Positive steps in cycle lane funding

An artist's impression of a possible cycle lane on Dunedin's southbound one-way system. Image supplied.
An artist's impression of a possible cycle lane on Dunedin's southbound one-way system. Image supplied.
Funding for the further development of cycle lane options proposed for Dunedin's one-way system has passed its first hurdle.

The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) will probably fund cycle lanes on the state highways through the central city.

Otago Regional Council transport policy manager Dr Jane Turnbull said the regional land transport committee agreed earlier this month to recommend the council vary the 2012-15 Otago Regional Land Transport Programme (RLTP) by up to $1 million to make the money available for continued work on the project in this funding round.

That would include up to $125,000 to develop a business case for the three options on the table (all involving a separated cycle lane), up to $200,000 for detailed design work (subject to the outcome of the business case), and the remainder for some construction work in the 2014-15 year should the project progress that far before the present RLTP ended.

The council would consider the recommendation at its May 7 meeting. If it approved the variation, it would be sent to the NZTA for it to consider whether it agreed to vary the current National Land Transport Programme.

The full cost of the lanes is expected to be about $4.5 million, the cost of which is realistically expected to be promoted for inclusion in the 2015-18 land transport programmes.

The request for variation came from the NZTA's highway and network operations arm.

A letter from project team leader Simon Underwood requesting the variations said it was very unlikely the project would be progressed to the construction stage by the end of this RLTP period.

It was expected the business case would be ready by December this year or January 2015. Subject to the outcome of that, the detailed design work would likely start mid-year.

Dr Turnbull said it was decided to seek the variation for the larger amount to avoid having to repeat the variation process should it progress more quickly than expected.

- debbie.porteous@odt.co.nz

 

New bylaw required

Can the Council now also commit to introducing a new bylaw requiring cyclists to use all these new cycleways being built, we still hear of arrogant cyclists in other centres hit by cars while continuing to ride on the road adjacent to cycle ways. If I cannot drive / park or obscure a foot path with my car, cyclist should not be permitted to ride on the road when a cycle way had been provided with severe fines imposed.

[Abridged] 

Thanks, Cr Calvert

Cr Hilary Calvert says: “…Council has decided to leave the finance committee chair off the group looking into the business case on the basis that finance is irrelevant to the business case.”

What sort of dufus outfit is the DCC, really? The cycle lane issue is a multimillion-dollar controversy. Next question: Who is to blame for this gross oversight, exactly? The answer might be the (same) people who don't know finance, have no sense of cause and effect, enjoy spending other people's money, and through their iffy decision-making processes contribute (now and historically) to harder times for local business.

Jill Guy's letter to the editor (ODT, 9.4.14), opens: “Cr Richard Thomson thinks parking is not important to retail businesses outside the CBD (ODT, 2.4.14), and that council should just get on and create cycleways. I suppose as his own retail outlet is comfortably tucked inside a mall with plenty of parking and foot traffic, it's easy to advise without care or responsibility.” (Link)

Damned if they do, damned if they don't include the council’s chair of finance in the cycleway group?

Cr Calvert again: "It is a concern ... that we have now returned to the mistaken idea that the 'full cost of the proposed cycle way is $4.5 million'. This is simply wrong. There will be significant costs as yet unknown to the ratepayer, not the least of which will be around parking."

Cr Thomson as a fair and diligent chairman can be expected to exercise himself on defining all development costs of
the preferred cycle lane options proposed for the one-way system; and to communicate these to the public in a timely way before the final decision goes to council for adoption.

Nonetheless all city councillors have a responsibility to the city's renters and ratepayers to identify and expand on the wider costs. Councillors must be transparent and accountable, but to this add rational, logical, prudent, ethical and well-researched. Are they? The jury's been out an awful long while.

Cycle lane funding

Great to see NZTA on board to continue this project, especially now there is a compromise proposal which should help parking issues.

It is a concern however that we have now returned to the mistaken idea that the 'full cost of the proposed cycle ways is $4.5 million. This is simply wrong. There will be significant costs as yet unknown to the ratepayer, not the least of which will be around parking.

Confounding  this Council has decided to leave the finance committee chair off the group looking into the business case on the basis that finance is irrelevant to the business case. 

I will keep asking questions on behalf of ratepayers who want true information available and to challenge Council to make decisions based on as much knowledge as possible. 

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