I still get a huge glow of pride when I think how you all responded to our joint campaign with Generation Zero. What really impressed me, when I scanned some of the 11,000 submissions, was the careful thought you gave to explaining how SkyPath would open up the city to you for easier cycling.
Most of you didn’t just tick boxes – you added your own story about why this project is needed. And those stories stuck in my mind.
We’re now looking towards the application hearing, which we hear will be late May – early June. (Ed. Hearing notices went out this week – the actual date is 2 – 8 June)
Council planners recently invited supporting submitters to a meeting to discuss the next steps, so as to help streamline the hearing. As you can appreciate, with that unprecedented number of submissions, it’s really going to be a juggling act, time-wise – trying to avoid repetition of evidence, while also letting everyone speak who wishes to be heard, so that the level of support can be properly understood.
[NB Generation Zero has noted that, of those who submitted via the online campaign, nearly 400 indicated that they’d be keen to speak in person. If every single one of those people spoke for ten minutes each, that alone would take two weeks! – Ed.]
Cycle Action will of course be making a presentation, and we’re happy to speak on behalf of anyone whose does not wish to speak personally and who feels our submission covers their position.
That said, we think it’s also important to give voice to the most compelling of the personal stories, as they truly bring SkyPath’s potential to life in a way that hard data can’t necessarily do, and can thus help change the perception of the commissioners. Your stories can help justify the benefits of the proposal, balance the legitimate concerns expressed by those living close to the route, and expose the outlandish claims by the more extreme opponents.
Is your story an especially strong or pertinent one? Then by all means consider speaking at the hearing.
Anyway. Here is our submission, so you can judge whether it speaks for you.
And here’s a guide to “what to expect from the hearing process“; very useful if you plan to appear in person. (It comes from Barry Kaye, a highly experienced planning consultant, who’s been retained to help Council manage the hearing process, and who chaired the meeting I mentioned above).
For now, this is simply a heads up: an invitation to think about how you want to make your voice heard, whether you need more information, and whether you wish to speak yourself, or wish us to speak on your behalf. We’ll follow up next week about how you can take up either of these offers.