1. Hopefully some day we’ll have proper paths and infrastructure for bikes, so people can safely ride for transport helmetless without outraging the populace – like happens in actually liveable cities.

    2. And look at those pedestrians, walking along with nothing to protect them from vehicular homocide except the Social Contract.

    3. Ignoring the fact that you (intentionally?) completely missed the point, I will say that many helmets avaiable actually look not much different from what he has on his head. But throwing helmets into this discussion is simply a red herring.

  1. Thank you for sharing this picture of a “Great Urban Ride” sign.

    In May 2009 (when I was on the Cycle Action Auckland Committee) I started working with Julian Hulls of Nextbike to develop “Great Urban Rides” in Auckland which we thought would be a good fit with the New Zealand Cycleway Project that had just got underway. We came up with 3 routes – Ponsonby Heritage route, Waitemata Harbour route and Maungawhau Volcanic ride – that we believed had the potential to deliver a quality tourist asset at the same time as kick-starting the transformation of Auckland into a cycle friendly city. (yes – we were naïve!)

    In September 2009 the former Auckland City Council’s Transport Committee endorsed the project and provided $40,000 to fund the signage for the first 3 routes (this felt like a huge victory at the time). Unity Finesmith designed the “every day” cyclist symbol which amazingly got official approval (the Maugawhau Volanic route was coloured purple on the request of Christopher Dempsey who was chair of the Eden-Albert Community Board back then)

    Auckland Transport inherited the project and completed the installation of the 3 routes which are included on the Auckland cycle maps.
    Sadly “Great Urban Rides” failed to have the impact that we had hoped for because of course no cycling infrastructure was installed to support the routes (if anyone even notices the signs they often think they are a “guerrilla” installation).

    1. (if anyone even notices the signs they often think they are a “guerrilla” installation). Ahah that is what I thought when I saw the picture

    2. Pippa, has there been any push to get AT to put the proper cycling infrastructure end-to-end along these 3 routes? After all, you do already have all the wayfinding signage in place.

      1. Pippa and colleagues have done nothing but push for many years to get any infrastructure in place, the lack of it is not from lack of trying.

      1. Julian,

        >> I’d respectfully suggest the infrastructure already exists – The road. Lower speed limits (30kmh) and reduced traffic volumes would enable safer sharing for all modes….

        You make a good point. We too often forget our existing assets when talking about cycling infrastructure. (As a result, we go in search of new sod to turn, for sub-optimal garden paths, trails, etc.) Janette Sadik-Khan makes a similar argument by analogy to the capital asset inventory of a business being underutilised, where a city has a stock of streets.

        However, these streets are still lacking proper design, care and integration, so they remain people-unfriendly. Speed reduction is a good idea, for example, but it often requires passive enforcement through street design (e.g. right-sizing roads and lanes), as much as sign-posted designation. Intersections in particular need attention, to allow comfortable and legible turning movements, with frequent timings; this definitely does not already exist. And obviously protected cycle tracks or other appropriate space reallocation and surface upgrades should be built along the length of the street. An integrated network of these adjustments should encompass neighbourhood entire street grids as pervasively as feasible, connecting front doors to interesting places (such as PT nodes), and not just selective routes.

        So yes, the base layer, if you will, does already exist — not just in roads but perhaps more importantly in the layout of buildings in these great urban neighourhoods. But the interstitial connections do need more work to provide for great urban rides.

  2. Thanks for filling in the history Pippa. Could be great if there were some top quality cycle infrastructure to go with them. Sadly the “Great New Zealand Cycleway” seems to be purely a rural initiative. If I had the power to lay out seperated cycleways on a map, I’d stick one on Ponsonby Road (linking with Karangahape), Jervois Road, Currant St (to serve Ponsonby Primary and link Jervois with Westhaven), and probably Sarsfield. Maybe links between Ponsonby / Jervois and Ponsonby Intermediate as well.

    1. The Hawke’s Bay / Hastings agrea has got some 6.5m over three years from NZTA for walking and cycling (on top of existing walk/cycle funding presumably), as a model walking and cycling community project. Scaled up to Auckland that equates (VERY roughly) to 60-80 million extra in walk/cycle funding over 3 years. So yeah, they have a – relatively speaking – great cycle network, because they haven’t starved for funding like the rest of the country.

      Not dissing their efforts at all (spending such extra money efficiently is a big task, to name just one element!), just giving some context.

        1. Hastings and New Plymouth were chosen as model cycling cities to see if NZers would really ride bieks if facilities were provided. And guess what, they did!

          “Opinion polls at the outset showed 70% of Hastings residents considered (lack of) safety on the city’s roads to be a barrier to cycling.

          3 years later Owen reports that 70% of residents now consider cycling to be safe.”

          That is a pretty impressive result.

          So there isnt anything in our DNA that separates us from the Dutch or Danes – we just have crappy cycling infrastructure. Who would have thunk it?

          1. > 3 years later Owen reports that 70% of residents now consider cycling to be safe.”

            That’s a dramatic increase: more than double. But cycling went up only 13% and 22%? That does kind of suggest that there’s more to it than just perceptions of safety.

          2. i.e. although the model community was successful at getting people to bike more, it was more successful at getting them to think cycling was safe.

          3. I guess you could look at it as “only 13% and 22%”.

            Personally (considering where cycling is at generally in NZ) I would be saying “wow, it went up 13% and 22%! What a great result!”

            We are changing culture here and 60 years of being told that cycling is dangerous and impossible in NZ. In a rural area especially, I think it is nothing but positive. Imagine if proper resources were given to cycling in Auckland.

          4. > Personally (considering where cycling is at generally in NZ) I would be saying “wow, it went up 13% and 22%! What a great result!”

            My point isn’t about the absolute level of either – obviously, all of the statistics are good results for this project! The point is that people’s perception of cycling safety went up so much more than their actual uptake of cycling did, suggesting that perceptions of safety alone won’t be the only factor in radical increases in cycling share.

            One possible cause might be that the actual infrastructure is important, not just the impression of safety it gives. Or that other issues (quality of driving, price and availability of alternatives, cycle parking, population density, tradition?) are also part of the cause of Dutch and Danish high cycling share.

  3. I’m not convinced that he (the pedestrian) is in love with the girl, she likes to believe she loves him but also has a nagging doubt and thinks about her ex when making love.

    And yeah. I would rather wear gloves over a helmet.

    1. Yes, just like everyone who walks on DOC tracks.

      Maybe they should give two numbers: horizontal distance, and gross climb.

  4. I love those cycle signs. Nice upright relaxed cyclist…..
    and I didn’t notice the lack of helmet until I read the comments.

  5. Glad to see a post on these signs – I was riding along here on the weekend and saw the sign and thought, fantastic, a cycle route! Alas, very disappointing when I realised there was no cycling infrastructure at all on these routes. Great sign though, definitely like the ‘normal’ cycling picture. I think it is useful to point out that cost is really not the major issue when it comes to starting to make the streets safe and attractive for cycling, it’s all about transport mode priorities. So many streets in Auckland are wide, with parking on both sides, a gigantic median strip, usually four lanes, and literally no space for cycling without taking up the lane. Scrap the parking, scrap the median strip, or reduce to two lanes, any of which would be enough to make it safe for cycling (the cost of a bit of paint). Of course, to make it good would cost a bit, but to simply start the process and make it safe, virtually nothing. That’s the real tragedy I think – the complete priority, on every street, for cars.

    1. Well things are happening if slowly. You can read about two great developments on Upper Queen Street and Great North Road here: http://caa.org.nz/

      If you are passionate about helping Auckland to progress in cycling, Cycle Action Auckland is always looking for new people to pitch in.

    2. Think of the money we could save by getting NZTA to just put signs saying Road of National Significance on existing StateHighways instead of going to the bother of duplicating them….

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