Parking changes outside hospital

The maximum time period on the 13 pay-and-display parks outside Dunedin Hospital on Cumberland St between Hanover and Frederick Sts, is to be increased from four hours to all day in an attempt to make the area safer for cyclists.

On-street parking on other streets around the hospital will then be monitored to see how the changes affect those parks.

The Dunedin City Council says the changes on Cumberland St, which is also State Highway 1, should mean fewer vehicles manoeuvering into parks across the recently widened cycle lane, therefore less conflict between vehicles and cyclists.

The changes are scheduled for late this month or early February.

Other changes in that block at the same time include the removal of one of three P5 parks, increasing the number of mobility parks from two to four, the removal of a bus stop and the installation of no-stopping lines immediately south of the entrance to the hospital car park.

The changes are one of several short-term measures to improve safety for cyclists after the council sought urgent action following two cyclist deaths.

Dunedin City Council senior traffic engineer Ron Minnema said the Southern District Health Board, the NZ Transport Agency, the Automobile Association and the Otago Regional Council had been consulted on the changes.

Results from monitoring effects on nearby Great King, Hanover and Frederick Sts would be discussed with the DHB to determine whether further changes were required.

Earlier in 2013, minor changes to parking took place at 17 sites in the central city in response to the council's November 2012 request to the NZTA and council staff to identify short-term measures to improve cyclist safety, as well as developing a long-term plan with the same vision.

Part of the long-term plan is a separated cycle lane proposal for Dunedin one-way sections of State Highway 1.

Consultation on that proposal closed on December 6, with further consultation to take place early this year and a report with recommendations due to council in May.

Cycle Lanes

I am very concerned about the possibility that we'll lose parking spaces around the Dunedin Hospital area as it's hard enough already to find a park. The above story at least says there will be more long term parking closer to the Hospital but what bothers me is the Council are doing this to accommodate cyclists. Surely sick and disabled people who need to attend the Hospital must take priority. Don't get me wrong, I strongly support keeping cyclists safe but feel it would be better if they weren't allowed on State Highway one at all - there are plenty of other streets they could use. Since 17 November I have travelled along that route many times as my husband was an inpatient for 23 days. During that time I hardly saw a cyclist riding along the cycle lanes at all.

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