Barnes Dance phasing change abandoned

Brightly painted dots appeared on George St at the weekend to highlight that it is a shared space...
AA was "one of many" groups to tell the council that the changes enacted last week were "a bad idea". PHOTO: STEPHEN JAQUIERY
The Dunedin City Council has made a U-turn on one of its controversial temporary measures for George St, but the AA is calling for more.

A council spokesman yesterday said the Barnes Dance phasing experiment lasted only a few days. Feedback from business owners — received by Enterprise Dunedin staff as they visited businesses — was that the increased pedestrian crossing phasing had the opposite effect from what was intended and the measure was pulled on Tuesday.

The change to the pedestrian crossings "actually created a longer than anticipated tail-back of vehicles and made it harder, not easier, for pedestrians to use the shared space," he said.

But the AA yesterday urged the council to "listen to its people and reverse the ill-conceived changes it has made on George St".

AA Otago district chairman Malcolm Budd said the association was "one of many" groups to tell the council that the changes enacted last week — including lowering the speed limit in George St to 10kmh to promote physical distancing under Covid-19 Alert Level 2, the installation of temporary speed bumps, and increasing the frequency of Barnes Dance crossings — were "a bad idea, but none of us were listened to beforehand".

Mr Budd said the council needed to "show some common sense".

The feedback from the AA’s membership had been " overwhelmingly negative"and the changes were commonly described as "ludicrous", "ridiculous" and "stupid"; they had increased the risks to pedestrians, and showed the council "see themselves as knowing ‘better’ than the people they are supposed to represent".

"Now we are seeing the reality hit, and it is exactly what people warned the council would happen: people struggling to travel at the extremely low limit, more congestion, and nearly everyone saying the changes have made the area worse rather than better," Mr Budd said.

This week, from a personal account, council chief executive Sue Bidrose tweeted, then deleted, her take on the city’s reaction to the changes.

"The PM [Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern] shuts down the whole country and stops commerce to keep people safe from virus. 91% of people support," she wrote.

"Council makes it 2 mins longer to drive down George St to keep people safe from the virus. The city looses (sic) its shit."


View all

@ sue bidrose : Few outside the council believe that the colourful dots and the 10 km/h speed limit are motivated by the Coronavirus. DCC is using Covid fear as a smokescreen to ram through unpopular projects.

"The city looses (sic) its s**t." That should of been the headline! Maybe the council can adopt it as a new moto? No bodies buying into the great big little city bull anyway.

Come Visit Dunedin. The City Loosing its S**t.

Most of the s**t is bulls**t coming from the DCC.

It is going to be much harder to remove the covid spots. Another cost to the taxpayer from this profligate, useless council. Maybe the councillors who voted for this fiasco should be made to physically remove the spots. It would be good to see them do some real work.

Sue, i had a lot of respect for you when you first came into your job, cleaning out the riff raff and making sure council spending gets tidied up significantly.

But it seems the mayors (Cull and Hawkins) have managed to wrangle you into their corner, and we're starting to head back to where we were before you came along; Wasteful spending, no consultation, and "the council way is the right way, what do you feeble rate payers know".

With that latest tweet you made and then deleted, i have one request. Please resign.

She needs to go, I've seen it in my own job where the New cowboy comes in, university educated thinks they know all about everything and is an expert in everything, they ask a few questions and are an expert in some eyes. (even though others are experts in there area and have been doing there job for several years.) They have the big words and phases to say and know how to lie which influences those in power positions. Everybody bows down and listens to them they gain the trust and respect of the clowns (Cull, Hawkins) because they are hiding how much of an idiot they are ,yet they don't know everything they are faking it, they pretend hey know everything but are full of it. There will be people within the DCC sitting back seeing all this unfold and think she is Full of Sh^t and have since day one but will not say anything because they will fare for there jobs. Her Twitter post will be out of frustration because she knows people are sick of the Bull and will not sit down and be silent anymore. Cull is made of the same mould Hawkins is just a fish out of water at this stage. look back at the flooding videos with Cull she was faking it .Bidrose it is time to go

I think its time the people at DCC are reminded who they work for. How did somebody with a psychology degree end up running the city? She has/had no qualifications for the position. That's a fact. She certainly isn't worth what they are paying her. She is a marginally qualified mid-level bureaucrat working for a politically correct local government. That aside, WE, the people SHE works for, don't like the direction the council is taking the city. Her comments demonstrate a lack of professionalism that runs rampant in the DCC as a whole. DCC is not the National Government. People view PM Ardern as being honest, of impeccable integrity & extremely trustworthy. People despise the mayor and DCC & view them as bumbling idiots incapable of making rational, informed decisions. It's a huge mistake for Bidrose to assume a level of equality between DCC and PM Ardern because there is none. If you really think the destain is because of 2 min of extra drive time you'd better pack your office now. We don't trust any of you to do the right thing. You don't represent us and we are sick of all the idiotic things you people do and say at our expense. The next election can't come soon enough!!!

Have you viewed Sue Bidrose's CV? Have you noted that she has vast experience in these rolls before coming to the DCC? Her CV and experience equate to her being eminently qualified for the position. "That's a fact".

I've seen her "CV". I can name 10 or more individuals who are far more qualified. None of which would embarrass themselves by tweeting such unprofessional dribble. So, no....totally unqualified! No business running the city.

'eminently qualified' doesn't always equate to excellent workmanship. I've seen some pretty impressive CV's in my time, many of those bared little fruit. Quite often, so-called 'qualified' people are outperformed by those with little education that demonstrate immense passion and commitment. I've also seen some very complicated problems readily solved by people without 'paperwork', AFTER the ones with all the qualifications failed to solve the problem. With respect, "That's 'also' a fact". I'd measure the person for the dirt under their nails, rather than the length of the pencil they wield. Knowing the theory, doesn't always translate to real world knowledge and understanding. Some of the most successful business people in the world.......have no qualifications, just passion for what they do. CEO for DCC, just a 'funded' over paid seat warming title......paid more than our PM. The whole thing is out of kilter, at the ratepayers expense. Public 'service' needs a huge shake up.

Blue Pill - I have asked myself that same question. she is faking it. I think this is why Dunedin is a social experiment and she is involved , she was away at a UN meeting a couple of years ago - WHY??, Do the DCC pay/ donate money to this org from rate payers? Hawkins is on some board in the group and he quoted in his Facebook - (sic) Not just my view, but the view of council when the high level work was signed off by an overwhelming majority of councillors in June 2019.
Making streets more people friendly is a core part of the Global Streets Design Guide, which we have adopted as an approach to urban design. - the org is a template / cookie cutter for progressing such changes. so who is running the show some overseas org the greens?

Who are you speaking for? Clearly not the majority of ratepayers as this council and the mayor have been democratically elected and everyone knew what each councillor stood for. YOU people seem to forget that. YOU are part of a loud and hateful minority. So speak for yourself and don't pretend you know what "the people" want or think.

Lisa My Comment so I must be speaking for ME!! - mayor have been democratically elected, was it just the way the number fell on the day? Do the sums STV reallocated approximately 70% of the votes and they ended up in the position.
Has the DCC openly said they embrace that .org? and that it is shaping Dunedin using Hawkins as the puppet, he is hell bent on changing the main drag at all costs and doesn't give a flying x what shopkeepers it hurts or what elderly people suffer by not being able to get around. They keep comparing Dunedin to more populated overseas towns. Not part of a loud hateful minority at all as you put it, the people are starting become annoyed with the constant non accountability, spending and the knee-jerk implementations look at the car thefts, power poles, mud tanks, drains flooding, the hospital campaign paid for by rate payers the octagon closure the flowers, cycleway paid for by Dunedin and tax payers, yep I don't care who paid for them they are below standard and are a hazard, yet the DCC didn't stop it, the person overseeing it was from the uk and on holiday in the UK when it surfaced, he never came back and was paid out and you ask why?

I agree with what she said! She isn't the minority, sheepeople like you are in the minority. STV is not a democratic voting system and DCC has used it as an end around to get people in office. In a democracy a vote can be used a single time. Not recycled 13 times reallocating 70 percent of all the votes cast. STV was forced upon us by DCC like so much of this other crap. STV is the wrong solution at the wrong end of the election process. Non viable candidates shouldn't even be placed on the ballot. The quality cut should be done at the start. Lastly, people like you are part of the problem. Opionated and I'll informed! Things will change and the system will be corrected. The process has already started. You are about to see a loud, angry and very vocal majority save this city. Join us or get out of the way because change is on its way!

Sue Bidrose should probably not have tweeted as she did but I must say I agree with her sentiments. I was shopping in George St on Wednesday and quite frankly cannot understand the fuss. Some crazy and unnecessary dots but traffic clearly not sticking to 10 kph while as a pedestrian the longer phasing on the crossings did seem to reduce congestion on the pavements. I am sorry to see that changed. George Street is not a great welcoming and friendly area for shopping - give me Cuba Street any time and I suspect most of our retailers would love to have the foot traffic past their stores that Cuba Street has. Why does any attempt to try anything different and improve the City provoke such crazy unaccepting responses. There is nothing here that cannot be undone if it doesn't work and we won't know till we try.

p.s. I am also an AA member who doesn't mind slowing down and getting out of the car!

The concern I have Rince, is that the DCC have already decided they know best. The chance of them 'undoing' decisions they have made, is incredibly remote.
This council have decided the ratepayer and ordinary citizens of this city no longer factor into decision making. It's the council's way or no way.

I fully agree with you, Rince.

Sorry...some things are just plain stupid and this is one. The council increasingly is doing stupid things we are paying for. Accountability is the issue. You said bidrose probably shouldnt have said what she did...gee you think? She's a total amature. A $500k a year amature giving the ratepayers the finger for having the audacity to question their wisdom. She should be held accountable but Hawkins and the bubble heads don't have a set of amongst them. Dunedin continues to turn into bizzaro world where no logic makes sense to a portion of the less informed people. It's like we keep flushing and they just won't go away!

Rince, sounds like your the voice of reason Dunedin has been waiting for to run for office. Why have a 10kph speed limit if nobody is following it and its not being enforced? So, you think its OK to waste money on what you yourself called "crazy and unnecessary dots"? You just called the whole thing "crazy and unnecessary"; whos that a difference which is going to improve the city? And perhaps the bigest points you gloss over are: (1). DCC made an arbitrary decision based upon nothing. A whim, no consultation or research. They do it all the time and people are tired of it! (2). The contempt Bidrose has for the minions paying for her overinflated salary is appalling. She epitomizes the sentiment the mayor and DCC have for the citizens of Dunedin. We need to send all of these deadbeats back to the civilian sector and replace them with people who know what it means to be a representative of the people. Why do we keep putting the least qualified people in positions of authority? Wouldnt it be nice to have one person in DCC who your could trust and respect? People are angry with the mayor and DCC and they just don't get it! You are part of the problem not the solution!

Bidrose has a point about double standards, but doesn't seem to understand that two wrongs don't make a right.

As for the councillors responsible for this mess, we can hardly complain — we voted for them, despite being fully aware of their anti-car ideology.

NO, WE DIDNT VOTE FOR THEM. Do the math, STV reallocated approximately 70% of the votes and they ended up in office. That's why people are angry. Only about 50% of Dunedin could be bothered to take part in the elections process. People here have become accustomed to a group of mediocre bureaucrats conducting themselves in an unprofessional manner. Double standards? Individuals who conduct themselves in a competent, professional manner don't debase themselves by engaging in profanity-laced tweets. Bidrose is an overpaid, underworked city manager of a podunk south island city. DCC may have elevated her title to "CEO" but she isn't a CEO. CEOs communicate on behalf of the company, CEOs increase the value of shareholders investment, CEOs evaluate the work of other executive leaders within the company. Does she do any of that? NO! In essence, DCC has allowed anybody the ability to elevate the importance of their title. I'm the CEO of Parking Enforcement, I'm the CEO of Dog enforcement etc. It's all a Joke! She makes more money than PM Ardern! Explain that! There are another 5 - 6 people on the DCC payroll making more than PM Ardern. Its a sham! People are sick of it & it has to change!

I wonder if the negative comments are the noisy minority (with a lot of time on their hands and chips on their shoulders about wanting the DCC and transport to stay as it was decades ago) ... Are they the noisy minority? And the majority are silent, getting on with other stuff? Who cares if traffic is temporarily slowed to 10km per hour on George St? It's not the route to take if you're in a rush - 2 state highways and arterial roads within a few hundred metres.
We were recently a pioneering city who created itself quickly and evolved rapidly in the first devades.
Trying new stuff in the city isn't always bad. Its an experiment. As the owner of Acquisitions says, there is merit in trying new stuff. If it doesn't work, stop it. No need to go on the attack of people. Focus on the innovation/experiment's merits.

The CBD is about the businesses in city centre and especially the retailers. They are the people that suffer hugely financially by any changes. Take away retail and you will take away the people. Use Tauranga as an example. Shopping malls galore in the suburbs and no people in the CBD and 150 plus empty retail shops. Dunedin CBD worked perfectly before all this upheaval and if the Council and the the dreamers insist on this change then all that will happen is that shopping mall developers will seize the opportunity to build massive malls in the suburbs just as has happened in Tauranga and the city centre will die and then Council will spend mega dollars trying to revitalise the area. The owner of Acquisitions has a shop in Tauranga in one of these malls and I'll bet my last dollar that he would never consider starting a retail shop up in the Tauranga CBD. Tauranga is the same size as Dunedin.

exactly this!

I get it. You work for DCC. People like you are part of the problem. You obviously haven't received your coloring book yet so I'll spell it out for you. WE've had enough of these idiots wasting our hard-earned money on stupid things. WE have the right to be upset and WE have the right to want things to change. The mayor and the council are supposed to be the adults in the room. Are they? NO! They are the drooling knuckle draggers stooped on the corner. Noisy Minority? NO, Try Noisy Majority. As rates go up and jobs continue to watch how loud things get. In the background, efforts are being made legally to challenge these nitwits and their power. Lawyers have been hired! Look for petitions, news stories, and websites designed to get this movement rolling. Most importantly, you can identify other citizens who want change by the little pitchfork pin displayed prominently on their lapel or shirt. We need to save the city.

You are the minority Lou Lou

Good God. Dunedin City Council employs a chief executive who can't even spell... looses it's s**t (as in loose, let free released or ill fitting) as opposed to loses it's s**t (something is lost, missing, or one is deprived of something) .. maybe it's actually appropriate. The city s**t itself because the council is a loose unit that seems to lose contact with the people they are representing!

I saw schoolchildren dodging between the piled up cars on George Street on Friday.

If these changes were meant to keep our youngest and most vulnerable safer, they've had the opposite effect.

Perhaps the DCC needs to look up the term "unintended consequences"!

I honestly wondered whether that photo was real ... obviously the Uni are making the LSD and the DCC are using it !!

This is nothing but an embarrassment to the city !!

When did Council employes forget that their salaries are paid by the half-wit rate payers that know s**t. I guess it must come from the top.

Most of New Zealand went along with the shutdown, but it dragged on forever, and the economy was deliberately ruined. Seems foolish in retrospect, like Kiwibuild efforts. Now with the layoffs starting, the debt skyrocketing, many are upset at the subterfuge, and the reality of an imploding economy. Tyrants whom were empowered for a little while, will now need to hide.

This whole saga has been an embarrassment to our great little city. Good on the DCC once again.

The council needs to realise that they do not own the city the ratepayers do,with this sort of project maybe they should ask the owners of this city yes that would be the rate payers,the ones that pay their wages.

Well, there's my vote confirmed. Vote of no confidence......

View all

Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter