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Submissions will be heard early next month on a proposal to close part of Jetty St in Dunedin's warehouse precinct, with early indications the public is backing the move.
The proposal calls for two one-way sections of Jetty St below the Cumberland St overbridge to be closed to vehicles and converted into a pedestrian area later this year.
Bollards would be installed to block vehicle access to the one-way streets, which intersect with Vogel St between Cumberland and Crawford Sts. Dunedin City Council's urban design team leader Glen Hazelton said a hearing date for the proposal had been set for August 5. Eight people would have their submissions formally heard.
Of the 44 submission received, 31 were for the proposal and 13 against. Backing for the project had mainly come from people in the area, while opposition had come from people outside it who were concerned about access and congestion issues for traffic, Dr Hazelton said.
The main area of concern was disruption of the route to Mornington, he said.
Rather than coming along State Highway 1 and on to Mornington, vehicles would need to turn off two streets earlier at the intersection of Rattray St and Queens Gardens and go through Maclaggan St, which meant an extra set of traffic lights. Alternatively, vehicles which travelled further down to Jervois St before turning off would need to get on to Princes St without any traffic signals.
Dr Hazelton said one submission cited reduced parking as a concern, but the change would actually create more parking.
The development would be funded by the council's $500,000 urban amenity budget for 2015-16, and was part of ongoing work to revitalise the precinct.
Dr Hazelton said one councillor claimed to be unaware of the proposal but intentions to upgrade the area were made known to the council some time ago.
If approved, the project would go to tender and the most cost-effective option would be chosen.
The amount of paving done in the area would be determined by the cost of the project, he said.