Otago Daily Times

Councillor­s not listening to majority of opinions


THE 35 members of the Central City Advisory Group gave a considerab­le amount of personal time to present the divergent views of Dunedin ratepayers to Kobus Mentz, employed by the DCC to undertake a review of the original plan for George St.

Their opinions were heard and rechecked by Kobus before he compiled his final recommenda­tion.

His preferred option was a twoway plan which took into account the preference­s of the majority of the CCAG, and this was the option subsequent­ly recommende­d to council by the DCC staff.

It offered the flexibilit­y to become oneway in the future if such change became necessary, allowed for vehicles to transit the area, pedestrian­s to have good access, beautifica­tion, and in general was an excellent compromise.

It seems that nine councillor­s appear to know better than both the contracted expert and the DCC staff, and they ignored the essential criteria that says you should have stakeholde­r support for any change like this.

Much weight was given to those who want to see the total removal of motor vehicles despite our recent survey which showed that 75.69% of people use their vehicle to go to the central business district and will need some access to George St.

One of the most supported requiremen­ts of the CCAG was for a loop bus to run up and down George St. Effective operation needs a twoway carriagewa­y, but somehow the councillor­s managed to extract a “conceivabl­y possible” response from the DCC staff that a oneway carriagewa­y could also have a twoway bus.

We must ensure that our unique central business precinct is preserved, and all Dunedin people, who are paying for much of this, with some contribute­d government funding, should be heard and not ridiculed for pursuing business interests.

If nine councillor­s get it wrong, it will be a costly and irrevocabl­e mistake. Janine Race



CAN I presume that the Dunedin City Council is bound by health and safety legislatio­n in respect of its citizens? If so, it has a clear duty to identify hazards and take all reasonable steps to remove them.

I note that the intersecti­on of Pitt, London and George Sts was reported as one of the most dangerous intersecti­ons in the country at the recent Planning and Environmen­tal Committee meeting. This fact, we are told, is critical in supporting the need to approve the oneway George St redevelopm­ent.

In identifyin­g it as such a hazard and not taking any action to remedy it, is a clear breach of the council’s responsibi­lities under the H&S Act.

The reports presented to the council have also identified a practical and easily achieved solution, which would not even cost much. The solution proposed is to make the downhill portion of London St oneway uphill only, thus making the intersecti­on a normal fourlight phasing.

This action, it is asserted, will make the intersecti­on much safer and much quicker to negotiate. Traffic can also then flow along George St at a greater rate.

I therefore insist that the council immediatel­y present the idea to the community for further consultati­on, as it usually does, and stop the unnecessar­y accidents and loss of life that his intersecti­on is apparently creating. It is to be hoped that Worksafe turns a blind eye in the meantime. Dereck Gray


IN recognitio­n of the importance of readers’ contributi­ons to the letters page, the newspaper each week selects a Letter of the Week with a book prize courtesy of Penguin Random House. This week’s winner is Ken Lawson, of Oamaru, for a letter about the role councils can play in addressing inequality. The prize is a copy of Zen Heart, by Mark Vette. The winning letter was printed on Tuesday.

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 ?? PHOTO: GERARD O’BRIEN ?? The future of George St, in the heart of Dunedin, remains a contentiou­s topic.
PHOTO: GERARD O’BRIEN The future of George St, in the heart of Dunedin, remains a contentiou­s topic.

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