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A motorist takes the diagonal line needed to avoid oncoming traffic at the re-engineered...
A motorist takes the diagonal line needed to avoid oncoming traffic at the re-engineered intersection of Moray Pl and Princes St beside the Savoy building. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
Buses rule - that appears to be the explanation for inner-city road markings one Dunedin motorist has described as ``utter madness''.

Another description of the re-engineered intersection of Moray Pl and Princes St near First Church was a ``Barnes Dance for cars''.

East-bound straight-through traffic in Moray Pl now has to take a chicane through the intersection.

``This road engineering is utter madness,'' the motorist, who did not wish to be named, said yesterday.

Vehicles waiting at the traffic lights to travel across Princes St were aligned to travel head on into oncoming traffic.

``Drivers now need to move forward to get past the left-turning traffic in the left lane, then veer left to avoid oncoming traffic which has moved forward into the intersection, and is waiting to turn right, then correct itself back into Moray Pl,'' the motorist said.

DCC transport engineering and road safety team leader Hjarne Poulsen said the existing layout had to be changed to allow buses to turn left from lower Moray Pl into Princes St.

``This meant building out the kerb and moving the left-turn lane,'' Mr Poulsen said.

Information from the DCC last month said the right turn towards the Octagon would be removed and the kerb widened on the Otago House corner so buses could turn left from Moray Pl into Princes St at the same time as buses were turning right from Princes St into Moray Pl.

While the motorist who contacted the ODT had not had a ``near miss'' when negotiating the intersection, he had seen another motorist ``come close''.

He acknowledged a new intersection layout could ``always do that though'', so it was hard to ``totally put it down to the intersection''. And he accepted Dunedin streets were narrow.

``My biggest problem with this intersection now is that the way the straight-going traffic is aligned, my car was facing directly towards the oncoming right-turning traffic. It does make for some interesting driving,'' he said.

He noticed yesterday the road now had painted broken white lines to indicate the straight path - ``which is diagonally through the intersection'' - to mitigate the difficulty and there was a sign indicating ``no right turn'' towards the Octagon.

But he still thought the intersection was ``very unintuitive''.

``Roads should be intuitive,'' he said.

Mr Poulsen said the DCC was ``keeping a close eye'' on how the intersection was working with the new lane layouts and would make some changes to the lanes on upper Moray Pl ``if needed''.


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No surprises here all you have to do is look at the madness of the cycle ways down state highway one

Dear DCC: this doesn't work. Obviously.

I'm sure there is a reasonable explanation, but why didn't they simply move back the intersection for north (octagon) bound traffic along Princes St? This would allow a greater area for buses to turn from lower Moray Place into Princes St....

Or am I missing something?

If you truly wanted to make a left turn easier for buss's then you would have left the kerb where it was, widened the turn lane to 1/2 times its original width and also made the straight through wider. But that would have cost far less to do and avoided most of the head on situation. Far too easy for this council.

About time Dunedin got with the modern times and used Traffic light arrows!

Love the Barnes crossings- but then I love walking (safely) too.

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