On my reliable commute and dipshits like Mike Hosking

Written By: - Date published: 9:24 am, July 5th, 2019 - 38 comments
Categories: cycleway, Economy, Social issues, transport, uncategorized - Tags: ,

Woke up this morning to read this on Stuff :-

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
* Big delays are expected in the Auckland CBD on Friday morning due to a section of Victoria St West still being closed.
* The busy road, between Nelson St and Hobson St, closed afternoon when a panel fell from an apartment building.
* Auckland Transport is advising people to consider using alternative modes of transport into the CBD.
* The weather will be slightly better than yesterday, with only occasional showers forecasted, mainly in the afternoon.
 
Meh! So what? It is still going to take me just 10 minutes to get to work, rain or shine. Looking outside it looks a bit ok… I’m not going to get damp on my ride today.
 
 
A couple of years ago, I’d have been interested in these kinds of blockages. When there is any blockage in the CBD or motorways, then Auckland crawls to a halt. Not just where the problem is, but back along roads 10s of kilometres away.
 
This is a direct result of piss poor decisions made by central and local government as a direct result of stupid short sighted dipshits – like Mike Hosking and his ancestral shock jocks more interested in their ratings than reality. 
 
But I cycle to work every day down the Grafton cycleway. It means that instead of taking between 15 and 45 minutes, it now takes 9-10 minutes. I pass over the people sitting in stalled or slow cars on the expensive motorway as I travel on cheap cycleways.  
 
Look at a Mike’s recent rant about bike paths. Mike is apparently a technophobe too ignorant to add a link (here is). 

There is not a lot to understand when it comes to the cycleway, it’s peddled (no pun intended) by zealots who are driven by ideology.

They operate on the “build it and they will come” scenario, except they have built it, and we didn’t come. When it all becomes obvious it doesn’t work it leads to anger frustration and upset for the rest of us who feel duped — hence the bikelash.

Ah no. It is mostly ‘peddled’ by cyclists and ex-cyclists who have been forced off the roads by fuckwit drivers who (apparently like Mike) who seem to be intent on trying to kill them.
 
I used to cycle to school in Auckland when I was a kid. Many years ago I had to give up and confined my cycling to the open road in the country. These days there are few parents who allow their kids to ride to school. It is too dangerous because of the cars. Instead they drive them to school – in the rush hours.
 
The number of cars on the road has increased dramatically in the last 50 years. The cars have gotten far larger. And of course the population has gotten far larger in Auckland.
 
It is a rare household today that doesn’t have the same number of vehicles as the number of adults with licenses. This is why the berms are illegally filled with parked cars and Wilsons parking taking in money hand over fist.
 
What hasn’t increased in proportion to the population and vehicles is the available land and road space. It never will. Land is simply too valuable to keep getting covered by bitumen for space hogging cars carrying a single person.
 
The same conservatives who will whine about the small amounts of room taken up with foot paths and bike paths, are also exactly the same whinging arseholes who don’t want to pay for expensive roads in cities. This isn’t hard to determine. All you have to do is to look at the expenditures on urban roads compared to the conservative nature of governments.
 
For instance it was no coincidence that roads planned by National’s “Roads of National Significance” were largely planted in the countryside.  But the great dearth of building urban roads in Auckland coincides with National’s proxy Citizens and Ratepayers controlling councils in the urban area.
 
Now look at what was actually said in the article Mike Hosking was referring to.

The team observed that opposition to bike lanes often erupted only when lanes were being built, when planners and bike lane supporters had assumed the job was done.

“The level of opposition encountered can genuinely take people by surprise, and it’s tapping into an underlying concern about change.”

From their interviews, they found strong support among the cycling community for new lanes, largely for safety reasons.

Yeah, that is right. Despite the large amounts of public notification, planning, meetings budget allocations and all of the other bullshit that slows down the actual creation of cycle lanes – the whining only ever seems to start when they get built. That is because whingers like Mike Hosking simply aren’t interested in their community or the actual hard jakka that is required to maintain society. Like other hard line conservatives like Mike, they are often unproductive parasites who are only interested in their own convenience. 

Somehow they appear to find it strange that other ratepayers would like to have safe places to cycle. 

And Mike, our court fool, was a simple liar when he said :-

Last time I wrote about this questions had been raised about estimates for some Auckland cycleways and the reality when it was actually measured seemed to bear little resemblance to what they’d forecast by way of usage.

Umm I remember that (and again it’d be very helpful if our fool could put in links).
 
The basic problem was that the raisers of the question apparently couldn’t read estimates, and in particular the time column. They were saying that the expected user numbers in a decade should be expected to happen immediately after opening. It is hard to take this kind of twaddle seriously.
 
The reality is that growth in cycling along bike paths is growing rapidly. It is also measurable because there are automatic counters on most of the paths. Greater Auckland blog periodically does posts on them. Generally most cycle ways start growing in users a few years after they’re constructed and then grow in percentage double digits year on year. 
 
What is noticeable is what happens when the final connections in the bike paths are connected up. An April GA post looked the North Western cycle way. 
 
Perhaps the most impressive, given it’s not coming off as low of a base as others and the constant growth it’s seen over the last few years, remains the NW Cycleway at Kingsland which is almost certainly benefiting from recent addition of the Ian Mckinnon Cycleway. To give a sense of scale for the increase, back in March-2011 just 11k were recorded at this location for the whole month. This March 40k were and this meant that during the month the 30-day rolling average peak at just under 1,400 bikes a day.
 
That is a lot of people off the roads using the space of a footpath. You can see the recent year on year growth. And I’m certainly noticing the increased numbers of cyclists where I intersect on the last part of the NW cycle way – especially at the terminating lights.
 
 
People like this person who has done about 7000 kms commuting and dropping the kid off. 

It’s been a year since I’ve started biking to work, and this is a summary of my thoughts and observations. I work in Newmarket and live in Te Atatu Peninsula. My one way trip is about 17.5km and it takes me about 35-40 mins. I cycle every workday.

Mostly they have cycle ways but..
 
I’ve only had a few experiences with being squeezed against the curb (generally buses along Park Rd) or really close passes, but it never feels quite safe to be on the road. I ride quite defensively – and when I don’t feel it’s safe to overtake me, I take the lane. I have been shouted at a few times, but I haven’t encountered other intentionally threatening behaviours.
 
Generally motorists and parked cars aren’t intentionally dangerous. They’re just careless and need to be segregated from other more vulnerable rate payers who aren’t interested in taking up enormous areas of roadways.
 
I’m a bit worried about this myself. Later in the year, work is moving to a different location and I’m going to have to ride on roads and semi-segregated lanes. But coincidentally, my preparatory new hi visibility helmet arrived this morning while I was writing this post…. 
 
 
 
In the meantime, I feel sympathy for those parked on the roads this morning. I’m heading off for my 10 minute commute with a lit up helmet.
 

 
Updated with a few editorial cleanups after I got to work. Helmet works great, turning signals and all. Not sure how well the automatic braking system operates. How am I going to be able to test it?
 

38 comments on “On my reliable commute and dipshits like Mike Hosking”

  1. Peter 1

    Isn't Hosking the one who wants all public transport canned? So everyone can enjoy the pleasure of driving themselves to work and observing all the others 'driving' to work? And parking, um, where?

  2. ianmac 2

    I must get a bell on my bike to warn pedestrians on shared footpaths. 

    In London some footpaths are dual use and they work OK but dedicated bike lanes are better. Some Underground Stations have huge bike stands outside the door.  So go the support for a NZ massive trend towards biking. And with a flash helmet like that even Mike could not deny seeing you as he tries to accidentally run you down.

  3. AB 3

    Compulsory Ferraris I say. Lacking the 'excellence' and 'personal responsibility' to afford one? Then die in a ditch loser! Roads are for winners (like Mike).

    And another great way of unclogging the roads would be if everyone worked less. Didn't some guy back in the '70's say we would all be working 10-hour weeks by now due to technology? Clearly Toffler was extraordinarily naive about the nature of capitalism – or believed that technology somehow transcended the economic system within which it was deployed.

  4. ScottGN 4

    I had to go to Ponsonby after work yesterday afternoon rather than straight home to Mt Eden, so I jumped on an InnerLink in Queens St and got caught in the almighty traffic shit-fight in Nelson/Victoria Streets. While I was sitting on the bus (like forever) watching the cyclists flying along the Nelson Street cycle way and wondering what the hell was going on it crossed my mind that of course my normal commute home i.e. train from Britomart to Kingsland station would have been completely immune to the chaos on the roads.

  5. Anne 5

    Hosking is the most selfish, self centred and ill-tempered "journo" in the country. I haven't read any of his contributions for years but feedback suggests he's worse than ever. 

    Look at his most recent tantrum over the demise of plastic bags. He doesn't give a damm about the awful consequences. All he's interested in is his own personal inconvenience. The rest of us get on with finding alternatives but no… he's too precious. He has to bellow his annoyance to all and sundry. In short, he's a narcissist.

    What's the bet he complained that he should be behind the pay wall too cos he's NZ's premium current affairs expert.

    • greywarshark 5.1

      Yet Hosking gets listened to muchly.    What does that say about a large number of NZs who must find him agreeable in his constant bad-tempered argument.    I think people who listen to him need to think for themselves, they might find they can become problem solvers instead of joining his followers who are all constipated, curmudgeonly cyclops.

      • tc 5.1.1

        TalkBack radio outlets like ZB and radio live are based on opinionators agitating and pitching memes. Their advertisers don't want the independent thinkers.

        Heard a piece in a cab from the mediawanks stable that would've had them seeing the authorities if broadcast in Oz.

        Wilfully inaccurate to manufacture consent with hand picked callers aligned. Immigration dogwhistling. 

    • Visubversa 5.2

      Hosking is an "Opinionist" rather than a Journalist. I don't know if he has any qualifications in anything other than kissing up to the NACTs.

  6. Blazer 6

    Hosking has clearly forgotten that the undisputed champion of cycle ways was his hero-John Key.

  7. Lucy 7

    Dedicated cycleways are OK but in Christchurch they all have curbs so people with mobility issues are effectively shut out of every area that has a cycle path. People with walkers have to use the precious energy walking out of their way to find a gap as do people in wheelchairs. To be honest the town planners have not taken into account the ageing population and the fact that in 10 years time the cycle ways should have been constructed to accommodate mobility scooters and wheelchairs as there will be more people using these than bikes.

    • greywarshark 7.1

      Ye Lucy so true.  Nelson has a big number of retirees but their needs are overlooked in the rush to get modern, and help non-car users.     We need to make it easier to get public transport, and have a toll system that starts to lessen car use for a start.    And shared pathways need to have median fences.    It has taken ages and tons of crashes for authorities to finally stop blaming individuals for not driving perfectly, and usually once they are up the crashes go way down.

      That the authorities are allowed to introduce fast moving mechanical devices on footpaths, in a city with many old people and where Green Prescriptions advise people to walk more for good health and a relief from stress.   The ability to do so has at the same time been jeopardised by thoughtless she'll-be-right planning; just a repeat of the bone-headed approach of not bothering to ensure suitable and safe lanes appropriate for users.

       

  8. Muttonbird 8

    Ironic that Hoskin's rant today is about centralising the health system and bemoaning that different regions set their own policy.

    Not that I don't think centralisation isn't necessary but it's odd to see him and Farrar champion the practise while railing against it so hard in other areas of social policy – education, for instance.

  9. Professor Longhair 9

    Hosking? HOLD MY F*#%IN' BEER!

    • WeTheBleeple 9.1

      LOL. I've often wondered how I'd react to him if he turned up in the audience. Possibly walk off and refuse to entertain him. Possibly bend over for the cheque…

      I think the size of the check is the determinate factor. We all dance for the organ grinder, but his is a particularly pernicious piece.

      • Now I'm curious Bleep. What sort of audience?

        • WeTheBleeple 9.1.1.1

          Comedy. You'd be surprised who turns up at times. I've had a hiatus but back at it now. 

          • Robert Guyton 9.1.1.1.1

            You're joking!

            • WeTheBleeple 9.1.1.1.1.1

              Recycling is in.

              • Robert Guyton

                New material from old material?

                • WeTheBleeple

                  Absolutely. I'm gonna recycle your beard joke on furry folk in the audience (passing cloud). Bloody good line. Impromptu, yours?

                  Heres one for the greenies. cheeky

                  Speaking of #metoo. Pandas are a pack of wife beaters. That's why they're not breeding. Give them a bamboo buffet and running water, ambient music, years to figure it out. Whadda ya got? Two black eyes, no babies.

  10. McFlock 10

    Hosking's a cock.

    That having been said, where there are no cycle lanes cycling still has the issue with either being squished by heavy machinery, or squishing people who are just walking along. That's just a fact of putting thousands of people together: someone will screw up and hit someone else. The trouble with cyclists is that if one is a jerk and acts like a hazard, there's no reggo to report.

    An interesting idea someone floated was to abandon "vehicle", "pedestrian" and "cycle" designations and run the same lanes as speed criteria: <10kph, 10-30kph, 30+kph. That would deal to new tech (e.g. scooters, "It") as well as keep everyone safe because speeder just flip into the next lane to avoid slower people.

    • lprent 10.1

      Would need wider roads and pavements to get the lanes and need to put a rego on the walkers as well.. But personally I'd prefer fully separated lanes with a barrier. It is a whole lot safer for everyone.

      I have had issues with some pedestrians on the combined cycle/walkway taking up the whole of the path in both directions going one way despite the clearly marked lanes, especially around the university. Apparently it makes talking to each other much easier when you are doing it 5 kids wide. But most pedestrians are pretty good about using the lanes, just as I am pretty good about how I use pedestrian pavements. 

      The only injury I have had so far was from my own inattention. Was crossing the off-ramp on Newton road just down the hill from home one very rainy night. Was  watching for cars, and missed a runner coming down the hill. Spotted him out of the side of my eye as I started to cross from a  standing start, jerked, and slid the front wheel out from under me. Belted my right knee on the road.

      Nearest to a serious accident that I have had was some munter on Don McKinnon drive on the old cycle/walkway. After dusk one friday night, on a blind corner, without turning his car lights on, he'd backed almost all the way across the cycleway from his parked position to try to get on to the road. I came down the hill on the bike at about 20km watching out for walkers in the cycle lane (the usual problem) and didn't have lot of time to react to a car lunging out backwards into my path. I think that the driver was rather startled as I started to scream at him. He certainly reversed direction and went out the correct way pretty damn fast.

      But it is a continual issue, especially at my age. Nothing heals particularly fast any more.

      I’ve seen some cyclists doing some pretty appalling things as well. Mostly going across pedestrians crossing with the lights against them. Frigging dangerous.

      • Psycho Milt 10.1.1

        I have had issues with some pedestrians on the combined cycle/walkway taking up the whole of the path in both directions going one way despite the clearly marked lanes…

        I got a broken bone in my hand out of that one – too old to be doing emergency stops when I come round a corner and find the path completely blocked by pedestrians 5-abreast.  

        • lprent 10.1.1.1

          Scares the hell out of me. These days I slow down before corners and try to contain my temper with gaggles of  young 'adults' trying to kill themselves.

          In my general accumulation of safety equipment,  I've ordered a programmable battery powered horn so I can give a good raspberry (or whatever else I want to plug in) as the 'horn' sound. I was thinking about programming the noise of a old diesel land rover and programming it to turn on loudly just before known blind corners..

          I'll be heading out more on to the road – I wonder what volume I can get off it. See if I can penetrate the thickness between me and car drivers…

      • McFlock 10.1.2

        Pedestrians like that piss me off, too, but I've never thought something like "holy fuck I would have been flying if that prick had been two inches to the left, I swear his caot brushed the hairs on the back of my hand" about pedestrians.

  11. Observer Tokoroa 11

    Crikey – I thought Mr Hoskin was a Mr Fixit.

    Look at the Mess he has got Auckland into! I think we are all hoping he doesn't go over the edge in St Helliers. There are enough dead fish there already.

    He has been hopping in and out of gentlemens pockets for years. And knows nothing of real life.  He goes under the famous Blanket of ZB.  It's time they washed and rinsed that smelly Blanket out.

  12. Shane 12

    Nailed it, thankyou for calling out this muppet.

     

    His article on marijuana legalization is almost as narrow minded and short sighted as this self centered opinion on cycleways. 

  13. Chris T 13

    Just out of interest

    You do realise a lot of people don't live a 10 minute bike ride from their work and have to live fricken miles away to afford a place and there are no trains or buses?

    • Rapunzel 13.1

      Who's faults that? 

    • lprent 13.2

      Oh yeah.  That is what I mean about conservatives being short sighted. I brought here deliberately because of the transport screwup I saw coming.

      Back in late 1997 I looked at how National and their proxy C&R had been running Auckland into the ground. I figured that they would retain control for some time in Auckland doing the same stupid things. Encouraging inwards migration, not putting in parking or roads, selling off critical assets, not fixing the public transport or water or sewerage and generally being short-sighted conservatives – whoc couldn't be trusted to not screw things up in the long term.

      So I brought a inner city apartment right next to the end of all of the motorways, near the hub of what public transport remained operating, and close to the largest concentration of work in NZ in my chosen field.

      I was right on.

      The only thing that was irritating was the leaky building crap  and the changes to the legislation requiring cavity wall when repairs were made to a monolithic wall. I also made sure that where I brought was properly inspected by the council – so the C&R arseholes would up paying for the repairs despite their stupid inspector privatisation. 

      I'd have also preferred to have a bit more area. But I couldn't find an apartment at the time with a larger floor area and a high ceiling.

      But when the traffic got to be a pain, I shifted to public transport for a while. Then I stopped taking jobs that were more than a 10 minute commute. I could do it because of forethought.

      Conservatives suck at forward thinking… Hosking is just a prime example.

  14. alwyn 14

    What were the estimates for the usage of cycling lanes prior to them being built?

    And what is the usage now? You appear to know the numbers. Why not provide the people who don't remember ever having seen them? Not everyone reads the Herald you know, and I presume they were published there. Then we could have someone who follows the approach recommended in this post.

    "Umm I remember that (and again it’d be very helpful if our fool could put in links)."

  15. instauration 15

    LP – why are you so CBD centric ?

    "Oh yeah.  That is what I mean about conservatives being short sighted. I brought here deliberately because of the transport screwup I saw coming.

    Back in late 1997 I looked at how National and their proxy C&R had been running Auckland into the ground. I figured that they would retain control for some time in Auckland doing the same stupid things. Encouraging inwards migration, not putting in parking or roads, selling off critical assets, not fixing the public transport or water or sewerage and generally being short-sighted conservatives – whoc couldn't be trusted to not screw things up in the long term.

    So I brought a inner city apartment right next to the end of all of the motorways, near the hub of what public transport remained operating, and close to the largest concentration of work in NZ in my chosen field."

    Sorry LP – but "Auckland" is no-longer just "CBD" (did you miss the Dame Bazley dissonance ?)

    Just what is your "work" ? – if "the largest concentration of work in NZ in my chosen field." – is at the end of all the motorways ?

    The majority of Aucklanders do not live or work in the CBD – have no need to commute to the CBD – and from what I can see, significant CBD employers are contracting headcount. (Skycity excluded)

    Auckland CBD is a minion in the future of AUCKLAND.

     

    • lprent 15.1

      You appear to have not read the comment carefully without introducing your biases

      The highest concentration in the country of programming jobs of the type I prefer (essentially ones who build software doe export) are within 5km of where I live.

      All of the transport routes for Auckland isthmus converge here.

      Also relevant in 1997 was that this was one of the few places in the country you could get good comms.

      It was a case of live in near the transport or work offshore. I chose here in the city fringe (why would I live in the CBD? It has always sucked in there for any kind of transport).

      And I anticipated that the short sighted dumbarse conservatives couldn't run Auckland properly…

      From where I live I could get to Albany, and Manakau and much of the west within 20 minutes by car in 1998. All that has happened since then was that my limits have contracted because the traffic got worse. Now on average at rush hours it takes 30 minutes to get to Penrose or over the bridge. But I still have the highest choice of employers within 20 minutes. Now with bike lanes, 20 minutes gets me most of the way to the parts of west Auckland nowhere south or north (no bike lanes). But most places in the city fringe and every where in the CBD. I also get excellent comms.

      Still max choices for a programmer.

      Your comment is just nuts… Try reading mine for a change.

       

      • instauration 15.1.1

        Lynn

        Yes – I do read and respect your ascriptions – you are rarely infallible in reason.  I just wish to emphasise the trend of irrelevance of location in contemporary commerce.

        Getting somewhere quickly is a virtue of diminishing value – hospitals and good curries excluded.

        • lprent 15.1.1.1

          I used to think that as well – 20 years ago. I'm glad now that I was cautious about moving to Glenorchy and coding from there (the lack of decent comms was finally the deciding factor).

          20 years ago I was programming education simulations running on US servers  targeted mostly at US customers. So I started working from home and running a team of programmers remotely. Worked well. Still does – my partner is slowly building a  business that does a lot of content and QA based on the same thing. She works with people scattered everywhere – quite a few in New York for some reason.

          I still do those. I just got off a wee R&D project where I was working with a team that was mostly in Austin Texas, others in aussie, and a couple of us in Auckland. Daily standups via webex. That was mostly code for androids and providing sources for generic data analytics.

          But these days I work mostly by writing code for specialised vertical market bespoke hardware – it is more fun. That means I need to be at or very close to mechanical, electronics, system, firmware, testing and god knows what other kind of engineers all the time when I'm on those projects.

          I need to have someone who can actually measure the voltage on a line. Someone who can find and fix a crimped rs485 line. Someone who can test the actual power on a power amp. Looks that the frequencies actually being transmitted. Or solder a wire into a PCB to get around a flaw in a prototype board.

          Similarly I need to be around those bods because they need to get me to look at what they're seeing. They need me to immediately fix the blocker that they just showed me. It is a VERY collaborative process. 

          Sure I could probably do the project managers and project engineers and other programmers remotely. But it is a hell of a lot faster when we get a  few relevant people in a room together. The easiest way to do that is to have them in the same location. Similarly the suppliers of prototype gear. Sure we can do a lot from overseas with PCBs etc. But hell – we test production, assembly and QA processes here before shipping them elsewhere. We have what is essentially a prototype manufacturing plant to do it.

          I write export code. Most of which is about making sure that it works, and increasingly that is causing R&D and bespoke concentrations rather than dispersal. This isn't hard to see – it is why you're seeing the bigger cities getting even bigger. 

          This is the 3rd of of 5 firms of this kind that I have done the last decade and a bit. It isn’t hard to find work of this export kind in Auckland. But I’ve lived in Hamilton, Dunedin, Wellington in NZ, and it wasn’t and still isn’t possible in any of those. You can find a couple of firms, but that is it. A paucity of opportunity. There are more in ChCh, but half of the people I know of there are actually working for Auckland firms (including my line boss). They move there for the housing prices and spend a lot of time in Auckland hotels.

          So for many things you can do everything from anywhere. But not everything, and especially not over decades, and also the really high value things that I like to work on.

  16. instauration 16

    Yep – a few Albany / East Tamaki / Constellation initiatives fit your brief in AUCKLAND.  RS485 hardwired issues are often mitigated in the field by ZigBee adoption –  those old differential gambits have no place in delivering to a contemporary GPIO dependent environment – too much sporadic E out there. 

    Which R&D concentrations are specifically in Auckland ?

    It would be weird to restrict your residential locale apropos the odd escalated issue – but it is fair to seek reason.  I live outside the CBD fringe – but coastal, the echo of surf resonates.

    I have now realised that CBD proximity is not critical – so much is Rosedale and Rosebank.

     

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