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It’s cranking up again! Join up and speak out for cycling!

It’s been quiet – projects like the separated cycle lanes on the one-ways have been progressing – but things are going to crank up again over the next six months. You and your voice are going to be important in seeing some of the projects that SPOKES, with your support, has got underway in the past five years.  It’s time to finish some of this stuff!  With your help we can do it, and do it good!
From ensuring we get a world-class route on the Peninsula to making sure the one-ways are fully functional, it’s going to be an exciting year for cycling and by the end of it we should be a whole lot closer to having some SWEET streets for bikes in this city!
We’re pumped to be part of enabling everyone who believes in a better Dunedin that works for people on bikes and we’ll be pushing hard this year.  We’ve always let you know when we need your voice, and now we’re letting you know that if you can support us with a joining fee to boost our lobbying abilities we’d love for you to sign up at  We want to be able to bring engineering expertise, cycling expertise and strengthened recruitment to our activities this year and your financial contribution would help make this reality.
Your membership and donations is more than a painted white line. It gives us the power to successfully engage and influence government and other agencies to make our city work for everyone.
Posted in Action call, All SPOKESd up, Infrastructure, Policy, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

DCC elections 2016

Local council voting papers are due 8th October!  SPOKES asked all DCC mayoral and councillor candidates the following questions regarding their views on cycling infrastructure in Dunedin.

 1) Will you push for, and vote through, projects that deliver on the Strategic Cycle Network as adopted in 2011?(

2) If yes, what should be a priority in delivering the strategic network?

3) Will you support the SH1/one-ways separated cycle ways work?

 NOTE: Some candidates have not responded. If you would like a Word or PDF copy of these responses, please email

Answers are in alphabetical order.


Barbour-Evans, Scout (Mayor & Councillor)

1) Yes, I would.

2) I would like to prioritize cycling infrastructure in low income areas, to encourage more people to begin cycling. I see South Dunedin and North Dunedin as important places to ensure are safe to cycle. I would also like to see work completed on cycle ways in the Kaikorai Valley area, and up into the hills. However, this is just my view, and I would also like to research areas that need to be a priority.

3) If it means that cycling is safer – not just for cyclists, but for pedestrians and drivers too – I will definitely support it. Dunedin needs to invest in our future, and that means encouraging more people to get out of the drivers seat and onto more environmentally friendly modes of transport.


Bayne, Athol (Mayor)

1) yes all previous agreemenst will be supported
If new issues arise from previous agreements then the intention should be to support the original intention of the agreement or legislation where safety is the concern.

2) safty of all road users and especially child cyclists is the key priority and council must ensure the safe road use by all especially the vulnerable cyclist s with special emphasis on child safty

3) yes as anything that enhances safety should be supported, as well as the promotion of heathy exercise  lifesyle


BensonPope, David (Councillor)

1) Yes, as I have done

2) Completion of the whole harbour Circuit

3) Yes, and advocate for a new Parking Building in Frederick Street.


Elder, Rachel (Mayor & Councillor)

1) I would support a strategic approach to cycle ways with good community consultation first. We have had some notable disasters which has not given people confidence in the cycleway projects. However I am a cyclist and will enjoy biking after council elections. My favourite ride is to Macandrew Bay and back on a good day. I realize it is the doors opening on to cyclist’s which is the most dangerous thing. I would love to see a win – win with more car park buildings say around the University/ Hospital area and other places along the Northern and Southern routes in particular. As Dunedin is not always good for biking in winter and we have big hills and an aging population we need to consider car use will continue.

2) The routes I have particular interest in initially would be the Northern and Southern Routes, Mosgiel, The Harbour Circuit and I was just talking about a town belt route to someone the other day.

3) As I bike along there with the widening I feel a lot safer than I used to. I am really keen to see if we cannot get someone to put a carpark building in a couple of sights so we can create a win/win solution as I know how hard it is to get a park in that area as it is – and we have a lot of elderly residents in Dunedin. I think electric cars and bikes will be the future.

Some of these routes can create a win/win with their tourist potential. I am actually keen to see if we can’t get some routes going to link up with cycle trails and even have the Taieri Gorge Train link up with the Alps to Sea trail and the Central Otago Rail trail. I did hear that the Lawrence trail is looking to get all the way to Waihola – would’t it be great if we could link up with that!!


Esplin, Phyll (Councillor)

I would like to see a healthy Dunedin and this can be achieved in many ways. Separating cyclists and large traffic volume fits into my philosophy. There could be a reduction in air pollution from car exhaust fumes (good for our breathing and health), increase citizens fitness and ease ways to move around the business, retail and university districts as fewer cars are used. A healthy Dunedin means the citizens are able to work more and increase productivity. This means more income and growth for Dunedin. I would be keen to see the cycling networks completed as long as they were safe networks for cyclists. Dunedin has some very flat areas where cyclists could cycle to work and to recreation. More serious cyclists seem to have no trouble going up the hills with the gears on bikes today. If there were safe cycle-ways more people might use this mode of transport and Dunedin city would benefit by having fewer cars on the road, less pollution and healthier citizens. Overseas, New York and Chicago, there are “Hire Bike” schemes where people hire bikes to look at the city or go from place to place—imagine a ride up the Dunedin hills as a tourist attraction in summer or a cycling race like the running Three Peaks. We could have a new kind of tourisms here. (There was a couple who introduced cycle tourism here and gave guided tours around the South Island.) There is already the Rail Trail so this idea could be diversified into other areas. If there was a safe cycle path then students could have bikes to travel to University and this would ease the lack of car park situation around that area; healthier for students and for the rest of Dunedin citizens. As an economist I would be looking to do this in the most efficient, safe and economical way; the cost of a single death runs into thousands of dollars so trying to find a way of separating cyclists from large trucks and large traffic volume would be preferable to cyclists and traffic sharing the road. It has to be affordable taking into account all costs and benefits.


Fairhurst, Bruce (Councillor)

Thank you for the email, I believe cyclist are entitled to be safe on the roads and I support sensible road changes to make this possible.


Galloway, Ann (Councillor)

Unfortunately the link does not work for me so I am unable to comment on the Strategic Cycle network specifically. I do believe however that the cycleways developed so far, have been  an advantage to the City’s cyclists but I also feel they could go further. I would be supportive of any initiative which will make the roads safer for all, and especially those more vulnerable users such as Spokes members. I would welcome the opportunity to come along and speak to your members if this is at all possible as I believe there are benefits of actually speaking to people rather than just answering questions, and I would certainly want to ask your members some questions on what they would like the Dunedin City Council to do for them, and what I could help them with if elected as a councillor.


Garey, Christine (Councillor)

1) In principle yes but would need  to be fully briefed first before voting.

2) I would want  a full briefing first but my inclination is the university area/ central city. I would want to see stats on where cyclists are most vulnerable and which sections would deliver  the best effect first.

3) Yes but again would need a full briefing before voting

In my current role as Chair of the Otago Peninsula Community Board I have worked hard to lobby   DCC and was successful in securing the completion of the walkway/cycleway on the Otago Peninsula- the Portobello Rd/ Harrington Pt Safety Improvements Project . Physical work will start next year and I have advocated to Council for a member of Spokes to be part of the Reference Group for the final design detail.

I am just as passionate about the completion of the Chalmers side and if elected will certainly be advocating strongly for the completion of that section without delay – there has to be a way through the current issues   I am very concerned about the safety of all road users on both sides of the harbour but especially cyclists and do not want to see a tragedy occur. I have always found the proactive / preventative approach harder to get traction on in some instances without the stats to support – near misses just don’t have the impact unfortunately. However if there is a tragedy that will trigger a response. That has never sat comfortably with me and I have worked extremely hard on a number of fronts in that regard re the Peninsula side and also regarding visitor drivers.


Gray, Abe (Mayor & Councillor)

1) Yes a thousand times. I would like to see the entire network implemented with a high standard of design and a quality build. No more cutting corners.

2) Caversham and Chain Hills tunnels should have been done a decade ago. This should be the number one priority. Also the St. Leonards to Port Chalmers section of the Harbour Cycleway needs to be completed as soon as possible. Cost escalation is no excuse and we can’t let the NZTA push us around.

3) As an avid cyclist myself and the father of an aspiring cyclist under age 10, I will support any initiative that makes cycling in our city safer. In the long term I would much prefer to see a permanent solution that removes SH1 traffic from the University Campus and the CBD. However I recognise this is much easier said than done and I value all the time and effort that has gone into planning a separated cycleway option that allows the best way to make due with SH1 in it’s current location. For that reason I support completing the works as an interim measure, but I would like to see some priority put on visioning a long term option to divert SH1 around the University Campus over the next 20 to 50 years.


Hawkins, Aaron (Mayor & Councillor)

1) Yes. The roll out of the South Dunedin Cycle Network was poorly implemented, a costly error, and unfortunate in how it generated so much ill will towards the project. That said, we can’t afford to give up on providing safer cycling in Dunedin, because It’s core infrastructure in a 21st century city.

2) Our priority should be delivering separated cycle lanes on main arterial routes, to increase the capacity for commuters. Beyond South Dunedin, the Northern Commuter Route and the Mosgiel Route via the Caversham Tunnel.

3) I have always been supportive of this project, and it has been frustrating to see it stall. I think the focus has to be on pushing NZTA to deliver the best cycle facility they can, from a safety and urban design perspective. Then we can deal with any downstream effects (especially parking) when we have a better idea of what they are (rather than trying to predict the scale of the problem and fix it at the design stage).


Houlahan, Carmen (Councillor)

One of my issues is to push to complete the cycleway from St Leonards to Port Chalmers. Although sadly, NZTA is saying it is too expensive at present. However, that does not mean I will let the issue go. As a former journalist I am not afraid to keep asking questions until I get answers. There are options that could be considered like broadwalks or using District Road if other options are way too expensive. I will bring all interested stakeholder groups together to brainstorm options. Cycle ways are great to use, as a family we walk and cycle on them and have lots of fun. Cycle ways have many benefits. They are sustainable, as they reduce the number of cars off the road, and it is good for your health. I am fully in support of having safe cycle pathways around Dunedin. However, where businesses are affected the consultation process needs to be thorough so that all parties are happy. Check out my other issues at


Jemmett, Neville (Councillor)

I must admit I have not kept up with this report and thank you for the website document. I am currently involved on a Trust  promoting a heritage tourist attraction who have on their project plan, a proposed cycle route through the town belt that would link with our project. I am supportive of cycleways in general as a means of moving people safely around town, but I must reserve my judgement on the SH1/ one ways project mainly for those safety reasons. I have always had a negative opinion on allowing cycleways along a state highway in and out of a busy city. I travel along those roads on a daily basis and have noted several near misses for cyclists. I am certain that there is an alternative route north and south that does not pit a cyclist with a large truck and trailer unit, maybe on streets either side of a state highway could be considered. When I become a councillor I will no doubt be more informed and if I am convinced that this project is  as safe as suggested and there is no traffic build up because of this then I will support it.


Johnston, Tony (Councillor)

Just for background, I go out with the AOK (now renamed) group most Saturdays, I’ve done the full (proper) Epic three of the last four years etc and in summer at least I like to bike most places. So I’m on your side and you guys do a great job!

However, I wouldn’t by choice cycle down either of the two state “highway ones” in town or on the open road so I don’t support them (but I understand that project is being funded by NZTA anyway so if they pay for it then it’s fine).

I am, though, a very strong supporter of completing the Port Chalmers to Portobello (or further) loop. A great tourist attraction and an opportunity for a business venture to ferry locals/tourists across the harbour. I also love all the tracks that we have available around the outskirts of Dunedin – I think that we are very lucky.

Otherwise, I’m happy with the cycleways that we have already around town and I’d like to see them used more. I would, though, vote to make more of our footpaths dual cyclists/pedestrians where appropriate. (I would also support a sentence of a dozen lashes for those motorists that see red when they see a cyclist!)

Laufiso, Marie (Councillor)

As a Green Dunedin candidate, I support any project that is part of developing a cleaner and more affordable bus service, safer cycling and more public spaces. So, yes I support delivery on the Strategic Cycle Network (2011) and the separation of one ways on State Highway 1 and cycle ways. As a one-time half-marathon walker, I really appreciated the development of the City to Port Chalmers cycle-way and believe that finishing this must be a priority.

Although not a cyclist, I am very aware of “near misses” (critical, long-term impairment) sustained by cyclists and their families this year or Dunedin families who lost beloved Spouses/Parents due to injuries from motorists colliding with cyclists. While deeply cynical, but ever-hopeful – I am not sure what must happen in order for our society to make the necessary paradigm shift / leaps of faith to end our 20th century dependence on and addiction to fossil-fuels. In my opinion, along with the “new” physical infrastructure developed, we must also develop a flax roots’ level programme (resourced by both the Otago Regional Council and the DCC) that encourages mediation and seeks visionary collaboration between both cyclists and motorists.


Linklater, Nanette (Councillor)

1) I am strongly in support of increased use of cycling as a means of transport in Dunedin. Unfortunately our topography ( hills and harbour) and in many cases poor early city layout,have complicated the problem.But certainly the solution warrants continuing considerable debate before the best compromise is reached.

2) The priority in delivering the strategic network is setting up some form of cycle way from Caversham through to Pine Hill Rd.Certain parts could be changed later once feedback from all parties is received and considered

3) I will support a limited use of the south cycle way in places where,there is no alternative North-South route.The use of lower volume roads will increase safety and hopefully lessen the effect on adjacent businesses.


Matahaere-Atariki, Donna (Councillor)

1) I will support the Strategic Cycle Network as adopted in 2011.

2) Associated infrastructure and roading improvements

3) Yes. I do think that the SH1 is an important part of the overall plan for cycle ways

I believe that cycle ways will enhance the overall infrastructure of the city and view them as part of the future development of our area. I do confess my lack of knowledge on this issue and thank you for pointing me in the right direction to find out about it, however, I am sincere about having a city that is responsive to the needs of all groups. It matters little that I cannot cycle (no peripheral vision), it’s about what type of city we co-create.


McLeod, Islay (Councillor)

I have two terms’ experience of Christchurch developing and implementing their cycleways programme (Community Board) and I have observed the process in other areas, eg: Wellington, on the west coast and Dunedin.

Seven years on, I’d put a pause on the cycleway network development in Dunedin and review its implementation in terms of:
1.     Need (use and safety), desirability (routes) and cost effectiveness
2.     Priority by potential users … commuters/recreational
3.      Longevity – Hazard zone?

I support cycling and cycleways. I am in the “keen but not confident” majority group but I was unconvinced that the some of the routes planned in Christchurch met any desire-line and I’d question a few in Dunedin.


Mitchell, Liesel (Councillor)

1) I support initiatives involving healthy, clean, sustainable transport options. I will definitely support the Strategic Cycle Network, and unless there was a very good reason to vote otherwise, my answer is yes, you would have my vote in support of the cycle network.

2) I think the priorities are about commitment to and finishing the cycleways. South Dunedin has been stated as a priority and I agree, a flat, busy, population dense, interconnected area such as South Dunedin should be a priority. However I see there have been a lot of hold ups and I would be supporting moving work forward as quickly as possible. In addition to the cycleway itself, ongoing education and interaction with the city regarding the economic and health benefits of having cycle infrastructure is an absolute priority and necessity for increased public support of this initiative.

3) Yes, I will support the work on separated cycleways on the one-ways/SH1 roading. Although I understand best practice seems to indicate that fully segregated cycleways are ideal, hybrid cycle lanes such as proposed for the one-way streets have been shown in countries such as Denmark and Sweden to be very practical, and will be a massive improvement from the current cycle lanes to cycle safety and clarity for cars, pedestrians and bikes.

Looking forward to more conversations about ways to improve cycling and mainstream education about bike culture around Dunedin.


Murray, David (Councillor)

Firstly as a Physiotherapist I have spent my career supporting physical activity and in my view cycling is one of the best. In essence I would be fully in support of any initiative that increases safe cycle access in Dunedin. The Strategic Cycle Network includes the harbour route that should, in my view, be a priority for completion. As you will be aware only part of this cycle lane has been completed.
I must admit to your readers that I have some serious concerns about cycle lanes on SH1. If I am successful I would love to hear your members views on the following issues;
1. Given that most vehicle accidents occur at intersections, how do we guarantee the safety of cyclists using SH1 cycle lanes from accidents that will occur at SH1 intersections?
2. I cannot see how you can separate cycles from vehicles at any intersection.
3. This issue at intersections on SH1 is especially critical as there is the largest volume of vehicles on these roads including logging trucks.
4. The new road rules state: vehicles turning left having the right of way over all other traffic. Given cyclists will be traveling straight through on the inside of a left turning vehicle how do we prevent accidents in this situation.
5.The road code for cycling states ‘never ride in the door zone’ of parked cars. Our council has currently placed a significant number of lanes in this zone and declared them safe for your use.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to lead the development of these initiatives in New Zealand, right here in Dunedin. My preferred option would be for cyclists to have a completely separate lane to use entirely.    One other suggestion quickly. I have seen elevated cycle lanes in some cities, also pedestrian lanes exists where the decision has been made to exclude vehicles. the bottom line should be that we  plan together for complete safety for your members, it can be done if there is a will to guarantee it.


O’Mahony, Richard (Councillor)

Thank you for your questions and good wishes. Rather than directly answer your questions as I like to take things case by case with the benefit of all the facts, I will try to give you an overview of my thoughts on cycling in Dunedin. I will be totally honest with you and you are welcome to share this with your members even though it won’t win me any votes !

I lived in Palmerston North for nine years and I have no doubt that it is a cycling friendly city, I cycled there myself. I have lived in Dunedin for seventeen years and I believe that no amount of money will ever make Dunedin cycle friendly. Having said that we can certainly improve things and I do respect cyclists right to choose the bicycle as their preferred mode of transport.

Having made that choice however I believe cyclists should be prepared to pay their share. I used to use a 100cc motor scooter in Dunedin but I sold it when the registration costs approached $400 per annum. I considered the scooter a very city friendly vehicle but I was so heavily penalised that it was not worth it. My point is that there is a cost to road use that is in my opinion is not fairly shared. I do believe that the electric bicycle has a strong future in our hilly city but again I believe that a users contribution would go a long way towards providing safe lanes for all cyclists. I would like to see the cycle way to Port Chalmers completed, I think it would be a good asset. Some of the costs being bandied about for it are prohibitive so again it is down to affordability.

To sum up I would like to see more cyclists and motor cyclists travelling in safety around town. I would also like to see pedestrian only streets in the city centre. I do believe we could do a lot better and that mistakes made in the past must not be repeated. Any future work on cycleways must be done wisely and most importantly done right first time.


Perry, Joshua (Councillor)

As a wheelchair user of Dunedin’s roading network I believe our roads need to be functional and safe for everyone.   I fully support the goals of the Strategic Cycle Network as adopted in 2011 by the DCC. I will support and vote for clear and realistic budgets and timeframes to complete the majority of the proposed bicycle networks for the city within a 10 year period.  The priorities I see are the North Dunedin, City Centre and South Dunedin connections along with the Mosgiel – City routes. I also support the separation of the cycleway along SH1 as a priority.


Pope, Paul (Councillor)

Message from SPOKES: Paul provided a very detailed response to our questions. These can be found at the following link:

We also have this in PDF format, please email if you’d like us to email you the PDF version.


Staynes, Chris (Councillor)

1) no response

2) Experience has shown us that the design and the quality of construction of elements of the network are extremely important both for the safety and usability of cyclists and motorists. The design and standard of cycle ways is the key priority in my view and budgets will need to be reviewed to ensure progress delivering the network is not effected unduly.

3) Yes, it is essential to the rest of the strategic network that cyclists can transit the one-way pairs as safely as possible.


Stedman, Conrad (Mayor & Councillor)

1) I will be supportive for the cycleway that extends around the harbour cone as per the map and  SH1 central city. I however will not advocate any further cycleways for example South Dunedin unless the plan is changed for example: along the parks from the St Clair Esplanade, linking with Royal Crescent, onto Portobello Road and around either side of the Harbour.  The poor implementation and subsequent ripping up of the cycle ways in the South Dunedin area was poorly designed and implemented and has already cost the ratepayers hundreds of thousands of dollars.  We need to concentrate on where the accidents have occurred where large traffic volumes, trucks clash with cyclists.

2) The priority if this project is to be finished is extending the cycleways around the harbour cone and a safe network in the CBD around the areas of large traffic volume with trucks namely SH1.

3) Most definitely.


Timmings, Barry (Mayor)

1) I will consider, push through and vote for projects on their individual merits. There has been a lot of development in national programmes and thinking since 2011 so I’’m keen to ensure we continue to contemporise our thinking rather than being locked into a single vision.

2) Some of the issues encountered have been far from helpful in terms of making good decisions and making good progress. Out of all the cycle relevant projects I believe the round the harbour piece has the most strategic importance. It provides the basis of a great visitor experience which help the city economically, its provides a safe and fun environment to take the kids while giving them the opportunity to engage with the harbour (keeping the bike or scooter out of the water of course). It also provides a commuter option. I like it because it provides benefit in many layers.

3) In order for us to achieve our potential as a city and also to minimise the risk of stagnating I believe we should have a clear focus on growing the number of people who live and do business here. This requires more aspirational thinking about population. This then requires different thinking about housing, transport, roading and other services – including how we change or constrain major traffic ways. Would another 15-20,000 people living here change our view of the options? I appreciate that funding for SH1/separated cycleways comes from the Urban Cycleways programme which limits where and how it may be applied but I would like develop a closer understanding of how this may affect us in the future. Can your members give me some feedback on how the current changes to the one ways have worked since they were put in place, if this changes their thinking about the options and their thoughts on options with a meaningful increase in population?


Vandervis, Lee (Mayor & Councillor)

1) Since being adopted in 2011 the projects aiming to deliver the Strategic Cycle Network have been mostly an extraordinarily incompetent waste of many millions of ratepayer dollars, and I will not be pushing for or voting through further spending throwing good money after bad. I have and will continue to support the development of the harbourside cycleway and have proposed a cheaper solution to the vexed Sawyers Bay/Port Chalmers pinch-point, and believe we need to work with the University to get better north/south central city cycle access without mixing cyclists and heavy traffic vehicles as currently proposed on the car-parking spaces of the One-Way streets.

2) Priority should be for providing cyclists safe north/south options away from the One Way street system, away from the large truck/trailers that have been fatal to cyclists in recent years.

3) I will not support the SH1/One Way separated cycle experiment as it mixes cyclists with heavy traffic and compromises intersection function and parking. Overseas proven solutions separating cyclists from heavy traffic, sharing cycleways with pedestrians or having cycleways on one side of the road and pedestrians on the other should be adopted, rather than the proposed experimenting with our One Way streets. [I have recently spent weeks cycling in Berlin, and in Heidelberg, and days cycling in Copenhagen and Brisbane]


Walker, Steve (Councillor)

1) As a long time cyclist and one of the people who led the campaign (as coordinator of the Harbour Cycle Network) to start the shared path from Ravensboune to Port Chalmers my views on ‘quality’ cycling / shared path facilities are well known. If Dunedin is to fulfill its strategic vision and become one of the World’s great small cities, well built, high quality cycling / shared path infrastructure is essential, especially as the number of cyclists / recreational users continues to grow and in the context of increasing demand for electric bikes which will provide recreational opportunities for a vast number of people not currently cycling. So yes, I will endeavour to see many of Strategic Cycle Network’s projects progressed as long as this is done with the full input of business, community, council, car and biking lobby groups. Most cyclists also drive cars so the infrastructure has to be of high quality and create real and safe separation of vehicles and cyclists / walkers – A white line on a road is NOT a cycleway!

2) A truly progressive, forward looking city wanting to create a great ‘vibe’ needs to focus on high quality, 21st century ready infrastructure that provides safe recreational and commuting opportunities for locals and at the same time offers up attractive tourist opportunities for the city. Therefore the focus should be on completion of key routes that will attract the highest number of users and provide opportunities for tourist operators to leverage off of. The West Harbour cycle/walkway is currently a path that leads halfway to nowhere and far greater effort should be made to get the path finished. If we create an off road cycle/walkway that takes us from Port Chalmers all the way to Taiaroa Head we will have created one of the World’s GREAT cycle routes that fulfills the objectives detailed above and have something that begins to make us a truly great 21st century city. Many of the other projects are priorities such as the Caversham Tunnel project being promoted by the Dunedin Tunnel Trails Trust, but I must emphasize that high quality infrastructure that creates real and safe separation of people and vehicles should always take precedence.

3) In principle yes, but only after robust consultation with all parties who may benefit from or be affected by its completion. As I have mentioned previously I am a huge fan of complete separation of vehicles and other users and I struggle to see how you can truly mitigate conflict along this particular route as ultimately it is a State Highway. I think priority should be given to other projects that are easier to push through and that result in giving Dunedin a network of high quality, well used, completely separated, tourist friendly cycle/walking tracks that we can all embrace. That’s a win for cyclists, a win for car drivers a win for walkers a win for tourist operators and will lead to a healthier more vibrant, forward looking Dunedin that we can all be proud of.


Whiley, Andrew (Mayor & Councillor)

1) no response

2) We need to start by getting full city-wide engagement. Hold open meetings where everyone is able to engage. Too much has been done behind closed doors to date.   In the current plan, there were no visuals or details for everyone to talk about, except some lines on some maps. What are the cycleways going to look like and how will they blend in with the current community? Are we going to build “Rolls Royce” versions or cycleways that are practical and function?   The community has a right to be sceptical regarding cycleways as we have failed many residents on this issue. We need to focus on making cycling in Dunedin a safe and efficient way to get around the city.

3) Yes, I do support a separated TWO-WAY cycle path on ONE of the sides of the one-way highway system. I believe that we must support this initiative in order to get safe cycleways travelling through town.  It is also extremely important that we clearly show the community how this cycleway will interconnect with the full cycleway network and highlight the asset that it will be for inner city employees and employers such as Dunedin Hospital, the University and Polytechnic.


Wilson, Kate (Councillor)

1) I support Dunedin having an integrated and connected transport system that gives its residents choices. As such I support and will vote for projects that make all transport users safer and provide for all modes. So yes!

2) I believe that the easiest way to implement safe and popular cycle/walking networks is to provide the best opportunities for more people to have a safe experience.I understand the demand for inner city cycling but wonder if broadening the demand by providing the Wingatui to Green Island and Kaikorai tunnels cycleway first would lead to more support for the inner city connections. I think there are benefits socialising cycling by changing the priorities order. (It seems very sad that cycling has not been normalised for a generation or two, while driving has).

3) I support NZTA addressing the high demand for safer cycling along the north and south spine of the City. I have looked at alternative routes and understand the substantial issues that they create. I think integrated infrastructure like a Bus Hub and park facility at Frederick Street and changes in parking on side streets would ensure any negatives to car travel can be mitigated and make the transport network safer for all users. I believe that all SH1 users will benefit from separated cycleways.


Candidates who didn’t reply:

Acklin, Bill (Councillor)

Adams, Chris (Councillor)

Cull, Dave (Mayor & Councillor)

Dixon, Malcolm (Councillor)

Fraser, Hamish (Councillor)

Fung, Ronald (Councillor)

Gourlie, Paul (Councillor)

Hall, Doug (Councillor)

Hope, Lyndon (Councillor)

Idour, Wayne (Councillor)

Johnstone, Neil (Councillor)

Lord, Michael (Councillor)

Newell, Damian (Councillor)

O’Malley, Jim (Mayor & Councillor)

Samson, Martin (Councillor)

Shepherd, Robert (Councillor)



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A change of scope is needed for Dunedin’s cycling network, but it is unclear what the DCC’s change in scope actually means, and higher standard cycleways are only part of the story.  

Spokes Dunedin has a vision for successfully realising the cycle network. We want everyone to be able to cycle from North Dunedin to South Dunedin, out both sides of the Harbour, and through the tunnels to Green Island and Mosgiel on a connected framework of city-spanning arterial routes that are safe, direct, and convenient to use.  This will focus work where there is a clear need for improved safety rather than on streets that are already relatively safe, and will create a solid initial network that can grow and develop in response to future demand.

The great thing is that there already exists some cycling infrastructure on many of the routes for this initial network.  Several things can be achieved by the end of this year that will help Dunedin catch back up to where it should be.

   To do in 2016

  1. Support NZTA to begin construction of the SH1 separated lanes by the end of this year.
  2. Fix Portobello Road – it’s already been two years.  We don’t need fancy landscaping, we just need the median barrier realignment so the road looks like a road and the cycleway looks like a cycleway.
  3. Complete the Wharf/Roberts intersection as agreed – it’s already been two years.  This intersection presents an identified safety risk on a high demand route.
  4. Continue the SH88 path through the rail corridor to the railway station, thereby providing an alternative to the cycle lanes on Anzac Ave (heavy freight route and high risk).
  5. Create a separated cycle lane from the intersection of Andersons Bay/Strathallan, along The Oval, to Crawford Street in place of the existing cycle lane between two lanes of fast-moving traffic.
  6. Develop plans for a separated cycle lane on North Road and safety improvements for the Opoho intersection to tie in with NZTA’s forthcoming separated cycle lanes on SH1.  This route is of very high strategic priority.


Dunedin is a pro-cycling city, where a significant proportion of the population regularly cycles for recreation, transportation, or both.  Year after year, cycling is one of the most strongly supported and heavily submitted-on topics in the annual plan.  One of the biggest public consultation events in Dunedin history was held in 2013 regarding the proposed SH1 separated cycle lanes.  In addition to widespread media coverage, NZTA and DCC staff solicited input from the public at information booths in busy locations including the Golden Center, Toitu, and the University.  With over 2000 written submissions and roughly 800 survey responses, the SH1 separated cycle lanes received one of the highest response rates of any topic ever consulted on.  The result was overwhelming support for the proposed separated cycle lanes.  Independently, the AA undertook a survey of their local membership, with over 70% of the nearly 1500 respondents supporting the proposed separated lanes.  The overwhelming public demand and support for better cycling in Dunedin cannot be denied.

In response to this demand, the City rightly undertook to develop a Strategic Cycle Network.  But the South Dunedin portion of the cycle network has not delivered on the ambitions of the cycle network plan adopted in 2011.  Nothing has progressed in the last year, leaving half-finished elements scattered around, with other things ripped out without consultation.

Some might argue that we should throw up our hands in despair, abandoning the possibility of future success under the fear of past failures.  But others know that setbacks are par for the course when charting new waters and trying new things.  Where would we be if the likes of Cook, Columbus, or Magellan had turned around after the first storm and torn sail?  Those leaders stayed the course, their sailors gained experience, and they ultimately changed the world.

The success of the Portsmouth Drive and SH88 paths demonstrate what is possible and provide confidence that the rest of the cycle network will be successful if done right.  The key thing now is to keep moving towards the goal while modifying the delivery strategy to ensure success.

Spokes Dunedin has not always agreed with the choices made by the DCC and feels that most of the mistakes stem from bad advice from out of town consultants who were trusted as experienced experts.

A change in scope is definitely needed, and the change in scope in this year’s annual plan calling for higher standard cycleways may be part of the solution, but there isn’t really sufficient information provided to know what this actually means, but landscaping is mentioned.  Landscaping should not be required for most routes since the cycleway will usually be in the road corridor.  Furthermore, we do not believe it is appropriate to fund large-scale city beautification projects out of the very limited cycling budget.  Let the cycling money pay for cycleways.  Landscaping, planting, and park benches are the domain of parks and recreation, not transport.

What Dunedin needs is a winning implementation strategy, and Spokes Dunedin has a vision for how to do it and how to quickly get Dunedin’s cycle network back on track.

Most of what is said in this submission has been said by us before but has not been adopted.  We think these are common sense recommendations that can be quickly adopted, and we expect to see real on-the-ground progress of the cycle network by the end of this calendar year.

A backbone of routes

The place-based approach employed for South Dunedin hasn’t worked so well.  In 2012 we said “although we support the redevelopment of South Dunedin in ways that make it more attractive and accessible to people on foot and on bicycles” we thought it was a mistake “to concentrate all the next three years’ funding on that area” (Spokes Dunedin Long Term Plan submission, May 2012). The place-based approach risks encouraging expenditure on routes with low strategic value and low priority in the name of providing a “complete” subnetwork, rather than tackling the real safety risks encountered by cyclists and the barriers to cycling.  

Our vision for success calls for:

  • A backbone of city-spanning arterial routes that will enable future growth of the network.  The most natural overarching structure prioritizes the flat areas from Normanby, through the city, along both sides of the harbour, right through South Dunedin to St Kilda and St Clair, the tunnels/trail to Mosgiel, and Kaikorai Valley Road.
  • Identification and prioritization of safety risks, barriers to cycling, and connectivity issues across the city.

This approach is fully in line with the original intent of the cycle network strategy adopted in 2011, which said “the network is designed to provide greater connectivity and safety for cyclists. Identifying strategic routes means investment can be targeted to achieve the greatest benefit. Development of cycle facilities on the routes (such as cycle lanes, separated cycle paths, or shared paths) will be carried out over a 20 – 30 year period, based on priority.”  Since our proposed approach seems to be the true intent of the network, we expect that it can be immediately adopted to achieve on-the-ground results by the end of this year.

The great thing about this strategy is that several of the elements are either already in place or already in progress e.g. SH88, Portsmouth Drive, Peninsula road widening project.  However, the connections between these existing elements are disjointed or non-existent, and often present safety risks to cyclists or barriers to cycling that need to be addressed to create a real network.  For example, the North/Opoho intersection presents a disconnection between the existing cycle lanes on North Rd (which should be converted to separated lanes) and the cycle lanes on SH1, and creates a safety risk and barrier to cycling.  North Road is essentially flat, is the obvious way into town for about 9,000 people, and is the designated sealed cycle route to points north of Dunedin (which also sees heavy use by recreational cyclists); connecting North East Valley to the rest of the city via North Rd is clearly of high strategic value and should be a top priority..  At the other end of SH1, the northbound cycle lane from Anderson’s Bay Rd along The Oval is between two lanes of fast-moving cars and trucks – another clear safety risk and barrier to cycling that could easily be mitigated by a separated cycle lane along The Oval.  A list of routes that should be completed by the end of 2016 is given in the summary above and in the conclusions below.

There are several advantages to pursuing the backbone approach:

  • Front loads larger, higher capital projects to maximize Urban Cycling Fund (UCF) and higher Funding Assistance Rate (FAR).
  • Enables faster user uptake by opening access to more of the city more quickly.
  • Allows dynamic growth of the network over time in response to evolving usage patterns.
  • Mitigates risk of progress on the network stalling at a point where there is still limited coverage.

The backbone approach has demonstrated the most success around the world, most recently in Auckland, by enabling people to get from the places where they live to the places where they work and study.  It is also better from a public perception standpoint: the reason people support the SH1 separated lanes is because they are a common sense solution to an obvious safety risk.  

Infrastructure for all

We believe Dunedin’s cycle network should do two things:

  1. Mitigate the safety risks for cyclists.
  2. Encourage increased uptake of cycling for both transportation and recreation.

Number 2 will be a natural outcome of doing number 1 correctly but the DCC’s approach has been to focus solely on number 2.  Sadly, the “interested but concerned” or “potential cyclists”  have been invoked to justify flawed infrastructure, notably in South Dunedin.

We have previously said “the ideal scenario for a truly strategic cycle network is segregated cycle lanes” (Spokes Dunedin submission on South Dunedin Regeneration Scheme 13/12/2011) and “with limited initial funding, we would prefer to see fewer routes done to a higher standard than many routes done to a lower standard” (ibid).  However, we have also said many times that separated cycleways are not necessary or appropriate in every situation; rather “the appropriate location for SBFs is along the busier, higher speed roads that constitute the direct routes for cyclists” (Spokes Dunedin submission on South Dunedin Strategic Cycle Network Package 2, October 2013).  For example, the bidirectional SBF installed on Gordon Street is a beautiful, very high standard cycleway, but is on a small street with very low traffic volumes and very low speeds that most people have never even heard of.  As we have said before “placing cycle routes on little-used, inconvenient back streets is likely to create little-used, inconvenient cycling routes” (Spokes Dunedin submission on Second Generation District Plan March 2013).  

Thus, while the change in scope to higher standard cycleways sounds like it is on the right track, it will only succeed if those higher standard cycleways are on the right routes and if other complementary approaches are taken on less busy, lower speed routes.

Our vision for success calls for:

  • A standard of cycling infrastructure that is appropriate for the location and environment.  Concomitant with the backbone approach and identified priorities and safety risks, the initial development of the cycling network will typically focus on high standard separated cycle lanes on busier, higher speed roads that constitute direct routes for cyclists.
  • Cycling infrastructure that works for ALL cyclists; because building cycling infrastructure with the expectation that large numbers of existing cyclists won’t use it is a strategy for failure.

Consultation and engagement

Spokes Dunedin, Inc. is a highly credible organization whose aim is to represent the interests of cycling in the urban environment, and we regularly liaise with the varied elements of the large cycling community in Dunedin to inform our position, including the bike shops, Cycling Otago, Mountain Biking Otago, Otago Mountain Bikers – Social Riders, Dunedin BMX, Dunedin Triathlon, and individual cyclists.  

The Draft Annual Plan “change in scope” calls for asking people what they think earlier in the process and testing designs with community stakeholders, which sounds great on the surface.  But this Draft Annual Plan itself seems to be nothing more than the status quo.  Here we have a change in scope for the city’s cycling ambitions that hasn’t even been discussed with Dunedin’s cycling advocacy organization to ensure we’d be on board when it goes to public consultation.  It seems bizarre the DCC would put anything out for public consultation on cycling without knowing in advance they had the full support of Spokes Dunedin.

We have provided prescient and critical knowledge and opinions which, had they been heeded, would have averted many of the problems plaguing the Strategic Cycle Network delivery.  For example, in July 2011 we called for separated cycle lanes on SH1 and predicted the exact location and manner of Chris He’s death more than a year before it happened (Spokes Dunedin submission on DCC Strategic Cycle Network, 15/7/2011).  In 2013 we, along with a large number of other individual submitters, opposed the reliance on Quiet Streets in South Dunedin, saying “Dunedin should take to heart the experience of other cities that abandoned the ‘sending bikes on back streets’ idea in favour of separated lanes” (ibid), only to be ignored.  And on 6 May 2015,  we contacted DCC staff to convey our alarm at what was being installed in South Dunedin, calling for a halt to construction until intersection treatments could be reviewed, only to be told “the intention of the design is not as you assume. This facility is physically separated from motorised traffic which is a safe outcome for ‘Interested But Concerned’ cyclists at intersections,” as if Spokes Dunedin didn’t know what we were talking about.  Construction was halted after it received criticism in the Otago Daily Times and the cycleways liaison group toured the project to assess the situation.

Our vision for success calls for:

  • Ongoing, real-time, on-the-ground stakeholder engagement at every stage of a project.
  • Close contact with Spokes Dunedin on anything related to urban cycling in Dunedin, including changes of scope and identifying a successful delivery strategy.
  • A monthly written update on all work relating to cycling for Spokes and other cycling stakeholders to circulate through their networks.

As an example of the successful approach to constructive engagement: in mid 2014, Spokes and AA representatives worked closely with DCC transport staff to find a revised solution for Portobello Rd (Portsmouth Dr to Andersons Bay Rd).  This revised solution was presented in February 2015 and was agreeable to Spokes, the AA, property and business owners, and the public.  Yet more than a year later nothing has happened.  This is similar to the situation at the intersection of Wharf/Roberts, where a working group established in December 2013 came up with a solution that was agreeable to Spokes, AA, police, fire service, St. Johns, and property and business owners; yet nothing has been implemented in the two years since.

Our vision for success calls for:

  • Timely implementation of agreed solutions.

DCC capacity

The DCC Transport Planning team has gained significant cycling experience over the past three years.  This is new ground not only for Dunedin but for all of NZ, and staff have been developing working relationships with key stakeholders such as Spokes and the AA, as well as beginning to value and obtain community feedback and buy-in.  On the other hand, there seems to be a disconnect between planning and implementation, where what was put on the ground did not always coincide with what was planned, as seems to have been the case for Portobello Rd.  The situation at the DCC also seems to have deteriorated over the past year.  Transport planning staff appear to be disengaged at meetings, we have fairly limited contact with staff outside of cycleway liaison group meetings (the last cycleway liaison group meeting was 5 months ago), and we aren’t even sure which staff are now actually working on cycling. This cannot continue.  Existing staff working on cycling infrastructure need to be supported to upskill and build key relationships.

Our vision for success calls for:

  • Investment in DCC transport staff capacity, through both training and upskilling of existing staff (working trips to Auckland, Melbourne, Denmark, etc), and through recruitment of a senior cycling ‘tsar’.
  • Support staff to develop a clear, consistent, time-efficient approach to working with key stakeholders; and an approach to the wider community that encourages informed input.
  • Strong links between the planning and operational sides to ensure they are working together to achieve the goals set forth by the Council.

Duty of care and the mitigation of risk

New health and safety legislation has just come into effect that reinstates personal liability for those with a duty of care who fail to mitigate identified safety risks. Although this new law appears to be primarily focused on workplaces, we believe the City Council and the Crown have a duty of care towards citizens in public spaces. In the new workplace health and safety legislation, employers and Crown agencies can be held liable if harm occurs during the course of reasonably expected behaviour that results from a previously identified but unmitigated safety risk.

In July 2011, Spokes Dunedin wrote “Spokes would prefer to see some kind of physical barrier between cars and cyclists where cycle lanes are deployed, and we express here a strong preference for Separated Cycle Lanes over Cycle Lanes.  Where cycle lanes currently exist, particularly on those routes that experience heavy industrial large vehicle traffic, cyclists are often put in dangerous situations…..On some of the existing on-road cycle lanes in Dunedin, parking cars are a serious hazard for cyclists, for example outside the hospital on Cumberland Street where a cyclist on the cycle lane faces doors opening into the cycle lane on one side and lorries driving right on the edge of a very narrow cycle lane on the other” (Spokes Dunedin submission on DCC Strategic Cycle Network, 15/7/2011).

Regardless of whatever designation one wishes to assign to the one-way pair through Dunedin, they are, in practice and common use, mixed-use city streets that are in fact largely residential in nature.  Thus there exists a reasonable expectation that people will be cycling on these streets.  The death of Chris He on the exact section of road and in the exact manner of death identified as a clear and present safety risk by Spokes Dunedin over one year earlier (along with a recommended strategy for risk mitigation), leads us to the opinion that the Dunedin City Council and the New Zealand Transport Agency were remiss in their duty of care to mitigate identified safety risks; in this case leading to the wrongful death of Chris He.

Thus far, risk mitigation does not seem to have featured very prominently in the City’s cycle network delivery strategy.  This is a big mistake with potentially serious future legal consequences.  As part of our winning strategy, we have placed risk mitigation as a top priority, and we strongly advise the Council to do the same.

Targets for 2016 and Conclusion

A few years ago, Dunedin was at the forefront of cycling infrastructure in New Zealand but is now quickly falling behind.  Many other cities having already delivered projects that received funding through the Urban Cycleways Fund just last year while Dunedin is at risk of losing out on the funding it was awarded through the UCF because it can’t, or won’t, deliver.

Dunedin, like just about every other vibrant city in the modern world, has recognized the importance of cycling as part of the transportation mix, but needs a winning strategy to deliver its cycle network.  We have outlined a winning strategy that is based on a city-spanning backbone of connected, safe, and convenient separated cycle lanes on direct routes; that are functional and useful for all cyclists; and which will form an initial framework for future growth in response to demand.

The great thing is that there already exists some cycling infrastructure on many of the routes for this initial network.  There are several elements that can be achieved by the end of this year that will help Dunedin catch back up to where it should be.

To do in 2016

  1. Support NZTA to begin construction of the SH1 separated lanes by the end of this year.
  2. Fix Portobello Road – it’s already been two years.  We don’t need fancy landscaping, we just need the median barrier realignment so the road looks like a road and the cycleway looks like a cycleway.
  3. Complete the Wharf/Roberts intersection as agreed – it’s already been two years.  This intersection presents an identified safety risk on a high demand route.
  4. Continue the SH88 path through the rail corridor to the railway station, thereby providing an alternative to the cycle lanes on Anzac Ave (heavy freight route and high risk).
  5. Create a separated cycle lane from the intersection of Andersons Bay/Strathallan, along The Oval, to Crawford Street in place of the existing cycle lane between two lanes of fast-moving traffic.
  6. Develop plans for a separated cycle lane on North Road and safety improvements for the Opoho intersection to tie in with NZTA’s forthcoming separated cycle lanes on SH1.  This route is of very high strategic priority.

We look forward to working with the Dunedin City Council to develop a real cycle network for Dunedin.

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Dunedin Bike Breakfast 2016

web only-03You love riding your bike.  You love a good breakfast.  And you’ve been waiting an entire year since the awesomeness of Bike Breakfast 2015 to eat breakfast with other bike riding breakfast lovers.  Well all your Sundays have come at once because the 2016 Bike Breakfast is next Wednesday, 10 Feb between 6:45-9am.

If you weren’t one of the 300+ cyclists who were came for breakfast last year, here’s the deal:  We’re celebrating Go By Bike Day as part of Bikewise month by kicking off your day with a free breakfast just for turning up on your bicycle.  So ride on over to the Upper Octagon between 6:45-9am on Wednesday 10 February for coffee, tea, croissants, fresh fruit salad, yoghurt, muesli, and OJ.

While you’re there, you can meet the Spokes Dunedin crew and give us your feedback on cycling in Dunedin; check out some of the latest technology while getting a quick tune up from Bike Otago, Cycle World, and Avanti; and meet your fellow cycling citizenry and admire the diverse array of bicycles.

You can help spread the good Bike Breakfast news by printing out this year’s awesome flyer (another great job by Lewis!) and putting it up at the office or sending it to friends.

A big shout out to Bike Breakfast 2016 sponsors Bike Otago, Cycle World, Strictly Coffee, Bidvest, Sanitarium, Otago Polytechnic, Dunedin City Council, and Bikewise for championing this breakfast of champions.  See ya there, Champ!

Posted in All SPOKESd up | Leave a comment