The wheels are turning on a transport package designed to make it easier for traffic to get around Dunedin while the city's new hospital is built. Grant Miller looks into what is proposed.
More than $100 million could be spent on 12 major projects over the next decade to significantly alter the shape of Dunedin's highways and byways and the ways people will get around the city.
Planning for how the transport network will work around the location of the new Dunedin Hospital has been under way since 2018.
Bubbling away in the background are concerns that two-way traffic around the hospital would be slow, assuming the one-way system is changed, and traffic would also be at a crawl on what could be a one-way George St.
Planners and civil engineers have been turning their minds to how they can ease congestion and reduce reliance on private motor vehicles.
The main things the projects aim to achieve are improving public transport, creating more efficient alternative routes and providing clear communication to make all things transport-related more accessible and safe while, and after, the new hospital is built.
Both the Dunedin City Council (DCC) and Otago Regional Council (ORC) will include their share of the projects in their draft 2021-2031 draft 10-year plans, to be debated and approved this year.
The ORC has two business cases proposed, to demonstrate the case for investment in improved public transport services.
The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) would need to sign off on its share, too.
Thousands of people have provided ideas and thoughts about how they believe transport options in central Dunedin should be adjusted, and more technical studies and planning work are being done.
Here is what we know from the various documents and information and commentary publicly available about the projects, from the most to least expensive.
1. Bus fare and frequency review and improvements. ORC. Cost: $17 million
Introduce simple, attractive fares, incentives to use buses and ongoing improvements, including increasing frequency on key routes.
Why? To improve public transport as an alternative to private vehicle use.
Port Chalmers and Portobello could have more frequent services at peak times and a direct service may be offered from Mosgiel into central Dunedin. A new service could start from Green Island via South Dunedin.
2. Harbour arterial improvements. DCC. Cost: $16.6m (51 per cent funded by NZTA)
The harbour arterial route would run along Wharf St and Thomas Burns St to provide an alternative route bypassing the city centre, avoiding the new hospital during and after construction.
The arterial route would begin at the Andersons Bay Rd intersection, turn on to Strathallan St, Wharf St, Thomas Burns St, to the overbridge on to Anzac Ave, then traffic could either travel back on to the state highway heading north via Frederick St, or turn towards the port at Port Chalmers.
The main east-west route on St Andrew St would be moved to Frederick St. Includes changes in Strathallan St, Wharf St, Ward St and at their intersections with side streets.
3. State highway upgrade. NZTA. Cost: $14m
Possibly two-waying the State Highway 1 one-way carriageways around the construction area of the new Dunedin Hospital.
Options being considered include changing to a two-way system and making Cumberland St outside the new hospital a local road.
Work would cover SH1 from Pine Hill Rd to Andersons Bay Rd and include making the current one-way system two, two-way roads.
The arterial route would remain on the existing southbound route, passing behind the new hospital.
A solid median strip would separate the two lanes and there would be no cycleway and minimal parking along this road.
The existing northbound route would become a local road. The speed limit of this road, which will pass in front of the new hospital, is reduced.
A two-way separated cycleway would be provided and extend to the Oval, parking would be retained, there would be improved pedestrian crossings at all intersections and more pedestrian crossing points.
The area would be made more attractive through improvements such as tree planting, landscaping and seating. The main east-west through route in St Andrew St could be relocated to Frederick St. A decision on what to do is to be made in March.
4. Park and Ride facilities at Mosgiel and Burnside. DCC. Cost: $10.25m (51 per cent funded by NZTA)
To cater for the 65 per cent of trips into the city that are made by people coming from the south/west.
Parking areas, where people can leave their car and catch a city-bound express bus service.
The purpose is to provide another transport option, reducing traffic demand in the central city. No more information about this project has been shared.
5. Central city parking management. DCC. Cost: $9.5m
Implementation of a plan to improve parking, including a review of pricing, location and availability of parks.
Motorists may make use of technology to help them find available parks and the city council could bring in electronic signboards.
Paid parking areas in the central city could be expanded and new meters added.
6. More central city cycleways/walking facilities and barnes dances. DCC. Cost: $7.75m (51 per cent funded by NZTA)
Fill in gaps in the central city cycle network by creating cycleways in St Andrew St, Bank/George St and Albany St (providing a direct link from the harbour shared path to the city centre via the university).
Extra barnes dances in the city centre to improve access to the new Dunedin Hospital sites.
7. Bus hub upgrade and installation of super stops. ORC. Cost: $7m
Improve infrastructure at the bus hub, and install five super stops, including real-time passenger information.
A super stop can be thought of as a deluxe bus stop or a stop with a higher level of service than a general bus stop.
Five super stops — at North Dunedin, the tertiary precinct, Mosgiel, Green Island and South Dunedin — could be constructed, one a year, from 2023-24.
Bus hub changes could include additional seating and shelter and amenity upgrades such as lighting.
8. Princes St bus lane. DCC. Cost: $6.6m (51 per cent funded by NZTA)
Bus lane from South Rd to Manse St, then to Moray Pl to promote more efficient movement of buses along Princes St. Improvements would also include pedestrian crossings along Princes St connecting each side of the road and providing better access to bus stops. Junctions with side roads would also be improved to support pedestrians walking into the city from the south.
9. Queens Garden to Oval Cycleway. NZTA. Cost: $4.5m
Review with DCC the primary north-south cycleway and improve southern connections.
10. St Andrew St and Frederick St improvements. NZTA. Cost: $4m
Relocating SH88 from St Andrew St to Frederick St. St Andrew to be downgraded and will have pedestrian focus. Frederick St will meet state highway requirements.
11. Pine Hill intersection improvements. NZTA. Cost: $3m
Safety improvements to address the ongoing risk at the intersection of Great King St and Pine Hill Rd. Solutions could include a truck ramp for vehicles with brake failure, traffic lights or an overpass or underpass, it was reported in October 2019.
12. Central city bike hubs. DCC. Cost: $2.5m. (51% funded by NZTA)
Places where cyclists can lock their bikes in sheltered lockers and other facilities, such as repair and charging services, in North Dunedin, Central City and South Dunedin/Oval.