Wider footpaths on cards for Dunedin

Walkers socially distance themselves in Woodhaugh yesterday. PHOTO: CHRISTINE O’CONNOR
Walkers socially distance themselves in Woodhaugh yesterday. PHOTO: CHRISTINE O’CONNOR
Increased cycling and walking infrastructure funded by the Government could be on the cards for Dunedin.

The Dunedin City Council will assess whether it takes up a Government offer to expand footpaths and roll out temporary cycleways, to help people keep 2m of physical distance post-lockdown.

Council infrastructure services general manager Simon Drew said the council would look at the options with councillors in coming weeks.

"Providing increased walking and cycling infrastructure aligned with the council’s strategic goals, including promoting mode shift and reducing Dunedin’s carbon emissions to net zero by 2030."

Last year, city councillors voted to declare a climate emergency and accelerate efforts to become a net-zero carbon city by 20 years, to 2030 instead of 2050.

Cycleways around the city have been developed in recent years to ensure safety and encourage people on to their bikes.

Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter made the announcement of government funding on Sunday, saying it would come from the Innovating Streets for People pilot fund.

"When people begin to return to city centres following the lockdown we want them to have enough space to maintain physical distance," she said.

"Some of our footpaths in busy areas are quite narrow.

"Temporary footpath extensions mean people can give each other a bit more space without stepping out on to the road."

Councils could use highly visible plastic posts, planter boxes and other materials to create temporary separated bike lanes where people felt safe.

"It’s now up to councils to put forward projects if they want to take advantage of this initiative.

The New Zealand Transport Agency would help councils to implement the changes.

"Councils can apply now for funding from the NZ Transport Agency, who will cover 90% of the cost of rolling out temporary changes to the streetscape."

The Innovating Streets for People pilot fund supports projects using "tactical urbanism" techniques such as pilots and pop-ups, or interim treatments that make it safer and easier for people walking and cycling in a city.

Cities including Berlin and New York have rolled out temporary cycle lanes and footpaths in the wake of Covid-19.

emma.perry@odt.co.nz


 

Comments

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You mean a return of the ugly temporary barriers and the like that killed commerce in and around the Octagon immediately pre pandemic? Say it isn't so!

Just as they did with the Christchurch shooting, Government is going to pounce on this event as an opportunity to ram through policy that would not otherwise be accepted by the public. As I write this, it is ice cold and raining in Dunedin. No good for cycling or walking. And noone given the option will choose public transport - you'd just be asking to catch an illness.
So DCC and Mayor Hawkins, stop using the human suffering caused by Covid19 as a smokescreen to push through your unpopular policies. (Increased cycle ways, reduced parking spaces and deliberately sabotaging the transport system to reduce carbon emissions)

Ideologues such as • turn down govt money for municipal projects.

Yea, lets lower emissions and send empty buses all over the city, are we going to widen the buses to give the drivers social distancing also?

Gradually sneak up on society, and when the opportunity arises, "Hit Hard."

With an estimated 2018 population of around 8.5 m distributed over about 302.6 (784 km2), New York is the most densely populated major city in the United States and the land area includes bodies of water and of course, Central Park. Basically, it's impossible for people to have a personal 2m bubble.

With apopulation of around 115,000, does Dunedin really NEED to follow NYC with more cycle lanes ... and a 1/2 baked clam in the harbour, or should they be looking at better ways to spend government and ratepayers money ??

I don't think it's too difficult to keep to the social distancing rules due to our low population and space we have available ... not to mention a population that can actually use their common sense* to keep safe, rather than relying on a few people who don't really understand what common sense means.

* There will always be exceptions to the rule and personally, I don't think sporting events should be as high up on the "recovery" list as some would like. NZ & Dunedin WILL still be here whether there's rugby, league, or any other sport not able to be played in the next month ... or maybe a year ??

The greens simply can't face reality. Dunedin is not flat. Even the lycra clad twits want council to buy and pave tunnels for them to ride from Mosgeil to Pt Chalmers because the places between have too many steep hills.

The day we see aged pensioners cycling from Maori Hill to town and back with their shopping is the day I will believe citizens are cyclists. Until then we are building flat space for students, hobbyists and the half a percent of people who want to commute by bike.

Lets face it, if cycling was a viable all year option, surely the greens mayor would be riding his own bike instead of sponging off the public and their cars.

'Lycra clad twits?' If the tunnels are there already why not use em? Now who's a twit?

But there lays the rub. The Caversham tunnel has a significant number of water and drainage pipes that would need to be moved at substantial cost. The approaches to both tunnels are privately owned and would take several millions to buy and turn into a track. The last piece of the Pt Chalmers track was last costed at $28 million.

A year or so ago cyclists were busy raising the money to partially fund one chunk of land for the Wingatui tunnel. No word on that succeeding, just another push for ratepayers to cough up more to pay for your hobby.

So the tunnels may be there, the money and demand for use isn't.

This 'council' will see this as a great idea and push through with it .... if we like it or not, and push our rates ever higher to pay for it..

What a crock. when do the wider buses appear on the Dunedin Streets to accomodate this? When will the movies, Cafe, start to remove the now extra seats, What about public benches being removed to make single chairs.
as 'dot said' DCC and Hawkins, stop using the human suffering caused by Covid19 as a smokescreen to push through your unpopular policies. Funny how the Government started with removing the guns.

Quote- "Temporary footpath extensions mean people can give each other a bit more space without stepping out on to the road."

As I read this, after Level 3 is diminished, distancing in public areas will return to normal, meaning, our footpaths will return to current width and all temporary barriers shall be removed from our streets and roads. This same practice as seen overseas will be mimicked here for obvious reasons. Many of our historic streets date back to the days of horse and cart, but the intention will be the same. My only hope is that it is done with some sense of scale and proportion, and of course common sense. My last sentence may well throw the black cat amongst the pigeons in regard to the recent activities of DCC. Of course, we will certainly require reduced speed limits and NO driver distraction. I shall remain optimistic.

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