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As part of a planned $60 million upgrade of the central city, the Dunedin City Council has unveiled its preliminary concept design for George St from Moray Pl to Albany St.
Changes include restricting traffic to one-way travelling south between Frederick St and Moray Pl, installing a counter-flow cycle/scooter lane and a paved carriageway between Hanover and St Andrew Sts, where cyclists and pedestrians would have priority over motorists.
A two-way "slow street" environment would be created in the block between Frederick St and Albany St to allow for north-moving traffic and buses.
Parklets, native trees and plants, street furniture, public art and smart technology would be placed along the street to make the area a more attractive place to visit.
About 25 parking spaces for mobility card holders, delivery vehicles and drop-offs are included in the plan.
Any further car parking would be considered as part of a proposed car parking study which would be run alongside other studies such as economic assessment and environmental survey.
The design was created using the global street design guide adopted by the council last year, as well as feedback from public engagement workshops and surveys held earlier this year.
In their report, council urban designer Kathryn Ward and transport group manager Richard Saunders said the aim of the design was to increase vibrancy, improve safety and accessibility and to generally enhance the overall experience of the street.
If they vote to endorse the plan, a more detailed design, which includes traffic modelling, baseline data collection and the confirmation of an activity plan for area, will be created.
Central city advisory panel chairman Cr David Benson-Pope said it was a bold design which would spark debate among Dunedin residents.
"It is important we get this right because it is our main street and it is the best main street in the country," Cr Benson-Pope said.
The design was not just about improving the look and feel of the street. It was also about encouraging and incentivising more people to visit and live in the area, he said.
He believed parking issues would be addressed in the planned study and there were already enough spaces in the surrounding area to meet demand.
As it was just a preliminary design, there would still be more chances for community consultation.
"This is by no means a final design, but what it will hopefully do is create a discussion about what Dunedin people want their main street to look and feel like."
Otago Chamber of Commerce chief executive Dougal McGowan said it was an exciting design which would allow business owners and the public to start visualising what the city centre could look like.
It was clear from the surveys there was a mandate for change, but there still needed to be further engagement with retailers and building owners.
"It's about how we create a destination where people come and they want to stay and do their shopping, have a coffee, but also have an experience which they want to keep coming back to," Mr McGowan said.