This is a guest post from Sam van der Weerden in Dunedin. It first appeared on his blog

Ōtepoti Dunedin is getting a new hospital. As well as replacing an ageing facility, this new building (or two) will result in major changes to how Dunedinites get around, live in, and experience their city.

For readers unfamiliar with the shape and transport network of central Ōtepoti, I’ll walk through how the modal networks exist in their current form. I’ll then discuss why the new hospital will require a change to the status quo, and what that change could look like.

The Present: A Split

About three kilometres long and half a kilometre wide, the central city area mainly consists of regular rectangular blocks. The exceptions to this order are the Octagon and the snaking SH1 one-ways. These one-ways are the cause of much frustration among urban planners in Ōtepoti. They represent a division between the east and the west: on the east side of the highways there is the University of Otago, Forsyth Barr Stadium, the railway station, Toitū Otago Settlers Museum, Lan Yuan Dunedin Chinese Garden, the waterfront (a recent area of interest), and a lot of student accomodation; on the west is the business district, the retail and hospitality precinct, the Octagon, the bus hub, and the hospital. In-between the one-way roads is the up-and-coming Vogel St in the Warehouse Precinct, more business, and, importantly, the site of the new hospital.

Existing layout of central Dunedin, showing main activity areas with blue splotches.

The issue is that there’s a big split down the middle of Ōtepoti.

Walking

On the face of it, it isn’t so bad — it’s not like there’s a multilane freeway dividing the city, it’s just two two-lane one-ways. The problem comes from the sheer amount of traffic that comes down these roads, the percentage of it that’s heavy freight, and the proximity of these roads to key activity spots in the city. It means you can’t walk down the one-ways with a friend and have a conversation without shouting over the trucks — creating two long dead zones that have no chance of being destination streets. It means therze’s no natural pedestrian connection from the Octagon to Vogel St — an area where many new offices are opening. It means that despite having separated cycle lanes down them as the backbone of the cycle network, the one-ways remain unsafe for people unused to crossing two lanes of heavy traffic on a bike in order to get into or out of the dedicated lanes.

Basically, in terms of creating a destination city centre, the one-ways suck.

Driving

Off-peak, the one-ways provide a quick journey from either end of the central city. They each have a green wave along the traffic lights, which, if you catch, is like an expressway. During peak times there’s usually congested streets, making journeys slow and frustrating (although I’m sure the ’congestion’ is something Aucklanders would scoff at).

A recent independent study commissioned by the DCC into parking availability found that the central city reaches 80% occupancy during peak times, including on- and off-street parking and non-council parking buildings. Any Dunedinite you talk to about this will heartily refute that claim — whenever looking for a park it’s near impossible to find one.

Cycling

Existing cycle infrastructure in the central city. Splotches of main activity areas are kept from the last map.

The spine of cycling in the central city are the two northern sections of the one-ways, each with a separated cycle lane (although about half of the intersections require cyclists to merge with turning traffic). As you can see in the above map of the network, cycling provisions aren’t particularly well-connected. There are many isolated sections that could do with joining up. Also, it doesn’t help that to actually get on or off the separated lanes requires some trickery and skill — there’s no hook turn boxes or wayfinding detailing the ‘correct’ way to use these lanes, so they’re not very good at attracting people concerned with the safety aspect of biking.

Also, the lanes are — for the most part — on the right hand side of the road, making it extra difficult to get on and off them.

Public Transport

Existing bus network

The Dunedin bus network went through a redesign a few years back, and then another smaller redesign when the new central Bus Hub opened in March 2019. It’s a pretty neat network layout. By utilising shared corridors, it reaches some very impressive frequencies between major activity areas for a city of its size. Some highlights of these frequencies include, at peak, buses:

  • every 10 minutes between the Gardens to the Hub
  • every 5 minutes between South Dunedin and the Hub
  • every 15 minutes between the Stadium, tertiary precinct and the Hub
  • every 15 minutes between Kaikorai Valley and the Hub

Some twiddling with the timetabling could potentially allow all of these routes to be on, at most, 7 minute frequencies during peak and 15 minutes off-peak (I say this because at many places there are double ups of buses, e.g., the 37 and 63 both run from Uni to the Hub at 24 and 54 minutes past each hour).

Unfortunately very little of the Dunedin population know this! With more wayfinding and street-level marketing of these frequencies we could see a serious uptake in bus users who, at the moment, are put off by the need to timetable and schedule themselves around the bus.

But frequencies aside, the buses are still slow and at times indirect. Not even the bus hub (where all routes bar four converge to deliver a bus almost every minute in each direction) has any form of bus priority. Buses have to wait for that one generous motorist out of ten in order to actually pull out from any CBD bus stop during the peak. And despite recent changes, the network is still weird and confusing at points. For instance, every route from the south travels along Princes St to the Hub except 44 and 55 which take the northbound one-way (but they take Princes St on their way back). Routes 14, 37 and 63 provide 8 buses an hour between the tertiary area and the Hub, but only 63 goes via the hospital while the other two take the one-ways. Small differences like this add up to mean that people don’t recognise the amazing frequencies between areas, as each bus line seems to be its own route that should be treated independently.

Another thing to consider is changing around some termini:

A quick note about the tertiary area — the official map shows a different network to the one I’ve displayed here. That’s because the routes were changed a tad over a year ago to account for bridge repairs but their map was never updated. Since then the bridge has been fixed but the temporary diversions were retained.

The Future: Unification?

The site for the future hospital is right in the middle of two fast-moving, dense one-ways. If nothing were to change, it wouldn’t be very safe to access the hospital. The one-ways have to be rethought. This also gives a chance to rethink and future-proof the city’s transport network.

Connecting Dunedin, a partnership between Waka Kotahi, Dunedin City Council and Otago Regional Council, has announced two proposals for the future of transport in central Ōtepoti under the name of Shaping Future Dunedin Transport (SFDT). Check them out here.

Proposal 1:
  • Upgrade the existing one-ways to provide a better experience for cyclists and pedestrians, and retain parking along each road.
  • Add more crossing points across the one-ways.
  • Upgrade perimeter roads to provide an alternative route around the central city avoiding the hospital site.
  • Improve connections for freight around this perimeter route.
  • Extend the current 30kph zone.
  • Simplify the bus network and upgrade stop infrastructure.
  • Add some missing links in the cycle network.

The other proposal is, in my mind, a bit more exciting.

Proposal 2:
  • Provide one main two-way arterial through the city with minimal parking, replacing the two one-ways — this would be the current southbound road.
  • Change the current northbound road into a slower local road with parking.
  • Add more crossing points across these two roads.
  • Upgrade perimeter roads to provide an alternative route around the central city.
  • Improve connections for freight around this perimeter route.
  • Extend the current 30kph zone.
  • Simplify the bus network using the new local road, and upgrade stop infrastructure.
  • Move the major cycle spine to the new local road.
  • Add some missing links in the cycle network.
A proposed roading network with one main north–south arterial and a perimeter eastern bypass.

As shown in the above map, the two-way proposal does a good job minimising bisection of activity areas.

I believe that creating a two-way arterial system will open up more opportunities for placemaking and active connection across the city, as well as allowing the bus network to morph into something much more direct and convenient.

Walking

The potential of the two-way proposal for walking connections can be seen immediately. I’ll list some off.

  • The Warehouse Precinct would no longer be bisected by SH1, and its new main street (Crawford St) could become a destination street.
  • An enhanced link between Vogel St, Queen’s Gardens and the Octagon.
  • The new hospital won’t be cut off from the CBD. (Which is the whole point of these changes!)
  • The health sciences area of the Uni campus can be better linked to the main campus (although a crossing across SH1 will still be required).

Both proposals will require some sort of bridge to link the steamer basin.

Driving

I haven’t seen any modelling data, but I can imagine a two-way arterial system would be better for quick movement through the city by car. The arterial would have almost no parking (the one-ways currently have parking on either side of the road for the most part) and a solid median, so traffic movements through each block would be pretty speedy — no need to wait for turning traffic or cars pulling into or out of parks.

The two-way proposal has one lane in each direction, compared to two lanes on each existing one-way — this may be an issue if busy city streets cause queuing down SH1. However, having a single lane in each direction would be amazing for city accessibility on foot, assuming it isn’t filled with a solid stationary queue. I’ll note as well that the total number of lanes up and down the city wouldn’t be reduced — the new local road would still retain a lane in each direction. People that currently use the one-ways to search for parking or to drive a couple of blocks would be better served by this new local road, while people who traverse the city would be better served by the two-way SH1.

More parking buildings are proposed as well, on the edges of the extended 30kph slow speed zone. These are planned to be placed to cater for commuters from the south (the majority of vehicle commutes).

Cycling

A potential cycle network under the two-way arterial proposal.

The proposals for the cycle network are roughly the same for both a one-way and two-way system. Both have the addition of a separated facility along Albany St, linking the tertiary area to the Harbourside Pathway. They also feature direct links from the spine to the separated path outside the Dunedin Railway Station. The major difference is having the northbound and southbound routes a block apart or together on the same road. Having the lanes together would certainly make it easier to get on and off the cycleway spine, as they’d finally be on the left side of the traffic. There is, however, the issue of the Uni. Many people using the cycleways are travelling to and from the main Uni campus, so if the spine were to be a block west from campus there would need be good connections heading off to the east.

The proposals include sensible links, and I hope the Connecting Dunedin team considers the development of the network as a whole rather than in pieces. There is a desperate need for cycle wayfinding and signage, and better linkages between different parts of the network.

Public Transport

A potential bus network under the two-way arterial proposal.

The above map shows a rough idea of what the network could look like with the two-way proposal. The major change is continuing northbound buses from the Hub along Great King St without doing any funky deviations around the s-bends or onto George St, allowing for much quicker and more direct services on the Gardens–Hub and Uni–Hub connections. This also avoids George St, which will be undergoing a major shared-space redevelopment next year. I really hope the redevelopment accounts for this possibility of a major bus corridor — there’s no mention of its provision in the latest urban design report.

The consultation map shows a major bus corridor travelling down Frederick St rather than Albany St. I can only assume that’s a mistake because of the DCC’s recently announced intention for a trialled bus ‘super stop’ on Albany St outside the OUSA Clubs and Societies building. Keeping a main corridor through the tertiary precinct makes much more sense — it’s an area dense with students, jobs and housing. I’ve also shown the route taking a bend to use Union St East, returning to the original route pre-deviation. This would enable direct access to the Polytechnic Hub and the College of Education. Union St East could be developed into a transit and people-based street to support this move — a prospect already being looked into: the other proposed trial, in Union St East, would reprioritise how that street was used so there was more space for the large numbers of pedestrians who used it daily to move between lectures and meetings (Otago Daily Times).

South of the Octagon, bus routes could be consolidated onto Princes St or the redeveloped Crawford St. Either street could be upgraded to support the high frequency corridor, giving much better connections into the Warehouse Precinct.

I also hope there’s been some thought into a future frequent bus connection to the waterfront development (should that go ahead).

Conclusion

With some changes to how we get around, Ōtepoti Dunedin is ready to become one of the world’s best small cities. Whether we get a new two-way arterial or retain the one-ways, it’s exciting to see increased consideration for active transport and public transport infrastructure. Placemaking also seems to be a key theme in these proposals, giving hope to the creation of more destination streets.

If you want to have a say in the future of Ōtepoti’s transport network, please fill out the survey with your thoughts here.

The reuniting of the East and the West is soon.


Footnote 1: no one here actually refers to ‘East Dunedin’ or ‘West Dunedin’; just me bring pretentious when writing a blog post. There was, however, a division between East and West Dundas St during the bridge reconstruction.

Footnote 2: buses 5, 10 and 37 are numbered separately for their return routes (6, 11 and 38). I’ve ignored that and just used the first number in the bus route map. It’s a dumb relic in the numbering that needs to change.

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63 comments

  1. Agree that the single main arterial sounds like an improvement on the status quo, but it could be problematic at the university end where foot traffic across the existing southbound one-way is very high. I wonder if NZTA would consider burying a section of this road through the campus?

  2. Great post, thanks. And good suggestions.

    Make sure if anyone models what happens to people flow rates, that they include all modes, and don’t just model the vehicles, with considerations for active modes tacked on in separate processes. In fact, a change of this size, in a city of this size, is a great opportunity for the modellers to try to get a model working that really does include flow rates for people walking and cycling.

  3. Proposal 2 does sound like an improvement but for it to be successful they’ll have to get 2 things right:
    – Good quality crossing facilities of the consolidated SH1 and enough of them that pedestrians don’t need to try their luck with traffic. Crossings need to be on pedestrian desire lines, not where car-oriented traffic engineers find it convenient to put them.
    – De-prioritising through traffic on Cumberland St (former SH1 Northbound) so it doesn’t just become a massive rat-run. The sort of steps necessary to do this (lowering speed limits, narrowing lanes, speed tables etc.) are the kind that get a lot of negative public feedback.

  4. Since the Steamer Basin redevelopment was mentioned, here’s a bit more information on what’s proposed: https://www.dunedin.govt.nz/council/council-projects/waterfront

    I don’t like being a naysayer but it’s a really dumb idea where cliches like “solution in search of a problem” and “white elephant” are very apt.
    – Being on the waterfront in Dunedin is only a pleasant experience in Summer but that’s when most of the students have left so the city feels empty.
    – The city is only growing very slowly so developing new commercial areas outside the CBD involves spreading the existing population more thinly across what is already a low density city.
    – The city council is still struggling with the debt load taken on for the stadium. Even if they receive government funding for the capital outlay they’d still have to come up with considerable maintenance costs.

    Those points were true before Covid-19. Now international tourism is non-existent for an uncertain period of time and when it does resume will likely be at depressed levels for many years.

    1. A good Nor-easterly breeze funnelling down the harbour in January can make the waterfront a pretty unpleasant place too.

  5. Dunedin is perched on one of arguably the most beautiful harbours in NZ. However when you’re in the CBD you wouldn’t know it. The severance between city and water is very strong. Would be awesome if this could be also be considered as part of redevelopments. Imagine being able to walk from the Octagon to Forsyth Barr along the water’s edge with little to no traffic interaction.

    1. Probably because the harbour edge developed as an industrial area, any beauty is/was blocked out by oil tanks, railway yards and old sheds. Plus it’s a long way south of Auckland, those winds are freezing.

      1. https://lmgtfy.com/?q=oslo+waterfront

        You had better tell all of the people using the waterfront in Oslo that it’s too cold and wet. It was 5 degrees with wind blowing straight off of the fiord when I was there and still very busy. Most of them were speaking Norwegian too, so presumably not tourists.

        1. Oslo metropolitan area estimated population 2020: 1.71 million. Or more than 10x Dunedin’s population. Even somewhere like Hobart which is much more relevant is twice the Dundedin population.

        2. How is size relevant here? Is there some magic number of population that a city must reach before the residents want to access the waterfront?

    2. This isn’t a Dunedin issue, it’s a New Zealand issue. Nearly every City had turned it back on the water only to realise now the mistakes of the past..and even then some of the best spots in the Country are still given over to Industry and Carparks etc.

  6. Great article, good to see what is happening in the city I grew up in.

    The southern end of Cumberland Street is already wide enough to take four lanes so even if the rest of the one-way system remained in place the Crawford St at least could be removed. I think NZTA have had a proposal for this in the past.

    The bus hub appears to have added a dogleg to trips through the CBD. I haven’t been down for a while, has removing buses from the Octagon improved the place or just made bus travel a bit less convenient?

    ‘I say this because at many places there are double ups of buses, e.g., the 37 and 63 both run from Uni to the Hub at 24 and 54 minutes past each hour’

    Good to see this Dunedin tradition has remained!

    1. “The bus hub appears to have added a dogleg to trips through the CBD. I haven’t been down for a while, has removing buses from the Octagon improved the place or just made bus travel a bit less convenient?”

      A little — the trip round Moray Place to get back to Princes St is pretty efficient, but the 90 degree turns around the street grid to get from Great King St to George St are a pain. In the long term that’ll be removed. I don’t think there’s any missing the buses through the Octagon, though; that was always a mess. The economic centre of gravity is north-east of the Octagon, though the displacement between that and the population centre of gravity (which would be south-west of the Octagon, even) means that some of the bus routes (33/44/55) have to do an awkward loop in order to come from South Dunedin, northwards through the hub, and then loop round back to Stuart St.

      But I think it’s the best solution. The old (obvious) strategy of putting PT on George St ultimately just gave the street too many functions; taking it off George St is a great way to reclaim a larger part of the city from car travel.

  7. Maybe a goal should be an arterial bypass road for trucks travelling through Dunedin to bypass its CBD altogether?

  8. For heaven’s sake don’t call it Otepoti – it is just stupidly confusing and Otepoti Dunedin is tautology at its worst.
    Otherwise a very interesting article about ‘dear old Dunedin’.

    1. I must admit I didn’t know Dunedin’s Maori name until reading this post but it didn’t confuse me. I think it reflects more on yourself than anything else if you find dual Maori/English place names confusing.

    2. $10 says the above commenter also has issues with “Aotearoa”, and still refers to “Mt Egmont”. And has begun a sentence with the words “I’m not anti-Māori, but…”

      Please do let’s bring back pretty indigenous names like Ōtepoti .

      1. Perhaps, maybe, you do not understand what tautology is and wish to advance a political correctness agenda of some sort?

        1. It seems like you want the politically correct outcome. Can’t offend the poor boomers who don’t like Te Reo.

        2. Hardly a tautology when one is the Gaelic word for Edinburgh and the other is Maori for ‘the corner of the harbour’. I think the two can exist beautifully together.

        3. There’s probably been hundreds of examples of tautology in posts on this blog but this is the one you choose to focus on, I can’t imagine why…

        4. Miffy -Wrong. The same thing has been written twice and the attempt to ascribe different meanings to each is spurious.

        5. The purpose of language is to communicate and it follows that it is desirable to do so as clearly as possible.
          If someone feels a need to double name a place, the question then arises which name should be written first, the commonly used name or the obscure one?
          In view of some of the comments made to my earlier point and keeping clarity of communication in mind, I would be interested in any views readers may have.

        6. Warren, for some reason you don’t see the need to increase the amount of Te Reo in our lives and to replace some placenames with their original, or even new and more appropriate Maori placenames.

          Yet many people see these changes as improvements, and there’s significant reasoning and historical awareness supporting this view. Also, having both names side by side is a good transitional step. Considering this to be tautology is incorrect – the meanings of each word are not limited to the geographical entity that is the city, but are far wider, and as miffy points out, very different from each other. Indeed, this is why it’s great learning any language – and why people love to understand the roots of a word. The deeper meaning or root of a word often informs much more about a place or an object or concept.

          Resisting the change to Maori placenames because it would be “just stupidly confusing” is essentially resisting change because it’s change. Yet you’re open to changing what needs to be changed in our world, which is what this website is about. The changes you are keen to see in transport and planning could be resisted on the same basis, that they are “just stupidly confusing”. Let’s not close our minds to improvement.

        7. Improvement Heidi? How is changing our well-known placenames to ones that represent a very small percentage of the populace an improvement?

          The real issue is that so many of the people who promote such change are doing so for the wrong reason, to de-value and re-write our nation’s history, as opposed to merely promoting Te Reo whilst embracing and respecting our shared heritage.

          All of our history is relevant to who and what we are as a nation, the good and the bad. Even the truely ugly such as the genocide of the Moriori by Maori, an act that by far and away was magnitudes worse than anything done by colonial explorers.

          As for Egmont, the current formal name of the National Park is Egmont National Park. Of course people going there are going to call it by its name. The mountain and the park go hand in hand.

    3. You could argue that the name Dunedin is the silliest name ever – basically Edin burgh backwards. Or even sillier – that when the Scots were emigrating to New Zealand, and for once they had a chance to live in a warmer climate, they still chose the coldest, least hospitable climate of all.

      1. Dunedin is not just “Edinburgh backwards” — it’s from the Scots Gaelic name of the city, “Dùn Èideann”. So not actually entirely silly if we’re talking about indigenous languages, better than “Edinburgh” itself, even. At least the settlers had the good sense not to call the city “New Edinburgh” or something silly like that.

        But yes, Ōtepoti is a very important name and we’re proud of it here, we try to use it where we can.

  9. Once upon a time: Dunedin had ferry services across Otago harbour, trams, 3 proper cable-cars and a double-tracked suburban train service that went from Mosgiel to Port Chalmers with many of its stations having overbridge and tunnel access.
    The automobile especially ruined Dunedin.

  10. A comment here noted that Dunedin is growing very slowly – more truthfully might be to state that it has been slowly dying for the last 150 years. Dunedin – indeed, Otago was founded on two things: gold and sheep. The Otago goldfields goldrush was short and sweet – from one of the wealthiest areas on the planet over in Central back in the 1870s, it was all over by the 1880s. They have so many heritage buildings because the entire city was built back then, on the back of the sheep: meat and wool. Currently wool is fetching only $1 and yet it costs $4 to shear the sheep – so the likelihood of Otago ever coming back to plentiful status is close to zero. In fact, the only real reason the city exists was to service the Port – hence the great divide down the middle – you were either Port or you were out.

    The University was a great attempt to try and recreate the Olde Schooles of Edinburgh, Glasgow, Strathclyde etc – and in effect the University is the only thing keeping the city going. Sadly, there really isn’e any point in Dunedin any more. Sorry Warren S – but your love of dear old Dunedin is now as forlorn as a wee numpty bairn…

    1. A port and a University seem like a fantastic basis for a small city to me. Higher education is a growth industry after all. Otago is also well placed for non-animal agriulture so plenty of opportunity for expanding that sector.

    2. “A comment here noted that Dunedin is growing very slowly”

      You’re out of date on that. Although that’s the historical trend, Dunedin’s been a medium-growth city in the last decade or half-decade.

    3. Not sure how you would describe a city with a static or slowly growing population as dying?

      I think you are a bit off with the city’s history too. It’s never been a farming city, it doesn’t have the hinterland of say Invercargill or Christchurch. After the brief gold boom it has mainly been a port and industrial city, industry died off 30 – 50 years ago but the port is still going strong and the University has filled the void well. If anything it has proved the city is adaptable and a lot more than gold or wool.

      It doesn’t seem to be a bad thing to me being a city centred on education and knowledge.

    4. It was an industrial city for 100 years, 1880s-1980s, but that’s virtually all gone now, it’s been getting by on education mostly for the last 30 years.

  11. Jezza – Otago was built on the wool trade for over 100 years, same as Hawkes Bay. Nothing but sheep. Agreed its not a farming city, but Dunedin was really just the port for all them bales of wool and dead sheep carcases. First carcases sent in 1882, from Port Chalmers, aboard the ship Dunedin. Lyttleton and Port Chalmers shared the vast amount of sheep trade from then on – more wealth being generated off the sheep’s back in the South Island than the North Island.

    I’m not trying to get bitchy or score points or anything – just trying to point out that the catastrophe looming for the sheep industry (basically, no point any more as the wool price is dead) will have a similar effect on towns / cities that traditionally made all their money off it. Dunedin is / was a totally port-oriented, sheep-exporting place. As Zippo says, the education market is all that’s left keeping it afloat.

    Anyway – back to the topic at hand – what to do about the great divide down the middle of the city. Doesn’t the Van Brandenburg plan have ideas to cope with that? And hasn’t the city already said they will go ahead with Van Brandenburg stage one?

    1. Agree that Dunedin was built on the back of the sheep. However, export wool has been a minor player for years, the ‘looming catastrophe’ has already happened and Dunedin hasn’t gone off a cliff.

      The port now exports a lot of dairy, sheep, beef and logs, it’s as busy as it’s ever been.

    1. Because we value our Māori heritage and using dual place names is a small, easy thing we can do to celebrate and emphasise it.

      1. There’s a difference between valuing Maori history, and de-valuing colonial history. They are two very different things. I was wondering which camp the writer is in, but I have since found a retweet by the writer in support of pulling down colonial statues – so I now have my answer.

        1. Part of history is societies evolving, attitudes change, names change and how we view things change. As an example Egmont National Park will change to Te Papakura o Taranaki some time this year when the Geographic Board ratify it.

          Dunedin has two recognised names, if you wrote a post on the city you would be free to call it whichever you want just as Sam was.

          I appreciate change can be a bit scary especially given pretty much nothing changes in Taumarunui except the odd shop closing.

  12. Leave the PC madness behind. This city is called Dunedin, which translates as New Edinburgh. Don’t destroy my culture on the altar of tokenism.

    1. For someone worried about your culture being destroyed, it’s amazing that you think Dunedin means “New Edinburgh.” It doesn’t. It’s from the Scots Gaelic “Dùn Èideann”. It means “Edinburgh”, full stop.

      The only political correctness going on here is your reflexive use of the phrase “PC madness”.

      C’mon. Give it a rest mate.

    2. So with the use of the Maori term for Dunedin – dual use in fact (you know the name they called it before you destroyed their culture) you now find your culture and being as whole destroyed? Wandering aimlessly round the South Island no longer having a meaning in this cruel, dark PC gone mad world? I feel for you brother and am here for you if you ever want to talk about the good old days.

  13. What Dunedin lacks in my humble view is a proper passenger train service to Christchurch and Invercargill (The “Southerner”), and a suburban train service (Port Chalmers to Mosgiel). Both of these it once had, of course.
    And it could do with some cable-cars to serve those hill-suburbs, plus some trams and trolleybuses – like it used to have.
    Then add in a regular rail service to Central Otago, plus say, additional trains linking Oamaru – Balclutha.
    Oh, and get rid of much of Dunedin’s motor traffic.

    This will restore its greatness (to me, at least).

    1. While I’d love to see trains to Christchurch and Invercargill (and even Kingston) restored; I doubt they would change the lives of Dunedinites much.

      The reasons for Dunedin losing its fledgeling suburban trains are a mixture of under-investment in the ’70s, decline in Industry & gasworks in the South/western end of the CBD and the closure & demolition of Cabversham station to make way for the motorway. Now the platforms & double-track are long gone: It would only take a massive shock to the system to make it worthwhile to bring it back.

      The cable cars served more Dunedinites than the trains ever did and the buses have never quite been a replacement. Much of Dunedin is still laid-out along the old cable car routes. I honestly think that using the old cable car routes for some sort of modern tram/cable-car/Translohr would be a greater investment for a resurgence of Dunedin rail than going for reinstating the mainline again. There could also be a good case fo bringing the ferries back if the Otago peninsular sees more development

  14. Totally endorse the cycling comments. It’s a truly frightening place on a bike, Dunners. After taking my bike there on an intercity bus from oamaru, the driver dropped me off 7km north of the city because “there’s not room to open the right luggage door at the depot”. Running the gauntlet of cycle lanes that switch from one side of the multi-lane one way roads and back again is the hairiest biking experience I’ve ever had. Auckland is an absolute cyclists’ Mecca by comparison.

    1. Poor you! Terrible description of cycling in Dunedin.

      Also reflects very badly on InterCity.

      At least you were able to take your bike on at all. I’ve just had a holiday in the cycling mecca of Te Aroha but we couldn’t take our bikes on InterCity because they won’t accept them on double deckers, and both directions were scheduled to be double deckers. (The connecting Busit bus Hamilton to Te Aroha would take bikes).

      In both directions the bus they actually used was a single decker … all very comfortable travelling but I’d really like to go back with my bikes sometime.

      1. Once upon a time you could take a train to Te Aroha, and that would have carried bikes. How we have gone backwards!

    1. jesus Owen, I didn’t know you could stack ignorance so high.

      Maori doesn’t get pluralised.
      Maori live in Dunedin, in fact right throughout Aotearoa.
      they had names for things and places before the “settlers” turned up, hence Otepoti & Otakou
      (funny, that second one sound a bit like Otago…I wonder why?)
      many (even those of European descent such as myself) are quite happy for the original Maori names to be used for the city they call home.

      sorry you are threatened by that but well, Dinosaurs will die.
      anyway
      mā te wā

    2. If it bothers you so much then contact Greater Auckland’s finance department and ask for a refund on your subscription. Simple 🙂

  15. With the two-way arterial proposal, I wonder if there is any value in limiting the number of junctions, such that vehicles can only join/leave SH1 every other (or every 3) junctions? This would have the potential to streamline flows though the city. Junctions that don’t have vehicle access could still have pedestrian/cycle crossings (and potentially could have east/west flyovers in the future). Modal filters could be deployed to stop rat-running.

    1. Yes, that would be good design. For both the two way arterial and for the slower local road, so the cyclelanes, too, don’t have so many conflict points with side roads. This is good low traffic neighbourhood design.

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