Cycling Politics Is Damn Serious Business

Written By: - Date published: 7:12 am, May 26th, 2021 - 73 comments
Categories: climate change, cycleway, local government, sustainability, transport, uncategorized - Tags:

This month it’s come to Wellington’s cyclist citizens rebelling one way to get cycleways in and in Onehunga car-unfriendly manoeuvres protested the other way.

In Onehunga, the pro-car-access vandals won and the trial was dumped.

Cycling in New Zealand is an urban guerrilla war encouraged by “tactical urbanism”.

Of course GreaterAuckland can see nothing but virtue and rosy-viewed necessity to it all irrespective of the grief everyone gets. They’re a clearing-house not an actual activist group.

Whereas groups like Bike Auckland and Bike Wellington are some of the most dogged and resolute activists I’ve encountered outside of a Treaty settlement.

In Wellington, there have been years of tensions between shop owners seeking to keep retail car parking, and the cycleway. Tacks have been strewn. There’s no money to fix the Island Bay cycleway issues it’s brought up even in the mighty new budget.

Yet away from the urban contests of cyclist versus shop owner, NZTA steams ahead with a massive cycleway along Wellington’s foreshore:

And in other parts of Auckland, major cycleways are complex works that have to tunnel under rail lines and navigate years of landowner permissions and safety audits:

Plenty can decry that it’s not like somewhere else in some European paradise, but fail to decry the abuse that Council staff get for trying to implement unpopular road designs for urban cyclists.

The contest is huge within our big bureaucracies, with both big setbacks:

… and big wins:

Since we are utterly dominated by the ease, speed, safety and convenience of the combustion engine private car, there will never be a time where this re-allocation of road space or budget for cycling gets easy. It is going to make people really insanely road-rage scale mad.

Sometimes I want Al Pacino to get down there to Wellington Council and do his Any Given Sunday speech crawling back one damn more inch of roadway.

Don’t knock local politics until you’ve had to stand up and defend a cycleway in public.

73 comments on “Cycling Politics Is Damn Serious Business ”

  1. mickysavage 1

    "Don’t knock local politics until you’ve had to stand up and defend a cycleway in public."

    Amen to that. My local board is in the process of installing a temporary cycleway in Glen Eden as part of our Greenways Plan. Already the attacks have started and they are full of the tired pro car arguments that are the latest front in the culture wars.

  2. roy cartland 2

    Maybe:

    …we are utterly dominated by [those who enjoy] the ease, speed, safety and convenience of the combustion engine [which their] private car [gives them]…

  3. lprent 3

    I brought an e-bike towards the end of 2017. Been mostly commuting on it ever since when I have been in NZ – rain or shine. I wrote about it at the start of 2019. It is now closing in in 3000km.

    About the only thing that causes me to take a car on my workdays is that the load that I am moving between home and work is too big or fragile for panniers.

    The grade is a bit easier since work moved. But the distance is a still about 3 km each way. Riding takes about 7-8 minutes each way. Driving takes at least 12 minutes.

    I use cycle paths, roadways when it isn't dangerous, and footpaths where I have to. For instance the slope from my place down Newton Road to the cycle way on Don McKinnon Drive / Dominion Road is full of jam packed cars crowded tightly during rush hours, and the road is too narrow for the existing car lanes when you have clumsy light truck bodies with poor all round visibility like SUVs dominating the lanes. It is just simply too dangerous to ride. Especially with the road works going on.

    Braving the footpath obstacles like badly placed works speed signs and inconsiderate rubbish bins on a footpath is way safer. Commuting pedestrians, bikes, and scooters all using that footpath don't seem to have too much of a problem with each other compared to those other obstacles. But a separated bike path would be a lot safer.

    When I stop working so damn hard, I intend to spend some time helping out on the local infrastructure – especially bikeways and getting rid of roadside parked cars that clog up the road areas. It seems ridiculous to me that we produce roads wide enough for 4 lanes and then treat half of that as being there to park cars all way. Look at View Road in Mt Eden for instance. I am weaving out a metre from parked cars to prevent car doors opening on me. In the process I’m taking a third off the driving lane and having cars and buses piling up behind me at 25km per hour.

    All this waste simply because people have a vehicle without paying for their own parking spaces. They expect ratepayers to do that for them.

    • RedLogix 3.1

      NZ does struggle in many places with road reserves that are too damned narrow to easily build bike paths.

      In Brisbane I could ride 6km to work and cross just two minor roads, both traffic free. Here in Perth I'm looking at a longer 15km ride that looks like most of it can be done on very safe and wide verges, or a dedicated shared ped/bike path.

      I can't imagine it would be easy to build anything comparable in most NZ cities.

      • Sacha 3.1.1

        NZ road reserves are wide enough for protected cycleways – if the historic free storage of private vehicles in public space is removed.

        There's the friction – well, until fuel costs escalate as carbon pricing bites, and public transit options get frequent and connected enough to rely on.

    • If we want to cut inner city car use, get rid of the roadside parking lane altogether. Even the paid ones.

      Got rid of most of them on Queen Street between Customs and Cook Street.

      During the Covid crisis the footpaths down this busy stretch of Queen Street were widened into the road by one lane, getting rid of almost all roadside parking spaces. This was done to allow pedestrians to be able to social distance. Walking down Queen Street today I see that these two lanes are hardly being used by pedestrians. Unfortunately the raised berms at the bus stops makes these lanes impossible to use for bikes and scooters. The scooter riders are forced to share the main footpath with the pedestrians.

      How about this; these extra lanes be extended all the way up to Canada Street and reconfigured into dedicated bikeways, skirting on the inside of the bus shelters, with mini traffic lights or barrier arms for pedestrians wanting to cross the bikeway to their bus stop. Fully seperating motor traffic and pedestrian traffic and bike/scooter traffic. I think that would work.

      How about we extend the idea even futher across Basque Park and all the way down Mt Eden and Dominion Roads. All the way to Onehunga.

      All public transport should have stowage space for bikes and scooters. No need for an expensive, (and never to be realised), sky path across the Harbour Bridge. Just stow your bike underneath in the bus stowage compartment for that part of the journey.

      The Northern Busway be extended across the Habour Bridge getting rid of this public transport bottleneck

    • alwyn 3.3

      I think it would be fair to modify your last paragraph as follows.

      All this waste simply because people have a vehicle bicycle without paying for their own parking spaces roadway. They expect ratepayers to do that for them.

      • Sabine 3.3.1

        Would it bet very hard to understand that rate payers also happen to be bicyclists, next to owning a car or several?

        • alwyn 3.3.1.1

          In both cases that is probably true. Whether they own a car, or cars is irrelevant. Car drivers are only paying for the roads when they are driving on them. They are paying for them through petrol taxes or road user charges. Electric car owners of course don't do so. However cars parked at home in the garage are not paying for the roads.

          Your comment should be addressed to lprent. He is the one who wrote the sentence. I just changed a couple of words.

          • Sabine 3.3.1.1.1

            I answered to your changed words :).

            The point is that all of us to some extend have and are actively financing the buildings of roads, and if i am a smart investor, i would rather that all modes of transport are accomodated, rather then force the whole country – and those that can't drive the guzzler legally for what ever reason – into the car by default.

            And always remember, every cyclist is one less car on the road.

            As for cars not paying when parked, well they should, as they take up considerable space that could be used otherwise, if not everyone needed a car.

            • alwyn 3.3.1.1.1.1

              We have a Councilor in Wellington to ban all cars, and indeed all vehicles with ices from the CDB. She thinks everyone should walk or cycle or use public transport.

              That is fine for her of course. She is young and fit. When you are about 23 years old you tend to think that way.

              However I am much, much older, I cannot walk very far or very fast. I use my car and I am very happy that they have disabled parking spaces. Without them I would have to use taxis. Neither walking, cycling nor, in practice, public transport will work for me. Take away my car and you confine me to my home.

              • Foreign Waka

                I come originally from a city where you could criss cross everywhere with a bike, public transport is second to none. But…its all on flat land and the roads are wide enough to accommodate all users.

                Not all cities in NZ are build on flat land where roads have enough width to accommodate bikes. Public transport…well I hope the City Councilor(s) repays the rate payer after one debacle after another. Maybe concentrate on waste water pipes instead. That would be a welcome change.

                Also, trucks are everywhere, even one lane roads that are just wide enough to accommodate traffic both ways. The network is just not build to have bikes on roads without casualties. To just say get cars off the road and have everybody use a bike instead is plain, sorry to say, stupid. I mean, how does a person get their groceries, get to the doctor, run errands etc. if living in semi rural areas far away from any amenity. What about delivery trucks? Not everybody is 15 years old, wears boy pants and plays rugby and rides a bike to work for 2 hours each way. How incredibly political correct impracticality and not to mention, unproductive. If roads are build for it, yep go for it. All power to it. But mostly, they are not. Who is going to pay for this to change? Right now its cars, are bike riders prepared to sustain the road network financially? I mean we are taking user pay here and the people driving cars pay for it. This has to be applied to bike riders and any electric powered transport because the cow that was milked for so long is being killed.

              • lprent

                Hey I'm almost 62. I ride because I have a worn out joint in between my foot and my big toe that makes it very painful to walk even a short distance. But that really isn't the point.

                What we are talking about is general parking. I'm perfectly willing to retain disabled parking – that has a distinct social need. What I as a ratepayer are unwilling to keep paying for are freeloader car owners taking up road space on congested highly traffic urban roads.

                If there is parking on those kinds of roads – like Dominion Road or View Road here – then cars shoukd pay for it directly and at a comparable rate to urban parking lot. The money can them be used for providing more transport to compensate for the wasted road space.

                The point is that cars parked on the road are using space that could be used for transport – ie what the funds provided by myself and other car users, cyclists, etc provide it for.

                Remember that the urban roads and other non-state highways are largely funded by rate payers. Outside of Auckland and the possible on-street parking lots funded by the regional fuel tax, I don't think that car owners directly pay for roads.

              • Sabine

                again Alwyn, i am not advocating anyones car to be taken away, that in my books is nonsense. In the same sense as i consider the taking away fo gasoline driven cars for the purposed benefit of one of hte socalled 'green electric cars'. Which in my books is also just feel good nonsense for the better off that can afford such a car, and who may actually will end up getting tax incentives to do so. Again, money for the rich. 🙂

                What i am trying to say is that if you look at commuting there are different needs and different ways to go about. I have cycled all my life, used trams and busses when younger, upgraded to bike/train for commuting and only once own a car when living in the sticks with no public transport.

                Like you i am getting older, and thus will be investing in an electic trycycle with a loader capacity. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/aug/25/cargo-bikes-berlin-four-wheels-bad-transport

                So what i am advocating for is decent roads for all users, and not just one type of user as it is now.

                And then again, a good reminder, everyone on a bike, on foot, on a scooter, or a mopet is not a car on the main road.

      • Sacha 3.3.2

        Those bike racks down both sides of every road are so annoying.

      • lprent 3.3.3

        Ah Alwyn – you're an idiot…

        But I am a ratepayer and a cyclist. I also have my own parking at home, and at work if I needed it. If I go to the supermarket or a mall, I use their parking – and then pay for it through the goods and services I purchase.

        What I am objecting to are the freeloader stores and individuals who expect me and the other rate payers who don't freeload to provide them with free parking.

        Stores should provide their own off-street parking and so should car drivers. This will free up the valuable and extremely expensive roadway for transport.

        Could you use your brain and actually argue against that rather than playing with your hands in an unsavoury manner (typing rubbish).

  4. Patricia Bremner 5

    Like many aspects of life, we get used to the status quo and get crabby when it is threatened by change. Our sense of entitlement is almost ridiculous when it comes to cars.

    We casually denigrate all other road users, truckies cyclists and pedestrians. We have come a long way since horse owners demanded car owners have a person walking ahead at five miles an hour with a flag calling "Car coming" in case they frightened the horses.

  5. weka 6

    Most of the pro cycling stuff I see (mainly on Twitter) is blatantly about designing for fit people who bike a lot. Disabled people and people who aren’t fit and others who find cycling difficult are either ignored or an add on. Eg I rarely see the anti car crowd talking about how a solo mum does her grocery shopping. In the rain. With a kid with a cold. This is basic basic stuff.

    I’m sure there are cultural obstacles in council and planning as well as the community but the overall impression I have is an inability to design public spaces taking all needs into account. I see it with seating in urban spaces too and wonder how planning process got to be this disconnected.

    • Wonder no more. Cars are profitable to oil companies, road builders and car makers, livable urban spaces and public seating and non drivers' needs is not. Right up until the point, where we start choking on our filth, and total bio-sphere collapse.

      • RedBaronCV 6.1.1

        A wider mindset would be looking at a much larger range of options than cycling to reduce car use

      • Chris 6.1.2

        Public seating is certainly linked to profitability: make public seating as uncomfortable as possible so that the homeless don't take a liking to it and scare away potential business.

    • RedBaronCV 6.2

      Thank you Weka for raising the wider picture.

      For me cycling has a place but active cycling commuters in Christchurch are about 13000 out of 300,000 and about 2000 in Wellington out of 120,000 plus the Hutt. I'm missing out recreational cycling because I would suggest that they compete for funds and space with other recreational pursuits. While it is green to cycle (or should that be it is green to have fewer car journeys) the spending still has to be efficient – the same money spend on an extra, free or cheap bus may well be greener still and be accessible to a far wider range of people.

      I certainly have grave concerns that cycling money (rates and taxes) is being over spent on a small group that is largely male 20-45 with time on their hands and few domestic responsibilities because I don't see much in the way of shopping or kids.

      Now to be truly provocative , just how green is it to hold up huge strings of traffic on a major route when the same distance could be walked with one's belongings in a wheeled shopping bag.

      And more – Wellington isn't spending $130 mill on a cycleway between Hutt and Wellington – the bulk of the money is actually to shore up the berm on the sea side for the rail lines and motorway with walking and cycling an add on. Given that a lot of people don't read the small print why it was presented like this isn't going to do a lot for cycling needs many would see this headline as massive overspend.

      If we want fewer car journeys, which is good, then why do we not at least run some soft campaigns around this. Plus some corporate giveaways of those handy wheeled shopping baskets. Work from home has probably done more for emissions than aany number of cycleways.

      • weka 6.2.1

        yeah, I'd love to see more on the range of tech available and how it might work for people who have specific needs. Still need to start with the actual needs. Why is this so hard?

        Agree on bus services, although the multiple health benefits of cycling are real too.

        • weka 6.2.1.1

          am curious how much of the opposition to cycleways is coming from shop owners, and nimbys? and how much is a fight outside of the public because so much of the public aren't part of the conversation.

          • Foreign Waka 6.2.1.1.1

            Actually, I would love to ride a bike but living semi rural with small windy roads, danger is not my middle name. The infrastructure generally, unless living in the unaffordable city center, is simply not designed for it. Public transport, well the only thing that springs to mind is … nightmare. I could walk some 20 minutes, take a bus that hopefully arrives every hour or so and get to the train station about 3/4 hours away. Then taking a train that hopefully connects or not, to go for another half hour right into town where I don't need to be. So have to take a bus back again (connect in time fill in here Y/N) and walk another 20 minutes up the hill to get to work. Time clocked if all works: 2 hours min. each way. Taking the car: 20 minutes. Given that I get up at 4am and hopefully hit the pillow by 10pm 2 hours each way is just too 18th century peasant time. So unless the public transport system is a heck of a lot better, I will drive thank you very much. Because I am not a city slicker nor a city councilor that can afford living next to the workplace just a 10 min recreational bike ride away. And I haven't touched on buying groceries or getting kids to school.

        • RedBaronCV 6.2.1.2

          There's exercise in running for the bus or walking to the shops. Yes cycling is exercise but I see that as a bit of a distraction – there are plenty of other ways to exercise that are somewhat cheaper. Gardening is our number one recreational pursuit – free plants?

          As to who is concerned about cycleway money – here in Wellington It’s quite a lot of ratepayers because we have to do the pipes (and most accept that) so we need high quality spending in every area and frankly the money being spent on a few thousand people covering a limited demographic who ride bikes doesn’t look particularly efficient or effective. I haven’t see anything much from the cyclists to back up the economics. Warm fuzzies don’t do it for me. They could catch the bus , instead of holding it up – that keeps cars off the roads.

      • Sacha 6.2.2

        Roading agencies also love slipping in extensive underground rebuilding and relocating of pipes etc into 'cycling' projects. Cue public outrage..

        • Foreign Waka 6.2.2.1

          Why do you think Wellington pipes are rupturing all over the place. I for one would be very much for City Councilor being held legally accountable if it involves basic services. I hope drinking water and using a toilet are part of that. sarc.

      • alwyn 6.2.3

        You tell us that "Wellington isn't spending $130 mill on a cycleway between Hutt and Wellington – the bulk of the money is actually to shore up the berm on the sea side for the rail lines and motorway with walking and cycling an add on"

        I have a couple of comments about this. Firstly your numbers are out of date. The figure is already up to $190 million. Still, what is a mere $60 million between friends?

        Then you say that the bulk of the money isn't for the berm. Even Genter only claims that there is $75 million for the land the cycle (and walking track) will go on plus the seawalls. So at a minimum we have $115 million for the cycleway. I refuse to believe that a seawall would cost anything like that amount. Why do we need a lot of flat land to build a 5 metre wide cycleway when a band of rocks between the railway line and the seawall would surely suffice.

        I regularly travel between Wellington and Petone. I always count the number of cyclists I see between Ngauranga and Petone. Last Sunday afternoon I saw two when going out to Petone and only one solitary individual when I returned. That is pretty typical. I cannot remember a single occasion in the last year when I saw as many as 10. Cyclists really don't ride there very often. They ride from Wellington around Oriental Bay and Evans Bay to Kilbirnie or Miramar. That is it.

        https://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/wellington/124964883/ngauranga-to-petone-shared-path-could-decimate-national-cycleways-budget-advocates-claim#:~:text=%E2%80%8BThe%20%24190%20million%20Ngauranga,each%20100%20metres%20of%20cycleway.

        • RedBaronCV 6.2.3.1

          Okay – didn't realise that the figure had gone up. The cycling crowd had better get their cost benefits for the cycling bit ready. That's a lot of schools and hospitals there.

        • Ad 6.2.3.2

          Many new cycleways are add-ons to larger projects. It's not uncommon at all.

          The Ngauranga to Petone coast is intensely vulnerable to sea surges and storms, which can disable the train system. Shoring up for higher climate intensity is a good thing all round for everyone's assets, and you get a cycleway on top as well.

    • Sacha 6.3

      I rarely see the anti car crowd talking about how a solo mum does her grocery shopping. In the rain. With a kid with a cold.

      Like other places around the world do – with decent pedestrian routes, reliable public transit services, and enough income to hire alternatives when needed.

      This is basic basic stuff.

      Yep. The most important protected cycling routes to build are the ones that can easily replace short car journeys to local centres. Yet our funding agencies are still obsessed with employment being the only valuable reason for a trip..

      You might enjoy this group if you are not already following: https://twitter.com/WomenInUrbanism

      • weka 6.3.1

        I follow them! but twitter doesn't show me their tweets. Have just liked a bunch so hopefully that will change things.

        Like other places around the world do – with decent pedestrian routes, reliable public transit services, and enough income to hire alternatives when needed.

        Why aren't these discussions at the forefront? I live in the rural SI, so I'm just seeing some of the cycling fans on twitter, occassionally following links. But RBCV's point about who current projects and discourse are for sounds reasonably accurate.

        • weka 6.3.1.1

          I'm guessing women in urbanism are similar in terms of ableism, but will try and engage in some convos with them to check it out.

        • RedBaronCV 6.3.1.2

          In most places in New Zealand we simply don't have the urban density for the sort of public transport seen overseas. Plus we are nowhere near as flat as a lot of countries. Cycling as transport needs to be an effective spend and if we are looking at short trips I don't see too many down at the local supermarket at the weekend. Plus short trips can often be walked anyway.- with shopping trundler.

          • weka 6.3.1.2.1

            Seems like lots of the debate is driven by people in Auckland and Wellington but it doesn't really apply to the rest of the country. Get to the rural SI, how exactly is 'get rid of cars' going to work? I get a bit frustrated with JAG's statements sometimes (again, twitter), because it looks like a focus on the big cities and I guess the rest will fall in behind. I'm much more in favour of designing locally, and then seeing how that can be done on a larger scale. And starting with the needs of everyone and seeing what comes from that. I despair sometimes at how far we are from this, but then I think about people like JAG and don't know how they're not tearing their hair out.

            • RedBaronCV 6.3.1.2.1.1

              It's the money that the councils are looking to spend in wellington. Get rid of cars or go electric? Keep ramming population into a few tightly packed main centres covered in rabbit hutches or do some newtown designing for whole new areas that existing ratepayers aren't subsidising. For a rural SI location I'm picking that hybrids or the longer distance electrics plus making sure the main road through town has an alternate walking , cycle option so the locals can go about their business in peace away from trucks and through traffic. A bigger looming issue for remoter places may be retaining sufficient fossil fuel services through any transition. Rather like the banks I can see them quitting ASAP.

    • RedLogix 6.4

      Look up electric cargo bikes, just one example. If this doesn't suit something else will. If there is one market in which you're spoilt for choice right now it's the ebike scene. (Although lead times are a bit extended at the moment.)

    • Sabine 6.5

      this you can get with tax incentives in Germany – trycycles which will allow to transport kids, gorceries and even doggo.

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/aug/25/cargo-bikes-berlin-four-wheels-bad-transport

      In Berlin, authorities were overrun by requests last year after the city senate opened up a pot of purchase subsidies for cargo bikes for private, shared and commercial use – €1,000 for those with electronic motors, €500 for pedal-only powered bikes. Within a day, the senate received 1,950 applications and had to draw lots to decide which eager cyclists could be rewarded.

      • weka 6.5.1

        I know what a cargo bike is. Germans in NZ were some of the first people to start using them here, years before the movement.

        thing I don’t understand is how a solo mum uses that on a steep Dunedin street, mid winter, black ice or hail, with a sick kid. Or she’s sick herself. Does she also have an EV at home in the garage for such special occasions?

        there are solutions to these dilemmas but we won’t get them by designing public space and transport systems around able bodied people.

        • Sabine 6.5.1.1

          I am not sure how a women in NZ would handle that, bjut as a women from germany i can tell you that we wear really warm clothes and the cylce along, steep hill or not.

          that is poverty, same as in NZ as in Germany.

          The point is not to design anything, the point is that one needs to make a start somehow, and then expand it. Atm, cycling is a dangerous activity for able bodied and differently abled bodies. And atm, the only ones that can expect some 'safety' on the roads are those in metal cages.

          My Nan in Germany cycled to her job as a cleaner and in winter she used busses when it got to cold that would be below – 10. And her disabled sister, my aunty Dodi, travelled on bus and trams all her live, she never had a drivers lisence, and she lost her leg during the war as a 16 year old. Both managed to get everywhere they needed and wanted too. But again, this is in a country that has good public transport.

          And fwiw, in countries that have ample cycle ways and the likes there is this here

          https://www.vanraam.com/en-gb/advice-inspiration/news/bike-for-disabled-people

          Bike for disabled people

          Research shows that many people do a Google search for an electric bicycle for disabled people. Van Raam produces special needs bicycles for people with a disability or a limitation. We see ourselves more as manufacturers of bicycles for people who have problems with a "normal" bike. We have several bicycles for disabled people and people with a problem when cycling. For this purpose we produce special two-wheelers, tricycles, children's tricycles, adult tricycles, tandems, duo bikes, wheelchair bikes, wheelchair transport bikes, a walking aid and a bicycle taxi for the transport of 8 children.

  6. McFlock 7

    Personally, I think cycling is a bloody stupid activity that wouldn't pass an OSH review if it had been invented only ten years ago.

    But the auto-crats on some councils are even more stupid and small-minded. Even if most cyclists are only fairweather riders, decent planning of location-appropriate integration/separation between vehicles and bicycles still reduces traffic congestion.

    There are a few councillors on my local council who are all for more parking and fewer cycleways. One moron had a social media campaign of photos of him standing in "no parking" zones saying they should be car parks – oblivious to the specific safety reasons for not parking there. Cyclists for them are a frequent target because a previous traffic change had the gall to widen cycle lanes. Since those lanes were widened, I don't think any cyclist has gone under a truck wheel, and I suspect we'd be overdue for that without the layout change (it was a not uncommon occurrence).

    Cycling is bloody stupid, but so are the folks who drive big 4wd tanks that haven't seen a chip of gravel.

    • weka 7.1

      what's that about though? I have my criticisms of how planning is going, but the whole anti-cyclist thing boggles my mind. Is it car culture? Macho rejection of men not behaving properly?

      • mac1 7.1.1

        Like EVs, bikes don't make lots of noise to act as a social attractant.

        • alwyn 7.1.1.1

          Indeed they don't. Cyclists however seem to expect pedestrians to know they are there when they rush up behind the pedestrians and pass them while riding on shared walkway/cycleway.

          Cycles should perhaps be required to have a flashing beacon and a beeper like the ones trucks have when backing to warn pedestrians that there are lunatic cyclists on the loose.

          I had my hips replaced some years ago. For some months afterward I was on crutches. I exercised at Oriental Parade which has such a shared area. I was twice knocked down by bloody mad cyclists who would come up behind me and pass at high speed and within less than 50 cms of me. I didn't know they were there and I wasn't very stable so my walk tended to be a bit of a wander. But they could see the crutches so what did they expect? Did they keep clear. Not likely7. It was their space and I was just a bloody nuisance to them.

          • Sacha 7.1.1.1.1

            Separated cycleways are a good investment.

          • mac1 7.1.1.1.2

            I have a hearing loss and I don't hear cyclists behind me until very close if at all, and I too have had a close shave in Oriental Parade while visiting. Bikes used to have to have bells. Our shared pedestrian/cycle paths have signs about giving warning and keeping left. Our cyclists also have to contend with dogs and a man I know got badly bitten recently in the thigh by a dog with an uncontrolled mutt for a master.

            • Sabine 7.1.1.1.2.1

              Yes, that is one thing that needs to be part of every bike, yet not in NZ.

              big steady white light on front of bike – non of that blinking shit that makes you blind at night.

              red steady light at the back of the bike – again, to show people you are there with out inducing a spasm thanks to strobe lights.

              bell, to advise people you are about to pass them.

              common courtesy, the understanding that if you ride on a shared way, the cyclist iss the one with the power and should give way and watch out for pedestrians.

              But then as i stated before, the same people that drive their cars badly also ride their bikes badly, its the lack of common courtesy and the knowledge of traffic rules that defines many.

              • mac1

                Thanks, Sabine. Here is the NZTA requirements for bicycles. =https://www.nzta.govt.nz/roadcode/code-for-cycling/equipment/

                No bells, though. You'll have to whistle for them. It does address the issue of distracting lights, though.

              • lprent

                big steady white light on front of bike – non of that blinking shit that makes you blind at night.

                I use a steady light on the front so I can see the potholes and surface imperfections in front of me.

                However my helmet blinks when I set it to that – which happens whenever I’m out after dark.

                With an e-bike, I’m usually travelling on the road at between 30 and 50km per hour (unless it is uphill). Car drivers, especially those pulling out of drives, side roads and parking have a horrible tendency to think that a little steady front light is either a vehicle far away or a bike moving slowly. They are demonstrably less dangerous to me when they see blinking lights. I seldom have to shout at the idiots who need their license removed at night as I brake to miss them.

                I also have functioning indicators and brake lights on the helmet.

                • Sabine

                  I had one guy come at us late at night, after 9, and he damn near blinded us with that strobe light.

                  Never seen this anywhere but here, but then i understand NZ drivers are dangerous.

      • McFlock 7.1.2

        I think much of it is local businesses thinking "cars" = "money", and cycleways are the first step to pedestrianised (or public transport only) streets in the CBD.

        Cycleways can also lower the number of carparks.

        What they don't believe is that decent mass transit and fewer cars can increase the number of people in the area, and the foot traffic.

        Small business owners are amongst the most unimaginative, conservative, and money-grasping folk I've seen involved in local body politics. But they will chase down any reporter in the area to give their uninformed, short-sighted opinion on plans that will be completed long after their retirement.

        • weka 7.1.2.1

          tbf, public transport in Dunedin has been a bit of a mess for a long time, so it's not like people have had good examples locally (or historically at least, I don't know what it is like now).

      • RedBaronCV 7.1.3

        Don't worry Weka. There is a lot of macho posturing from the cyclists too. There are ones in Auckland (known locally as the peleton) who ride as a very large group-mainly men- at a very slow pace every work morning around the eastern bays from St Heliers into town. They could catch a bus of course – would allow everything else to flow more freely but no that's not macho enough.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 7.2

      Cycling is bloody stupid…

      Just in NZ? Some wealthy countries appear to have high levels of cycling by choice.

      Cycling behaviour in 17 countries across 6 continents: levels of cycling, who cycles, for what purpose, and how far?
      Among the countries, the Netherlands has the highest level of cycling followed by Japan, Germany, and Finland. The lowest levels are in Brazil and the USA with about 1% mode share.

      2020 World Happiness Report
      Finland holds the rank of the happiest country in the world for the third consecutive year. It is followed by Denmark, Switzerland, Iceland and Norway.

      Used to cycle daily. Switched to walking 15 yrs ago – don't miss cycling, but it was good for me.

      • McFlock 7.2.1

        Well, if wealthy countries do it, it must be a smart thing to do lol

        For most places it's a leisure activity, not an affordable and efficient mode of transportation. Otherwise everywhere would look like Vietnam but with bicycles, not mopeds. Cycling is a conceit of privilege.

        Long before anti-maskers, a chunk of cyclists felt that what made them look stupid on bicycles was the helmet. And some still go so fast downhill that their helmet wouldn't even preserve the option of an open casket.

        And what about riding a form of transport that seems to require gyroscopic force to maintain stability, so they actually become less controllable the slower one goes. Sure, lets argue that this should be done on the same footpaths as old people, small kids, and prams. At least one can hear skateboards coming.

        I could go on, but you get the gist. And I don't hold that any of this means we should expect cyclists to be in constant fear for their lives simply because other folks live in terror of the slightest change in road layout or traffic management.

        • Drowsy M. Kram 7.2.1.1

          Well, if wealthy countries do it, it must be a smart thing to do lol

          Well, it may not be the smartest thing to do lol, but nor is it “bloody stupid“, imho – each to their own.

          https://can.org.nz/cycling-facts

          • McFlock 7.2.1.1.1

            None of that contradicted anything I wrote, though.

            Let's put it another way: Say that today I invented a new mode of transport that put almost completely unprotected humans onto roads at 30-50kph, and said the minimisation of the hazard of other vehicles was to hope the other vehicles kept a 1.5m gap when they overtook at up to 100kph (or to spend billions on separate travel paths across the country).

            How long before they write legislation to ban it, or find ways within current legislation to ban it?

            • Drowsy M. Kram 7.2.1.1.1.1

              Personally, I think cycling is a bloody stupid activity that wouldn't pass an OSH review if it had been invented only ten years ago.

              McFlock, I don't agree that "cycling is a bloody stupid activity“, probably because I often enjoyed cycling (from an early age), and because it was good for me – simple as that.

              Since you clearly believe that "cycling is a bloody stupid activity", we'll have to agree to disagree – OK?

      • Foreign Waka 7.2.2

        Drowsy M. Kram
        All of the countries having high use of cycles also have: appropriate infrastructure and roads (none of the gravel put on surfaces and the bike rider get sanded down) as well as EXCELLENT public transport. All the northern countries are frozen over and snowed under during winter and public transport is the other options. You even can take your bike on a bus/train ride. Apples with apples please.

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  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #22
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  • Ministry for Regulation targets red tape to keep farmers and growers competitive
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  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
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  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Government focus on long-term food, fibre growth
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  • Govt consulting on cutting red tape for exporters
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    22 hours ago
  • New Zealand and Philippines elevating relationship
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  • Paid Parental Leave increase to help families
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  • Defence increases UN Command commitment
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  • New Zealand to attend 'Summit on Peace in Ukraine' in Switzerland
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  • Big step forward for M.bovis programme
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  • Build To Rent opening welcomed by Housing Minister
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  • Luxon Tokyo-bound for political and business visit
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  • Bayly travels to Singapore for scam prevention meetings
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  • More help for homeowners impacted by severe weather
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  • New Zealand and Malaysia to intensify connections
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  • Ending contracted emergency housing motels in Rotorua
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  • First Home Grant closure exemptions
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    6 days ago
  • Faster consenting for flood protection projects in Hawke's Bay
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    6 days ago
  • Judge Craig Coxhead and Nathan Milner newest Māori Land Court appointments
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    7 days ago
  • Visit to Viet Nam strengthens ties
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  • ...
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