New cycle lanes seem likely to cost Dunedin drivers some car parks. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
Dunedin's apparent obsession with car parking will not be
allowed to derail the new cycle lanes project, city
councillors warned yesterday.
Councillors considering their next step in the joint project
between the New Zealand Transport Agency and the council
yesterday agreed business cases should be developed for
various options for a separated cycle lane through the
They also agreed the council would continue parallel work to
develop a mitigation plan for any impact the lanes might
have, including on parking. Consultation revealed parking
issues seriously concerned some in the community.
The council's infrastructure services committee passed the
resolutions after NZTA projects team manager Simon Underwood
asked it to decide - while the business cases were being
worked through - what the ''bigger picture'' priorities were.
''Do you want the best option for cycling, or do you want a
compromise that retains some more parking?''
The working group that developed options for the separated
cycle lane design has said it prefers, given the original
catalyst of the project was to improve cyclist safety, an
option of two one-way lanes on the SH1 pair (known as option
1), which would result in the loss of 391 parks.
The other option under consideration involves a single
two-way lane along the route, affecting about 180 parks.
A modified option, known as option 1a, that acknowledges
community and business concerns about parking losses, has
more recently been added to the mix.
It would maintain 198 car parks along some blocks by placing
the cycle lane between car parking and the footpath, achieved
by reducing the widths of footpaths, cycle and parking lanes
in some places.
Several councillors indicated their possible opposition to
option 1a, although decisions on options will not be made
until the business cases and mitigation plan are done.
The lanes would be paid for by the NZTA, with the council
responsible only for parking and maintenance.
Cr Jinty MacTavish said she had grave safety and
best-practice concerns about option 1a, as well as about
spending money to provide parking capacity that might not be
Cr Richard Thomson, a retailer himself, had earlier said he
was in favour of ''just bloody well getting on with it''. He
said retailers as a group overrated parking.
''It would be an issue if we were competing with stand-alone
malls, but we are not.''
He recalled battling with other retailers 20 years ago about
removing some parks in the central retail area to plant
trees, an amenity improvement that had proved successful.
''We have debated this [the cycle lanes project] long
enough,'' Cr Thomson said.
Engineering to improve the safety of multi-modal transport
had been missing from Dunedin's transport network for
probably 50 years, despite safety improvements in every other
The potential cost of $350,000 for the project would be an
investment lasting 30 years, making it an ''extraordinarily
small sum'' to reassure safety.
''If we can't find $350,000 over the lifetime of the cycle
network, then we don't deserve to be in charge of this city,
is my view.''
Deputy mayor Chris Staynes agreed taking away car parks had
long been, and continued to be, an emotive issue in Dunedin,
but it made no sense.
''It's a perception [that business will be harmed by the
removal of some car parks], but it's only a perception and it
could be a perception that could derail a great project.
''If we want to be a great small city in the real world [by
providing improved amenities and multimodal transport
options], this is what we need to do.''
Parking was the only fly in the ointment at this stage,
Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull said.
Councillors approved his suggestion a new working party be
set up comprising him and various other councillors to help
advance the business cases and the mitigation plan.
The council's parking study (between December and March)
• 65 more parks available on the one-way streets than
required at peak times
• Areas with the highest parking occupancy around the
university and hospital, both of which prefer the option
removing the most parks
• At least 100 new parks could be created on SH1 side streets
• Retailers think 65% of customers drive to their stores,
when actual figure is 53%
• 66% of shoppers park in shopping centre car parks or 5min
• When drivers cannot find a park nearby, 35% keep driving
around until they do, 22% park further away and walk, 36%
park in an off-street car park and 7% go home or elsewhere.
Source: SH1 Cycle Lanes Parking