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. …
Comments 0

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 …
Comment 1

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, …
Comments 0

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 …
Comments 3

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 …
Comments 3

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, …
Comments 2

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 …
Comments 2

Sign the petition for bikeways and light rail on Dominion Road!

Sign the petition for bikeways and light rail on Dominion Road!Last week, we proposed proper bikeways for Dominion Road as part of the light rail project – and we’ve been overwhelmed with the response. “Where do I sign?” was the instant cry. We have an answer for you! If you share our vision for safe cycling on Dominion Road, please add your name to the petition. We’re also counting on you to share the link and pass on the good news. You’ll be helping ensure that Auckland gets the absolute most out of this once-in-a-lifetime $6bn opportunity, by incorporating a strategic bike route into the big dig for light rail on Dominion Road. This is our chance to create a great green …
Comments 0

Safety projects popping up in Papatoetoe

Safety projects popping up in PapatoetoeAs in the poem by Carl Sandburg about fog, it seems safety ‘comes on little cat feet’… After AT’s excoriating safety report, we’re starting to see little local upgrades that make things better for people on bikes and on foot. Here’s a bouquet of safety projects in Papatoetoe that deserve your support. Help us create a positive feedback loop for quick, responsive safety fixes by AT! Firstly, a stretch of protected bike lane and a new bike crossing signal where Station Road, Wyllie Road, and Shirley Road come together near the train station (see project page).  Feedback closes Monday 9 July! Click the button below to go to straight to …
Comments 0

Cycling to Middlemore – a health hazard?

Cycling to Middlemore - a health hazard?A recent guest post by Dr Rob Burrell struck a real chord. It was about the irony of how dangerous it is to bike to one of Auckland’s biggest hospitals – despite cycling being one of the healthiest commutes there is. Now, Rob’s anaesthetist colleague Dr Craig Birch follows up with his own story of how difficult it is to bike safely to Middlemore. Content warning: two grisly crashes, resulting in what would officially qualify as merely ‘minor’ injuries.  I have cycled to Middlemore Hospital, where I work as an anaesthetist, for many years – since 2001. Unfortunately, safety issues have meant that I’ve had to resort to getting in my car …
Comments 4

Quickblog: Pedestrian (and some bike) improvements for Mt Roskill!

Quickblog: Pedestrian (and some bike) improvements for Mt Roskill!Bike Auckland’s technical staff (our unpaid volunteers with specialist expertise) regularly support pedestrian improvements that Auckland Transport puts up for public feedback – new refuge islands, zebra crossings, traffic calming. We keep an eye on Auckland Transport’s Have your say page, and when we see something worth supporting for people on foot, we say so in the name of Bike AKL – even if it has no (direct) bike benefits. But normally we don’t raise it with you, our readers and friends. With some exceptions! Read on for how you can help… In this case, Auckland Transport has been proposing pedestrian improvements in Mt Roskil (project page here – scroll down …
Comments 0

Light Rail for the Isthmus… with room for bikes! A Bike AKL proposal

Light Rail for the Isthmus... with room for bikes! A Bike AKL proposalUpdated: we’ve launched a petition to gather public support for bikeways on Dominion Road along with light rail. It’s the smartest way to protect the hundreds of people who already bike along this iconic street, and the best way to future-proof our city and leverage this once-in-a-generation investment, by allowing thousands more people to bike safely to and along our flattest, most direct, and most delicious boulevard. If you share our vision for safe cycling on Dominion Road, please add your name to the petition – then share the link and pass on the good news! Light Rail (LRT) across the isthmus and to the airport is a hot topic, and Bike …
Comments 5

You are here: everyday landmarks

You are here: everyday landmarksA joyful day! A new story from our resident teller of tales, Simon Vincent (search for ‘Simon’s stories’ to find more).  “I often find things catch my eye when I’m riding – sometimes it is because they are unusual or unexpected, but in this case it is things that I notice often and that stay with me,” says Simon, about this lovely list of landmarks along his regular routes…  As a child, I loved spending time visiting my cousins. The cousins were great, but what made the visits so special was that they lived in Blackpool – the Rotavegas of the English North. The (in hindsight, short) trip up the …
Comments 2

Boxed in: the problem(s) with Advanced Stop Boxes

Boxed in: the problem(s) with Advanced Stop BoxesAdvanced stop boxes: they’re a paint-only, bare minimum kind of bike infrastructure, and not in any way best practice for protecting people on bikes at intersections, which are hot spots for crashes. But at many intersections all over Auckland, they’re literally all we have in the way of any support for (ever so slightly) safer cycling. We use them because we’re there, even if it puts us between a rock  (or a bus, or a truck, or an impatient driver) and a hard place. Matt Hancock wrote to us with his experiences of using ASBs, and questions about maintenance and enforcement of the markings. His story, below – and an update …
Comments 7

Data and doubters: sample surveys 101

Data and doubters: sample surveys 101On the radio this week, talkback host Mike Hosking shared his reckons about AT’s annual research report into walking and cycling, which we covered yesterday. In particular, he simply couldn’t believe that 65% of Aucklanders think bike paths are good for the community. He didn’t just doubt the results, he doubted the methodology – and described the research as an ‘opt-in’ online survey filled in by ‘keyboard warriors’ and ‘bored deadbeats with nothing to do.’ Similarly, the NZ Herald ran an editorial referring to AT ‘surveying self-selected samples online for the answers it wants.’ But just because something seems too good to be true doesn’t mean it’s false. This study wasn’t an ‘opt-in’ …
Comment 1