South D – get on your bike
South D – get on your bike!
Dunedin (Thursday, 21 February 2013) – If you live in South Dunedin, get ready to hop on your bicycle.
If approved by the Dunedin City Council next week, work on several new South Dunedin cycle routes, in areas such as Victoria Road/Tahuna Road, Royal Crescent and a section of Portobello Road, is expected to start in the next few months.
Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull says the proposed changes are a step in the right direction to provide safe cycle routes and encourage more people to cycle.
Staff have identified some ‘quick wins’ where roading changes could be made quickly and easily this year. In some cases, consultation with affected parties has already started.
“These ‘quick wins’ would form almost a continuous route from South Dunedin to the central city,” Mayor Cull says.
The revised network plan includes a new type of cycle network link called a ‘quiet street’, where different measures (for example slower traffic) enable the safe sharing of a road by people cycling and driving. These are popular overseas, but have yet to be seen in New Zealand and could work well in some suburban South Dunedin streets.
Other options included in the proposals are cycle lanes, paths and separated bicycle facilities where cyclists are separated from vehicles by concrete protrusions or similar.
When the Council meets on Monday, it will discuss a staff report recommending the South Dunedin Cycle Network Plan be approved for consultation. Some changes, including new routes, have been made since the original cycling network was put together and so public feedback will be sought.
The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) and the DCC are collaborating on a similar network planning exercise in the central city and North Dunedin. This work has been brought forward in response to road safety concerns. As the area includes state highways, for which NZTA is responsible, staff from the two organisations are working together to achieve a ‘one network’ planning approach that accommodates all types of road users.
In August 2011, the Council adopted the Strategic Cycle Network (SCN) as the vision for cycling in Dunedin. The intention is to provide safe and convenient facilities throughout the city so residents can go about their everyday activities by bike. These facilities will link residential areas to key spots such as the city centre, schools and local shopping centres.
Of the 37 sub-routes which make up the network, five of the six South Dunedin routes are in the top 10 priority list.
To implement the SCN, the Council has set aside $1.5 million annually for 2012/13 to 2014/15, which includes a $1 million annual subsidy from the New Zealand Transport Agency. Thereafter the annual budget is $300,000 and subsidies will be sought.
The SCN forms part of the DCC’s Transport Strategy, which is due to go out for public