Funding call for Dunedin road system

The Government is being called upon to show leadership and provide more funding to help Dunedin create a better transport network.

Some changes have been forced on the city because of the construction of a new hospital in the city centre, but proposed transport solutions were underwhelming, Dunedin city councillor Jim O’Malley said.

Engineering designs were being made to fit the available spend, which was limiting their effectiveness, Cr O’Malley said.

"Design is a reflection of willingness to spend and there’s just not enough allocated," he said.

"It’s our time."

Among the problems is that State Highway 1 is the principal north-south route, but it proceeds through a busy urban area that includes the University of Otago and the planned new hospital.

Cr O’Malley said the South Island’s second-largest city was not commanding the level of capital spending an important metropolitan centre might expect.

A bigger allocation of national funding could also help the city implement solutions that would be a better fit with Government transport and environment policies, he said.

The councillor’s commentary came after the Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency announced it intended to stick with the SH1 one-way system through central Dunedin.

Dunedin Mayor Aaron Hawkins covered some similar themes to Cr O’Malley in a letter to the agency.

A package of changes — known as Shaping Future Dunedin Transport — had been worked on by the city council, the Otago Regional Council and Waka Kotahi.

It included works such as improving a harbour arterial route to serve as a central city bypass and improving cycling facilities.

For the package to be successful, it needed to be about more than minimising disruption from constructing the new hospital, Mr Hawkins said.

"It also has to be the catalyst for a more future-focused transport network."

"For our projects to achieve their full potential, they require a commensurate degree of ambition and resourcing from other parties, of which Waka Kotahi is a crucial one."

A spokeswoman for Waka Kotahi said transport projects were funded nationally based on meeting objectives, rather than on an equity basis.

Based on population, Otago’s funding was within 1% of what it would be entitled to, compared with other regions, she said. It was on target, based on GDP.

Minister of Transport Michael Wood is to visit Dunedin in April and his office has said discussion of SH1 will be on the agenda.

grant.miller@odt.co.nz

Comments

The Councillors and all others should go down to Great King Street between Albany Street and Duke Street and watch the peak hour continuous cony vehicles including very large ruck with semi-trailers traveling at at least 50 kilometers per hour with no gaps between vehicles. No chance to cross this street here at this location. When you stand on the foot path there you feel wow this is REALLY DANGEROUS. You think if I did cross and got it wrong there is no chance this stream of vehicles could ever stop. You feel in this place more people are going to get killed. You wonder why this absurdly dangerous situation exists? You ask is there any logical reason why the speed limit here could not be dropped to say less than 20 kilometers per hour. Just like the NZTA advertisement currently on TV and YouTube are now illustrating and promoting should be done in densely populated urban areas which are OBVIOUSLY VERY DANGEROUS. You do not need to measure anything to come to the common sense observation that is you act right now to slow traffic down here people would be NOW much safer and likely some lives would be saved ! ! ! Slowing this traffic NOW would cost very little money.

Waka Kotahi should revive the Dunnel project. The Dunnel is the SH1 Dunedin tunnel that goes from upper Sawyers Bay along reservoir Rd, under the hill and out the other side at the upper end of Wetherstons Creeks above Waitati. A distance of about 1km. SH1 can then be re-routed along the harbour on SH88 (which need an upgrade anyway) and avoid going through town. Waka Kotahi could use the money saved from the canned Auckland harbour bridge cycleway. A no brainer!!!

Come on Waka Kotahi, use some of the revenue collected from the monthly quota that Police deny exists but still go out and collect.

Dunedin has received and spent about $70 million in funding which has been spent on cycle ways over the past few years. But now the greens are crying poor and Dunedin needs more money to build a more integrated transport network, i.e. more cycleways.
Sensible people would question the cost benefit of $32 million on the track to Pt Chalmers. That money could have been spent developing the so called by pass.

Zealots want another $100 million or so to convert the Wingatui and Caversham tunnels, along with a system of interconnecting cycleways so another 3 people can ride into town each day.

Dunedin has had a good share of money. We just need a council that stops wasting money. And traffic planners who don't think bikes are the only option.

 

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