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Dunedin City Council transport engineering and road safety team leader Hjarne Poulsen said the stripes were not pedestrian crossings, as cars had to give way at those, but did have a double purpose as a place people could safely cross and to signal to motorists that they were crossing a threshold into a new ''central school zone''.
The school zone encompasses the area around Otago Boys' High School, Arthur Street School, Kavanagh College, Otago Girls' High School and St Joseph's Cathedral School.
The zone was being set up in consultation with the schools which identified a range of pedestrian and road safety concerns on the streets in that area, including issues with safety around road crossings, parking, especially for short-term visitors, and high speeds on some streets.
The stripes were the first part of a larger parcel of work and mark the entry points to the school zone.
They would be followed by bollards and signs, next week.
All work was temporary until it was confirmed it worked as desired - it could be removed - but Mr Poulsen was confident it would stay.
''It's a new thing and it takes getting used to, but generally people do get used to it.''
Concrete curbing around the red stripes and median strips as well as road markings would be added later.
The next stage of the project was introducing a speed limit reduction within the zone.
In the next few months the council expected to consult affected parties on either a 40kmh or 30kmh speed limit within the zone.
It would also consult on alterations to parking within the zone and putting more safe crossing points throughout the area.
The cost of that latter work was as yet unknown.
The stripes/entry points are on Arthur St (east and west), Brown St, Cargill St, View St, Rattray St (south and north) Smith St and York Pl (east and west).
The cost was likely to be around $20,000, Mr Poulsen said.
Most of the work was being done at night to minimise disruption, though one complaint has already been received.
Resident Roberta Coutts told the Otago Daily Times she almost slipped on ''small red globules'' that had apparently spread from the newly laid stripes on to the footpath on Stuart St yesterday.
''It is causing a very serious fall hazard. They are like walking on ice.''
Mr Poulsen said the small pieces from the stripes could come off until it was properly set, but that contractors were required to check and make sure areas around the stripes were cleared of any hazards regularly.
Some road safety improvements would also be done in Brown St next month, he said.