DCC to consider closure of street

Montgomery Ave, off Dundas St, could be permanently closed and a pedestrian walkway formed. Photo...
Montgomery Ave, off Dundas St, could be permanently closed and a pedestrian walkway formed. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
A proposal to permanently close Montgomery Ave, to enable the Water of Leith to be widened to provide greater flood protection to the city, will be discussed by the Dunedin City Council next week.

Montgomery Ave, a narrow one-way street running off Dundas St behind the University of Otago's new child-care centre, has been closed off in recent times due to work on the centre and flood works on the St David St Bridge.

The Otago Regional Council has proposed closing the road permanently to allow for the river to be widened at its right bank and creating a 2m-wide walkway linking Dundas St and St David St and providing pedestrian access to the rear of the child-care centre.

It also proposed to turn a short section of the road at the Dundas St end into a private driveway to allow firefighting and maintenance access to the centre.

To do this, the regional council needs the approval of the city council and it was proposed a memorandum of understanding between the two councils and the university covering the expectations and obligations of each be agreed upon.

A report to the city council said it was expected the impact of stopping the road would be minimal, even though it averaged 80 vehicle movements a day.

Since the road was closed due to the construction work and the temporary pedestrian bridge, there had been ''no apparent traffic issue as a consequence'' of the temporary closure, it said.

Stopping the road would result in the loss of 13 car parking spaces but those who had parked there had already found other parking options since the road closed.

The closure was expected to improve the pedestrian experience and safety, the report said.

''The new path will be 2m wide, better lit and safer with the traffic removed.''

It was hoped the work could begin in November this year, after exams finished, if all agreements and final design work were in place.

- rebecca.fox@odt.co.nz


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