The first step towards securing funding for major changes to
Dunedin's road networks has been taken by the Dunedin City
Council, even though exactly what those changes will be is
yet to be decided.
Councillors yesterday noted council staff had taken the first
of six steps in a new process for applying for funding from
the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA).
''Strategic cases'' had been submitted for two projects - one
to improve the ''access, mobility and safety'' of the central
city road network and the other to enhance the freight
The new process requires applicants to submit a ''strategic
case'' identifying the problems they want to fix, which must
be approved before they submit a business case for solutions.
The request was for councillors simply to note the strategic
cases, which were developed by a working group of staff, some
councillors and other key stakeholders such as NZTA and heavy
The cases had already been lodged with NZTA so that staff,
pending approval, could begin preparing a business case
within the required deadlines.
The strategic cases identified the main problems with the
central city network as being the one-way pair bisecting the
city; conflict between vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians;
car parking favouring the use of cars; and the design,
management and integration of public transport discouraging
The main problems with the freight network were poor
connections between State Highway 1 and State Highway 88 to
Port Otago; routing freight through town centres; and the
potential for more rail activity at St Andrew St to impede
traffic flow to the port.
Despite the problems being the same as those identified in
the integrated transport strategy adopted by councillors last
year, Crs Hilary Calvert and Lee Vandervis asked what
solutions the problems appeared to be leaning towards, and
why councillors were not more involved in developing the
Cr Calvert said her concern was that ''99% of the solution
was established when the problem was established'' and in
this case the problems were established by people not chosen
by the council.
She was reminded by Cr Andrew Noone that councillors would
have plenty of opportunities at the next stage to thrash out
''To sit here and not take it to the next stage is ignoring
the issues we do have in the city.''
Cr Vandervis said the problems identified were based on
''absurd or probably false'' assumptions, including that
there was too much parking in Dunedin, that public transport
patronage could be increased by restricting parking and that
encouraging more people to cycle would make the roads safer.
''As long as they continue to be the driving assumptions,
we're going to spend a lot of dollars on something that won't
work in the long term.''
Operations network general manager Tony Avery assured
councillors the intention was to come to the council for
input before a business case for funding for the desired
solutions was put to the NZTA.
Cr Benson-Pope said he was disappointed that councillors
would denigrate the city's public transport and cycling, and
urged councillors to get on with it.
''We are having to jump through NZTA hoops whether we like it
or not, but it would be an exercise in futility not to jump
through the hoops.''
The resolution was passed 10-2. Crs Calvert and Vandervis
voted against it.