Cycling infrastructure is good for walking too

NYCUnionSquare - credit NYCDOT
Union Square – New York – Cycle lanes help narrow the lane and makes crossing easier for pedestrians

This article outlines how:

on New York streets that received protected bike lanes from 2007 to 2011, total traffic injury rates – most of which, in New York, injure people walking – fell by 12 to 52 percent.

So the growth in cycle infrastructure has been good for people walking as well. This is great news and more people walking or cycling is a big boost for the community and personal well-being of Aucklanders.

It is unfortunate that in Auckland the anaemic amount of space given to active modes has resulted in people walking and cycling to feel that they are in competition. Shared paths, although good in some contexts, have led to conflict in some areas of Auckland.

A cyclist playing nicely on a shared path

From my personal point of view, much of this conflict is caused by a small group of cyclists who seem to take the poor driving habits of Aucklanders over into their cycling activities. This manifests itself in a sense of entitlement to the path and a desire to travel at the the maximum possible speed at all times, regardless of the conditions or other road users.

This wedge driven between the two groups that should be natural allies is unfortunate. If one was of a more paranoid nature, there could be seen a deliberate attempt to keep these groups at each others’ throats to stop coordinated advocacy. Luckily, this is not the case and generally walking and cycling advocacy groups work closely together – despite individual conflicts elsewhere.

Please do “share with care” and in shared areas ride at a speed that takes into account people walking, or even people cycling who are slower than you.

Join us

Bike Auckland is the non-profit organisation working to improve things for people on bikes. We’re a people-powered movement for a better region. We speak up for you – and the more of us there are, the stronger our voice!

Suggest a new ride