Well, this one snuck up on us! Feedback is due by Thursday 13 August, on Local Board Plans for the coming three years. It’s time to raise your voice for great local bike links and safer streets.
Not sure which Local Board areas you live in, work in, or travel through? Use the handy address finder here.
(Note: you can comment on more than one Local Board Plan, Naturally you’ll have thoughts to share if you live in one area and work in another, or there are locations you regularly visit – e.g. Tamaki Drive – that need more bike-friendly thinking. As time is short, start close to home and see how you go!)
Update: we understand Council may be lenient about late submissions under the Level 3 circumstances, likely through to end of business on Friday – but urge you to get your feedback in ASAP, just in case!
Q. Why is it important to speak up on Local Board Plans?
Each Local Board Plan covers the next three years. Specifically for this year, the plans outline “the key initiatives we want to focus on to help our communities thrive and support the recovery from the impacts of COVID-19”.
How we act today affects what we’ll see through to 2023 and beyond – and besides the pandemic, the climate clock is loudly ticking. So this is an incredibly important moment to speak up.
Also, the members of each board are accountable to the community, and guided by it. So they’ll need your support to deliver bike-friendly outcomes – and they need you to point out how those outcomes will help achieve their stated priorities.
Q. What sorts of things can Local Board Plans change for everyday cycling?
Your Local Board has major place-making power, and can advocate and work directly with Auckland Transport, Auckland Council, and Panuku to transform the places where you live, walk, and bike.
This covers little things like better bike parking at the shops, or ramps instead of hard curbs, all the way up to specific street projects and area-wide issues like safer speeds and greenways through parks.
Q. How do I add my voice?
It’s as easy as 1-2-3:
2. Read over your Local Board’s Draft Plan – all the links are on this page.
3. Give your feedback via the online survey – all the links are on this page. Note that you’ll need to give your name and verify your email address.
You can also give feedback by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or by commenting on your Local Board’s Facebook page using the hashtag #lovelocal.
Q. What do I say?
In previous rounds, Bike Auckland has digested each and every Local Board’s budget or plan, given feedback on all of them, and shared that info with you. Obviously 2020 has made that more of a challenge – but we know we can count on you to scan the plan and make your feedback count.
- THINK POSITIVE – often our elected officials only hear from people who want something stopped, or who disapprove of how something went. This is a chance to praise any improvements, no matter how small, and point out how the next steps will leverage those small wins. If you’ve got critiques (and who hasn’t?), highlight the potential.
- BE YOURSELF – Describe how your experience would be different if… ‘If my kids could bike safely to school…’ ‘If there was better lighting in that park…’ ‘If there was bike parking at the shops…’ ‘If the rat-runners stopped racing down my street…’
- USE KEYWORDS – Scan the plan for these key terms to find initiatives you can support. And if you don’t find bike-friendly initiatives in your Local Board plan, mention that in your feedback!
Transport. This will take you straight to the sections where you’ll most likely find any priorities to do with bikes.
Cycling, obviously! What does the plan promise in the way of support for cycling, cycleways, cycle or bike infrastructure? Even if the plans are a bit vague, support them, and explain why they’re important. The LB needs to know there’s support out there.
Greenways. Does your LB have a Greenways Plan? If they do, great! Do they mention any priorities for building particular paths? Support them, or suggest others. If they don’t mention their Greenways Plan, ask them to create one.
Transport Capital Fund. Every Local Board has a significant fund that can be put towards street improvements. Often, it doesn’t get used… because nobody asks. So if you can think of a specific project, mention it!
Vision Zero, safer speeds, traffic-calming, road safety. Support or suggest any initiatives to improve safety and encourage local trips on foot and on bike.
Pedestrians – pretty much anything that makes streets better for pedestrians (slower speeds, more crossings, more connections) is bound to be good for those of us on wheels, too.
Parks, health, children, diversity, connections, sustainability, heritage, strong community... bikes play a part in almost every key priority a community might have. Some Local Boards are quick to join the dots; others need us to let them know how more people on bikes will achieve all sorts of goals.
You can also add a document up to 10MB. This could be a local survey, a photo of you and your neighbours on bikes, anything that helps your Local Board see why safer cycling is a key part of a resilient and healthy neighbourhood in the years ahead.
Quick, add your voice now! And then pat yourself on the back for being a good citizen. You’re a great citizen!