The NZTA has gone against advice from SPOKES on how to improve safety for cyclists at the intersection of Castle St and Anzac Ave, where Peter James Wells was killed in November 2011. In July of 2012, SPOKES collected video evidence demonstrating that the temporary changes made by NZTA did not appear to prevent nor discourage dangerous driver behaviour, and this was reported on by the ODT at that time.
In January of this year, SPOKES was invited to comment on two permanent options proposed by NZTA: 1) to make permanent the temporary layout that has been in place for much of the past year following Mr Wells’ death, or 2) to create a cul-de-sac for Anzac Ave, thereby closing it to through vehicular traffic. Based on the evidence we collected in July 2012, subsequent informal observation, and feedback from cyclists, SPOKES strongly recommended the cul-de-sac option as the only truly safe choice.
After nearly a year and despite further changes made to the temporary layout following our earlier video evidence, SPOKES has recently collected new video footage demonstrating once again that the temporary changes made to this intersection have done little to increase the standard of real safety, especially for unprotected cyclists.
The NZTA’s recommendation to leave Anzac Ave open to traffic following consultation with ‘businesses in the area’ (ODT, 2 March) compromises the widespread support for improving cycling conditions in Dunedin. SPOKES has recently been meeting with with DCC and NZTA traffic planners and engineers to discuss safety issues on the one-ways. So far those meetings have focused only on short-term, quick fixes that can immediately contribute modest safety gains on the one-ways but Anzac Ave was not discussed.
Based on our documented observations of driver behaviour at the Anzac Ave, Castle St intersection, SPOKES Dunedin cannot endorse the NZTA proposal to make permanent the temporary layout now in place.
The Anzac Ave proposal, and other ‘quick wins’ on the one-ways, is top of the agenda for Tuesday’s meeting of the Dunedin City Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee. SPOKES has written to all the Councillors to make them aware that what the NZTA is proposing for Anzac Ave does not put safety first. If you feel strongly about this, send an email to the Chair of the Infrastructure Services Committee, Councillor Andrew Noone, before Tuesday at email@example.com