AT’s new Community Bike Fund – get into it!

AT's new Community Bike Fund - get into it!Some great news, especially for our Bike Burbs and other local heroes out there getting stuff done: Auckland Transport’s Walking and Cycling department has opened up a special funding pool to encourage community bike events. As AT’s Walking, Cycling, and Road Safety manager Kathryn King said, ‘Many community organisations have great ideas to get more people on their bikes, and we are keen to work with them to deliver some creative projects that encourage more people to ride bikes more often.’ Wellington has a similar fund which has achieved fantastic things, so we’re overjoyed to see something similar here and hope this one-year trial grows to represent the vast range …
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Bikes in the news: from the margins to the centre

Bikes in the news: from the margins to the centreJust us, or… is there a bit of a tone-shift lately in the way bikes are being covered in the news? Matt Heath’s Herald column in praise of Lightpath made us smile on a Monday morning. Admittedly, it’s hard not to break out in a grin when you read a description like this: I know it had to close down for a re-pinking, but boy is it futuristic. I ride that Utopian overpass to work every morning. The lights are so bright and blue. The pinks so pink. The convenience so convenient. You feel like you’re on a Tron Light Cycle. Like you’re in a Battlestar Galactica launch tunnel. Matt’s point is, why quibble about …
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How the UCF lolly scramble worked – and how it will transform Auckland

How the UCF lolly scramble worked - and how it will transform AucklandWe sent Bruce Copeland on a road trip to Rotorua last Thursday to represent Cycle Action at the announcement of the second tranche of funding for the Urban Cycleways Fund (UCF). Here’s his report on what it all means for biking in Auckland: Last Thursday had the feel of watching history in the making: at long last some serious cash is being invested in proper cycling infrastructure. (A fiscally prudent motorist may say this is a crazy lolly scramble, but it’s small lollies compared to the big bickies spent on tarmac). Whatever your viewpoint, how has Auckland fared? Have we got our fair share, and is it being spent in the right places? The UCF is a $100m fund designed to …
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Sam Gray: Off to the World Championships

Sam Gray: Off to the World ChampionshipsAlthough Cycle Action is all about everyday, transport cycling, we are always happy to see a New Zealander doing well in the world of sport cycling. Belmont local Samantha Gray has been selected by Cycling New Zealand as a wildcard to compete at the UCI Amateur Road World Championships in Denmark in September, and she needs to fund her own way to get there. Sam will be representing New Zealand in the Time Trial and the Road Race in the M2 Masters Women Category. We hope you will support these local events to help raise funds to get Sam to Denmark to compete against the best amateurs in the world. For further information see www.facebook.com/samgraycycling and to …
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Closing today – submit for the best-ever cycling budget!

Closing today - submit for the best-ever cycling budget!Consultation closes today at 4pm today on the Council’s killer budget for cycling. It’s desperate, nail chewing stuff ! Shape Auckland gives you two options: a Basic Budget, (which knifes cycling and public transport), or the Auckland Plan Transport Network budget, which says we can have it all – more cycling, public transport and a hefty dose of costly, unnecessary new roads – but it’ll cost Auckland big-time! So Cycle Action has worked with Generation Zero on a smart third alternative – one that we can afford, and which prioritises public transport and cycling over more roads. Please submit to support it today – Fix Our City.  On Thursday I was invited …
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Wanted: one fairy godmother on a bike (plus the Essential Transport Budget)

Wanted: one fairy godmother on a bike (plus the Essential Transport Budget)Remember when buses and trains were the Cinderella of Auckland’s transport system, sitting sadly in the cold kitchen, out of the limelight, at the mercy of ugly stepsisters who zipped off to the ball in their single-occupant vehicles. “Why waste money on slow, grimy machines?” went the reasoning. “Especially for a few sad punters who can’t afford cars or are too old or young to drive? Oh, sure, we have some plans on the shelf. Maybe next year. If we have the money. Now go and do your chores.” Luckily, public transport had some fairy godmothers who saw the light and the potential — and who looked overseas for models of what can happen when you give PT the royal treatment. It didn’t happen overnight, but …
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Fixing Auckland’s Transport: The 10-Year Budget 2015-2025

Fixing Auckland's Transport: The 10-Year Budget 2015-2025What: Auckland Conversation’s event on “Transport in Auckland – The 10-Year Budget Proposal” When: Monday, 2 March 2015 5:00 p.m Where: Lower NZI Conference Room, Aotea Centre, 50 Mayoral Drive Auckland is the country’s fastest growing region with transport considered the single biggest issue. Major investment will be needed in the next decade to avoid worsening congestion and the impact this will have on our economy, environment and way of life. We have a choice to make. Do we accept a basic transport network which costs less, or do we invest more to get the advanced transport programme set out in the 30-year vision for our region known as the Auckland Plan. If …
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Have a merry SkyPath

SkyPath, the project to add a walk & cycleway to the Auckland Harbour Bridge, has come enormously far in the last couple years – even if much of that work, after the big protest in 2009, was “behind closed doors”. Convincing decisionmakers that it was required. Convincing authorities that it was feasible. Convincing a funder that it was a worthy investment. Now, the last big step has gone public – getting resource consent. Last Friday, SkyPath was publicly notified, giving all of Auckland the chance to have their say about this game-changing project, which will both be a crucial link for our city’s sustainable transport and an iconic feature that …
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Economic benefits of cycling

From much of the rhetoric heard around cycling, you would think that it was an activity that required huge amounts of spending with very little economic return. However, the clear evidence is very much in favour of the opposite view. The investment needed to encourage cycling as an everyday activity is tiny compared to roading or public transportprojects and the return on that investment is huge. To back that up, there are a number of articles based on studies easily located by a quick Google search. Here are some that came to my attention. In 2013, a study cited by the then Australian Deputy Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, found that: The economy …
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Want More Transport Investment? Be Prepared to Pay for It

Aucklanders  are being asked to get their minds around a couple of important decisions following the release of the Funding Auckland’s Transport Future report, by the Independent Advisory Board (IAB). CAA was one of the stakeholders which contributed to the report. The full report can be found at: shapeauckland.co.nz Whats it all about and what does it mean for transport cycling? The first choice: What level of transport investment do you want? The Mayor’s recent LTP statement Mayor’s proposal for the next 10 years sets out two levels of transport investment, the Basic Transport Network and Auckland Plan Transport Network. The Basic Network limits expenditure within the existing funding envelope …
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Vote bike!

With just a week to go before we head to the polling booths, we thought it timely to update our Vote page with a summary of the cycling policies of our political parties.  Some of them are stand-out, while some are abysmal. Go have a look here on the  Vote Page, where we also explain why we ranked each party with a particular number of stars. The best outcome for cycling after 20 September would be in Labour/Green/Maori policies, with NZ First, Internet-Mana and United Future not averse to supporting increased funding. The worst outcome would arise from National/ACT/Conservative policies. In essence, it comes down to the centre-right promoting funding …
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Is cycling just for the affluent?

One of the stances taken by people who are anti-cycling and/or anti-public transport is that these means of transport are only for the affluent and that cars are the vehicle of the working class. This may at least partly be because the most visible people on bicycles (until the cycling boom of the last 5-10 years) have been on expensive carbon fibre racing bikes. Now for anyone from, or who has lived in, Continental Europe/South America/Asia this is an insane idea. In those places commuting by public transport and/or cycling are for the average person while the affluent commute by car – especially where congestion charging is used (London, Stockholm, Singapore). Of course, …
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Make it a 1000 – press ‘send’ today to protect cycle funding

Today’s Herald  alerts us to bad news for public transport and cycling in the first draft of the Mayor’s budget for Auckland’s Long Term (10 year) plan. The mayor faces the daunting task of having to slash costs to achieve 2.5 per cent average rates increases. Mr Brown will release the first draft of the budget on Thursday that will include cuts of hundreds of millions of dollars a year in running costs and capital investment over 10 years. Core services are not immune, with $10.1 million less being spent on the city’s dilapidated stormwater system and Auckland Transport targeting bus lanes and rail projects in Parnell and Pukekohe. In …
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Easy fixes: Blocking off streets

One of the easy fixes that are around to improve the traffic environment for cycling is “filtered permeability”. This is where a road is made a thoroughfare for active modes but access only for motor vehicles. This is used very effectively in the Netherlands and also has had great success in Hackney in London. This article discusses a situation of filtered permeability that has occurred in Chicago where the 18 month old process of building a bridge has cut a road in half for motor vehicles but been left open for active modes. This has resulted in a big drop in the number of cars and a corresponding increase in …
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Further update to- Govt adds new cycling money – a step change for New Zealand?

27th Aug – FURTHER UPDATE: We sincerely apologise to our readers and all those who knew better than our original blog as to the source of this funding. We need to place on record that, the Govt’s money is new crisp notes from the Consolidated Fund.  The Government has announced today that it will allocate $100m over the next 4 years for new urban cycleways. (Note : original ref to asset sales / GPS underspend is incorrect). The media release for the funding is introduced by this comment – ‘Mr Brownlee says National recognises that commuting by bike has health benefits and takes pressure off other transport networks, but says …
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