Submission argues to keep John Wilson Ocean Dr closed

Bollards being installed on John Wilson Ocean Dr last year. Photo by Craig Baxter.
Bollards being installed on John Wilson Ocean Dr last year. Photo by Craig Baxter.
The first of many submissions on John Wilson Ocean Dr came before the Dunedin City Council hearings committee yesterday morning, with Colleen and Arthur Linnell, of Kew, arguing the road should be kept the way it was - closed.

That would save the council half a million dollars it planned to spend.

The council decided in February to consult the public on a proposal to spend $487,519 to develop the road into a shared space for motorists, pedestrians, cyclists and others, install a mechanical arm to control vehicle access to the road, and make other improvements.

That decision followed years of debate.

The road was originally closed to traffic while construction of the Tahuna outfall project was under way. It was reopened in October 2009, but was closed to traffic two weeks later, following a death at Lawyers Head, to address the problem of public safety there.

Mr Linnell's submission included 453 other signed submissions requesting the drive be left as it was, with no vehicle access between bollards that had been installed and Lawyers Head.

He told the committee the walk provided on the drive was "an immeasurable benefit"to the thousands of people who used it regularly.

Mr Linnell brought a page of photos of families with children cycling, walking, and walking dogs on the drive.

"What we need is this safe area for people to enjoy without the hassle of motor vehicles," he said.

The issue has attracted 655 submissions, including the 453 Mr Linnell produced, and people wishing to speak on the matter are spread throughout the three days of the hearing.



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