Bike lanes and businesses: When the numbers do the talking

Bike lanes and businesses: When the numbers do the talkingIf we had a dollar for every time we’ve been told that removing traffic lanes and car parking to make way for cycle lanes will kill local businesses, we could just about fund the lanes ourselves. It’s a classic barbecue assertion. And, like any other dodgy assertion, it withers in the face of the data. Where to go for that data? One place is Toronto, which studied the economic impact of a protected cycleway in Bloor Street, a major east-west corridor. The Bloor Street story goes back to late ‘70s, when advocates first started lobbying for bike lanes on the street. It wasn’t until 2016 that a pilot lane was …
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A rough ride: run-ins en route to Middlemore

A rough ride: run-ins en route to MiddlemoreRounding out our series of guest posts by Middlemore medics who bike to work is Renate Koops, a consultant in General Medicine and Diabetes. Like her colleagues Rob Burrell and Craig Birch, Renate rides because it comes naturally – she’s Dutch! – and because it’s a refreshing and healthy way to travel. Or rather, it should be. Like Rob and Craig, Renate has more than once felt the unhappy consequences of traveling on roads dominated by cars and designed and used with little thought for people on bikes. Read on for a harrowing account of her run-ins en route to work – and her observations about what needs to change. …
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Vision Zero in Glen Eden: it’s a start

Vision Zero in Glen Eden: it's a startTL:DR: Auckland Transport is proposing upgrades to Glen Eden town centre to make it safer to get around. We love and support the proposed 30kph safer speed limit and traffic calming – but we feel that on other matters, the proposal falls short of what a town centre should be. Read on, below, for our take on what’s proposed, what’s needed, and what we think would help make Glen Eden a better burb for bikes (and everyone) in the long-term. And then have your say on the changes proposed in Glen Eden before consultation closes on Sunday 9 September. (Short on time? scroll down to the end of this blog …
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Become a Bike Auckland member in September!

Become a Bike Auckland member in September!Be one of the first 100 members to sign up or renew with Bike Auckland this month and receive a free ‘Auckland Looks Better on a Bike’ T-shirt (valued at $30), on top of the many great benefits and discounts at 20+ bike shops and other merchants across Auckland – plus discounts and invitations to special members-only events. If you’ve been thinking about taking the step to being a paid member, now’s the time. As the nonprofit organisation working on your behalf for a better city on bikes, we’re powered by members, volunteers, and donations. The momentum for a bikeable Auckland is growing – and the more of us there are, the stronger our …
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Bike Advocacy Vancouver-style: HUB Cycling

Bike Advocacy Vancouver-style: HUB CyclingA common factor in just about every transition to a bike-friendly city is advocacy. In Vancouver’s case, that advocacy comes largely in the form of HUB Cycling, a charitable non-profit that works to get more people cycling more often in Metro Vancouver through education, action, and events. Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, HUB has over 2,400 members, 11 active committees, and has racked up an impressive list of infrastructure wins. Plus, with Vancouver committing to ambitious cycling targets as part of its Transportation 2040 blueprint, HUB Cycling has the wind behind it. What does it take to create that kind of momentum? Ross Inglis spoke with HUB Project Manager …
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The Insider Guide to Building A Cycle Network: How Vancouver Got Rolling

The Insider Guide to Building A Cycle Network: How Vancouver Got RollingFor Aucklanders, Vancouver’s extensive network of cycleways is an object of wistful admiration.  Question is, how did Vancouver get such a network, and what lessons does it offer those who lust for one here? There is, after all, much in common between the two cities: they’re built around harbours which serve as trade gateways and they are both economic centres for their respective national economies. They’re both magnets for immigrants. Their populations both obsess about house prices. And, as Darren Davis, Auckland Council’s Transport & Land Use Integration Manager, points out, they’re both New World cities, with western settlement dating back only as far as the 19th century. Dale Bracewell, …
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SkyPath funding confirmed; delivery firmly in sight!

SkyPath funding confirmed; delivery firmly in sight!On Thursday 22 August, Transport Minister Phil Twyford and Acting Associate Transport Minister James Shaw confirmed that the government will fund and deliver SkyPath, the walking-biking crossing over the Auckland Harbour Bridge. We’re ecstatic! SkyPath will be funded to the tune of $67m from the National Land Transport Fund as part of a wider (and unprecedented!) $390m investment in walking and cycling around the country over the next three years, and will be delivered via the NZ Transport Agency. The government taking on this historic project makes all the difference in terms of certainty – and it definitively rewards the relentless optimism and hard work of everyone who has worked towards this …
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Riding to the future: Vancouver on two wheels

Riding to the future: Vancouver on two wheelsA WhatsApp message from my friend Brendan: “I’ve moved into my new apartment in Vancouver. Come for a visit, bring your bike.” Why, yes. Vancouver had long been on the must-visit list. A charming harbour city with progressive politics, good coffee, loads of genial Canadians, and a reputation as a poster child for cycling infrastructure. Escaping winter in Auckland for two weeks of summer in Vancouver was an easy choice. I knew Brendan from my time as a corporate animal in Hong Kong. Both fitness obsessives, we met in a swim squad and became running and cycling buddies. There were early-morning road rides, tons of them, grinding our way up …
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A ‘safety-wash’ in East Auckland – or a chance for change?

A 'safety-wash' in East Auckland – or a chance for change?Auckland Transport is proposing changes at a couple of intersections on Botany Road in East Auckland, to ‘alleviate traffic congestion and improve safety for road users and pedestrians.’ The problem is, while adding a couple of pedestrian improvements, the car-centric design mainly proposes widening the roads to ‘alleviate congestion’ (!)… …while not improving safety at all for people on bikes, and in several ways making things more dangerous than they already are. We say that’s not okay, especially in the light of AT’s new safety commitment. One might go so far as to say it’s unconscionable. Certainly, the word ‘safety-washing‘ has been applied. So let’s hold AT to a higher standard. …
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How one woman is turning Kiwis on to Euro-style cycling

How one woman is turning Kiwis on to Euro-style cyclingThe $67 billion global cycling industry has ubiquitous brands such as Taiwan’s Giant, which employs 11,000 people and has annual revenues circa $2.6 billion. But it also has plenty of entrepreneurs making waves at a local level. One such is Kiwi Emma Jonsson, a one-woman hive of energy whose mission it is to introduce New Zealanders to the practical and stylish cycling accessories Europeans have enjoyed for years. Emma sells retail through The Urban Cyclist website and to the trade through Velocity Distribution. The distribution business started first, five years ago, when Emma returned to New Zealand from a trip to Copenhagen with her Danish partner, Sebastian. She discovered there …
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A Dominion Road survey – tell us (and show us) your experiences!

A Dominion Road survey - tell us (and show us) your experiences!As part of our campaign to bring bikeways to Dominion Road, we’re keen to hear your experiences of biking along this street. Or, if you don’t bike along it, what would make it more likely for you to consider it. So we’ve set up a quick survey, here. We’d be very grateful if you’d take a minute to respond to the survey, and share it with anyone else you think might have thoughts to share on the subject. We’re also on the lookout for stories, photos, and video of what it feels like to ride on Dominion Road as it currently is. We know hundreds of people ride this route daily, …
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Keep calm and carry on up Federal Street?

Keep calm and carry on up Federal Street?Earlier this year, Auckland Transport did something we’ve been asking for a long time: they built a bikeway with very little fuss, at little cost, and (relatively) fast, in partnership with the Auckland Design Office. This is the Federal Street contraflow bikeway, connecting Fanshawe Street to Victoria Street, providing more choices where people can safely ride – even up a one-way street like Federal. Impressively, this project took less than 2 years from inception to construction – when the average in Auckland is around 5 years for permanent bikeways! How was it delivered at such speed? Partly because it was constructed almost entirely with paint, planter boxes, ‘armadillo’ separators, and other …
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A bike parking update

A bike parking updateTravel by bicycle in Auckland is growing fast.  With cycle infrastructure providing good fast routes to locations across the city, we now need to add bike parking to match – all of those bicycles have to have a safe home whilst we are busy in the shops, offices and cafes, and we’re going to need great parking at public transport hubs, too. Matt Cole, who’s the Auckland ambassador for Bikes Welcome, gives an update below.   Over the past few months, Bikes Welcome and Bike Auckland have been working with Auckland Transport to help AT plan improved delivery of good, ‘fit for purpose’ bike parking at public transport nodes across …
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The human cost of delaying safer street design

The human cost of delaying safer street designOur hearts sank when two weeks ago, we saw reports on social media about an incident at the pedestrian crossing on Victoria Rd near Calliope Rd in Devonport. Councillor Chris Darby followed up on those initial reports, and we now have it confirmed by police that a person was indeed hit by a vehicle at the pedestrian crossing on the morning of 10 July. As of last Friday, they were still in Auckland Hospital recovering from serious injuries. Our deepest sympathy goes to them and their family. The human cost of delaying safety decisions Since 2014, we’ve been covering progress (mainly the lack of it) in fixing this locally notorious crossing, …
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Meet our bike shop partner: The Urban Cyclist

Meet our bike shop partner: The Urban CyclistIt wasn’t long ago that bike retailing in New Zealand meant physical stores offering little for commuters beyond mountain bikes with city tyres. That’s now changed, in part thanks to online retailers like The Urban Cyclist. Owner Emma Jonsson is a Kiwi who was inspired by Euro-style cycling when visiting Copenhagen with her Danish then-boyfriend, now hubbie. She returned to New Zealand itching to ride the Danish way right here in Auckland, only to find that city riding was in its very early days and nobody sold the bikes and bits she needed. That was the catalyst for The Urban Cyclist. Now, we’re delighted to welcome them to our bike shop …
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