev. The whole thing looks suspect to me and is certainly not scientific if people all around NZ could be included in the outcome.

What should I have done?

The 128 submissions from motorists, pedestrians, ratepayers, business, property owners, of which I am one. I am also a cyclist - does it matter what hat I wear when I fill out a submission?

Far from pointless survey

According to russandbev the survey on cycling was invalid because it "included two options - both involving SH1". That is a prime example of missing the point. The survey was constructed perfectly to evade consideration of plans other than those the survey wanted. Russandbev come close to answering their own criticism with "The questions that should have been asked if the truth was actually being sought...". And what questions should have been asked if apparent mass approval of an already-chosen plan was being sought?

Russandbev must be too young to remember Jenny Shipley's special brand of "consultation" - "we tell you and if you don't agree we say regretfully that we hadn't communicated well enough with the people" and go ahead anyway. She was a great leader, her example is being followed to this very day.

Invalid survey

These survey results are completely pointless and are invalid because the survey only included two options - both involving SH1. The questions that should have been asked if the truth was actually being sought would have been:

1 Do you support cycle lanes in Dunedin?

2 If yes, do you support using SH1 to install such cycle lanes?

3 If yes, do you support single way or dual way cycle lanes?

4 If no, which route would you support?

This "survey" is nothing but nonsense.

Not a democratic majority

A majority of submissions means nothing other than a probably organised campaign. It is not a measure of majority Dunedin opinion.

1500 submissions via Spokes is interesting. Their Facebook page has 569 Likes, and they won't all be Dunedin residents. 

Submissions need to be considered on their merits, not on their numbers.

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