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Fresh approach to improving central Dunedin cycle safety

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The Transport Agency and Dunedin City Council are working together to reduce the cycle crash rate on Dunedin’s one-way street system.

Public consultation has no concluded on two cycle lanes options that physically separate cyclists from traffic on this busy section of State highway 1.

Over 2000 submissions were received and about 800 people completed a Transport Agency’s online poll on the two options.

Since 2003, there have been three fatal crashes on this route, two of them in the last two years. After the most recent fatality in November 2012, a working group that included the Agency, Dunedin City Council was set up to look at ways to improve cycle safety on this section of highway.

After considering several options, a separated cycle lane emerged as the option offering the greatest safety benefits. Feedback from the consultation on the two options that will be used to help develop one preferred option. This is expected to be considered by the Dunedin City Council in May/June 2014.

The two options consulted on; were a separated cycle lane on both the north and south bound one-way streets through central Dunedin, and a single separated lane, where cyclists can travel in both directions. There was strong support from submitters for a separated cycle lane on each of the north and south bound legs of the one-way street system through the central city.

Further work is being carried during the first quarter of 2014 to gather more information. This includes further investigation of alternative parking options, for any on-street parking that could be potentially lost if a separated cycle lane is built.

Simon Underwood who is managing this work for the Transport Agency says a separated cycle lane supports the Safe System approach which underpins the road safety work of the Transport Agency and Dunedin City Council who are working together on this project. This approach recognises road users do make mistakes and whether injuries result is influenced by the force of the collision or impact.

Even low speed impacts between vehicles and cyclists have a high risk of severe injury for the cyclist.  A separated cycle lane would significantly lower this risk by reducing the amount of interaction between cyclists and traffic.      

Interest in a separated cycle lane for Dunedin’s one-way street system is expected to remain high, especially around the on-street parking impacts.

To find out more about this project visit the website(external link).

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