Give Me Room: A campaign for a safe passing rule

Give Me Room: A campaign for a safe passing ruleYou never really forget what a close pass feels like. You’re tootling happily along on your bike and then, without warning, a motor vehicle roars past, sometimes close enough to touch. Even when it’s not that close, the noise and the air pressure fluctuations of a close pass are enough to get your heart racing. In an instant they can turn a joyful activity into a thing of terror. They’re intimidating and they discourage people from ever getting on a bike. And, in New Zealand, they’re completely legal. If Patrick Morgan gets his way, that will change. Patrick is Cycling Action Network’s project manager and he’s the closest thing we …
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Tamaki Drive: It’s Had Some Love, More is on the Way

Tamaki Drive: It’s Had Some Love, More is on the WayIf you frequently cycle along Tamaki Drive you might already have forgotten what we’ve gained as a result of the new-look Ngapipi Road intersection completed in July, and the Quay Street Cycleway extension which opened just last month. A reminder, then. The Quay Street Cycleway, already one of the city’s most popular routes, was extended by 800 metres towards the east, adding a dedicated bi-directional, protected lane from Plumer Street to just short of The Strand. Further along the waterfront, the Ngapipi Road intersection – until recently one of the country’s top 10 crash black spots, got a $9million safety upgrade. It acquired traffic lights, signalised pedestrian/bike crossings (in anticipation …
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A rough ride: run-ins en route to Middlemore

A rough ride: run-ins en route to MiddlemoreRounding out our series of guest posts by Middlemore medics who bike to work is Renate Koops, a consultant in General Medicine and Diabetes. Like her colleagues Rob Burrell and Craig Birch, Renate rides because it comes naturally – she’s Dutch! – and because it’s a refreshing and healthy way to travel. Or rather, it should be. Like Rob and Craig, Renate has more than once felt the unhappy consequences of traveling on roads dominated by cars and designed and used with little thought for people on bikes. Read on for a harrowing account of her run-ins en route to work – and her observations about what needs to change. …
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Cycling to Middlemore – a health hazard?

Cycling to Middlemore - a health hazard?A recent guest post by Dr Rob Burrell struck a real chord. It was about the irony of how dangerous it is to bike to one of Auckland’s biggest hospitals – despite cycling being one of the healthiest commutes there is. Now, Rob’s anaesthetist colleague Dr Craig Birch follows up with his own story of how difficult it is to bike safely to Middlemore. Content warning: two grisly crashes, resulting in what would officially qualify as merely ‘minor’ injuries.  I have cycled to Middlemore Hospital, where I work as an anaesthetist, for many years – since 2001. Unfortunately, safety issues have meant that I’ve had to resort to getting in my car …
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Common courtesy: why I wave at motorists who let me cross

Common courtesy: why I wave at motorists who let me crossI’ve long had a habit, like many others, of giving a cheery wave to motorists who slow down to let me cross when I approach a zebra crossing on my bike. Even if sometimes it’s just a quick raise of the hand – sorry, I need that hand back on my handlebar, there’s a tight turn just on the other side of the crossing!* A few months back, I saw a conversation on Twitter about this. I can’t find it now, and am loath to put words in people’s mouths in case I’ve remembered wrong, but the gist of it was this: Why should people on bikes wave and smile …
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Speaking the same language on safety

Speaking the same language on safetyWe welcome Auckland Transport’s recent media release last week, acknowledging the horrific increase since 2014 in deaths and serious injuries for people using AT’s road network (as laid out in the independent safety report commissioned by the AT board). It’s painful but necessary to have this out in the open, and Greater Auckland covered the topic well in a recent blog post.  We especially welcome the proposed response, which is that AT will massively ramp up its spending to create safer roads, joining Minister Genter’s commitment to Vision Zero. I’m keen to hear from you how the extra cycling safety dollars could be used most effectively. While you think about it, I’d like …
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Putting the brakes on business biking? 3 reasons for Beca and Aurecon to reconsider

Putting the brakes on business biking? 3 reasons for Beca and Aurecon to reconsiderThe first days of spring are a great time to be on a bike – and it’s a pretty good time to be in the business of building cycle infrastructure too, with plenty of great projects on the go, and (hopefully!) more to come as the cycle boom attracts support locally and nationally. So we’ve been taken aback to read that engineering consultancies Beca and Aurecon, both involved in major cycleway builds in Christchurch, have been reported as forbidding staff from cycling during work hours – even when they’re visiting their own bike-related projects: Some staff working on Christchurch’s new cycleways are not allowed to cycle during work hours because …
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