A year in Cycle Action, and another 3 of a National Government.

Sep 23, 2014
A year in Cycle Action, and another 3 of a National Government.

BarbC

From Barbara Cuthbert; Chair, Cycle Action Auckland

This blog gives an overview of the report I will make to Cycle Action’s AGM on Wednesday night. We’d love you to come along! It’s not too late to RSVP to membership@caa.org.nz

We’re meeting at the Ellen Melville hall, which is upstairs from the entry at the OConnell St / Chancery St end of Freyberg Square. Refreshments begin at 5.30, the official AGM around 6.15. We’ve invited two dynamic local cycling groups to tell us about their successes (Bike Devonport and Bike Te Atatu). Around 7pm Bruce Copeland will launch the first public expose of our zany new website.

Chair’s Report

Cycle Action’s 2013/14 year has been racy, demanding and productive.

I am fortunate to lead an organisation that has such a dedicated team who are impatient for progress, energetic beyond my wildest expectations and expanding in talent and skills week by week. I am grateful for the shared satisfactions, constant learning and joy that comes from cycling into the future as part of Cycle Action.

Ciclovia msg 2014

The highlights of this 2013/14 year have been –

  • Real cycling infrastructure is emerging into the daylight. Max’s leadership of our expanding infrastructure team has delivered outstanding results. Steve Southall has also been a colossus on the North Shore. As in past years, the team has reviewed a constant stream of road upgrade and cycling plans and documents from AT and the NZTA. They have also had input into Corridor Management Plans and prompted action on many situations where cycling deserves better treatment.

Connected, continuous safe cycle infrastructure is Cycle Action’s most pressing priority. The infrastructure team is therefore central to our effective operation. I can’t thank all those involved enough for their expertise, dedication and perseverance.

Much as we appreciate plans, it’s no secret that by the end of 2013 we were frustrated by the AT’s lack of progress in starting and finishing cycling projects. This meant we were hugely excited by AT’s completion  of Stage 1 of Beach Rd as our first contra-flow protected cycleway and NZTA’s beautiful Grafton Gully section. AT’s collaboration with the NZTA to accelerate the Waterview and the Tamaki to Glen Innes cycleways.     Beach Rd photo 4

We also applaud AT and NZTA’s prompt action on our pilot project for the Nelson St off-ramp/ Nelson St protected lane. Can’t wait to ride in over the summer holidays!

We have to keep pushing ahead with more major projects. The phenomenal dedication of the SkyPath Trust team in bringing the SkyPath to lodging for resource consent is a landmark for more than just the Auckland cycling community. The project will expand tourist and economic development opportunities. We  salute all those involved, including Marguerite Pearson at Auckland Council. We’re looking to Council to fund AT to work with the NZTA on connecting routes from the north.

  • Our increasingly strong and trusting relationships with the NZTA and AT, plus Stephen Town and Ernst Zollner’s  high level leadership  for cycling.  We are seeing a stronger cycling culture in AT, with a number of staff who are excelling in their project work. This will deliver enormous dividends for Auckland as it grows. The success of our work to drive cycling innovation and momentum in Auckland stems in part from the mutual respect and shared values with our colleagues in both of these organisations. We also value the cycling work and projects undertaken by Auckland Council and Waterfront Auckland. We also acknowledge the vital cycling work of a number of leading local boards, including Puketapapa, Orakei and Waitemata. Special mention is needed for Ken Baguely’s work on the Tamaki Drive Working Group and the Tamaki to Glen Innes cycleway project.
  • The major growth in collaboration between the Cycle Action Committee, our Associates, Members and Friends. I am very grateful to Cycle Action’s Deputy Chair, Paul Shortland. He is vital to our modus operandi, where we work on trust and high levels of delegation. Paul has made a strong contribution on our infrastructure team, particularly high level planning, as well as speaking for Cycle Action at the Cycle Advisory Group. We also pay homage to our colleagues at Transport Blog and Generation Zero.  K Road cycle lanesI love the smart, techy and nimble mode that characterises them as the closest of our cycling, transport and social media allies.
  •  We’re seeing more and more spontaneous action, such as people writing letters to editors to defend cycling projects, and offers to sponsor and undertake projects that help raise the profile of everyday cycling in Auckland.  In this regard I have to acknowledge our hard working, smart  blog editor, Ben Lenihan, and Bruce Copeland for his superb work on Cycle Action’s new website. Along with all of those who work into the night on cycling projects, Ben and Bruce’s work is crucial to fuel our engine room.
  •  We’re excited by the alliance formed this year with cycling leaders in Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin. We have so much in common and to learn from each other this will really make its mark in the year to come. This new relationship along with our mates at Generation Zero produced a national campaign with 3,500 submissions requesting a tripling of the national cycling budget

After this weekend’s election result I have to comment briefly on the prospect of  another  3 years of the National Government. The Government’s transport policies are hugely problematic for our environment and the social and economic needs of Auckland’s communities. The  evidence shows that most Aucklanders want strong integrated and active transport networks. The Greens was the only party at the election with a coherent detailed policy to deliver this.

We will continue to work with cycling leaders in the major cities to gain more cycling budget at a national level. We strongly endorse the PM’s leadership on the NZ Cycle Trail, as it is raising the national profile of cycling as well as stimulating demand for transport cycling on the streets in Auckland. We now need him to help with our call for the Government to quadruple its pre-election allocation of  $100m for cycling over the next 4 years. This would unquestionably be the smartest, most cost effective transport investment if it is used to boost cycling, including linking more easily with public transport.

We’re looking forward to the next stage of our Wellington work with others in the transport sector and the Cycle Safety Panel so that practical, comprehensive changes are adopted and funded promptly by the Government.

Roll on 2014/15. Cycle Action has the programmes, relationships  and personnel to make a visible difference to cycling for transport in Auckland. All we need is the money!

 

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