happy women cycling
This is what AT’s cycle-washing propaganda promises and what CAA wants. 8-80 cycling for both genders

We’ve seen it all before with ‘green – washing’. Now it’s ‘cycle – washing’.

A classic recent instance is Auckland Council’s large image of a happy woman on a bike on the cover of the draft Long Term Plan discussion document. Many people have drawn it to my attention.  It appears to be somewhat cynical exercise – she’s fronting a plan to cut our current miserable cycling budget by 50%!

AT seem to be following a similar path with their St Lukes interchange project. Here’s AT’s official story as presented to a public meeting last month.

AT regrets that the trees will be lost but a major benefit is that they will make way for cycle lanes to the motorway overbridge and for an extended bus lane and bus priority measures in Great North Road. Making travel by cycle and bus more efficient and convenient is consistent with Auckland Transport’s drive to encourage the use of public transport. This will bring long-term environmental benefits as more people choose alternative modes of transport, to the car.

Cycle Action disagrees. We asked to present the AT Board meeting tomorrow when it considers the notice of requirement for the St Luke’s intersection. The Board refused our request, but invited us to table a statement.

Here it is –

Cycle Action Auckland (CAA) does not support the scheme for the Great North Road / St Lukes Road intersection layout.
In our view Option 2 (consented intersection layout) and Option 3 (proposed intersection layout), do not provide significant benefits for cyclists on Great North Road. Neither option will contribute positively to encouraging local trips on bikes or increasing the uptake of cycling.
In summary Cycle Action Auckland’s concerns are:
• The short length of proposed additional shared path will have no safe connections at the eastern end. Cyclists will need to negotiate the wide petrol station entrance and exit ways and motorway on / off ramps.
• Shared paths put people on bicycles in conflict with pedestrians, reducing amenity for all users. This will be especially problematic during events at the adjacent Western Springs Stadium and Park.
• The short length of the proposed bus lanes extension will be beneficial to only a small minority of people on bikes. Bus lanes are very intimidating to most potential riders.
• No cycle facilities are provided, in either option, along Great North Rd for cyclists travelling east.
• This lack of cycle infrastructure, or where provided, the lack of best-practice infrastructure, will occur despite the whole intersection being totally reconstructed and the road width increased significantly.

Unhappy cyclist
This is what AT’s current policies will deliver – more of the same 2% cycling in hostile conditions

We are also concerned that Auckland Transport (AT) has drawn the conclusion that CAA supports the scheme in its entirety. We assume this is based on discussions held between CAA and the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA), regarding the cycle facilities on the SH16 St Lukes Road overbridge, south of the intersection. CAA has not provided support to AT for the Great North Road section of this scheme.
We firmly believe that a better outcome should be achieved for all users that does not trade off further space and amenity just to achieve extra motor vehicle capacity.

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5 responses to “2015 – Let’s stop the cynical game of cycle-washing!

  1. Nice one Barb. We laughed too at the cyclist on the cover of the Long Term Plan too. A friend who works in the Bledisloe Council building notes that the planned cycle facilities (shower, changing area, etc) in the basement have been removed from the renovation plans. So much for promoting cycling to work!

    1. To be fair that’s a sensible decision and good use of ratepayer’s money, given that there are excellent cycle storage facilities, changing area and showers in the main council building at 135 Albert St (the old ASB building) two minutes walk from Bledisloe House, and accessible to all Council staff.

      1. Albert St has no spare locker facilities, so we are left shuffling clothes back and forth. I’m sure if I suggested you walk a 5 minutes each way from YOUR workplace to use the facilities elsewhere (where there was no storage) you’d not be too impressed.

  2. Completely agree. It is obviously deliberate PR spin. Also there is a cyclist as the main background photo on the homepage of the AT website, https://at.govt.nz/

    1. So AT show you bikes, but give you little option but to drive, because they think you want to imagine yourself riding a bike while you sit in traffic on a expensively widened but still congested road.

      Its really quite fascinating what’s going here, think about it.

      The imagery used is actually really important, however because its almost subliminal & interpretation is subjective (unlike words which are generally unambiguous) – folks such as AT are frequently able to use willfully misleading pictures on there promotional materials.

      Its mass self delusion & utter hypocrisy on ATs part but all happening at a sub conscious level.

      The truth is they don’t show images of where they really spend our money because they’d be ugly grey roads & lines of congested traffic & people just don’t want to see that. They don’t want to see it and obviously they don’t want to be in that image – however for the majority of Jafas that car culture s a big part of everyday life. So cycling is thought of as aspirational – but apparently not achievable.

      If they think that people dream of riding bikes why don’t they spend the budget on it?

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