Baldwin St plans may change

Baldwin St resident Andrew Cridge says the level of frustration directed at the Dunedin City Council during a meeting last week was surprising but it had been building for some time. Photos: Linda Robertson
Baldwin St resident Andrew Cridge says the level of frustration directed at the Dunedin City Council during a meeting last week was surprising but it had been building for some time. Photos: Linda Robertson
New changes to the world's steepest street are being considered after earlier proposals aiming to make the street safer were rejected by residents.

Last week, the Dunedin City Council held a meeting for residents to explain its proposals to make the street safer for both residents and visitors.

Residents largely opposed the proposals and some directed their frustration about the street's problems at council staff.

Part of the plan was to reduce the street to one lane, narrow the road and increase the size of the footpaths and use a raised platform to slow traffic near the steepest points.

Council transport strategy manager Nick Sargent said the response from residents was still being collated and their feedback and concerns would be considered.

New ideas would be suggested but it was too early to say what other options would be considered and if the earlier proposals would be kept, Mr Sargent said.

Residents who spoke to the Otago Daily Times yesterday were not against the street remaining a tourist attraction as long as it was managed better.

Sam and Coleen Williamson have lived in their home near the bottom of Baldwin St for 26 years and have had their share of issues with tourists who visit the street, including the man who backed a camper van into their garden wall about two months ago.
Sam and Coleen Williamson have lived in their home near the bottom of Baldwin St for 26 years and have had their share of issues with tourists who visit the street, including the man who backed a camper van into their garden wall about two months ago.
Andrew Cridge, who has lived on the street with his family for about six years, said while the issue was complex it was up to the council to make sure the street was safe and liveable.

He was surprised by the level of frustration directed towards the council during the meeting but said it had been building up for some time.

''We've all got horror stories of seeing near misses so something does need to be done before someone gets seriously hurt.''

Most residents were willing to share the street with tourists if it was done properly, he said.

Sam and Coleen Williamson have lived in their home near the bottom of the street for 26 years and have had first-hand experience of some of the issues that visitors created.

About two months ago, a tourist driving a camper van knocked over part of their brick garden wall while using their driveway to turn.

Both said they did not hesitate to tell people they were in the wrong if they saw them doing something inappropriate.

If the changes went ahead, parking outside their home would be lost and it would be difficult for service and emergency vehicles to enter the street, they said.

Banning camper vans would be a start, Mrs Williamson said.

Further up the street, Beverly McLay said she did not want the street restricted to only residents.

She agreed something needed to be done but that visitors should not be excluded.

tim.miller@odt.co.nz

 

Comments

If you buy a property beside a railway track you don't then proceed to complain about the rail noise. If you buy a house beside the golf course you don't then complain about expansive views and easy access to a golf course. If you buy a house by the ocean will you then expect a subsidy when your tin roof rusts? These people should be told to go home and think about the life choices they have made.
Banning heavy vehicles has some merit.

Either leave it as is and fine people who stuff up or put a commercial grade automatic gate and fence at the bottom of the street, that closes at 1800 to 0700 with card access at all other times. People freely walk up the street but restrict Vehicles to house owners and who they wish during silent hours.