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Dunedin councillors have voted for one-way traffic in Dunedin's main shopping street, George St.
That traffic will flow north to south, towards the Octagon.
After a marathon discussion, councillors voted 9-5 for a one-way design.
They voted 11-2 for the one-way south option and Cr Andrew Whiley abstained.
- For one-way traffic: Mayor Aaron Hawkins, Christine Garey, Sophie Barker, David Benson-Pope, Marie Laufiso, Jim O'Malley, Steve Walker, Mike Lord, Chris Staynes.
- Against: Jules Radich, Carmen Houlahan, Rachel Elder, Lee Vandervis, Andrew Whiley.
The three options being discussed were a one-way north, one-way south and a two-way design that would promote pedestrian activity.
A 30kmh speed limit would apply for the alternative do-minimum approach, in which underground pipe work would go ahead, but the street would look much the same as now.
The do-minimum option would amount to an abandonment of a George St revamp.
Dunedin Mayor Aaron Hawkins moved that traffic should be one-way in George St and that the direction should be southbound.
"This is about providing a safe and appealing destination," he said.
Dunedin should pursue the safest, most inclusive city centre it could build, Mr Hawkins said.
Underground work was needed to replace old pipes and a revamp was needed above ground, too.
"Why wouldn't we seize the opportunity that we have?"
Councillors needed to make a decision that was in the long-term interests of everybody in the community, he said.
Cr Jules Radich said one-way traffic was a polarising political statement and an upgraded street with two-way traffic would have been less contentious.
Cr Andrew Whiley noted there was a lack of commentary about how the building of the new Dunedin Hospital might affect traffic.
Deputy mayor Christine Garey said one-way traffic was the best option for people who were vulnerable, such as those with disabilities.
One-way traffic would apply between Frederick St and Moray Pl.
Councillors listened to various views expressed in a public forum this morning.
Otago University Students' Association representative Mhairi Mackenzie Everitt called for the one-way south option, saying the flow would be into the city, rather than heading out of it.
Dunedin had fallen behind other cities in creating an accessible, welcoming and safer city centre, she said.
George St could be transformed into a destination, rather than just a thoroughfare, she said.
Public Health South health promotion adviser Louise Mainvil said people needed to be able to congregate where there was shade, shelter and places to stop and rest.
She called for drinking fountains to be part of the proposed upgrade for the area.
CCS Disability Action Group Otago representative Mary O'Brien said the decision to be made by councillors would influence liveability and wellbeing in the city.
She doubted motorists would stick to a 10kmh limit if a two-way George St was preferred.
Automobile Association Otago district chairman Malcolm Budd said a one-way George St would increase traffic congestion in the area.
He called for a 20kmh speed limit in the street, because 10kmh would be unrealistic and unenforceable.
Urban Access Dunedin representative Alan Race said limiting access to the central business district would result in fewer people visiting, unless there was adequate parking or a loop bus service.
His preference was for two-way traffic, but if councillors chose a one-way design, he favoured one-way south.
Generation Zero representatives said a one-way George St was an essential step towards a sustainable city.
Making it a "pleasant location" would would attract more people to it.
Grey Power Otago president Jo Millar said looking after the needs of permanent residents would also enhance the area for university students.
"If it works for the elderly, it will work for anybody."
Disabled Persons Assembly representative Chris Ford said the city had an opportunity to make a statement in designing a city centre that supported people's wellbeing.
Bus Users Advisory Group representative Alex King said if the public bus service had to move off George St, then it needed to be as easy as possible to use in Great King St.
The detailed business case councillors are considering about the proposed George St upgrade comments there are aspirations for the street to be viewed as a destination, but it is often used as a thoroughfare.
Motorists also tended to travel in circles in the area looking for car parks.
Councillors engaged in an exhaustive period of asking questions of council staff this afternoon.