Bike lanes and businesses: When the numbers do the talking

Bike lanes and businesses: When the numbers do the talkingIf we had a dollar for every time we’ve been told that removing traffic lanes and car parking to make way for cycle lanes will kill local businesses, we could just about fund the lanes ourselves. It’s a classic barbecue assertion. And, like any other dodgy assertion, it withers in the face of the data. Where to go for that data? One place is Toronto, which studied the economic impact of a protected cycleway in Bloor Street, a major east-west corridor. The Bloor Street story goes back to late ‘70s, when advocates first started lobbying for bike lanes on the street. It wasn’t until 2016 that a pilot lane was …
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Bike Advocacy Vancouver-style: HUB Cycling

Bike Advocacy Vancouver-style: HUB CyclingA common factor in just about every transition to a bike-friendly city is advocacy. In Vancouver’s case, that advocacy comes largely in the form of HUB Cycling, a charitable non-profit that works to get more people cycling more often in Metro Vancouver through education, action, and events. Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, HUB has over 2,400 members, 11 active committees, and has racked up an impressive list of infrastructure wins. Plus, with Vancouver committing to ambitious cycling targets as part of its Transportation 2040 blueprint, HUB Cycling has the wind behind it. What does it take to create that kind of momentum? Ross Inglis spoke with HUB Project Manager …
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Riding to the future: Vancouver on two wheels

Riding to the future: Vancouver on two wheelsA WhatsApp message from my friend Brendan: “I’ve moved into my new apartment in Vancouver. Come for a visit, bring your bike.” Why, yes. Vancouver had long been on the must-visit list. A charming harbour city with progressive politics, good coffee, loads of genial Canadians, and a reputation as a poster child for cycling infrastructure. Escaping winter in Auckland for two weeks of summer in Vancouver was an easy choice. I knew Brendan from my time as a corporate animal in Hong Kong. Both fitness obsessives, we met in a swim squad and became running and cycling buddies. There were early-morning road rides, tons of them, grinding our way up …
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London’s FreeCycle – the key to the city on wheels

London's FreeCycle - the key to the city on wheelsLinda Wong and family stumbled across London’s iconic FreeCycle bike festival while on holiday earlier this year. With the Auckland summer approaching, it’s time to wonder once again why Auckland hasn’t caught the worldwide citywide open-streets circuit-ride bug yet? Sure, there are logistical and budget issues with closing streets for through-traffic for a few hours for a Ciclovia or Summer Streets event – but the joy it creates is priceless. Will 2018 be the year Auckland really gets it? What do you reckon, Mayor Phil?  On a drizzly, overcast day in July, we set off on some hired bikes with 70,000 other cyclists to enjoy a car-free cycling circuit around central London. …
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A bird in a flock – visions from Velo-City

A bird in a flock – visions from Velo-CityRichard Barter, our community liaison hero, was lucky enough to travel to the 2017 Velo-City conference – the annual global summit on cycling, which alternates between Europe and the rest of the world. (His visit was part of the CAN Share the Road Campaign funded by NZTA). This year, the conference was held in the Dutch region of Arnhem-Nijmegen. Richard travelled to the Netherlands via Shanghai, and also spent time in Sweden, Denmark and England before returning home via Buenos Aires.  Along the way, he observed the ways people move in cities, and arrived home empowered with thought-provoking images and vision-provoking thoughts… To Nijmegen they came: 1,500 planners and cycling advocates from around the planet, with whom over 250 speakers shared their thoughts and …
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A bikeable city state? Singapore gears up

A bikeable city state? Singapore gears upLongtime Bike Auckland supporter Richard Ashurst has been keeping an eye on changes in Singapore’s bike culture over the last few years, and shares his observations with us… Every few years, I join my partner in visiting her family back in Singapore. It’s is an interesting little country, and after several visits I’m starting to notice how it’s changing over time, particularly with regards to bikes – which, although still a tiny share of the transport system, have doubled in mode share over the last three years. Like New Zealand, Singapore has a history as a British colony, so they drive on the left side of the road and the country speaks English (or sometimes ‘Singlish’). That’s about …
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Bike-friendly tech & tech-friendly bikes: a letter from Silicon Valley

Bike-friendly tech & tech-friendly bikes: a letter from Silicon ValleyAlison Paulin is an Aucklander and long-time member of Bike Auckland/ Cycle Action Auckland. She shares her experience over the last few years promoting two-wheeled transport technology in the heart of the global HQ for information technology – sparking some interesting comparisons with how we do things here… I’ve been living in San Jose, California for three years now, and began working for the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition (SVBC) soon after I moved here. I went along to volunteer – and ended up with a part-time paid job managing their valet bicycle parking services. Silicon Valley refers to the valley that (when it has water in it) flows into the San Francisco Harbour, …
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Vive la cycling révolution! A Kiwi in Paris

Vive la cycling révolution! A Kiwi in ParisRoger Dungan is a Kiwi living and working in Paris, who writes about his experiences cycling on the roads of France at his blog Thousandth Fastest. We’re delighted to share his most recent blog post, on the surprising joys of city biking….  We need a cycling revolution. A gentle one, not an angry one. But a revolution nonetheless. There’s a limit to how interesting my tales of my half-arsed cycling efforts can be. Even for me. So I’ll be saying a bit about some other things from time to time as well.  This is one of those times. This is still bike related (the maxim ‘write what you know’ still applies), but …
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Heading in the right direction? Experts put Auckland in context

Heading in the right direction? Experts put Auckland in contextLukas Adam has recently finished a spatial planning degree at Oxford Brookes University in the UK, and is moving back to Auckland to put theory into practice. As he discovered in his dissertation research, planning for cycling in spread-out cities like Auckland is mostly about infrastructure, but you can’t ignore the context… What’s the single biggest barrier to seeing more people on bikes in dispersed cities like Auckland? Safety (both real and perceived). What is the most effective approach for improving safety? Building physical infrastructure. Will ‘carrots’ alone be enough to encourage more people to bike? Probably not. Can’t we just cut and paste what they have done in the Netherlands? Not really. These were some of the messages gathered …
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Wonderful wonderful Copenhagen… through Auckland eyes

Wonderful wonderful Copenhagen... through Auckland eyesAucklander Keri Bloomfield is living the new parent dream – in Copenhagen, where she gets to bike around town with her baby as a matter of course. You can follow her her adventures on a beautiful blog (check out how to never be mistaken for a Dane while riding round Copenhagen) and via great videos on her FB page. Here, Keri gives us an overview of the top ten two-wheeled pleasures of her new home town… Before moving to Copenhagen, I lived in Auckland. A great city to live in but it was painful to commute in. Onewa Road, while giving me many hours of reflection in the car or bus, very nearly stole my soul – and Wynyard Quarter (bike …
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Orange you glad the Dutch Cycling Embassy came to visit?

Orange you glad the Dutch Cycling Embassy came to visit?(Sorry for the groanworthy pun, just trying to avoid another of those ‘going Dutch’ headlines…) On a rainy Monday night in Auckland, a standing room only crowd gathered eagerly to hear from the visiting Dutch Cycling Embassy. Most had arrived on bikes – including beautiful Dutch bikes, which formed a striking panorama on the Viaduct, outside The Original. Huge thanks go to the venue for hosting us at short notice; to the good people at Auckland Transport for running the event, live-streaming it (video available here) and providing valet parking; and to MR Cagney for support. A stirring speech of welcome was delivered by Councillor Chris Darby, one of our bike-friendliest city leaders, …
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Can Auckland go Dutch? A letter from Utrecht

Can Auckland go Dutch? A letter from UtrechtBrian Johnston was lucky enough to live in one of the best biking cities in the world for eight years. He’s been keeping tabs on developments in Auckland from a distance, and making comparisons… They say that the best things in life are free, and after having lived in The Netherlands I can confidently say that the Dutch know pretty well how to live that adage to the max. A nation of traders with a nose for a deal, no nonsense, and a strong belief in the right of all to do their own thing so long as it doesn’t impact on others. What has that got to do with riding a …
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‘Drive-and-ride’: California dreaming and some thoughts about Auckland

'Drive-and-ride': California dreaming and some thoughts about AucklandLast year during a trip to California, my wife and I satisfied a yearning for a bike ride by heading to the beach in a car. We decided to try a bit of ‘drive-and-ride’ – i.e. driving to somewhere suitable and comparatively safe and interesting for a bike outing. We headed to Balboa Peninsula, Newport Beach, where we joined hundreds of people swanning around on wheels on purpose-built cycling infrastructure and local streets. The ideal mix of house and garden eye-candy, beautiful marina, ice cream on the beach, and bars with live entertainment made for a very pleasant afternoon. I say hundreds of people, it could have been thousands; anyway, it was ridiculously popular. It was …
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Put a Bike On It – Jessica Rose bikes Portland

Put a Bike On It - Jessica Rose bikes PortlandPortland, Oregon: city of bridges, famous for its hipster attitude, craft beer capital of the States and possibly the world. Specky, beardy and full of artisanal products and people, it is of course also full of people on bikes. And it was this, not the weather (similar to Auckland’s, but colder, for longer), that brought me and my partner from halfway around the world in August to visit this inland city of just over six hundred thousand people. Portland did not disappoint on the bike count. We chose to stay at a guest house appropriately named The Friendly Bike Guesthouse, because it had a bike garage downstairs, and was very friendly on …
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We Don’t Know How Lucky We Are: Jessica Rose bikes Los Angeles

We Don't Know How Lucky We Are: Jessica Rose bikes Los AngelesTall poppy syndrome, greener grass syndrome, whatever you like to call it – us kiwis have a habit of immediately thinking ‘they have it better over there’. I’m no different: I fell in love with Portland after watching Portlandia, and somehow I knew if I ever went to America that was where I’d find my people. People who already ‘got it’ when it comes to better cities and happier humans living in them. So, back in August, in a devious plan to escape the drab Auckland winter, my partner and I settled on a modest trip. We wanted to bike around Portland and see what it was like to live …
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