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After a one-hour public forum Dunedin city councillors voted 9-6 to delay a decision on the Dunedin City Council’s George St roading plan, "Safer CBD Streets-Covid-19 response", which includes a raft of health and safety measures, also designed to assist businesses, including temporary wider footpaths, 10kmh speed limits, speed bumps, and increased waits at traffic lights.
The delay would allow George St property owner Cr Jules Radich to seek legal advice over his participation in the debate.
Counsel for the council Michael Garbutt said the office of the auditor-general had confirmed Cr Radich had a pecuniary interest in relation to George St for deliberations in the annual plan.
He believed it also would preclude Cr Radich from participating in yesterday’s planned debate.
During the public forum, Generation Zero presenters Jenny Coatham and Lydia Le Gros asked for councillors to consider taking advantage of the NZ Transport Agency’s innovating streets for people pilot fund for both the long-term and the temporary project.
The fear that the proposed temporary changes in the proposal were "the first step" towards pedstrianising the street were voiced by AA Otago district council chairman Malcolm Budd yesterday.
Otago Chamber of Commerce chief executive Dougal McGowan asked whether allowing retailers to expand on to footpaths might add to the congestion on footpaths and what other measures to allow for physical distancing had been considered for footpaths.
Council chief executive Sue Bidrose said there were more than 70 speed limit signs ready to put in place from yesterday afternoon, as well as "many, many, many" circles to be painted on the road with the Dunedin logo on them "that would remind people that the road space is ‘cars and cycles and scooters and pedestrians’."
Former city councillor and Golden Centre Mall Acquisitions Dunedin owner Richard Thomson and George St retailers John Bezett and Brent Weatherall also made presentations during the public forum.
How they voted
DCC votes 9-6 for a delay in the debate on the latest inner city roading proposal to allow George St property owner Cr Jules Radich to seek legal advice about his participation in the debate.
FOR: Crs Sophie Barker, Rachel Elder, Doug Hall, Carmen Houlahan, Mike Lord, Jim O’Malley, Jules Radich, Lee Vandervis and Andrew Whiley.
AGAINST: Mayor Aaron Hawkins, Crs Christine Garey, Marie Laufiso, Chris Staynes, Steve Walker and David Benson-Pope.