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The survey, part of a report by urban design and landscape architecture firm Aitken Taylor, follows a suggestion by council consultants to recreate George St so the at-present car-oriented road provides for 25% vehicles and 75% pedestrians and public space.
As one of seven reports published by the council in advance of a Monday meeting at which council staff will update councillors on controversial plans to partly pedestrianise George St, the George Street Public Life Survey makes the case for pedestrianisation through monitoring pedestrian, cycling, and "staying" activities, an outdoor seating audit and face-to-face surveys with 65 pedestrians from March 11-13.
The Otago Daily Times extended an offer to all city councillors to comment on the survey yesterday, and council planning and environment committee chairman David Benson-Pope applauded the "comprehensive expert advice on which to base our decisions".
Cr Andrew Whiley noted the pedestrian study was done during a busy summer period when three cruise ships were in town, including Ruby Princess, which carries 3600 passengers and 1100 crew.
Further, he noted the user experience survey included more than a third (34%) of respondents who were aged just 15 to 24.
Eighty percent of those who took part in the user experience survey were residents, 42% were in George St for recreation, 37% were there daily, 42% arrived in a private vehicle, and 29% walked.
The pedestrian survey noted 72,402 pedestrian "movements" on the Saturday, 42% of the foot traffic between the times of noon and 2pm.
There were 1230 weekday bicycle movements, and 92% more cycling trips were made during the week than on the Saturday.
More than half (57%) of the so-called staying activity recorded was "standing", and included people smoking cigarettes or window shopping.
There were 51 outdoor dining chairs available in George St over the survey period and they were at a peak seating occupancy of 29% on Saturday, up from 27% on the weekdays.
A pedestrian age and gender registration showed less than 3% of the people in the street were under 5 years old, and those over 65 were under-represented demographically both during the week (14%) and on weekends (7%).
Plans to revamp George St into a more pedestrian-friendly, or car-free, area after renewing its aged underground infrastructure have come under fire recently.
George St jeweller Brent Weatherall presented a petition with 6000-plus signatures last week opposing the initial concept design.