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Youth call on Council to invest in quality cycleways

Youth call on Council to invest in quality cycleways - Generation Zero

Youth organisation, Generation Zero, has revealed that Auckland's commitment to cycling infrastructure has fallen well behind New Zealand's other urban centres, despite its aim of becoming the most liveable city in the world.

Generation Zero spokesperson Dr Sudhvir Singh, explains “quality, separated cycleways are the only sure way to protect regular people who would like freedom from being dependent on their car, and the choice to cycle safely around the city.”

Currently the proposed budget for cycling projects in the 2014 / 2015 Auckland Council Annual Plan is $8.8 million. This represents an annual per capita investment of $5.70 per person, compared with Wellington and Christchurch which have an annual per capita investment of $21.00 and $37.00 respectively. Dr Singh explains that “Auckland Transport has a piecemeal approach to cycling infrastructure, leaving us with incomplete streets. A more comprehensive approach is required to complete our streets with a connected network of quality, separated cycleways. Auckland needs to complete the Regional Cycling Network if we are to become the world’s most liveable city.”

There are many international examples of quality cycling infrastructure. Between 2006 and 2011 New York City invested in separated cycleways, resulting in a 40% reduction of injuries to all road users on these streets, and a significant increase in retail spending.

The group believes that separated cycleways will play an important role in providing Aucklanders with more transport choices, a more liveable city, and better health outcomes. Dr Singh; “Separated cycleways will help Auckland to achieve the city’s ambitions for reducing congestion and improving health outcomes by giving people more transport choices, reducing carbon pollution, and taking cars off the road.”

The group is calling on the CEO of Auckland Transport, David Warburton, to prioritise the construction of quality separated cycleways. Dr Singh explains that “under the Super City structure the idea of setting up Auckland Transport as a Council-Controlled Organisation (CCO) was to ensure they delivered results. Instead, they have been dragging the chain when it comes to delivering separated cycling infrastructure, and we would like to see the proposed Auckland Regional Cycle Network completed at a faster pace.”

In the long term, the group is also calling for a greater proportion of transport investment to go towards separated cycleways. Dr Singh explains that; “in the Long Term Plan, which will be renewed at the end of the year, we would like to see Auckland Council invest 5% of the transport budget in quality separated cycleways, an increase from the current amount which is less than 1%.”

The group has launched a petition calling on the CEO of Auckland Transport, David Warburton, to
prioritise the construction of separated cycleways in the Auckland Regional Cycle Network during 2014 and to ensure that half of the Auckland Regional Cycle Network is complete by 2016. The group will deliver the petition to Mr Warburton at their presentation to the Auckland Transport Board in February.

About Generation Zero
Young New Zealanders working to cut carbon pollution through smarter transport, liveable cities & independence from fossil fuels.
www.generationzero.org.nz

About the petition
The petition reads;
Dear Mr Warburton,

Please prioritise the construction of separated cycleways in the Auckland Regional Cycle Network during 2014.  

Please ensure that half of the Auckland Regional Cycle Network is complete by 2016.

Thanks,
[Name]

http://www.generationzero.org.nz/cycling

More information about Auckland’s cycling infrastructure
Infographic showing per capita per annum investment in cycling infrastructure


Click for big version.

Auckland Transport’s plan for a Regional Cycle Network:
http://www.aucklandtransport.govt.nz/improving-transport/plans-proposals/ActiveTravel/Pages/Auckland-Regional-Cycle-Network.aspx

ENDS

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