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The Southern District Health Board is calling for extensive parking options on the edge of Dunedin’s central city to be included as part of an overhaul of the city’s transport system.
The NZ Transport Agency released a summary of public feedback received on the Shaping Future Dunedin Transport project which comes as the new Dunedin Hospital begins to take shape.
The project suggested possible options for the future of the city, including whether the one-way system could become two-way, providing an alternative route for traffic bypassing the city centre, and improving public transport and parking.
Common concerns from the public included congestion on Dunedin's one-way systems and the need for more parking buildings and parking options in the centre city, particularly around the new hospital.
Feedback was also given by major Dunedin organisations including the Southern District Health Board.
A summary of their submission said it would encourage a public "park and walk" or "walkable parking" through the development of a new car parking building or parking area on the edge of the central city.
It also suggested the development of an additional parking space in Wharf St, creating a park and ride option in the Warehouse Precinct.
It also asked for the project to "provide general parking around the hospital".
The SDHB said it preferred the creation of a two-way system as it would make the hospital more accessible, and said slowing traffic around the hospital to 30kmh and re-routing heavy vehicles would create a safer environment for other road users.
However, public feedback was overwhelmingly in favour of keeping the one-way systems with concerns about congestion if it were to change.
Many wanted to see a multi-storey parking building developed in Wharf St.
"A multi-storey car parking building would be pivotal to the success of the hospital. Dunedin already lacks parking spaces, and either an underground or above-ground car park would be a big help," one submitter said.
"The elderly and sick can't be expected to walk 200m to get to a clinic at the hospital," another said.
"The hospital should have a car park building incorporated on site. How many other city hospitals don't have a separate car parking building? The original 1950s’ plan for our present hospital included a 1200 car park building which never eventuated."
There was some support to reduce the number of cars in the central city to encourage a more pedestrian-friendly space.
The majority liked the proposal to provide more trees, landscape planting and places for people to sit along the street network.
Shaping Future Dunedin joint client lead Nick Sargent said it was listening to concerns and would continue to do technical work, including traffic modelling over the coming months as it explored further options.
People would have a further opportunity to get involved in the business case process in early 2021, Mr Sargent said.