Traffic passes a cyclist on State Highway 88 near Blanket
Bay yesterday afternoon. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
Judging by the number of submissions from the public, the
completion of the Dunedin to Port Chalmers cycleway is the
roading issue of the moment in Otago.
Of 196 submissions to the new draft regional land transport
programme, 85 specifically address the need to complete the
The programme contains a figure of $4,903,212 for the
cycleway over the next three years.
However, all the funding is listed as "national" funding and
still requires government approval.
The cycleway is part of the Otago Regional Transport
Committee's $530 million programme of spending over the next
The public was consulted on the programme and the committee
will begin hearing submissions next week.
Many of those who made written submissions said they were
prompted to comment on the cycleway because of a suggestion
government funding for it was not assured.
Diana Rothstein, of Dunedin, said it would be "very
disappointing" if the cycleway was not completed.
"The completion of this project has already taken far too
Andrew Last, of Aramoana, said he had been lobbying for the
cycleway for four years and the slow progress was
Hugh Davidson, of Port Chalmers, noted that it had taken 10
years to complete the first 2km stretch but, like all other
submitters, he praised what had been done.
"The present cycleway is probably, dollar for dollar, one of
the greatest investments this region has made in itself."
Regular cyclist Selwyn Yeoman, of Dunedin, considered State
Highway 88 between Dunedin and Port Chalmers as "one of the
most dangerous and un-cycle-friendly places I know", Lani
Evans, of Port Chalmers, said there were "frequent,
terrifying near-misses", Liana Machado, of Port Chalmers,
wrote of "extreme stress" and David Barnes, of Dunedin, said
the experience was "frankly, terrifying".
Most concerns were about sharing the highway with heavy
vehicles travelling to and from Port Otago.
Steve Walker, of the 350-member Harbour Cycle Network,
considered cyclists who used the highway took their lives
into their hands.
"Surely, this road must rate as one of the most dangerous in
Blair Kennedy, of Port Chalmers, said cycling on the highway
filled him with dread.
"There are so many places where trucks cannot pass cyclists
Sue Heath, who commutes daily to and from Purakaunui
considered motorists drove far too close to cyclists.
"I see motorists continually disregarding the safety of
Dr Phaedra Upton, of Dunedin, noted that the 2006 census
showed 1.5% of people cycled to work in Dunedin, down from
2.3% in 2001 and 2.7% in 1996.
"The reality is that Dunedin presents an unfriendly and
potentially hazardous environment for cyclists."
Other issues addressed in the included upgrading SH1 from the
Oval to Lookout Point in Dunedin, the need for more roadside
stopping places, improvements to SH1 north of Balclutha,
improving access to the harbour basin, the establishment of
commuter rail services north and south of Dunedin,
improvements to the Kawarau bridge, a new highway from
Dunedin to Central Otago, the need for free buses, improved
bridges across the Clutha River at Clydevale and the
Manuherikia at Omakau, improvements to Queenstown public
transport and to Riccarton Rd, Mosgiel.
The committee will hear submissions in Dunedin on May 19 and
in Alexandra on May 22.