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Giving top priority to proposed Dunedin cycle safety initiatives is a ''fantastic step forward'' Spokes Dunedin chairman Robert Thompson said yesterday.
Spokes Dunedin is a volunteer group which advocates on behalf of Dunedin cyclists.
And Mr Thompson was commenting in a submission to a Dunedin hearing panel, that includes members of the transport planning committees of the Otago Regional Council and Environment Southland.
The submission was among nearly 220 from community groups and members of the public, on Otago aspects of draft Otago Southland regional land transport plans that have been developed by the two regional councils.
Mr Thompson applauded moves in the draft plan to give top priority to continuing the State Highway 88 cycleway to Port Chalmers, Portobello Rd widening, State Highway 1 protected cycle lanes through Dunedin, and Dunedin's Central City Cycle Network, in the draft 2015-2021 Regional Land Transport Plan.
Giving top priority to these projects was a ''fantastic step forward'' in efforts to improve Dunedin's standard of living and ''create the kind of dynamic, vibrant city'' that would attract and retain ''talented leaders'' who would drive the city's economy in the future.
These cycle-related initiatives were '' transformative projects'' that would significantly improve road safety in Dunedin, and increase cycling participation, thereby ''raising the average level of health and fitness'' across the city's population, he said in his submission.
Spokes Dunedin was also keen to see the Caversham and Chain Hills tunnels and connecting cycleway included in the list of transport projects.
''This route would create an essentially flat cycling corridor all the way from Mosgiel to the city centre.
Mosgiel was the fastest-growing suburb in Dunedin, where many of the city's remaining tracts of flat land were being converted to housing, he said.