On your bike!
10 October 2003
On your bike!
The NZ Cycling conference*, hosted by North Shore City and supported by Auckland City and other agencies, got off to a great start today with a comprehensive and entertaining keynote address by Steven Norris, Chair of the Government’s National Cycling Strategy Board and London Mayoral candidate.
Councillor Greg McKeown, Auckland City Council’s Transport Committee chairperson, welcomed the opportunity for learn from Mr Norris’s experience in developing and implementing cycling strategies in the UK.
The importance of sustainable and integrated transport strategies was reinforced, as was the importance of councils’ and other agencies’ roles in promoting travel options, rather than just taking a simple “predict and provide” approach to new infrastructure development.
“While the big corridor projects often get the most public and media attention, we’ve made good progress in Auckland City this year with cycling projects,” said Mr McKeown. “Grafton, Avondale, Panmure and Otahuhu are the areas were major community-orientated projects are underway which will greatly improve safety for both cyclists and pedestrians. We have also committed funds to completing the cycleway link alongside the northwestern motorway. Council has shown consistent commitment to cycling and walking by making $750,000 available every year,” said Mr McKeown.
Mr McKeown also noted that some hard questions needed to be asked about cycling strategies. More work needed to be done about the differing needs of different cycle user groups such as sports, leisure, commuter and utility cyclists, and applications for project funding should not escape good analytical rigour.
“Cycle lanes along busy arterials may not provide a safe or ideal environment for either a primary school child or a sports cyclist,” said Mr McKeown. “For this reason we’ve chosen to invest this year in community-oriented safety improvements. We also see merit in improving safe walking and cycling routes to schools, train stations and ferry terminals.
“I am sure that the topic of a cycle facility across the Auckland Harbour Bridge will be raised at the conference,” said Mr McKeown. “An alternative for someone travelling from the Shore to the Central Business District (CBD) would be a safe local cycle ride to their nearest local ferry terminal, with secure bike lock-up, a ferry trip, and a walk or free City Circuit electric bus trip in the CBD.”
Auckland City is currently developing a more comprehensive Travel Demand Management strategy and cycling will be a component of that.