As the saying goes, ‘Bikes Are Climate Action‘. Using bikes for short trips is a key part of how we can cut down on unnecessary driving in order to lower emissions. But you still hear people in New Zealand doubting how ready we are to seize this opportunity.
It’s fascinating how contradictory the takes can be. Things like:
- “well, not everyone can ride a bike” – while readily agreeing that learning to ride is a major universal and also magical/ super-‘grammable childhood milestone
- “oh it’s just not part of our culture”, while enjoying all those cute ads on TV that feature diverse groups of kids on bikes as shorthand for a great Kiwi neighbourhood
- “yeah but the weather”, while also loving the great outdoors and the fact we live in a place where families regularly strap bikes to the car and head out in the weekend to voluntarily get a bit muddy and wind-blown
- the old classic “but you can’t do x,y,z on a bike”, while simultaneously turning a blind eye to the existence of both cargo-bikes, and furniture-moving trucks and buses, which suggest maybe you can’t always do some of that stuff in a car, either.
- plus the new all-time classic of “bloody hell, where did all these people on bikes come from, and how great is this??” during Level 4, when streets all over Aotearoa simultaneously quietened down and livened up.
Judging by the number of bikes out there, people are more afraid of riding in normal Auckland traffic than they are of a global freaking pandemic
— geogoose (@geogoose) March 30, 2020
Reckons galore. Clearly, we need some data. So it’s exciting that New Zealand pops up on some eye-catching graphs in a new paper in the journal Nature, which looks at the ownership of bikes and cars in various countries.
Turns out, per capita, we’re kinda up there! We own about as many bikes each as the French, and almost as many as Germans…
And when it comes to car ownership, we’re second only to the US, per capita. Go us?
This combo tends to cancel out the benefits we could be enjoying when it comes to using our healthier sets of wheels. That’s because we’re a Type 4 country:
The type 4 countries show the highest car ownership level and a high bicycle ownership level, which is 142% and 140%, respectively, higher than the global median in 2015. These countries (the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand) have vast land areas and cities with relatively low population densities, forcing residents into a car-centric lifestyle and resulting in unsustainable mobility patterns.
In other words: it’s not the number of bikes in the shed, it’s what you do with them that counts. It’s like we know what (and how!) to do, but we can’t quite get the rubber to hit the road… yet.
Look – this urban cycling thing.
Sometimes it feels as if NZ politicians & planners & sector spox & pundits are working together to shield us from the reality of how cycling is *literally* changing the world.
But Aotearoa, they can't hold back the tide indefinitely. pic.twitter.com/LEGq0tAzSs
— Jeff "you really should watch Fire & Fury" (@mrJeffHowell) August 24, 2022
It’s interesting to put this data alongside a recent Ipsos survey that looked at 28 countries. Turns out, we’re smashing it per-capita, again!
This chart in particular needs to be stapled to the wall above the desk of every transport planner and politician in the country.
But don’t get too excited just yet: sure, New Zealand has one of the highest rates of people who know how to ride a bike – but one of the lowest rates of people who actually cycle. The key stats:
- 82% of us know how to ride a bike, second only to Poland and well above global average
- 35% own a bike we can personally ride (plus another 4% use bikeshare)
- 18% regularly make a short bike ride (<2km) at least once a week – that’s half the global average.
Also, we’re almost twice as likely as other places to use a car for short trips… even while agreeing strongly that cycling is important for reducing emissions.
And yet, encouraging! Because all of this data underscores the huge latent potential across Aotearoa for mode shift to less-polluting modes.
Especially in our cities: the Ipsos survey found that city-dwellers in New Zealand are more likely to cycle more often, and more supportive of cycling infrastructure. This is great news, because cities are where there’s the most potential to switch everyday short trips to make a definitive dent in our greenhouse gas emissions.
This great urban well of potential chimes with recent research by Waka Kotahi, which found:
- 60% of urban New Zealanders see cycling as a great way to get around town
- almost three quarters of urban New Zealanders support cycling in their communities
- and it’s socially reinforcing: those who cycle more frequently are more likely to have friends, family or colleagues who cycle
- only one in three (35%) say access to bikes is a barrier.
The key barrier – surprise! – is perceptions of safety – and this goes for both those who already cycle and those who don’t yet. The good news is, it actually doesn’t take much to boost those perceptions of safety. The key solution – surprise! – is infrastructure.
Says Waka Kotahi: “even the most basic cycling infrastructure helps people feel a lot safer”. For example, of those who are physically able to cycle, 37% say they’d feel safe on a road with no cycle lane, that rises to 58% on the footpath, 64% on road with painted cycle lanes, 65% where speeds are 30km/h or lower, 68% on shared paths, 69% on roads with protected cycle lanes, and 73% on quiet streets.
In other words, by reshaping our streets so there’s protection on busy roads, safer speeds (30km/h is the sweet spot), and quiet local roads, we can maximise our per-capita bike skills and enthusiasm.
So… what are we waiting for?
What parent wouldn’t want this for their kids?
How exciting that to tackle the biggest crisis’ we face as a species, all we have to do is make nicer places to live. https://t.co/O2GxV8LodK
— Chris Boardman (@Chris_Boardman) February 19, 2022
Header image: Point Chev Bike Train crossing the road on the way to school.
While we’re on the topic of infrastructure, some good news as this Saturday Ngā Hau Māngere, the replacement for the old Mangere Bridge is being officially opened.
There’s a beautiful article over on Bike Auckland by Barb Cuthbert about the exemplary history of the project, and the origins of its design and its name:
Every now and again, by a sheer miracle, we have a cycling project in Auckland that seems to hit a sweet spot. It moves like magic from inception, through concept to funding and design, a contract is let, construction begins and progresses to completion.
So if you’re wanting something new to check out on wheels, it’s the place to be this weekend – the action happens 12pm-2pm on Saturday.
Travel note: You can take your bikes on the train to Onehunga, and make your way towards the bridge. The roads between the station and the bridge aren’t great, so families and less confident riders will want to cross the road twice and use the ‘shared’ footpath on the west side of Onehunga Mall. Some good tips in this Twitter thread.
If you’re coming from central or West Auckland, you may be able to ride most of the way via excellent off-road paths. For example, the new New Lynn to Avondale Path feeds into the Waterview Path which feeds into the path alongside SH20, which then takes you down the steep Hendry Ave hill towards the waterfront paths of Taumanu Reserve. (See AT’s cycle maps here).
If you’re feeling even more adventurous, you could visit Mangere Bridge village for lunch, and explore the southern shore: see the spring lambs at Ambury Park, which rolls into the Watercare Coastal Reserve path.
In each case, do take care on the local roads, especially if you’re riding with kids. And take a moment to picture how cool Auckland would/will be, once all our streets are made safer for all those bikes we know how to ride.
One question – how many of those bikes owned by NZ’ers are ones suitable for cycling around town?
I know we have 2 mountian bikes at home but they aren’t all that comfortable in town with traffic due to the angle the rider site at. Proper racing cycles even less so.
Cycling with a proper upright town bike was a much nicer (and safer-feeling) experience in traffic in town, so just curious how many of the NZ-owned bikes fit that category.
Bruno,people buy things that work best for them,if there was proper safe cycle infrastructure in most of our cities,the proportion of urban bikes would dramatically increase. The current bike stocks I’m sure,would exactly reflect,the environment provided for their use.
And of course new bikes, while by no means necessarily “cheap”, can be bought new for much less and produced in greater numbers than cars. So that transformation can easily happen over a couple years, rather than the decades it takes to change the vehicle fleet to something (slightly) safer and less polluting.
The current bike stock also reflects what bike shops are selling. You still don’t find a lot of upright bicycles in shops.
You do find a lot of things called “commuter bikes” that are useless for commuting. Go to any of their web sites and there is bike after bike with no mud guards, no lights, no luggage rack, etc.
Yup – the “commuter bike” category always seemed weird to me when I lived in the UK – basically a racing bike with straight bars. I wouldn’t want to commute on that – where do I put my stuff?
If you want racks, mudguards and lights in NZ, the best thing is to buy an e-bike; for some reason they are much more likely to come fully equipped.
I have a number of bikes, all mountain bikes, but some assisted and some not.
[The remainder of the comment has been deleted by admin for breaching user guidelines.]
Use follows infrastructure, as the people at Waka Kotahi clearly know, see above (after all Induced Demand is their whole business model). We have the current bike use pattern we have built for, ie very little.
This has been a decision and can be, should be, changed. The current condition is neither inevitable nor permanent. We have free will. We can, and should, change policy all the time.
If the “true “cost of owning and running a motor vehicle was sheeted home to the owner,alternative travel methods would be quickly adopted.
“balance the cost against the knowledge that only a small percentage of the population will ever use it.”
That’s very much your opinion, and one which all the evidence directly contradicts. You’re right that disconnected fragments of infrastructure aren’t always well utilised, but you cannot infer from that that people wouldn’t use a well connected and complete system i.e. safe infrastructure from origin to destination. Having a nice travel section that is inaccessible from your home and doesn’t go where you need to get to isn’t going to be well used. That applies for any transport mode. However, when the streets are safe for cycling, they are well utilised everywhere this has been done (see the Netherlands, Denmark, France, Belgium, parts of Melbourne etc etc). There is just no evidence to support your claims at all. Surveys in NZ consistently show that people want to cycle as transport but don’t because the streets aren’t safe to do so.
I ride on the NW path most days, I also know many people here in West Auckland that live within a few hundred metres of it but are terrified to ride a bike on the roads leading to it. One path is not a useable network
A path is just a path, but a network is a network.
Transport planners don’t always understand this, portraying new cycleways as an end-to-end path (like a bus route), as opposed to a link in a well-connected grid.
Why does evidence go right over some people’s heads so they just continue to spout bullshit?
Hi Admin, can you reverse the deletion here?
You can trust the regulars to thoroughly answer this comment.
It didn’t seem offensive, just opinionated.
See user guideline 5.
Good question, and good point.
I’d say, at a guess – and going by the bike racks at my local primary and intermediate and high schools – that 100% of the bikes kids currently own are suitable for biking to school and enjoying it. So, that’s a good start 🙂
Those bikes you mention are what most people commute with in Denmark and The Netherlands, they aren’t really suitable for hilly cities like Auckland. They’re really heavy, often have fixed or 2-3 speed gearing. I wouldn’t want to ride one in Auckland.
Fortuantely technology has moved on and we have 10 speeds now. Those utility bikes in the likes of the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark often use internal hub gears as they are low maintenance, and a 3 speed is cheaper than a 10 speed, and if you only need 3 gears then you save the cash and buy a 3 speed. If you need 10 gears, like in Auckland, then you buy a 10 speed. (or actually 7 speed for the budget Shimano options)
If we take a look at the popular Dutch brand Gazelle, you can see most of the bikes come with 7 or 8 gears nowdays, even the ‘Classic’. Only a few offer 3 speeds.
Theres plenty of aluminium framed options weighing in around 17kg, the same as your typical mountain bike.
Just to add to your list – the Kiwi campgrounds – slow speed, children roaming freely on their bikes whilst parents enjoy kicking back with a drink in the sun. And then they come back to the city and complain about anything that might support a similar lifestyle.
Excellent example, ta!
I remember a presentation by a colleague who would say, “don’t ask people what they want, ask them what they like.”
Love this, gonna put it my pocket for future use, thanks!
Here’s what’s possible,
It says the Dutch cycle on average 2.6 km per day per head,not even difficult,if ever there was a build it(reallocate it) and they will come moment,it is now. You can only hold back the tide (river)for so long,as we are being constantly reminded by mother nature.
Nelson is one of the more progressive cities in NZ,re climate change action,but has been dumped on, will it take a high court judges house in Wellington,to slide down the hill,to finally make the point.
The Netherlands are small and flat. You can drive from Amsterdam to Germany in about an hour or cycle there in a long afternoon. The entire country is about half as wide again as the Auckland supercity is long. The population density per square kilometer of Amsterdam is about 10x that of Auckland (or more depending on what include as Auckland). The radius of the ring road around the downtown area is about 4km. Apples and oranges with respect to Auckland.
Land use responds to transport investment. NZ’s history has been of really incompetent car dependent planning that led to longer distances and sprawl, but the Netherlands also had a history of car dependent planning.
All the evidence points to the same thing: we can quickly shift the travel options available to New Zealanders with investment and regulations that are more focused on people and less on retaining the status quo. E-bikes shrink distances so we can quickly shift modes and reduce vkt, freeing up the roadspace for people who do need to drive.
Sorry M, since the advent of the e-bike, “it’s too hilly here” has limited validity. In fact, it is a cycling fallacy.
It was a fallacy even before. Evidence?
a) we had a significant (like more than a magnitude more) cycling mode share well into the motor vehicle age, and even more during the early motor vehicle age. Looks like people cycled up those Auckland hills quite okay in the past.
b) significant parts of Auckland – say big parts of Manukau – are rather flat. Yet, surprise, surprise, have as low, or even lower cycling mode share than the hilier Isthmus. Mmmmh. Maybe there’s not even a correlation here, let alone a causation.
The density of Amsterdam is nowhere near 10 times higher than Auckland’s in any fair comparison and the ring road around Auckland’s dowtown is approximately 1 km. If you pick dishonest comparisons you can make Amsterdam seem very different to Auckland. The only important difference is that cycling is safe on 100% of roads in Amsterdam and <1% of roads here.
There’s a huge ring motorway around Auckland’s downtown area? Interesting. We must get Google to map it so people know where to find it because darned if I’ve ever seen it. But back to reality, having a non ring motorway that does act as a strict bypass to downtown Auckland from north to south is not a bad idea should one ever be constructed.
And if you’ve been to Amsterdam and walked around and been to downtown Auckland, yep, they’re different. There’s only one of the two I’d recommend a tourist do.
“Exactly this” is in reply to Sailor Boy’s sense, not M’s nonsense.
“And if you’ve been to Amsterdam and walked around and been to downtown Auckland, yep, they’re different. There’s only one of the two I’d recommend a tourist do.”
It sounds like you’re arguing that Amsterdam is better than Auckland. Glad you’re on board. Let’s pedestrianise half the city centre, make another third one way and 20 km/h max speed, and build separated bike lanes on the remaining streets. Then maybe Auckland can be a place nice enough to recommend to tourists and a lot better to live in.
And windy, don’t forget windy. For the windmills.
We’re talking about journeys of 5km or less within the urban areas where 70% of NZ’s people actually live.
It’s 200km from Amsterdam to Essen, the nearest proper German city.
A 10 hour bike ride is understandably not everyone’s cup of tea.
Note that its about 2.5 hours by car *or train*, so you could ride to the station, read a book or snooze for a couple of hours, then take a spin around Essen on the bike you brought with you.
Good luck getting to Taupo in twice that time by bus.
“Let’s pedestrianise half the city centre, make another third one way and 20 km/h max speed, and build separated bike lanes on the remaining streets.”
Yup, because those are the things that make Amsterdam an interesting place to visit.
Throw in some museums, canals, historic buildings and some actual street life rather than an urban wasteland with added bike lanes and one way streets and you might be on to something.
You talk like “making it easy for people (not cars) to get to and around a place” and “likelihood of there being cool things to do there” are unrelated. Hint: Where people like to go, things happen and vice versa. It’s a virtuous cycle. Bike lanes and pedestrianisation are not the cause of good city centres – they are one of the many tools to get there.
Buddy, you can’t have streetlife if the whole street is dedicated to allowing motorists to drive to the next red light as fast as possible..
You talk like “making it easy for people (not cars) to get to and around a place” and “likelihood of there being cool things to do there” are unrelated.
Nope, not at all. I’m simply saying if I had a magic way to get to Queen Street in a minute flat I’d probably never use it, unless I had a job in Queen Street or some other rat race reason to go there. There are dozens if not hundreds of other places in Auckland that are much nicer to go than Queen Street if recreation is your goal and urban canyons are not your thing. They are places I’d actually send tourists.
The only people who would say “Woah there buddy Queen Street can be the next Amsterdam for tourists if we only add a few bike lanes and make it one way” are really missing something in their analysis and have presumably never been to Amsterdam, and possibly not been to Queen Street.
“Nope, not at all. I’m simply saying if I had a magic way to get to Queen Street in a minute flat I’d probably never use it,”
Congratulations on being part of a special minority of the public. People love city centre because they contain more “museums, canals, historic buildings and some actual street life” than anywhere else.
Let’s also ignore its one of the biggest retail and employment areas in the region, contains the universities and other learning institutions, and the major hotels, etc, etc.
Yeah, seeing as you don’t go there, no one else would obviously need to…
“Let’s also ignore its one of the biggest retail and employment areas in the region, contains the universities and other learning institutions, and the major hotels, etc, etc.”
You’re making a point of “must” vs “want”. I commuted by bus to university back in the day, because that was the option not because there was much redeeming about being in downtown Auckland. I also lived there. I also commuted by bus to an office there because the job opportunity was just too good to miss.
Some 22% of New Zealanders surveyed now they have had a taste of work from home say they wish they could do it forever. An additional 46% would like to do it several days a week. A further 21% state they would like to do it several times a month. Only 11% think it’s a wonderful idea to be in the office every day. 73% gave ditching the commute as their primary reason for wanting to work from home and reduced carbon footprint was cited by 23%. There’s significantly more demand for “Don’t make me commute” vs “Hell yeah let me commute”.
But that’s also not a precisely relevant measure as we have no idea of the geographical distribution of the respondents or where they work. The reality is that a significant number of people who commute to downtown Auckland each day likely wish they did not.
But that is also a bit orthogonal to the question of would you go there for recreational purposes. Many have a rat race reason to be there. Do they then go/stay there recreationally or go somewhere nicer? Do others who don’t go there for work or education see it as a desirable destination?
Perhaps all those saying “Lets find another way to commute” have missed the higher level question, “Why the heck am I commuting?”
Sure some people have jobs that can only be done on site. But a fairly significant number do it because that’s the way it’s always been, or because their management can’t get their head around managing remote work even though covid has shown the job can be done remotely.
“Must vs want”.
I made no distinction at all. My point was lots of people go to the CBD for lots of different reasons. Some have to, some choose to, most have a combination of both depending on the driver (work vs leisure). Just because you don’t want to go is nice to know (not really), but irrelevant in the broader scheme of things. The CBD – and Queen St is pretty much the georgraphical center of that – is a significant destination for all sorts of reasons, probably the largest in the region.
And noted on what people would “like” to do re a working location strategy. I would like a Ferrari too, but…
“But that is also a bit orthogonal to the question of would you go there for recreational purposes”
Shows, concerts at Vector and smaller venues, Art Gallery, Museum, Boat shows at the Viaduct, higher end restaurants, luxury shopping, Xmas parade, Americas Cup and other sailing events…..we could be here all day.
I’m not suggesting Auckland CBD is Sydney/London/NYC but to suggest there is no recreational activities people might want to visit is absurd. And why single out recreation? Its the recreation, workplace, learning and resident movements all together that should be considered.
What’s M even saying? That he doesn’t like Queen St? That’s good, isn’t it? I for one am glad I won’t see him there.
He also makes a good point that not everyone wants or needs to go to Queen Street. That is a reason to upgrade and pedestrianise smaller centres, too! Takapuna, Northcote, Onehunga, Newmarket and Quay Street, Princes Street in the CBD. Mt Eden Village, Ponsonby, … the list could go on and on 🙂 That would enable a lot of people to bike to interesting places.
“Cycling infrastructure in [my] area is excellent”
NZ: 53% — I find this surprising, since we still have to invent basic stuff like bike lanes that actually continue across intersections.
Belgium: 33% (second from bottom) — not surprised by this at all.
The other thing that I find surprising is that 18% regularly make a short bike ride (<2km) at least once a week. If it is that high I would have thought it would be much more common to spot cyclists than it actually is.
Is Auckland is significantly more hostile to bicycling than the rest of New Zealand?
We certainly have lower rates than some of the other cities like Christchurch.
But I’m noticing huge numbers of bikes at going home time, these days. You do have to choose to notice them and stop just being aware of the big noisy cars and trucks.
From the census, residents cycling to work is around 5% in Christchurch, versus around 1% in Auckland. So that supports the assumption that Auckland is unusually hostile.
I find it easy to notice cyclists especially because they are so uncommon. If you ride a bicycle to work you quickly learn to recognise the 1 or 2 other people who also commute by bike. Riding or walking on a sunny weekend afternoon can be a surreal experience, it is common to have not a single other human being in view.
Auckland is highly car dependent and many people find cycling to work difficult to comprehend. If the city was more compact, active commuting would be easier for more people. Some local government politicians see opposing cycleways as good politics, especially since the number of cyclists is low. On-street parking is virtually free ($70) so there is substantial opposition to its removal.
I took a drop in pay so that I could take up a job only 5km from home.
It was a rational choice, but also a lucky break.
I can ride every day, or jog it if I’m feeling hardcore.
Worth every cent.
That new Mangere Bridge looks stunning. Looking forward to cycling across it.
Now – how are we going to stop motor scooters crossing? And those little 50cc motocross bikes? Already a problem even with security guards.
Maybe they should convert the one under the motorway to motor scooters????
These figures quoted might have well been plucked out of the air. Misinformation deluxe.
82% of us know how to ride a bike, second only to Poland and well above global average
35% own a bike we can personally ride (plus another 4% use bikeshare)
18% regularly make a short bike ride (<2km) at least once a week – that’s half the global average.
Please provide your evidence to justify saying the figures “might well have been plucked out of the air”.
I think the comment was plucked out of the air.
Plucked out of somewhere.
There are a few surprises in there.
For instance, only 2 out of 3 people in the Netherlands knows how to ride a bicycle. Really ? ? Note that this number is lower than the number who owns a bicycle that they can ride personally.
What are the chances that this statistic in the Netherlands is not higher than the global average?
When going to school in the Netherlands I learned how to ride a bike (on school grounds) and then had an ‘exam’ of riding a route through town, where you were judged at intersections (incl. roundabouts etc) as to how safely you were navigating them.
This might have changed since my young years, but the 2 our of 3 seems very low.
I hope they are going to fix the public toilets at Mangere Bridge before Saturdays opening out of three one is closed another the door doesn’t lock leaving just one which is useable. I am going to miss the old tunnel in the motorway at least on rainy days like today. Looking forward to a walk across the new bridge on Saturday so hope the weather is fine else will use a brolly. 36 bus from Papatoetoe winds around a bit but you will get there with no cycling drama.
Ye gods, the knuckledraggers have come to visit.
Good grief, what is it about posts on how it’d be nice to make it okay for more people to ride bikes if they want to, that attracts the frowning reckons-havers? Is it a flies/ honey/ vinegar thing?
And all sorts of excuses as to why we can’t cycle here, when the problem is we have made it grossly difficult/dangerous. It isn’t a little rain or hills.
Status quo warriors like to throw around the whataboutisms to say that we can’t have cycling infrastructure or better PT unless every trip ever can be done by that mode better than by car. Well, we don’t need everyone to cycle or take PT, we just need more people to do it.
They also like to go into minute detail about how their single circumstance can’t possibly be served by bike/PT. Well, people change circumstances to align with the possibilities they have. More possibilities, better circumstances.
The minute detail is because they can’t imagine a scenario where they’re not the centre of the universe.
Need a campaign to highlight how pathetic adults are when they turn their confusion, guilt (or is it fear maybe) into stopping stuff that kids need.
1 car, 8 bike household here.
And maybe drive there first, eh? What an attitude.
No one was cycling in Auckland today ⛈
They most certainly were.
Hi I am no one, enjoyed my ride today, windy and wet but still good, saw a kotare they are my favourite.
Bless you Vinny, that comment made my day. Great weather for ducks, and for birdwatching!
Strange, I must have dreamed riding with my 1yo and 4yo to daycare today!
Clearly my family are angels. Cycling? No, it must’ve been flying, with bikes as decoration.
Why would anyone want to cycle in the wind and rain when it’s safer and more comfortable to travel by car?
I went past the new Mangere cycle bridge yesterday at 3pm and it was empty.
Jolisa – Great Article ! and a good read.
Greater Auckland : See you at the bridge opening on Saturday
Bring your bike or bring your excuses, they are pretty well documented at the start of the article.
Me? Im driving in – and there better be parking for cars at the venue.
Whats your excuse ?
I tried the Avondale / New Lynn cycleway for the first time. Parts of it were great but the signage round Avondale station is appalling – I just couldn’t figure out where the bike path went. That and a bunch of road crossings with barriers right across the bike path means I won’t be doing that route again. I will stick to the old bike path up to Maioro and ride the big dipper down Tiverton/Wolverton on the road in preference to using the new cycleway. FFS take a lane off Great North Road for bikes and be done with it.
That 82% of people know how to cycle is pretty suprising. We need more cycling imagery reflected in the (main) media to get people over the perception hump. Like the retirement village provider Ad with the couple on the e-bikes. Images might also help get over the negative comments in the newspaper letter to Ed section?
What I keep hearing from the disabled community is that emphasis on biking and bike infrastructure is alienating and marginalising to people who simply cannot ride.
Hopefully this will be one good piece of news for those in the disabled community https://at.govt.nz/bus-train-ferry/accessible-travel/total-mobility-scheme/ “From August 18 onwards, people holding a Total Mobility Card have been able to bring a support person with them for free when they travel on all AT Metro bus service”
The real question here is how to demonstrate really quickly the improved freedom that comes from repairing and resurrecting a biking network. We need to design with accessibility as the top priority, so there are no hiccups. It’s well past time that people facing accessibility barriers didn’t have to feel so scared that each change would make things worse for them. That problem is on the authorities; they’ve created it.
We do know that more people cannot drive than cannot ride, so repairing a bike network will improve accessibility.
We also know that amongst any disadvantaged group, the non-drivers are disadvantaged more, have less voice and face more problems getting the systemic changes made that they need, than the drivers in the group do.
The emphasis on biking and a bike network is critical. So is focusing on the details of what the people currently facing barriers most need. These things are fully compatible.
I would have hoped that, having rolled out the new bus network, the Council would now be rolling out improvements to footpaths and road crossings to make sure people can get to and from the improved public transport.
I would also have hoped that any changes being made to, for example, intersections, to accommodate pedestrians would include provision for future cycleway crossings, so there doesn’t have to be a rebuild in a few years time.
Yes, I am also hoping for world peace and a holiday on the moon.
Here is a group road ride from Tamaki Drive to the bridge opening event tomorrow https://www.facebook.com/events/1061695118040036/
Hope all you who like your bikes feel good knowing the 4kmfrom Petone to Nauranga cycle way about to start is costing $60 million + I want to see lots of you ride on it in a southerly in winter lol
Thanks Brian for the cycle hate. Good reading this fine sunday morning.
The $60M ($190M) cycleway comes complete with a free coastal reclamation, train and road coastal protection.
Waka Kotahi and friends working hard to deliver cycling infrastructure.
btw – Nga Hou Mangere – stunning work team NZ.
Who would ever bike in winter, eh? When it’s only 5 degrees out…
Tee hee. Pretty. Much every Christchurch school kid in the 80s. -6 deg and we out wool socks over hands and took off..
“To put it simply, the bicycle paths in Oulu are considered an important part of infrastructure… they make it a priority… Winter is a lazy excuse, used by ignorant people, to make the discussion of safe road infrastructure go away.”
With the elongated nature of “Auckland’ its totally impractical for anyone outside the central suburbs to cycle commute. All for reducing congestion but cycling is not the answer for a city the shape of Auckland. Public transport is even slower than congestion. Invest in proper arterial routes, not reducing them by adding cycle lanes that cause more congestion than they free.
All depends on where you are going to and from, not everyone is just heading into the central city- I ride a bike from Te Atatu Peninsula to the City – it is the best way for me ( health benefits, economic benefits, time benefits compared to PT and often car) I can also ride to workplaces I visit in Henderson and Westgate – I am lucky in having the NW Path close to home and my destinations. If we had a good network many people would have similar options to me or could ride to a good PT Hub. We can build better.
What makes you think everyone is driving from one end of Auckland to the other?
25% of trips are less than 3km, 50% less than 6km and 75% less than 12km. Cycling is totally possible for 75% of Aucklanders trips. Imagine what it would do to congestion
if Aucklanders felt safe and cycled 75% of their trips!