Public Meeting Portobello Road Widening – Monday May 13th 7pm

In March SPOKES asked you to take action for cycling by sending in a submission on the Dunedin City Council’s Portobello Road widening plan, and a big thank you to all of you who sent in your submission.

The construction of world-class cycling and pedestrian infrastructure on the widened road would create an incredible asset for Dunedin, available for everyone to use at any time.  Not only would it make cycling more enjoyable for those who already ride on Portobello Road, but it would also provide access for those who would either like to commute from the Peninsula to the town centre or otherwise enjoy the Peninsula by bicycle but are reluctant to ride on the road.  There is also the potential for the kind of significant economic return Central Otago enjoys from the Rail-Trail.

However, we need to keep up the pressure to make sure it gets done, and to make sure it gets done right the first time.  Several issues centering on heritage and coastal conservation were evidently raised during the initial consultation process, to which the DCC has responded by proposing a revised plan with an adjusted width.  SPOKES talked with DCC Project Engineer Evan Matheson on Wednesday after receiving notification of Monday’s public meeting from Peninsula Community Board Councillor Jinty MacTavish.  However, it is still unclear to what extent the plans have been modified and what the consequences are for the cycling infrastructure, but surely the infrastructure that can be built depends heavily on the width.

A public meeting will be held on Monday, 13 May at 7:00pm at Portobello’s Coronation Hall for DCC to hear feedback on the revised plan.  The issues need to be discussed if we are to get the best outcomes for the city and it’s critical that the cyclists of Dunedin are part of this discussion, so please come speak out for cycling in Dunedin and make Portobello Road sweet for bikes!

SPOKES Secretary, Robert Thompson, will be riding out to Portobello from the city centre and encourage you to join him from the start or anywhere along the way.  He’ll depart from the Otago Museum at 5:30pm, which should hopefully allow enough time to get some fish and chips from Ric’s Galley before the meeting starts!  However you get to the meeting, bring a helmet as a visible symbol of where you stand.

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