'Smart-street' approach in George St plan

George St. File photo
George St. File photo
A tech-enhanced future for Dunedin’s main shopping street could feature electronic signage and enable a parking area to be a loading zone early in the morning and accommodate seating in the evening.

"Flexible zones" could change how parts of George St are used at different times of the day, and automatic retractable bollards would make it easier to close off some blocks for events or change the vibe on Sundays or for late-night shopping.

Such suggestions were included in the detailed business case that went before Dunedin city councillors last month when they chose to make George St a one-way traffic route as part of an upgrade due to be completed in 2024.

"There is a strong desire for George St to have a high level of flexibility and ability to change over time to allow George St to evolve from a main street to a distinctive, attractive space for all," councillors were told.

Detailed design has yet to be carried out and innovations might not be deployed immediately, but a "smart-street" approach would preserve options.

It would include "automated bollards that will allow flexibility to close some or all blocks to create a fully pedestrianised environment at certain times of the day or year", the business case stated.

"This can be used for events, evening street dining or Sundays."

Parking sensor technology would also feature.

"Initially, this may be used to tell whether a parking space is available, but over time could allow for parking spaces to be booked for events or be available for certain uses at certain times of the day and change across the day."

Initial work connected to the main street upgrade will be carried out in streets near George St, such as London St, from this month.

Construction work will take a break in December and January to minimise disruption for businesses before Christmas and the New Year.



Oooohh, some of the retailers won't like it...whatever it is.

Retail was and is the reason George St is what it is! Retail created the street. If council needs to change the use of a street, why don't they turn Princess St or Moray Pl into the types of areas council staff and crazy councillors are seeking and leave George St just the way it is with happy customers and happy retailers?
It almost looks like a conspiracy to get shot of the retailers and allow developers to create another large shopping centre in the suburbs - unsuccessfully tried in a number of now failing CBDs throughout the country.

I can hardly wait for those balmy Dunedin Sunday evenings for outdoor dining.



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