The Dunedin City Council has been forced to pare back
original plans for the controversial South Dunedin Cycle
Network, as the true costs of the project become apparent.
Despite being reduced by almost half, the curtailed network
is expected to cost about $5.5 million - $1 million more than
original estimates for the whole network. The blowout may eat
into funding set aside for the rest of the city's cycle
The council this week adopted a revised 14.8km network of
cycleways criss-crossing South Dunedin, 10km less than it
originally approved but retaining some crucial links across
the area and between it and the central city.
Routes planned for South Rd, Forbury Rd, Macandrew Rd, most
of Hillside Rd, the western end of Victoria Rd, Musselburgh
Rise, Silverton St, Tainui Rd and through Tahuna Intermediate
will no longer go ahead.
Staff presented councillors with three options after being
able, for the first time, to more accurately estimate the
cost of the project.
Senior transportation planner Lisa Clifford said previous
cost estimates had been just that, as no similar network had
been built in New Zealand.
Now the first stage was nearly complete and the tenders were
in for the next stage, staff could see the actual costs.
Quiet streets (new to New Zealand) in particular, such as in
Marlow St, were turning out to incur significant costs at
intersections, and there were significant costs in
retrofitting parking in new street layouts.
Based on what it now knew about costs, she said, the council
would only be able to build 12km of the original 25km
cycleway network within its original $4.5 million budget.
The network would cost as much as $7.85 million if built as
originally approved by the council.
The revised network chosen would cost about $5.5 million and
probably take a bit longer to complete because of the need to
access more funding, also complicated by a drop from next
year in the funding assistance rate available from NZTA for
new capital projects.
The council would either have to increase the ratepayer share
of the costs in 2015-16 by about $60,000 (bringing it to
$410,000 that year) to push up the NZTA's contribution to the
required level, or use some of the ratepayer money allocated
for cycleway projects in 2016-17.
The council has budgeted to spend $350,000 on cycle projects
in each of the next six years.
A decision about where the additional money will come from
will be made as part of the long-term budget-setting process
early next year.
The decision was made with relatively few questions from
councillors, and no debate, at this week's infrastructure
services committee meeting.
It was not what the council desired, Cr Jinty MacTavish said.
''We are in another invidious position that we are again
unable to implement what we would have wanted to implement,
for funding reasons.
''It's not ideal.''
Earlier in the meeting, Crs Mike Lord, Kate Wilson and Andrew
Whiley peppered staff with questions about the amount of
consultation they did, particularly around Marlow St, where
more than 600 surrounding residents have signed a petition
seeking to have the street returned to pre-cycleway design.
Staff said there had been two rounds of consultation last
Cr MacTavish acknowledged the network was having some impacts
on residents, who were feeling disenfranchised.
''But I think those are issues we simply need to work through
with those residents because this is a network that needs to
''It's as much about a mental shift in the way we experience
our roads and the way we experience the streets outside our
houses as it is about physically changing our environment.''