Dunedin will almost certainly host world-class separated
cycle lanes along its one-way network within a few years. Two
lanes - one heading north, one south - will stretch from the
Botanic Gardens to Queens Gardens. There will be safety
benefits, and increased uptake of cycling, and the chance for
Dunedin to market itself as a healthy, active city with
greater lifestyle options than before. Car parking will also
change significantly. In short, such a project includes reams
of details, which reporter Craig Borley has distilled
• Why are separated cycle lanes being considered for
Dunedin's one-way system?
Two cyclist deaths in central Dunedin, in 2011 and 2012,
prompted a review of the city's cycle infrastructure. It was
determined cyclists needed better, safer, dedicated routes
through the busiest parts of Dunedin.
• But why the one-way system? Shouldn't it be
for cars and trucks only?
No, says the NZTA. Cycling is a ''formally recognised form of
transport'', and the NZTA believes Dunedin's one-way system
can accommodate cyclists without disrupting car and truck
• Were any other routes considered?
Three routes were considered: George St-Princes St, Leith
St-Anzac Ave, and the one-way system.
• George St-Princes St: Parking issues, bus
movements and frequent high-volume intersections meant George
St-Princes St could not have worked unless they became
''quiet streets'' or ''shared spaces'' - moves that were
considered too complex when the immediate goal was cycle
• Leith St-Anzac Ave: This was considered a
good route for Otago University commuters, but left people
too far from the CBD. Several investigations had shown the
bulk of cycleway traffic was heading to the CBD, making this
• Could heavy traffic be diverted away from the
This option was looked at, but was considered highly complex,
creating significant problems for other roads and property
owners in the city. The one-way system combined the need for
a clear and direct path from north to south, and the
proximity to the CBD. It also offered fewer complexities than
the other options.
• Isn't Dunedin too cold and hilly for this
sort of cycle infrastructure?
Dunedin's winters are considerably milder than almost all of
Europe's cities, yet cycleways abound across that continent.
Dunedin's weather is also comparable to Vancouver and
Portland, North American cities with high rates of cycling
and cycling infrastructure.
While Dunedin is hilly, about one third of its population -
some 40,000 people - live below the inner-city green belt and
below 50m above sea level.
• Will I be able to skateboard on this
No. In New Zealand a separated cycle lane is reserved for
bicycles only. No scooters, mopeds, skateboards, or
However, power-assisted bicycles, or `eBikes', with power
output less than 300 watts, can be used.
• How many people will use these cycleways?
NZTA has surveyed current usage at about 500 trips per day on
the one-way cycle lanes. NZTA believes usage could triple to
1500 trips daily when the separated cycle lanes are
• Why hasn't the Dunedin City Council prioritised the
one-way cycle lanes ahead of the South Dunedin Cycle
Dunedin's one-way system is part of the country's state
highways network. As such, it is owned and managed by the
NZTA, not the DCC.
The NZTA will pay for all cycleway work, and operate under
its own systems and timetables.
• Will the DCC have to pay for some of the work?
The NZTA will pay for all work needed for the cycle lanes to
be up and running. However, extra work, such as parking
changes, changes to side streets, cycle parking facilities,
and landscaping over and above the NZTA's will be the DCC's
• If this is being funded by the NZTA, how can we be
sure Dunedin's cycleways will be considered important enough
for national funding?
There are steps still to be taken before funding is assured,
but in the NZTA's 2015-18 State Highway Activity Management
Plan, Dunedin's one-way cycle lanes were ranked top out of 20
projects from around the country.
• How much are the cycle lanes expected to
Current estimates are for $7.5million, though it is expected
that figure will fall. The NZTA has budgeted for a worst-case
• When will we know if it's going ahead or not?
The NZTA will have decided on the business case's value by
• When can we expect them to be built and open
A best-case scenario is for June 2017. Many things could
change that, though.
• How many car parks will be lost?
The business case has yet to be finalised, but it is expected
about 370 car parks will be removed from the one-way system.
Those lost parks will be mitigated to an extent by DCC
measures, which could include more parking on surrounding
streets, more publicity of currently vacant parking spaces
and the construction of a new parking building on DCC land.
• Will both the north and south sections of the
one-way be affected?
Yes. A proposal to have a two-way cycle lane, using just one
road, has been all but dropped.
• How far along the one-way system will the cycle
From the Botanic Garden in the north through to Queens
Gardens in the south. From there, the cycleway will feed on
to Vogel St and on to the South Dunedin Cycle Network.
• How wide will the cycle lanes be?
For the most part, they will be 2.6m wide. This is considered
wide enough to allow overtaking. However, where car parks are
reinstated, and at intersections, the cycle lanes will narrow
to between 1.6m and 1.8m. These widths are considered too
narrow for overtaking, and are therefore avoided where
• What will separate the cycle lanes from the traffic
For the most part, kerbing will be used to separate the
lanes. Some of that kerbing will planted, some will be plain
concrete islands - decisions will be made during the detailed
design process. Where vehicle access is needed there will be
• Will vehicles still be able to access driveways etc
across the cycleway?
Yes. For low-volume access points, cars will turn directly
from the traffic lanes, across the cycle lane, into the
driveway. For high-volume access points, traffic bays will be
built in to allow vehicles to pull over before turning.