Christine Garey and children from Broad Bay School make their arguments in favour of a new cycle/walkway being built in their community sooner, rather than later, to Dunedin city councillors yesterday. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
The discussion over which end of Portobello-Harington Point
Rds should be improved first was turning into a winners and
losers debate, Dunedin city councillor Kate Wilson noted as
people continued to air their views on the topic at the
council's annual plan hearings yesterday.
But her suggestion of a targeted rate for Peninsula
ratepayers to cover the cost of bringing all the road works
forward, thereby producing a win-win for both ends, gained
little traction with Peninsula submitters, who asked why they
should pay more for something everyone in the city would use.
Meanwhile, children were brought in to illustrate what was at
risk if the cycle-walkway was not added to the
Portobello-Broad Bay section of the road first, while a
cardiologist argued that completing the Vauxhall-Glenfalloch
end first would profit the most people and have a public
health benefit, too.
The council has sought feedback in its draft annual plan on
preferred sequences for completing remaining sections of the
road, to be finished over the next 10 years.
More individuals appeared on the second day of hearings
yesterday to express their support for the Vauxhall end to be
completed because of the safety issues there, including Cove
resident Vanetta Rosenberg, who also noted it was a shame the
council's submission form on the annual plan almost
encouraged communities to oppose each other.
Others, such as Portobello mother Zoe Mitchell, who told
councillors she opposed assertions made by cycling advocates
Spokes on Wednesday that there were already safe streets for
kids to walk to school in Portobello and Broad Bay, came to
argue for that end to proceed next.
Otago Peninsula Community Board chairwoman and Broad Bay
resident Christine Garey said doing that section of the road
next was a ''matter of life and death'', due to the dangerous
nature of the road.
The possibility the sequence of the work might change had a
large majority of the peninsula community up in arms.
There were convincing arguments for choosing the peninsula
communities first, she said, including that there were more
residents, several schools and preschools, a lot of community
activity and an increasing crash trend.
It was clear who the council should choose, even though the
council seemed ''hell bent'' on starting the work from the
city end, she said.
Dunedin cardiologist Dr Gerard Wilkins said it would be wrong
for him, as a health professional, not to advocate for the
other end to be done first as completing the link with
Macandrew Bay would encourage more people to cycle/walk
It was nonsensical that people now had to drive to
Glenfalloch first to undertake that activity, he said.
Doing that end first would be in the best interests of the
vast majority of the city's citizens and since Dunedin
ratepayers were paying in greater portion than Peninsula
residents, it seemed only fair to complete the section closer
to Dunedin first.
The Macandrew Bay resident said he agreed with Mrs Garey's
sentiment, but said he also had a lot of children who had no
safe access to Portobello Rd or their school.
''So what can be said at one end of the Peninsula can clearly
be said at the other.''