Ocean drive traffic trial suggested

Lee Vandervis
Lee Vandervis
Plans to separate motorists from cyclists and pedestrians on Dunedin's scenic John Wilson Ocean Dr should be trialled before money is spent on a permanent solution, a Dunedin city councillor says.

Cr Lee Vandervis raised the idea at yesterday's Dunedin City Council community development committee meeting, as councillors considered the timeline for a development plan for the road to be prepared.

The development plan was expected to be presented to councillors early next year, detailing the features needed to safely separate various road users - and their likely cost.

That followed the council's decision last month, after extensive public consultation, to reinstate restricted vehicle access once a shared walking/cycling lane and other improvements were added.

However, Cr Vandervis said yesterday temporary barriers - like those used at the Southern Festival of Speed - should be installed first, to trial the effectiveness of separating different road users.

"That way we could check to see whether this solution would be acceptable to everybody," he said.

"We wouldn't actually have to put a lot of time or money into it."

If the temporary barriers proved effective, it was possible more permanent - and aesthetically pleasing - barriers could be installed later, he said.

Council community and recreation policy team leader Lisa Wheeler, whose report was being considered, welcomed the suggestion and said the staged implementation of whatever the development plan recommended could be an option to be considered.

That could be especially useful if the development plan identified relatively costly work was required, she believed.

Committee chairman Cr Bill Acklin asked for the development plan to be completed in time to be considered during the council's 2011-12 draft annual plan hearings in January next year, allowing further public input.


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