10kmh limit going, circles staying

After less than a month, the 10kmh speed limit through Dunedin’s city centre is on its way out.

But the about 460 circles installed on May 17 and 18, as visual cues to help remind motorists they are in a shared space and to reduce their speed, will stay temporarily.

Dunedin Mayor Aaron Hawkins argued successfully for the removal of the temporary measures included in the Dunedin City Council’s Covid-19 Alert Level 2 response — "Safer CBD Streets" — and the reintroduction of paid parking in the city centre on July 1.

He originally had not called for the coloured dots to remain, but took the lead from several councillors who asked for a stay on the dots’ removal yesterday.

He said the debate surrounding the controversial temporary measures had failed to recognise the value of the up to $135,000 a week in parking revenue the council had foregone and focused on the much less significant budget of up to $40,000 councillors had approved.

Brightly painted dots appeared on George St in May to highlight that it is a shared space. PHOTO:...
Brightly painted dots appeared on George St in May to highlight that it is a shared space. PHOTO: STEPHEN JAQUIERY

The council had spent $25,000 to date and, due to an approved NZ Transport Agency subsidy, the council’s share was only 10%.


"When I first started in this line of work, someone once suggested to me that the smaller the amount of money, the longer and more visceral the debate might be and I don’t think I’ve found a single better example of that than this — that over $2500 of council money, some paint on the road, and asking people to drive a little more slowly through the city centre the sheer ... visceral response that this has elicited from people for whatever reason has been disappointing and a bit embarrassing actually at times."

Cr Carmen Houlahan was the only councillor, in a 14-1 vote, to vote against Mr Hawkins’ motion yesterday. She said this was not because she wanted the speed limit to remain, but because she had "serious" concerns about keeping the coloured dots if the speed limit on Dunedin’s main street was to rise again to 30kmh.

Cr Jim O’Malley said councillors needed to ask themselves if the dots added to "confusion versus traffic calming" after staff reported the slower speed limits resulted in a drop in average speed in the street from 28kmh to 22kmh over the project’s implementation period.

"I would like the dots to stay because it’s actually giving us the chance to explore the idea of what could we make George St and Princes St without any particularly major changes."



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'Out damn spot'

Don't worry be happy. Just ignore the painted circles.

Mr Hawkins it is you and the DCC who is embarrassing and disappointing us. You failed to prepare for the pandemic, you then appeared to go into hiding when the city needed action and reassuring the most, only to emerge with empty promises (a rates freeze) and a determination to force your own agenda onto the people of Dunedin. As for the costs you talk about you are clearly not including all the council staff hours wasted on his pointless exercise. The meetings, discussions, proposals, reports, form filling, purchase ordering, funding applications and all the time wasted trying to defend it including hiring people to carryout surveys and write reports on it's obvious failure. It is also not okay to waste NZTA's time and money who are also partially funded through the tax paying residents of Dunedin.

Amazing, Hawkins et el, still doesn't get it.
The "for whatever reason" for the "visceral response" is because of the disconnect between their view of the world and our local reality.
It's because they consider themselves above the deplorables that need to be lead out of wilderness, into their utopia.
It's because they feed us platitudes while our lifestyles and even dietary choices are curtailed. (Think Marie Antoinette)
It's because while our incomes stand still or go backwards our RATES and CITY DEBT have been increasing at a ridiculous pace.
2007/08 6.1%, 2008/09 10.4%, 2009/10 7.0%, 2010/11 5.5%, 2011/12 7.7%, 2012/13 4.9%, 2013/14 4.0%, 2014/15 3.0%, 2015/16 3.8%, 2016/17 3.0%, 2017/18 3.0%, 2018/19 7.8%, 2019/20 5.3%.
To help them appreciate what that means let me explain.
For every $100 of rates paid in 2007 we now pay $200.03 and that is BEFORE this years increase.
I understand that this increase is irrelevant to those in the DCC management circles but the bulk of those around me are having their daily lives strangled.
That is not a visceral statement. It's our reality and saying our voices lacks intellect, underlines how sanctimonious Hawkins et el, truly are.

Mr Hawkins suggests the small amount of money was a part of the issue, well yes it was but it was what the money was spent on that insulted the people. And I agree with Cr O Malleys comment about what actually may have been causing the slower speed ....confusion. Yes Mr Hawkins it is you who is embarrassing. Stick to the essentials and stop trying to make your mark on Dunedin.

I sincerely hope the above comments get to the Mayor and the CEO.

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