A key milestone has been reached on the $8 million State Highway 1, one-way system separated cycle lane project through central Dunedin, with work now starting on installing concrete traffic islands. These are designed to keep cycle lane users and highway traffic safely apart.
Dunedin’s has some of the worst pedestrian and cyclist crash figures in the country with two cycling fatalities on the one-way system Dunedin since 2011. Contributing to this is the one-way system through central and north Dunedin which creates barriers to providing safe and convenient links especially for pedestrians and cyclists. This NZ Transport Agency project, due to be finished later this year, will help address this situation.
Transport Agency Projects Team Manager Simon Underwood says initially the concrete islands will go in on the section of cycle lane on Cumberland Street between Howe and Albany Streets and then on Great King Street between Albany and Howe Streets. New markings and painting the cycle lanes will happen after this work is completed.
Mr Underwood urges cyclists and all other road users to take extra care when using the one-way system between Howe and Albany Streets while new road markings are applied and old ones removed from the highway.
Apart from Cumberland Street between Howe and Albany Streets, the new cycle lanes move from the left to the right hand side of the highway. This is to reduce cyclists’ interactions with buses at bus stops, and to help eliminate the left hand blind spot large for trucks that makes it difficult for their drivers to see cyclists.
“There are also new layouts at intersections. Busy intersections with higher volumes of traffic turning across the cycle lane, will see the signals keep cyclists and turning traffic separated. Intersections with a lot less vehicle movements, turning traffic and cyclists share the same traffic lane. New traffic signals and upgrades to the existing signals also provide greater protection for those crossing the highway.”
On St David Street, the footpath has been widened allowing people to cycle directly from Otago University to SH1 heading north on Great King Street.
Mr Underwood said meeting the parking needs of businesses and maintaining access to public facilities has been a big focus of the cycle lane design. Of the 130 parking bays being re-introduced on the one-way system, priority has been given to matching existing business short stay car parks, and parking near Dunedin Hospital, Otago Museum and Otago University.
The new cycle lanes provide better linkages to popular destinations including the Otago University and Otago Polytechnic campuses, Dunedin Hospital and the CBD, and more convenient connections to the wider Dunedin urban cycle network the City Council is developing, he said.
The Transport Agency, Dunedin City Council and Otago Regional Council are implementing a range of transport projects to ensure both locals and visitors have safe and effective transport options and connections within the central city. The separated cycle lanes are a key part of this co-ordinated work programme to create a world class transport system for Dunedin. http://connectingdunedin.nz/(external link)
To find out more about this project, frequently asked questions, updates, go to: http://www.nzta.govt.nz/projects/dunedin-sh1-cycle-lane-safety-improvements-project/(external link)