Following the death of Levi James on 5 March 2022 Gabriel Gati, Bike Auckland’s Legal Engagement Officer contacted his local MP (who just happens to be the Prime Minister):
Dear Prime Minister
As my local MP, please receive this message with aroha and grace. Whatever you can do to help establish a safe cycle network in Auckland will literally save lives such as Levi James.
In a desperately sad situation, a first year uni student, Levi James, was killed last weekend.
There is a ride in their honour this weekend.
As a private citizen and voter in your area, I am asking for your support to use your influence to create separated bike infrastructure wherever possible on key cycle routes. Not just in your sphere of influence, but to be a champion for this across Auckland. This is one of the great issues of our time as we make efforts to pivot from a car and petrol based transport system / towards active and public transport and reverse climate change.
Ponsonby Road comes immediately to mind given the death 2 years ago of a man on his bike who was hit by a car driver.
On Manukau Road, AC and AT was asked for changes for bike riders, received a safety report recommending changes, but did not make those changes.
And now – the community is hurting and and has not been listened to effectively. That is an uncomfortable situation for elected representatives, because the public gets frustrated when popular and reasonable requests are ignored – especially when death is the result – as is the case here on Manukau Road.
The Prime Minister’s office forwarded the letter to the Minister of Transport who sent the following reply:
Bike Auckland will continue to advocate for the safety of people on bikes in Tāmaki Makaurau.