Two University of Otago students are rapt with the council's
response to their idea to block off traffic to part of
Alexis Belton and Georgina Hampton (both 25) are calling for
the lower half of the Octagon and lower Stuart St, to the
Moray Pl intersection, to become a pedestrian zone.
This area could become the ''heart'' of Dunedin's CBD and act
as a ''visual showpiece'' for the city, they argued at last
Friday's annual plan hearings.
Their call, backed by a 36-page proposal, for the council to
trial the idea and consult local businesses before making a
permanent decision, was warmly received by councillors,
particularly David Benson-Pope.
''I am delighted to see this proposal. I would like to
compliment you, as I am sure my colleagues would, on the
amount of work you have put into [the proposal].
''I think strategically it is time for the city to pick up
the pace in terms of the street works and urban design,'' Cr
Benson-Pope told the pair.
Ms Hampton told the Otago Daily Times yesterday they
were pleasantly surprised by the response from councillors,
which gave them hope the council would pick up their idea.
Both were keen to emphasise it was not a new concept and
other cities around New Zealand and the globe had pedestrian
In response to questions from councillors on Friday, Mr
Belton said the ''shared space'' in lower Stuart St would
include a one-way exit for cars leaving Bath St.
They had explored the option of blocking off some of George
St, but this would be be more difficult as it involved
disrupting bus routes, he said.
As part of researching their proposal, they consulted local
businesses and council transport planners.