Cy­cle­way work al­most fin­ished

Otago Daily Times - - Dunedin - TI­MOTHY BROWN ti­

RE­ME­DIAL work to four South Dunedin in­ter­sec­tions will mark the end of the con­tro­ver­sial process to es­tab­lish a cy­cle net­work in the area.

The South Dunedin cy­cle­way has at­tracted crit­i­cism and gen­er­ated con­tro­versy as a se­ries of mishaps and bun­gled de­signs led to drawn­out time­frames and blown bud­gets.

Work be­gan on the net­work in Novem­ber 2013 and was ex­pected to be com­pleted by June 2015 with a bud­get of $4.5 mil­lion.

How­ever, de­sign prob­lems fol­lowed, lead­ing to some parts be­ing ripped up shortly af­ter be­ing built — in some cases, within days — and com­pli­ca­tions arose, as did ten­sions within the com­mu­nity.

What has re­sulted is a scaled­back plan cost­ing about $6 mil­lion.

The last of the work to com­plete the cy­cle­way is un­der way at the in­ter­sec­tion of Ted­der and New Sts and im­prove­ments to the in­ter­sec­tion of Bel­lona and Churchill Sts are ex­pected to be­gin on Septem­ber 25.

The work on those two in­ter­sec­tions as well as on those at Prince Al­bert Rd and Bel­lona and New Sts and Richard­son and Moreau Sts is ex­pected to cost about $450,000.

Work at the in­ter­sec­tion of Mar­ket and Ted­der Sts — com­pleted ear­lier this year — brings the cost to $540,000.

Dunedin City Coun­cil group trans­port man­ager Richard Saun­ders said many les­sons had been learned through the process of build­ing the net­work.

‘‘I think what we have learnt is that as we go through the de­sign process, we need to be far more ro­bust in our think­ing and think­ing about the needs of all road users,’’ Mr Saun­ders said.

‘‘What was clear at the end of the South Dunedin net­work is that the de­signs they came up with didn’t work as they in­tended — they didn’t work for all road users.

‘‘So what we need to do in fu­ture is en­sure we are think­ing more broadly. We are look­ing at best prac­tice around the coun­try and we are ap­ply­ing that think­ing to Dunedin.

‘‘We know there were some mis­takes made in the South Dunedin net­work and we need to make sure we don’t re­peat those in fu­ture cy­cle­way work, or any work,’’ he said.

The fi­nal re­me­dial works were ex­pected to come with few dis­rup­tions to road users and would be com­pleted in the com­ing months, he said.

While the project had come with headaches, it did not mean the end of cy­cle­way work in South Dunedin.

‘‘We recog­nise that the area is still lack­ing good, safe cy­cle­way con­nec­tions to ar­eas of South Dunedin and we need to go back and look at where those need to be,’’ Mr Saun­ders said.

‘‘But that will be done in the con­text of Dunedin’s wider cy­cle in­fra­struc­ture.’’

It would also in­clude a greater em­pha­sis on en­gage­ment with the pub­lic.

‘‘Part of get­ting the pub­lic on board in the fu­ture is to show we can do this work and do it well, and to be en­gaged with the pub­lic through­out the de­sign process,’’ Mr Saun­ders said.

‘‘We are aware there is likely to be more ac­cess re­quired in the fu­ture just to en­sure there are good con­nec­tions and good cy­cle­ways be­tween routes peo­ple would like to travel. But that will be part of fu­ture dis­cus­sions about fu­ture in­vest­ments in cy­cle­way in­fra­struc­ture around the city,’’ he said.

Richard Saun­ders

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