Traffic issues high on list of residents' concerns: survey

There is a traffic jam from Lookout Point to Andy Bay lights. Photo: Vanessa Beck
A traffic jam from Lookout Point to Andy Bay lights. Photo: ODT files
Dunedin's traffic may seem like one of the city's best features, but this year's residents' opinion survey has thrown the issue up as one people are least satisfied with.

Despite one of the city's attractions being short travel times from anywhere to just about anywhere else, only 46% of respondents were satisfied with the flow of peak traffic.

Also making the list of ``services/facilities residents were least satisfied with'' were two issues on opposite ends of the spectrum.

Only 28% were satisfied with the suitability of the road network for cyclists throughout the city, and only 33% satisfied with the availability of parking in the central city.

The area has been one of conflict and controversy as critics of cycleways tend to bemoan the loss of parks that can result when they are built.

Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull said the concerns about traffic came down to historical notions of what traffic should be like.

``Dunedinites have been used to not having any congestion at all for a very long time.

``As our economy grows and there's more activity and more people, naturally you might have to sit through one phase of the traffic lights from time to time.''

However Mr Cull said while such waits were not too onerous, the council was working on an integrated transport strategy that provided choice of transport modes, including walking, cycling and buses.

``That will alleviate the perceived issues with congestion.''

Mr Cull said people had for many years been asking for improved cycling infrastructure, something the latest survey showed was still a priority.

On the concerns about parking he said in the past people were able to park outside whatever shop they wanted to go to.

``They got used to that.

``That is not the prevailing situation in any thriving centre in the world. It just doesn't happen.''

Council chief executive Sue Bidrose said research showed conclusively people who walked past shops spent more than those who drove there ``then get in their car and drove away''.

``This does have the perverse consequence that it's quite good for economic development to have people walking through your town centres.



There is a small point that Mr Cull and the cycle brigade can't seem to grasp. Dunedin has some quite serious hills. No matter how much money is flushed on bike routes on the flat, you will still only be catering for 25 - 30% of the population.
Mind you, I can just imagine a bunch of ski lift type arrangements around town towing people up hill. Shouldn't cost too much should it, after all no cost is too much.

Hills aren't steep enough for that, buses work fine.



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