Please listen: residents' petition seeks reversal of cycleway changes

Trevor McStay with new bollards installed on the street. Photo by Craig Baxter.
Trevor McStay with new bollards installed on the street. Photo by Craig Baxter.
A South Dunedin resident upset at cycleway initiatives has presented a 600-strong petition to the Dunedin City Council calling for the changes to be reversed.

Trevor McStay presented the petition, signed by 657 residents, to councillors at a public forum at the start of Thursday's infrastructure services committee meeting.

Mr McStay, who lives in Marlow St, was upset a two-way intersection at Marlow St and Royal Cres became a one-way exit-only from Marlow St.

The change created a ''quiet street'' and forced people who had used it as a through route to find new ways to schools and work.

Mr McStay said he wanted the change, and others in the area, reversed, and the council had been ''underhanded'' in not keeping residents adequately informed.

Of the 657 people who signed the petition, only ''about 12'' had heard about the changes before they were introduced, he said.

Mr McStay said he would have opposed the changes had he known, but had since been told by council staff the new arrangements ''were here to stay, no matter what you do''.

He was not against cycleways; ''it's just the way they have blocked off the streets''.

''I think cyclists and motorists can share the roads.

''Could you please listen and make the changes back to our roads,'' he urged councillors.

Council senior transportation planner Lisa Clifford, speaking last month, told the Otago Daily Times the council was always open to feedback from residents.

The change was consulted on as part of both the Royal Cres and Marlow St cycle routes, she said.

Staff had also offered to visit to explain why the change was made - mainly to improve the safety of cyclists - but that offer had been declined.


Yes, I am for real

And I would expect any cyclist with half a brain not to be cycling on the same piece of road with truck and trailer units. Indeed, if they were any bit clever, they would cycle on roads either side. [abridged]


Half the story

Don't get me wrong, I feel sorry for anyone that is injured etc, but:

Quite often cyclists are in vehicles' blind spots, and they pull out just as someone is opening a door. Cyclists are harder to see, move faster and sometime are erractic in movement.


That is why in the NZ road code for cyclist

"Never ride in the ‘door zone' (the space where car doors open) when cycling past parked cars. Allow at least one metre between you and a parked car."

Foregone conclusion

The fact that, knowing a petition was in the offing, the DCC went ahead with further permanent signs and bollards shows how interested they are in local opinion.

A small scaling back of the largely unwanted cycleways project and the 'trial' closure of the Lower Octagon would release enough funds to acquire and maintain the physio pool.

But then, 'creatives' and 'millenials' are not very interested in the well-being of elderly people and those recovering from serious medical conditions. Who, incidentally, have probably paid rates and taxes for a lot longer than the aforementioned.

Are you for real?

Speedfreak: Your comments this time need a response. These people are not just cyclists, they are someones father, someones brother, uncle, son and many peoples friends....when will you inderstand that one persons death is too much especially when it is avoidable. The council may not have everything 100% correct in terms of what they are trying to do but if it saves one life it is well worth it. The next time you pass a cyclist think of them as a person rather than an annoyance, try it, you may surprise yourself.


Don't blame the motorists

This has all come about because a couple of cyclists died on SH1 near the hospital after being collected by trucks.

All the best with the council, but I wouldn't be holding your breath. 

Safety first

Whilst I agree with Q that cyclist  safety is important, changes to the Marlow St /Royal Cres intersection have created a hazard for motorists.  When turning right from Marlow to head towards Andy Bay Rd, cars parked near the corner limit visibility to the extent drivers cannot always see oncoming traffic.  There will, almost certainly, be an accident at this corner due to this issue.

Yes, cyclist safety is important but so is motorist safety and without a doubt, those involved in the redesign of this intersection appear to have taken the needs of only one group of road users into account. 

Further and as my user name would suggest, I live in Marlow St and was unaware that the changes were to occur.  I was not consulted with and given the fact I am a ratepayer and with the changes directly impacting on my daily life, I expect better of the Council.


If you would only look...

If drivers would only look out for cyclists these initiatives that upset residents so much would not be needed.

Not for the first time, on Friday morning I was knocked off my bike by a motorist opening a door without taking the proper time to look and see me. I am left with a broken bike and, by luck, only a battered body as the cars travelling along Hillside Road at the time were far enough back to stop before turning me into paste. All of this can be avoided by taking more care.

These residents should keep in mind the DCC is trying to help save lives and accept a little change in their routine, knowing it might just help protect some of their fellow Dunedinites. 

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