A debate over transport included an emotional speech from Dunedins non-driving mayor Aaron Hawkins as he spoke about the impact of the Canterbury floods on people’s lives.
On the second day of deliberations into the Dunedin City Council’s 10-year-plan, the often heated issues of car parking and cycle lanes were on the agenda.
That debate included a passionate speech from Hawkins, who noted that humans arent particularly hard-wired towards dealing with abstractions.
But one of the few tangible things a council, such as Dunedin, could do for the climate movement was through its transport network.
READ MORE:* I live in Waikouaiti. Was I lead poisoned?* Dunedin’s push for more housing: Granny flats for more than just granny* Aaron Hawkins, from political intrigue in Invercargill to Dunedin’s mayor
Hawkins, the countrys first Green Party mayor, said he would cringe when young people submitted to council but were asked about playgrounds.
They have higher order concerns. Existential concerns about how we manage our natural environment.
That included thousands marching in the street on behalf of the climate, Hawkins said.
Dunedin mayor Aaron Hawkins.
In a nod to his own non-driving, Hawkins admitted it was inconvenient not to drive.
But that was less convenient than being separated from family, friends, business and social connections by the sort of weather events witnessed in Canterbury over recent days.
Oh God, sorry, the mayor said, visibly emotional,
He wanted to acknowledge those flood-affected communities, because that is what we are talking about when we talk about seeing more frequent and more intense extreme weather events as a result of having a less stable climate.
However, people became obsessed when they talked about car parking.
It came after an earlier speech by outspoken councillor, Lee Vandervis, who rejected the councils ideology of two wheels good, four wheels bad.
Cr Lee Vandervis spoke out about the council’s transport policy.
The councils obscenely expensive $53 million idealogical splurge, which included more bus lanes, park and ride facilities, and improved cycle lanes and footpaths, did not contain one extra car park.
That was despite an extra 10,000 people expected to live in the city over the next seven years.
Nor did it deal with the growing congestion on city streets caused by speed bumps and cycle lanes, Cr Vandervis said.
Council received hundreds of submissions on those transport projects, with even more responses received via Facebook and Twitter polls.
The projects in the 10-year-plan include park and ride facilities at Mosgiel and Burnside ($10.3 million), a parking management and guidance system ($9.5m), a harbour arterial route ($16.6m), a bus lane for Princes St ($6.6m), and bike hubs ($2.5m)
Council voted to approve the transport plan 12-2.

You may also like