Dunedin dots remain but ineffective 10 kph limit to go

Dunedin City Council received a lot of criticism and ridicule last month when dots were painted all along the main street and a 10 kph speed limit (lowered from an already low 30 kph) was imposed to encourage pedestrians too use the street to improve social distancing.

Traffic light phasing was also changed, doubling the time for pedestrians to cross, but this was reversed when it was discovered that this clogged the streets up with cars more. This should have been predictable. And lowering the speed limit to a hard to sustain crawl also meant cars were there longer.

The speed limit proved to be impractical and was often ignored. Police said they had more important things to do. Despite this the council considered speed bumps last week – Speed bumps decision by council soon

The Dunedin City Council is expected to receive data today which will help it decide whether the social distancing measures in George St are still necessary.

DCC chief executive Sue Bidrose said a decision on whether to go a step further and place speed bumps in George St would be made in the next two days.

“When we came up with the plan for George St, we were still in lockdown, so we didn’t know how much social distancing people would feel that they needed to do.

“So now we will know. We can have a look at the actual data, we can have a look at the actual pedestrian numbers and traffic numbers, and make a decision about that social distancing need.

So they had guessed it may work. It didn’t. People stayed on footpaths instead of doing detours out into the traffic if other pedestrians came towards them.

Yesterday:

However, council chief executive Sue Bidrose said it took council staff about a week to 10 days after the measures were implemented to determine there was ‘‘no desire’’ for footpath users to adhere to social distancing recommendations while shopping downtown.

That contradicts her statement as above – according to what she said yesterday she should have already known last week that pedestrians didn’t want to use the street among traffic instead of the footpath.

ODT:  ‘Are you mad?’: Councillor slams choice to keep CBD dots

The 10kmh speed limit in George St will go; the coloured dots will — temporarily — stay; and free parking will remain in the city centre until the end of the month.

Dunedin City Council voted to end its ‘‘Safer CBD’’ Covid-19 response ‘‘as soon as is practicable’’ in a 14-1 vote this afternoon.

Cr Carmen Houlahan — the lone dissenting vote today — said she was voting against the proposal not because she was opposed to moving the speed limit in George St from 10kmh back up to 30kmh — but because she had ‘‘serious, serious concerns about leaving the dots in the road’’.

‘‘Are you mad? ‘People will think if the dots are there that it will be safe to walk out there.”

The council may not be mad, but they seem out of touch with reality and the public.

Dunedin Mayor Aaron Hawkins said the cost of the programme…had been ‘‘a small price to pay’’ for the precautionary measures.

‘‘It hasn’t been a huge commitment that we made that proved to be unnecessary,’’ he said.

It was an ill-conceived failure.

The ‘‘visceral’’ response the council’s measures had evoked among city residents though had been ‘‘disappointing and a little embarrassing at times’’.

Hawkins should have been embarrassed. I’m hearing that Dunedin people are very disappointed in his performance as mayor, seeming to be fixated on his own pet projects and out of touch with the public.

He also has a poor public profile like in this national coverage: Dunedin’s main street gets Twister makeover, 10km/h speed limit to fight Covid-19

The dots will keep reminding people how out of touch Hawkins and the council is.

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3 Comments

  1. Gezza

     /  9th June 2020

    Christ!

    What a pack of idiots you’ve got on your Council.

    They’ll all have to go! 😡

    Who else have you got? 😳

    Reply
  2. NOEL

     /  9th June 2020

    Road to Zero stuff. Gonna get worse.
    “OBJECTIVE
    Improve road safety in our cities and regions
    through infrastructure improvements and
    speed management
    INITIAL ACTIONS
    Invest more in safety treatments and infrastructure
    improvements
    Review infrastructure standards and guidelines
    Introduce a new approach to tackling unsafe speeds
    Enhance the safety and accessibility of footpaths, bike lanes
    and cycleways
    The progress of these initial actions will be monitored using the
    following intervention indicators:
    INTERVENTION INDICATORS
    ∂ Kilometres of the network treated with new median
    barriers
    ∂ Kilometres of the network treated with side barriers
    ∂ Kilometres of the network treated with new rumble stripes
    ∂ Number of high risk intersections treated to operate
    within Safe System limits
    ∂ Progress around the review of infrastructure standards
    and guidelines
    ∂ Percentage of highest risk roads addressed through
    speed management
    ∂ Percentage of rural schools with 60km/h speed limits or
    lower (40 percent by 2024; 100 percent by 2030)
    ∂ Percentage of urban schools with 30-40km/h speed limits
    (40 percent by 2024; 100 percent by 2030)
    ∂ Percentage of road safety advertising campaigns that
    meet or exceed their agreed success criteria
    ∂ Mobile speed camera deployment activity (hours)
    (increase to 80,000 in 19/20; 100,000 in 20/21)
    ∂ Number of police operations targeting speed

    Reply

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