Wednesday 12th October

Footpath cycling submissions

Where: see link in article
When: end of day

A few months ago, we wrote about Jo Clendon’s petition to legalise what’s a fairly normal practice for children and their caregivers (as well as older folk): riding on the footpath.

Since the petition was presented to Parliament, there’s been a lot more coverage (including on Seven Sharp; see also Toni’s take), and some good, nuanced discussion of the finer points.

Public opinion is invited – and Wednesday is the last day to have your say, via this online submission form.

Here’s the text of Jo’s petition:

The petition asks that the House recommend a change to the New Zealand Road Rules to allow cycling on the footpath by children under 14 years of age (and accompanying adults), seniors over the age of 65, and vulnerable users (such as those with mental or physical disabilities); make bells mandatory for any bicycle used on footpaths or shared use paths; and allow local authorities to exclude, on a reasonable basis, certain areas of footpath from being used for cycling.

It may be useful to know that what’s being proposed is legal in Australia (although limited by age in a couple of states). As Jo says,

Footpaths are for people. People on foot, babies in buggies, people using mobility scooters and wheelchairs, kids on scooters or skateboards…… so why not kids on bikes too?

As we noted in our previous blog post, a law change here would be a pragmatic option for a number of reasons – not least the (slow) speed with which cities are building safe 8-80 cycleways, and the speed at which traffic still travels on almost all New Zealand streets.

CAN, the Cycling Action Network supports the law change for kids under 12, adding a ‘share with care’ recommendation that people ride at no more than jogging pace. They also make the point (and we agree) that footpath cycling shouldn’t be seen as a substitute for getting on with creating proper bike lanes and cycleways.

For further updates and more background, check out Jo’s website, Cycling with Kids (there’s also a Facebook page). We especially recommend reading these posts:

Here’s the online submission form again – submissions close Wednesday 12 October!

You can also still sign the online petition, and spread the word.

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4 responses to “Footpath cycling goes to Parliament – have your say!

  1. Tried to make a submission and got “404 Not Found, Sorry about that”. Good to see the government can’t even run a website properly.

    1. Hi Matt – submissions closed Wednesday 12 October, which may have gotten lost in the messaging. Sorry about that! There may well be future opportunities to weigh in. We’ll keep you posted.

      1. Thanks. I contacted Wendy Hart at parliament and managed to get a late submission in. ;o)

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