Written By: - Date published: 8:04 am, June 19th, 2018 - 54 comments
Categories: Environment, social media lolz, sustainability, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, transport, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: mike hosking
It looks like Mike Hosking is losing his mojo.
The Mike Hosking Breakfast Facebook page recently put up a poll “what do you think, are cycle lanes and paths good for the community?” I suspect he thought the vote would be a resounding No. After all how can you drive your Ferrari on one?
And he has gone on the record to express his visceral hatred for cycleways. As an example he had this to say in a recent Herald column:
I find it hard to believe what we are seeing when it comes to cycleways. Cycleways are by and large a waste of time – and I cycle, by the way. Well, not entirely. The tourist trail is good news. Specific places to explore, individual places where cycles can roam free, are no bad idea.
But cycleways have been ideologically captured by clip-boarders who can’t see the wood for the trees. It’s all theory, no reality. I have, of course, been saying this for years.
However, there are now – can you believe it – protests against cycleways. From Auckland to Wellington to Christchurch, people are literally on the march against dumb councils who don’t get it. Pieces of road and footpath sliced off and up – all in the vain attempt to convince us that cars are bad and bikes are good.
Bikes are good, but just not when they prevent cars moving or buses moving or people doing business.
In two separate parts of Auckland, that I am aware of anyway, businesses are screaming about lost custom as roads are chopped up and punters prevented from shopping.
Christchurch, same story. You can’t get in the door for all the road works. And when the road workers have packed up and gone home, as they did in their original major cycleway in Auckland, the famous – or is that infamous? – $18 million pink monstrosity in the centre of town.
When they’ve gone home, what then? No bikes. I look out my window every day. No bikes.
Lanes and infrastructure for people who will never cycle by.
It seems that Hosking’s view from his office may not provide him with a, shall we say, reality based impression.
Because it appears that more Aucklanders are cycling than ever before. This was posted on Auckland Transport’s website yesterday:
38 per cent of Aucklanders are riding bikes in 2018, according to Auckland Transport’s latest Active Modes Research.
That is up three percentage points on last year, with 518,000 Aucklanders now riding regularly or occasionally.
The research, which is done annually by TRA on behalf of Auckland Transport, continues to show cycling’s growth in Auckland.
“52,000 people started bike riding this year, compared to 46,500 last year,” says Kathryn King, AT’s Manager Walking, Cycling and Road Safety.
“We are seeing a lot of growth in areas where people have access to safe cycling infrastructure, especially around central and west Auckland.
“We are really pleased to see that the investment in infrastructure is translating into more people riding bikes, with half a million Aucklanders taking to two wheels.”
More people are riding bikes to and from work, with 19 per cent of Auckland bike riders regularly commuting. As well as work, many other key trips are being made by bike. During these trips, 69 per cent of people are stopping at local shops and cafes en route to their destination.
And it looks like the people of Auckland disagree with Hosking. Because an overwhelming number of them voted to support cycleways.