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Right Direction, More Impetus

CCC Environment & Infrastructure Committee

Right Direction, More Impetus

Spokes, the Canterbury Cycling Advocacy Group, shared how its vision of making Christchurch one of the Top 5 cycling cities in the world by 2020 might be achieved quickly and cost effectively.

Dr Glen Koorey said that international research consistently shows that if cycling is perceived to be safe, the large non-cycling group of ‘interested but concerned’ citizens would be tempted to within the city. To cater for the AAA (All Ages and Abilities), effect several solutions simultaneously; one size does not fit all. In principle: separate high volume, high speed traffic, paying particular attention to intersections; integrate cycling where there is low volume, low speed traffic (greening the neighbourhoods); and provide lots of interconnecting pathways for non-motorised vehicles and pedestrians.

Spokes Chair, Dr Clare Simpson, noted that, whilst members of the Committee appeared pro-cycling, and that the Council sees itself as a ‘cycling council,’ there was still a desire for ‘black and white’, aka politically expedient, solutions. Unfortunately, transport planning is not that simple and reductionist approaches are seldom sustainable long term.

Councillors said: ‘we should be bold’. Spokes thus challenges them to spend less time debating the details presented to them by the cycling transport planners, who also presented at this meeting today, and put more faith in their staff’s greater knowledge and expertise; they have done thorough research, modelling, cost/benefit analyses, all in the context of the myriad plans and policies that cut across the transport portfolio. They make their recommendations based on these analyses, as well as considering their political implications. Believe and support these; they are giving you good advice.

The question of cost put a wet blanket on the enthusiasm around the table. In ‘reality’, Share an Idea has already given the Councillors a mandate to be ‘bold’. Issues such as being ‘realistic’ are all very well, but what cycling needs is a real champion from amongst the Councillors to propel this issue and get the funds.


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