Road safety project state a ‘mess’

An unfinished road safety project has created its own hazard on Otago Peninsula, the Dunedin City Council has been told.

The part of the shared path that had been completed was popular, drawing cyclists and pedestrians, but there were gaps, it heard.

Dave Macpherson was one submitter at a council annual plan hearing yesterday who described the existing situation as a mismatch, or "a mess".

Former school principal in the area Bernadette Newlands said some wonderful work had been done.

"It’s important to finish it properly," she said.

"This job is worth doing well."

Portobello School pupils (from left) Robin Luff, Bella Monteith, Ivy Larkins and Koru Dickson,...
Portobello School pupils (from left) Robin Luff, Bella Monteith, Ivy Larkins and Koru Dickson, all aged 11, want a road safety project to be finished. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
The council has battled to complete the project amid changes in government transport policy since the general election.

The previous government also did not chip in when much of the remaining work was presented to it as a shovel-ready project.

One possible path before the council is to complete the rest of the project in stages.

Portobello School pupils talked to the council yesterday about traffic and narrow sections of road.

"The area desperately needs attention," one said.

Longtime peninsula resident Associate Prof Gerard Wilkins said the area was in some ways a victim of its own success.

"There’s an increase in people there — running, cycling and pushing prams."

A strong degree of praise was merited for what had been completed, improving access to an amenity.

But there was more to do, he said.

"There are two or three places that are more dangerous.

"You’ve made a problem if you don’t complete [the project].

"We need to complete this job at a high standard."