Notice of Meeting:
I hereby give notice that an ordinary meeting of the Hearings Committee will be held on:
Date: Wednesday 24 July 2019
Time: 9.00 am
Venue: Edinburgh Room, Municipal Chambers, The Octagon, Dunedin
PEDESTRIANISATION OF THE RAILWAY STATION
Senior Officer Susan Lilley (Transport Planning Team Leader)
Governance Support Officer Lynne Adamson
Governance Support Officer
Telephone: 03 477 4000
Note: Reports and recommendations contained in this agenda are not to be considered as Council policy until adopted.
24 July 2019
ITEM TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE
Part A Reports (Committee has power to decide these matters)
1 Summary of Submissions for Railway Station Pedestrian Mall Proposal 4
Part A Reports
Summary of Submissions for Railway Station Pedestrian Mall Proposal
1 This report presents a summary of the 46 submissions received on a Dunedin City Council (DCC) proposal to create a pedestrian mall along part of the unnamed section of legal road that forms the frontage of the Dunedin Railway Station. This includes 45 submissions received during the formal consultation period of 10 June to 5 July 2019 and one submission received on 5 July but after the 5pm deadline.
2 Of the 46 submissions, 87 percent supported the proposal, 13 percent were opposed.
3 Seven of the submitters have requested to be heard.
That the Commissioner:
a) Accepts the one late submission received from Good Company Tours;
b) Considers the summary of submissions in their deliberation of the Railway Station pedestrian mall proposal;
c) Decides whether or not to grant a declaration pursuant to clause 336 of the Local Government Act 1974 in relation to the proposed pedestrian mall.
4 The Dunedin Railway Station is one of Dunedin’s most celebrated heritage buildings and attracts hundreds of visitors a year. For many years, the Council has received feedback on the impact of moving and parked buses and vehicles on pedestrian safety and general amenity in front of the Dunedin Railway Station.
5 The Dunedin Railway Station, the thoroughfare that forms its frontage and Anzac Square are part of the city’s Cultural and Entertainment Quarter. This ‘quarter’ includes the Octagon, lower Stuart Street, the Dunedin Railway Station and connections to Toitū Otago Settlers Museum. The area is intended as the city’s civic, entertainment and tourism centre, providing a hub for visitors and locals. Key objectives for the Cultural and Entertainment Quarter include to:
· Establish the area as a convenient and more attractive place for all people to visit.
· Improve pedestrian connections between the Octagon, the Railway Station and Toitū Otago Settlers Museum.
· Improve safety and accessibility for pedestrians and other vulnerable road users and reduce crash rates.
6 The land in front of the Railway Station is unnamed legal road. It currently provides two-way vehicle access between Anzac Avenue and Castle Street/High Street (SH1/southbound).
7 The thoroughfare in front of the Dunedin Railway Station is a busy commuter route for pedestrians and cyclists travelling to and from the city centre (and a tourist route linking key visitor destinations such as Toitū Otago Settlers Museum and the Octagon).
8 Use of the thoroughfare for tour bus and coach parking has a significant impact on the amenity of the Dunedin Railway Station. Passenger vehicles, including large tour coaches, use the thoroughfare to drop off and pick up visitors. The thoroughfare between Anzac Avenue and Castle Street/High Street (SH1/southbound) encourages ‘rat-running’ by local traffic in front of the Dunedin Railway Station, which negatively impacts pedestrian safety.
9 The proposal to restrict motor vehicle traffic along the Proposed Pedestrian Mall is intended to improve the safety, accessibility and ‘look and feel’ of the Railway Station frontage. An aerial photograph showing the proposed changes is included as Attachment A.
10 The proposal is also intended to contribute to the vision of the Central City Plan’s Cultural and Entertainment Quarter, as a safe and attractive hub for visitors and locals.
11 A copy of the Statement of Proposal released for consultation is included as Attachment B.
12 Two trial closures of motor vehicle access to the Dunedin Railway Station have been carried out. The first was for four days between Thursday 25 January 2018 and Sunday 28 January 2018. The second was for two weeks between 17 February and 3 March 2019.
13 Feedback during both trials showed a majority of submitters were supportive of the trial. One hundred and fifty (150) submissions were received from the public during the first trial, with 127 in support, 15 in support with reservations and eight (8) opposed. Fifty four (54) submissions were received during the second trial, with 44 in support, 4 in support with reservations and six (6) opposed.
14 This section provides a summary of results from recent public consultation undertaken using the special consultative procedure. It also presents results of DCC social media polls.
Results of consultation
15 Consultation using the special consultative procedure ran from 10 June until 5 July 2019. A total of 46 submissions were received through Council’s submission database, and full text of the submissions is available on Council’s website at www.dunedin.govt.nz/railway-station-pedestrian-mall-public-feedback. There was one submission received on 5 July but after the 5pm deadline. A summary of this submission is included as Attachment C.
16 The majority of submissions were from individuals and from businesses that operate from or immediately around the Railway Station. Three submissions were from the health sector. These included CCS Disability Action, Southern District Health Board and WellSouth Primary Health Network.
17 The majority of submitters, 87 percent, supported the proposal, and 13 percent were opposed.
18 The main themes that came through in the comments were (in order of popularity):
· Positive comments about increased safety for pedestrians as a result of restricted access for vehicles.
· Positive comments about improvements to the look and feel of the area as a result of restricted access for vehicles.
· Need to ensure access for people with poor mobility, emergency vehicles and for deliveries.
· Support for pedestrianised spaces as a general direction for Dunedin.
19 A few submitters suggested alternative vehicle restrictions to the proposal, with access for either buses only or motor vehicles only. Suggestions included retaining vehicle access one way south, retaining vehicle access one way north, and retaining vehicle access from both ends but restricting vehicles travelling through.
20 Other submitters made suggestions about how to improve the proposal. Suggestions included restricting cyclists and scooters as well as vehicles, limiting speeds of cyclists and scooters, providing directional guidance for cyclists using the area, and expanding the size of the pedestrian mall area by extending it south to the SH1/Castle Street entrance.
21 Submitters who commented about the parking arrangement proposed as part of the proposal were both positive (6) and negative (4).
Social media polls
22 The DCC created a poll on social media on 10 June, asking ‘Do you think the Dunedin Railway Station frontage should be pedestrianised?’. The poll included a link to the DCC website which contained information about the proposal.
23 Just over 1,500 people voted on the Facebook poll. Of these, 80% voted yes and 20% voted no. The Facebook poll reached almost 14,000 people. On Twitter, 63 people voted, with 92% voting yes and 8% voting no. The Twitter poll reached almost 1400 people.
24 A copy of the poll results and comments are included as Attachment D.
25 There are no options with this report as its purpose is to present the results of public consultation on the Railway Station pedestrian mail proposal for consideration by the Commissioner.
26 This summary of submissions on the Railway Station pedestrian mall proposal is to inform the independent Commissioner who is hearing submissions in July 2019. The Commissioner will then make their decision on whether or not to declare the section of road along the front of the Railway Station to be a Pedestrian Mall. This decision will be reported to Council for noting in August.
Susan Lilley - Transport Planning Team Leader
Richard Saunders - Group Manager Transport
Pedestrian Mall Proposal map
Statement of Proposal
Summary of Late Submissions
Social Media Poll Results
SUMMARY OF CONSIDERATIONS
Fit with purpose of Local Government
This report relates to providing local infrastructure and it is considered good quality and cost effective.
Fit with strategic framework
The proposal to create a pedestrian mall in front of the Dunedin Railway Station contributes to the objectives of the Central City Plan. The proposal also contributes to the integrated transport strategy's efforts to improve safety in the city, particularly for vulnerable users.
Māori Impact Statement
There are no known impacts for tangata whenua.
The proposed pedestrian mall promotes the use of the area for pedestrians and cyclists.
LTP/Annual Plan / Financial Strategy /Infrastructure Strategy
There are no implications for the LTP, Annual Plan, Financial Strategy or Infrastructure Strategy.
There are no financial implications beyond existing Transport budgets.
This decision has been assessed under the Council's Significance and Engagement Policy as being of high significance as it relates to a Strategic Asset.
Engagement – external
A four day trial was undertaken in January 2018. One hundred and fifty (150) submissions were received from the public. A two week trial was then undertaken in February 2019. The NZTA has also been consulted, and it is in support of the proposal.
Engagement - internal
Internal engagement has been with Parks, City Development, Economic Development Unit, Legal Services and Property Teams.
Risks: Legal / Health and Safety etc.
The proposed changes reduce health and safety risks associated with the railway station forecourt.
Conflict of Interest
There are no known conflicts of interest.
There are no known implications for Community Boards.