A summary of 2000 submissions received on options for improving road safety for the one-way sections of State Highway 1 through central Dunedin.
The NZ Transport Agency (Transport Agency) has been working with the Dunedin City Council (DCC) to improve road safety on State Highway 1 between the Dunedin Botanic Garden and Queens Gardens. Public consultation on two separated cycle lane options opened on 8 November and closed on 6 December 2013.
Transport Agency Projects Team Manager Simon Underwood says the response from the community has been great.
“We appreciate their invaluable feedback and that will be used to help develop a preferred separated cycle lane option. A working group comprising representatives from the Transport Agency, DCC and consultants will work on developing this option,” Mr Underwood says.
There has been strong support for a separated cycle lane on both the north and southbound one-way streets through central Dunedin. Some submitters regarded that as the safer of the two options. Both the Southern District Health Board (SDHB) and the University of Otago support this option, along with some major businesses with vehicle access points across the cycle lanes.
Generally, retailer and business submissions supported retaining the status quo or a single separated cycle lane allowing cyclists to travel in both directions.
Mr Underwood says other safety concerns raised by submitters were skateboarders using the separated cycle lanes, and the lanes attracting younger and less skilled cyclists into a busier inner-city traffic environment.
DCC Transportation Planning Manager Sarah Connolly says there are a lot of submissions around the potential loss of on-street parking. Smaller retailers along Great King Street, Cumberland Street and Castle Street were concerned about the potential loss of handy, short-term, on-street parking near their premises. Access for delivery vehicles that service their premises was also seen as an issue.
Several larger business on the one-way highway system expressed similar concerns.
Ms Connolly says the SDHB supports separated cycle lanes on the north and southbound one-way streets through central Dunedin because of the road safety benefits. They also see this option as offering people wanting to visit Dunedin Hospital with better choices around active forms of transport, such as walking and cycling.
The University, which also supports this option, believes the current reliance on on-street parking is not consistent with its long-term sustainable travel targets for staff and students. The University also sees cycling, through the provision of improved cycle infrastructure, as a credible alternative to vehicles.
Mr Underwood says further work to gain more detailed information, additional research, and testing of options will continue through January/February 2014. It will include more detailed cycle counts, right-turn traffic counts (those who would cross the cycle lane), and parking occupancy assessments. There will be further investigation of alternate parking proposals to see how many extra spaces could be made available, where those would be, the cost of creating additional spaces, who they would be used by and to which part of the highway they would relate. There will also be further conversations with affected businesses about these parking proposals.
In April 2014, the Council is expected, via its Infrastructure Services Committee, to be given a progress report on consultation to date. It is then proposed to consult further with businesses and property owners who would be directly affected by the option that has been developed at that point. A further report, recommending a preferred option, is likely to be presented to the Council in May/June 2014.
Any implementation of an option would be subject to future funding processes, primarily those around the National Land Transport Programme for 2015 -2018, Mr Underwood says.
A copy of the summary report on submissions on the two separated cycle lane options is available here [PDF, 420 KB].