While we’re on the topic of silly things said in the media, there was another one late last week on Radio NZs The Panel. In the section where the panellists can raise a topic of their own Michelle Boag raised the issue of the Nelson St cycleway.
Or listen here
She is incredulous at Auckland Transport for what she says is deliberately causing congestion by adding a cycle lane to Nelson St. Here are a couple of thoughts about her rant
As mentioned this morning in the busy morning peak Nelson St moves about 6,000 people per hour – this will drop off the further north you go. At its widest points around intersections the road has up to six traffic lanes while in other places it has five lanes and a parking lane. This is more than enough space for the amount of traffic that the road carries – in part due because there are only so many people that can exit the motorway at any one time. Even the times I’ve been in a car in the morning peak I can’t recall a time when Nelson St was congested
Taking some space for a protected cycle lane is unlikely to have much impact on the traffic lanes beside it with the biggest disruption likely to be caused by the safety procedures needed for the construction than the cycleway itself. In saying that the old phrase “you’re not stuck in traffic, you are traffic” springs to mind.
One of the points of projects like the Nelson St cycleway is to give people a realistic choice how they get around. The more people cycling and using the new cycleway the fewer there may be on the road.
She talks about the old off-ramp but says she doesn’t know where the cycleway goes. Perhaps when she was asking Auckland Transport what the project was she should have asked about this aspect too.
One aspect she may not be aware of is the strong political support for the project from the government. In fact the project launch was also where they launched the first round of projects as part of their urban cycleway fund.
The comments also from Dr Brian Edwards were a bit odd. He talked about the need to keep cyclists and vehicles separate which is of course exactly what this project is designed to do.
For Michelle at least perhaps and extra five minutes spent googling may have saved her so much angst.