Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Cars to take over the mall...

Despite the lack of a business case, Council decided to open the Hunter St Mall to traffic.

The debate was dominated by Councillors saying such things as "we must get on and do things", "we must be seen to be doing things", "we are a can-do council", "we're open for business" and the like.

But nowhere in any of the reports was there a business case supporting the proposal. Certainly lots of information on how it could be done, but nowhere a simple benefit-cost analysis.

What does the community benefit by spending $300,000? Who in the community benefits? What's the payback period for the expenditure of public money?

Still the following was adopted...
a) Council approve the opening of Hunter Street Mall to traffic as a shared zone with 10km/h speed limit, including the placement of tactile markers in the Mall at the intersections of Keightley, Thorn and Morgan Streets for the benefit of visually impaired pedestrians (in lieu of marked foot crossings); the delineation of the traffic lane and parking bays by an unbroken yellow barrier line through the Mall from Newcomen Street to Perkins Street (subject to final approval by the Roads and Traffic Authority), one-way motor traffic movement from east to west, two way movement for bicycles, and associated changes such as raised thresholds and road narrowing and short term free parking/loading zones generally as shown in Attachment A;

b) Council directs that the Perkins Street bus stop redevelopment, previously agreed to by Council and funded in the 2090/10 Management Plan, proceed as an extension to the Mall re-opening project.

Councillor Osborne wished his name recorded as having voted against the motion.

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