As reported in the news on Tuesday, another cyclist has died after a collision with a truck in Auckland, at the intersection of Parnell Rise and The Strand, northeast of the City Centre.

Our feelings are with family and friends of the dead cyclist. Whatever the actual causes of the crash (and it is too early to do more than wild speculation), authorities need to do A LOT MORE to prevent such incidents.

And that is where we need to focus attention on Auckland Transport and NZTA. Over 2 years ago, another cyclist died not far from the location of Tuesday’s fatality, at the intersection of The Strand / Quay Street. It didn’t make the news like Jane Bishop’s death, because the woman cyclist died several weeks later in hospital, and the RWC was distracting everyone. (Editorial update and correction – the woman did not die. She required extensive hospital care and  was left with serious injuries which have life limiting impact)

Since then, we have seen numerous intersection improvement plans being discussed back and forth by the two authorities responsible for these roads*. We keep hearing that cycle facilities will be built “soon”, or “this summer” (the latest undefined date) but things get pushed back and nothing happens. Will the same thing happen again?

This is an impossible state. We used to say “somebody has to be killed for something to happen” – do we have to change that to “somebody has to be killed for people to notice that nothing happens“?

Interestingly, a month or so ago, a report commissioned by Auckland Transport and NZTA  was completed on walking & cycling improvements for Stanley Street / The Strand. While the proposed changes in the report would have our full support, we have heard through the grapevine that many of the changes would meet strong resistance from those worried it might impact on vehicle traffic. It will be interesting to see what priorities the road authorities place on walking and cycling safety vs Port traffic efficiency.

What else is new? Just another gravestone.

As we said, it is not clear yet what caused Tuesday’s cycle death. However, whoever or whatever cause is to blame, our cycle injury and fatality levels are way too high, SEVERAL TIMES above the best-practice rates from Europe.

We have already made our New Year call for commitment and leadership in Auckland Transport to deliver more, faster for cycling this year.

We will also be underway soon working with others from the transport sector on the NZTA’ s national cycling safety project. It will report mid’ year. It needs to produce a new paradigm and investment regime for cycling safety that will be seen and felt throughout NZ in 2015.

[Stanley Street and The Strand are part of State Highway 16, and as such part of NZTA’s network, though shared with AT].

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126 responses to “Sadness at another cyclist death, and anger

  1. Having spent thirty years as a professional drive in Auckland I would suggest that cyclists who obey the road laws and treat motorists with courtesy are at much lower risk.
    While driving 60 hour weeks I very rarely had a day when I did not see 90% of cyclists ignore red lights and lane markings around Auckland central.
    Any time you mix effectively unprotected humans with vehicles weighing up to thirty tons and travelling at speed common sense becomes a critical factor.

    1. My thoughts are with the cyclist (reported to be John Tangiia) who was run over by the truck and the family and friends he left behind.

    2. My experiences with 2-wheelers, over the same period or longer, is quite different. It is the arrogant and maniacal people, enclosed in 4-wheeled capsules and missiles, that I found fault with all day long, or night. Are we both speaking of Auckland, New Zealand? May I just make sure that it was actually heavy vehicles you were operating? You limit us to thirty tonne

    3. Another thing that has got me scratching my head is this: “travelling at speed common sense becomes a critical factor” It didn’t occur on the motorway. It was at Stanley Street. On the corner, you know. By the Pub. Directly across the road from the Commercial Vehicles Investigation Unit. Speed can’t be a factor in this. Who would be dumb enough to speed past 10 guys attached to the Police Department with nothing better to do than to make some lucky truck driver’s day? That road goes up to the Domain and the Hospital. The motorway is up past Grafton Road. I don’t get the relevance of speed to the topic. Personally, I don’t think that any vehicles should be permitted to travel at more than about 25 kph within, say, 2 k of the Town Hall. There is no need to because traffic signals defeat it, and the City would be so much more refined, quieter, relaxing and interesting

  2. The saddest thing is the vitriol on the NZHerald Facebook page. The usual “cyclists get what they deserve”, “cyclists don’t pay for the roads” drivel.

    There also seems to be an assumption that the cyclist was at fault. The article says the truck was on a green (so presumably the cyclist was on a red) but there is no confirmation of that. I hope there is some CCTV footage to confirm what happened. it would be nice to some informed, intelligent debate around this issue in the Anglophone world but I wont be holding my breath.

    Regardless of who made the mistake, the roading system should follow the Dutch model and be designed so mistakes are not fatal. Right now staying alive on our roads, whether as cyclist, pedestrian, car driver or truck driver, depends on noone making a mistake – not a great assumption when humans are involved.

      1. As you both (Ben and Bryce) know, I seek no fight over issues such as cycle safety. Urgent action is needed from the council to reduce the risks to Aucklands cycling community. I would say that part of that action should be a clamp down on everyone running red lights and an education programme aimed at cyclists about obeying laws (including wearing helmets) and drivers about spacial awareness. This is not just a NZ programme and in the Nederlands they also have problems with cycling accidents, G Webster is right – common sense around trucks especially is a crucial factor.

        1. Phil cycling in the Netherlands is accounting for 27% of all trips nationwide and up to 59% of all trips in its cities. I am an expat in Amsterdam. READ the article you posted – it refers to the last 6 years the rate has not dropped. that is like saying death by driving has not dropped for cars in NZ in the last 6 years.NOT relevant.

          Try this link: note seconds 40 and 54. History repeats. If not Auckland will have 10 lanes like LA and worse traffic jams: Like LA. Think progressive not stone age…

        2. The key difference is that the Dutch are continually updating, building infrastructure and doing research in order to lower their deaths. For what it’s worth, I read a Dutch study showing that the biggest increase in bike deaths has happened in the over 60 age group and is occurring quite a lot on electric bikes. Ie. they are moving faster than their reactions can cope with. When pedalling, your speed is limited by your fitness/strength. Also, as we age, we are more likely to die from a fall of any kind due to infection and the slowed healing process. On the positive side, older people riding bikes improves their health so health costs are reduced. Bike deaths and injuries alone do not tell the whole story. The problem in NZ, is that it is generally younger, fitter people dying.

    1. Whether the assumption that the cyclist was on a red is correct, it is a logical assumption. When the other direction has a green light, you typically wouldn’t get even a green light for left turning; or if there isn’t a light, then at least the left-turning traffic would have a give-way sign. So in either case, it’s quite likely the cyclist did not obey the road rules and unfortunately got killed. Perhaps CAA should invest more to educate all the cyclists so that they follow the road rules the same way as other road users. And where there is a cycle lane, make sure it is used!

      I see shocking behaviours from cyclists on a daily basis (running through red lights being the most common) and sometimes I really wonder why they would do certain things that could easily get themselves killed. If they want respect from other road users, perhaps they should show more respect to their own lives first.

        1. What’s your point? I don’t know why people keep comparing NZ to Netherlands. These are two completely different countries that have different central government and local government governance structures. NZ’s tax-funding system is also different as well as the government spending priorities. Yes, the good practice that has been proven successful in another country should be taken into account, but this doesn’t mean everything done overseas should be copied here exactly the same way. Things work out differently in different places.

          1. Oh really. The old “but we’re different” line. Have a look around. There are Dutch people living in NZ. They are the same as you and I. There is no difference only that the Dutch choose to give pedestrians and people on bikes a fair chance.

          2. I bet in Netherlands there are way fewer roads where heavy vehicles such as trucks have to share the space with light vehicles and cyclists because they have separate roads for trucks and buses only. This is not the case at all in NZ. To create an equivalent user-friendly transport environment, the entire road design needs an overhaul, which requires funding as well and this is more than just putting cycle lanes in each road. At this level, NZ is a lot different from Netherlands and most European countries, and has a long way to go.

    2. They dont pay for the roads! .Do they pay road user charges-NO do they pay Reg -NO Do they pay WOF-No do they pay ACC levies-NO

      1. They pay all of these things, because 95% of all cyclists are also motorists. Plus, not nearly all traffic costs are paid from the above.

        PS: Under the your logic, pedestrians should be lambasted the same. After all, these bludgers get a lot more pandering than cyclists (footpaths EVERYWHERE!) and yet they pay no rego, no fuel tax, no nothing. Works the same way.

      2. Assuming that the “they” you refer to is cyclists then I have to ask what is your point?
        As a car driver I don’t pay road user charges or reg or WOF because someone is the registered owner of the car that I drive and is responsible for that. So what’s your point?
        And the car owner doesn’t pay for diesel road user charges because the car is petrol driven. So what’s your point?
        I pay ACC levies as part of my employment, I pay rates (which pay for a big chunk of the local roads), and I pay for petrol (which funds a big chunk of NZTA funding). So what’s your point?
        Oh, and I ride a bike which I hope makes your trip to work and car parking a little easier than it would be otherwise.
        Share the love.

      3. AS a commuter cyclist I’ve had to pay $730 in ACC levies, $234 in registration fees, and $45 for a WOF (no RUC because I don’t have a diesel car).

      4. Nardoo please get your facts straight. Road User Charges pay towards State Highways and Motorways most roads are paid for by rates and taxes. It is the heavy vehicle that is heavily subsidised by thecar user, ratepayer and taxpayer. Cyclists tend to use taxpayer/ratepayer funded roads and paths which we all pay towards.

        Cyclists if earners do pay ACC levies and have done since 1992. The earners levy was introduced to pay for recreational activities due to the screams of the couch potatoes who prefer heart attacks to injuries.

    3. Not so much an argument for or against cycling safety but an interesting statistic for you to ponder…
      Dutch cycling deaths per year approx 200, population 16.5m means 1 death per 82500.
      NZ average cycling deaths per year 15, population 4.5m which means 1 death per 266000 people.
      Agreed that 5 million Dutch people ride their bikes every day but they seem to pay a high price despite all the safety measures

      1. But Malcolm, the dutch have almost 25% mode share to our 1-2% – that means over 10 times our cycle rates!!!

        That means that their “heavy price” is actually a cycle fatality rate that is a THIRD of ours. If we get to that level in NZ, we would be sweet, and cycling would flourish, though of course the occasional tragedy would still happen.

  3. As a casual cyclist who travels to work 2 or 3 days a week to the very office outside where this fatality occurred I can only say that rather than blaming the authorities immediately, perhaps waiting for the outcome of cause would be more appropriate.

    I see regularly cyclists with no chance of stopping hurtling down Parnell rise sometimes very early in the morning with no lights. Perhaps more energy should be invested in cyclist safety awareness as first port of call. a cyclist will never win up against a truck, car, bus and the pavement.

    1. I regularly go to that area for training and I often see cars hurtling down Parnell rise with very little chance of stopping for an unexpected incident.

      The point is that the roads should allow for mistakes. Cyclists should be separated from cars so that we are all safe. I imagine when you say cyclist, you are imagining a fit person in lycra. What about children or a woman on a sit up bike? What sort of training do you recommend for them to handle this dangerous intersection?

      I don’t think any training can protect vulnerable users. What about if we changed our criteria for roads from “allows cars to travel as fast as possible” to “a child can safely cycle here”? Wouldn’t that be a better, safer city albeit one where motorists travel a little slower? But that requires funding and the amount allocated to cycling in NZ is pitiful.

      1. The way motorists and cyclists run red lights is very different and that particular intersection is a good example. A motorist will run a light as it goes amber-red because they can get through before the opposing traffic starts to move. A cyclist will charge on through an already red light and down the inside of a stationary queue of traffic because they can get away with hugging the curb and turning left.

        Running a red light is not a “mistake”, it is a conscious decision and a calculated risk. It’s also illegal and if cyclists had license plates and basic license requirements then they, too, could be identified and appropriately dealt with for that sort of behaviour.

  4. Everyone who rides a bike, would like to ride a bike or have friends or children who ride bikes, needs to write a letter requesting best practice bike infrastructure and send it to. their Local Board members, Councillors, MP’s etc. This is the way we will get action. Hop to it.

  5. I am so sad that this young man died on a key direct route to town and uni for many commuters.
    It is quite likely he had no other route options for his journey that he could take to bypass this appalingly dangerous intersection.

    This is also my my regular commute route to the CBD.

    My alternative route is equally dangerous.
    I am always terrified when my route to town takes me through the Gladstone Road Strand intersection – a few metres from the traffic lights at Tamaki Drive.
    There is absolutely no where for a bike to fit when turning right into the Strand (with the intention to turn left into Quay Street or right into Tamaki Drive). The lanes are too narrow and there is no curb drop down to allow quick access onto the footpath.

    I have asked for quick cycle safety measures to be undertaken here since the a woman was killed on the Quay Street part of this intersection shortly after Jane’s death.
    The reply is always that this extended intersection site is part of a wider roading programme.

    Like yesterday’s cyclist death site- we need immediate action from the decision makers and budget controllers – as we saw when Jane Bishop died Tamaki Drive car parks were removed very quickly to ease the fatal pinch point.

    It is macabre that cyclists only see significant safety measures taken after a cyclist is killed by a motor vehicle.

    AT/NZTA/Auckland Council- enough is enough!!
    Don’t rely on other cyclists and lobby groups to plead for action
    – use your own initiative- your own money- your own experts to sort out known Black Spots and identify potential Black Spots.
    If you don’t have the initiative, money or experts – go out and find it!!

    You should be telling me that cycling contributes to the transport solution in Auckland-
    I shouldn’t have to plead!

    I want to keep leaving my car at home and riding a bike for transport!

    1. Such a dreadful unnecessary tradegy and working in the Saatchi building I am no at all surprised to hear of this cyclists death. We in the building have witnessed much, in fact recently 8 truck turnovers on the corner of the Strand and St Georges Bay Rd. A Staff member was recently hit and injured by the turned over truck, as it slammed into a van in front, which then hit the young women waiting to cross the road to the carpark opposite. Pedestrians and cyclists are reguarly hit along this stretch of road and we as local businesses have written strongly, begging, pleading and making suggestions to make this stretch of road safer for all. The response we get is stock standard they are investigating but make it very clear that they cannot interfere with the trucks! We have been trying for many years and nothing has changed and I suspect very little will change going forward! Another accident waitng to happen is cycling towards the city and navigating through the Tamaki drive, Ngapipi Rd insection. Cyclist are being jammed between the merging traffic from Ngapipi Rd and the traffic travelling into the city…it is plain scary to watch as cyclist try to avoid being caught between two lanes and want to naturally move over to the left. It is amazing how motorist refuse to let the cyclist move over to the left and instead leave the vulnerable cyclist risk being hit from both sides. Selfish and intolerant behaviour at its worst!
      Many citys overseas are embracing cycling and the infrastructure required and it is having a profound effect of humanising those cities ( New York, Sydney, Canberra and many Eurpean cities) and we need to do the same. NZ Tousism want cycling tourists to come to NZ but we already have a reputation for being very cycling unfriendly and with it a great risk to life. Wake up Politicians and stop being stuck in the old mode of thinking and cater for cycling, as is not going away and it is increasingly becoming a way of life.

      1. No good talking to politicians. You need to find people prepared to take the time to place a deckchair there and photograph the careless drivers you just described. The four-wheeled elite have somehow seen to it that there is no 1.5 meter Rule. The photos or footage could be sent to NZ Private Prosecution Service (Graham McCready) and he could law charges of careless driving or, in the instances of less than a meter clearance, dangerous driving against the foolish, ignorant, road hogs. If legislation prevents him he could formally lay complaints with the relevant obligated authority on threat of laying even more serious charges against it if it fails to fulfill

        1. No good talking to politicians. You need to find people prepared to take the time to place a deckchair there and photograph the careless drivers you just described. The four-wheeled elite have somehow seen to it that there is no 1.5 meter Rule. The photos or footage could be sent to NZ Private Prosecution Service (Graham McCready) and he could lay charges of careless driving or, in the instances of less than a meter clearance, dangerous driving against the foolish, ignorant, road hogs. If legislation prevents him he could formally lay complaints with the relevant obligated authority on threat of laying even more serious charges against it if it fails to fulfill

          1. I just copped a $400 ticket at midday yesterday because I needed to put a car outside. It is still holidays for many business and there wouldn’t have been more than 6 cars parked in our whole street. There is no reason whatsoever for a parking warden to be anywhere near here. And to do it so sneakily. He or she must have tiptoed because I was right there, in the driveway. That $400 they are going to steal off me would pay for someone to go to Ngapipi Rd intersection and do what I just said for a week

      2. There is something that can be done and now. Trucks should be banned from the wharf and all containers railed to the inland port as many are already. Trucks can then uplift containers away from the central city for distribution or of course railed to their destination.

    2. Good comment. Good person. No nonsense. If they wont fix it I’ll do it myself, and get on with my life. Please note, readers. This person is a Kiwi

  6. I am a husband to my dear wife who rides her bike to the shops. I am a father to my 6 year old son who rides his bike to school and around the local neighbourhood. I ride a bike around the neighbouring streets – to the supermarket, the beach and cafés etc. I have friends who ride bikes around town and they have children and friends and loved ones.
    I also drive a car and pay rates.
    Every day I see people riding bikes I am left with the thought that they have been left out by the powers that be when traffic planning is undertaken. They are left to share roads with fast traffic or seek refuge on the footpath (Illegally).
    The only way to improve the actual safety and the perceived safety of riding a bike is to do as the Dutch have done and build a network of bike friendly paths, streets (lower speed) and connecting bridges, underpasses etc. They also teach bike safety from a young age.
    In Auckland the rate of progress to getting safer infrastructure has been glacial. In New York City, under the first 3 years of Janette Sadik-Kahn’s reign as Transport Commissioner, NYC installed roughly 350 km’s of bike paths for a budget of around US$8.8M. Is the same time Auckland has seen very little change other than that brought about by NZTA (Grafton Gulley).
    Getting more people onto bikes is good for traffic flow, health – both physical and mental, and social interaction.
    It is time to get serious about providing the safe network that we need. It’s time to act, not talk, not test. Why, for instance, are we testing Copenhagen Lanes? They are proven to work. Why are Auckland Transport ‘testing’ a bike corral? They work very well elsewhere in the world and Auckland is no different in any vital ways to NYC or Copenhagen.
    Get to it for the many people who ride bikes but do not speak up. Traffic flow and congestion can NOT be the only metric to consider when looking at roading infrastructure.
    Some reading for you:

    Bryce Pearce

  7. This is a terrible outcome. The roads should be made safe, as soon as possible.

    That way we can get more people cycling, safely.

      1. Thanks Bryce, good suggestion. I have just sent a short letter to Nikki Kaye (Auckland central MP) about this, emphasising the importance of ensuring safe routes for people cycling to and from the central city.

        Perhaps CAA can do a form letter for people to send, perhaps to AT as well if that is appropriate.

        1. Hi Monica – we rarely do suggest form letters, unless as part of a larger, pre-prepared campaign. People writing in individually, in their own words, are so much more powerful, since it literally shows they care enough to do so, rather than simply adding their name to an internet petition or form letter.

          And thank you very much for your letter to Nikki, and anything else you do or encourage others to do!

  8. Truck driver had the green light what does that tell you ,cyclist went through red light typical behaviour

    1. Your “typical behaviour” has been researched by a AT staff member as part of a prize-winning research paper (we blogged about it here on the page).

      He found that in percentage terms, about as many cyclists run red lights as motorists do (once you remove cyclists using the pedestrian phase). So the “typical behaviour” is indeed typical. All road users do it.

      And the intersection where this death occurs is NOTORIOUS for car and truck drivers running the red light – especially coming right out of Beach Road, I see it all the time. So much for “typical” indeed.

      1. My experience trumps an anonymous researcher.
        Cite please?
        In the normal 60hrs week I would see only one or two motor vehicles run a red,excluding police cars and did see this behaviour from 90% of cyclists.
        And why remove the pedestrian phase except to skew the results?

        1. Sorry, your experience doesn’t trump the stats:

          Why remove the pedestrian lights? Presumably for a number of reasons:

          A) because pedestrian/cyclist speed differences are much, much lower (some occasional cyclist assholes notwithstanding) and thus it is much safer to share them

          b) because in many jurisdictions of the world, pedestrian lights can be legally cycled across. Including in NZ, all it takes is to add little cyclist lights – no other changes needed, and suddenly it’s fine. Have a look at the traffic lights at Newton Road / Piwakawaka Street (crossing Newton) or the crossing of St Lukes Road southern side of St Lukes Interchange.

          As a regular pedestrian and cyclists I see lots of red light running by drivers, but most drivers obey the law, as do most cyclists. Your claim of 90% cyclists red-light running meanwhile is clearly hyperbole, I argue, massively exagerrated to make your point.

          NOTE: I do however stand corrected! My memory made me mis-state the study. Red-light running by cyclists is at the same level as PEDESTRIANS (about 3.9%) not as car drivers, who are at about half. So yep, cyclists run red lights more than car drivers. Read the study presentation for some discussion as to why.

          1. So because It’s not in a official report what actually happens is false?
            Get real.
            No,not exaggerated at all.
            But what’s the point of trying to convince the true believers?

          2. “Max says:
            January 8, 2014 at 9:18 pm
            Yes, I might ask you that question, but what is the point.”
            The point is that many cyclists do not want to admit that their own behaviour is more than half of the problem because they want large sums of money spent to support their chosen mode of transport.
            Cyclists are their own worst enemies.
            And by the way-I do ride.

          3. Kelvin.. as far as I can tell, neither CAA nor anyone here is “picking a fight” or “trying to justify turning left on a red light” or “making it the truck driver’s fault”.

            On the contrary, CAA (and as far as I am aware, all other cycling lobby groups, and most formally organised bunch ride groups) actively promote safe cycling, which includes adhering to traffic lights and the road code generally.

            No doubt most of us here are therefore frustrated when we see or hear of cyclists doing otherwise: frankly, they undermine our cause.

            I share N.Donatire’s feelings below (8 Jan 7:58 pm) about cyclists riding straight through pedestrian crossings. You can see this in my part of town as well. You can also see many more cars jumping the very same lights.

            And at this point I want to note that I am not commenting on Tuesday’s tragic events. I would rather everyone left that to the coroner.

            That said, as Max has noted carefully, there are reasons, related to cyclists’ perception of their own safety, that lead some to choose, in specific circumstances, to turn left on some red lights, or to “jump start” some straight-on green phases, or to ride short sections as a pedestrian and so on. There are circumstances in which I will do this myself. For example, when I am stationary in a green “advance cycle box” and there is a revving 4×4 right behind me half into the box, and the pedestrian phase of a red light is almost over, and there are no pedestrians crossing and there is a pinch point 50 m ahead. This does not mean I am above the law.. if I get ticketed, fair cop.

            But never mind my personal anecdotes, or anyone else’s: Max’s link refers to properly collected and analysed statistics and is well worth reading. And there are plenty of other robust empirical studies available online that further investigate the broader issues of cyclists’ subjective safety.

            More fundamentally, in order for CAA’s vision to make cycling in Auckland an attractive, safe and viable every-day choice.. there needs to be proper consideration of the root causes of hazards as well as the immediate cause: are our roads “forgiving”, as the Dutch put it. Other than in rare cyclist v pedestrian incidents, cyclists are the vulnerable party of course.

            An analogy I would make is in the area of workplace safety.

            If a worker lost his hand in a machine, even if he was doing something wrong, and the machine had no guard.. what is the root cause? Is it the worker’s own stupid fault, end of story, or are there (also) broader issues related to the design of the machine, the assessment and management of hazards and the safety culture generally at the workplace.. that, if addressed, might prevent further “accidents”, or at least mitigate the consequences? And if so, would you not address those?

          4. @Tim: In CAA’s original post at the top, there is no mentioning of or calling on the cyclists ensuring that they adhere to the traffic rules. In the 2nd paragraph, they said whatever caused the accident, AUTHORITIES need to do a lot more to prevent such accidents. Note ‘authorities’, then what about cyclists themselves??? Don’t they have any responsiblities for their very own safety???

            I don’t deny that road design needs to be reconsidered and more funding should be provided to provide a safer environment for cycling. BUT, in this particular case, if the cyclist didn’t run the red, he wouldn’t have been dead. In my view, CAA’s post is quite one-sided and all the blame was put on NZTA/AT for not acting properly.

            Finally, where there are purposefully biult cycle lanes, cyclists very rarely use them. I see this everyday in Wellington and it always confuses me why they would rather compete for space on the road with trucks/buses/cars, risking their own and other people’s lives, when there are separate concrete-fenced cycle lane right beside them?? Quite often large vehicles such as trucks and buses either have to slow down to the cyclists’ speed until the roads get wider for them to safely pass or cross the middle line to overtake, which then results in disruption to the traffic flow in the other lane. If the cycle lanes are not used, then what’s the point of the millions of dollars to be spent?

        2. As a motorist and cyclist, I see far morre motorists run red lights than cyclists. I would also say that the motorists who run red lights do so in a far more dangerous manner. That is, the motorist does not slow down, but accelerates through the light. I would also speculate, that having a Ford Ranger purposely driving at 60kph through a red light (Note: I managed to stop for said light, and the Ranger passed me from behind), is far more likely to kill someone else, than a cyclist riding through a red light.

          1. But the difference is if the red-running motorist killed or was killed as a result of that, he or she would be blamed for that.

            However, if a cyclist rided through a red light and got killed (highly likely) by a motorist who had the right to go, people’s focus then shifted to blame the innocent motorist for not looking for the red-running cyclist or the bad design/condition of the road rather than the cyclist’s bad behaviour. This is exactly what happened in this case. So how is this fair?

          2. And I agree with you on this one Observer. I think that CAA is picking the wrong fight here. Trying to justify turning left on a red light and making it the truck driver’s fault is very poor form. My original comment was more about how no-one see’s motorists driving through red lights despite the higher risk to others that they create. A cyclist running a red light is only going to kill themselves. And blaming the hill, for the cause is also non sensical. CAA should focus their fight on the vehicles that try to pass at pinch points in the road, or at lights that don’t pick up cyclists, or on educating cyclists to wear a helmet and to use lights, or not to automatically run through a red light as though it isn’t there. It is unfair to blame the truckie (as much as they annoy me at times), for running over someone who thought it was okay to turn the corner the same time as the truck was going through.

          3. “And I agree with you on this one Observer. I think that CAA is picking the wrong fight here. Trying to justify turning left on a red light and making it the truck driver’s fault is very poor form. ”

            Can you please tell me where CAA ever claimed this? This article is mainly led by concerns at the slack response by authorities to past cycle deaths, and the fact that our cycle death rates are about 3 times those in many countries in Europe.

            Also, do you believe that if a cyclist IS at fault, he deserves death for a stupid decision? In that case, you have a very extremist Darwinian persuasion. In that case, we should also deny medical treatment to various accident victims who undertook sports when they could have stayed home, went fishing in bad weather etc… Just let them die, nothing needs to be done… sad, sad. We won’t be pushed in that direction.

            This death could likely have been prevented by any of the following (some speculative): trucks having underrun protection, truck volumes in the inner city being lower, speeds being lower, there being a cycle lane, and the cyclist not running the red light. You folks are focusing on ONE aspect, because it fulfills your “he deserved it” attitude. Even if you think that is okay, what about the risks to the 19 out of 20 cyclists (based on Melbourne and Auckland studies) that obey red lights?

          4. @Max: I think you are over-reacting to Kelvin’s comments. First of all, no one said the cyclist deserved the death. But realistically, if someone decided to run a risk, there will likely be a cost. Unfortunately in this case the cost is the cyclist’s life.

            In this particular case, the death could ONLY be prevented if the cyclist did not run the red. Ironically putting a cycle lane in that particular road probably would actually encourage cyclists to run the red. All the other measures you mentioned would not work in the current case.

            Each cyclist-related accident case is different and we are only focusing on this particular incident. If CAA wants to use this particular incident to call for support for a cycling-friendly environment, then I think it’s fair that they also have a focus of emphasising to all cyclists the importance of obeying the road rules. But I did not read a single word of this in their post.

          5. Max, It’s not an extreme darwinian view, but more of frustration that in what was a tragic accident, the truck driver seems to get lumped with a lot more blame. Whether or not anything is said about who is at fault or not, the implication is that the truckie should have taken more care. As a cyclist who does stop for red lights, and drives at the speed limit (yes, I am anal about that), most of my comment is based on the “If we tidy up our behaviour, then they have nothing to complain about when we ask for cycle lanes, better light phasing,slower speeds, etc.

            Because when I go out cycling, I want to know that the car behind me isn’t thinking “another flippin red light running cyclist, let’s scare him”, and the only way that will happen is if all cyclists ride responsibly.

          6. The problem is you are all focused on the fact that he ran a red. Why did he go through the red? There was a truck there. They are not small and unnoticeable. Have you stopped to consider that we do not have all the facts and there may have been an issue with his bike or perhaps he had a health issue at the one time he needed his full attention? No, we do not know the answers to these questions so in the interests of a full and fair story, we should be awaiting any coroners report. Please, the guy is dead. Some element of respect at least.

          7. Are you trying to say that if there was a reason for the red-running, then running a red light is not the cyclist’s fault? That is, by itself, incredible. I wonder if a motorist was caught red-running, the police would buy that story to not issue a ticket.

            I focused on the fact that the cyclist ran a red because this is the only reason he was killed. The truck driver didn’t do anything wrong. If red-running is the direct contributor to the tragedy, then the lesson to be learned is that cyclists should ensure they obey the road rules, they maintain their bikes well (so there is no brake failure incident), they appreciate how fast other vehicles are, etc. My problem with CAA’s post is that none of the above was even mentioned; instead, they put all the blame on the authorities for not acting quickly to put in a cycle lane there.

            At the end of the day, respect needs to be earned. I think it’s fair to say that to date, cyclists as a group have not earned such respect from other road users. I never said the cyclist in this case deserved the death, but unfortunately this is the cost he paid for his mistake and it is very costly.

          8. What a soulless human being. We know very little about what and why and you are still saying ‘respect has to be earned’. He was a person, just like you or I.

          9. I thought there is freedom of speech in NZ but I got some insulting attacks just because I have a different opinion from yours.

            If you read the last paragraph in my earlier comment within the context, you would appreciate that I was refering to the cyclists as a group, not the cyclist in the accident.

            I feel sorry for the guy; that’s all I could say about him. I feel more for the truck driver as he has to live with this terrible scene for the rest of his life. I haven’t seen any advocates showing any sympathy to the truck driver – typically biased, one-sided view.

        3. Try this articule and then say the roads are safe: Policeman and cycling advocate run over: Dead

          Also read this watch this and note seconds 40 and 54:

          And look at this and think if Auckland is to become a “modern city” then bike lanes need to be part of one. The cycling population will not disappear but only increase. Everyone wins if they are off the roads like other “smart” MODERN cities.

      2. Prize Winning Paper? The report that is linked is a powerpoint presentation (a pretty amateur looking one). Who gave the prize, you guys?

        also asking cyclists to provide responses as to whether or not they break the law or not is not a very good source of reliable information.

        Hardly a balanced report and not of any use really

        1. It won the prize “People’s Choice – Oral Presentation” at the 2013 IPENZ Transportation Group conference.

          In short, it was voted best oral presentation by New Zealand’s traffic engineers, at the key annual industry conference. Also you will note that the percentage results for red light running was derived from surveys on location, not interviews. But feel free to slag it off further, as I said, some people will not believe data and prefer anecdotes.

          1. The interviews were mainly to find out WHY cyclists run red lights. Seems an appropriate thing to ask people about.

  9. I live in Parnell and always see cyclists running through red lights and disregarding pedestrian crossings.

    Yes, forgiving mistakes is important but you can’t expect authorities to be more clear than ‘stop at a red light’. I’m not surprised. I hope you come out with a ‘please stop running red lights, cyclists’ article when the investigation is complete.

    Parnell Resident

    1. Hi N.Donatire – agreed, and it’s certainly not a good show when cyclists do this (we have worked against this in the past, but there’s a percentage of people who do it, and will keep doing it).

      The key fact is that motorists do it as well, and when they do it so that it comes to a crash, they usually tend to harm someone else. Cyclists running red lights (see the response above, no more common than motorists running red light) usually tend to harm themselves, as was apparently the case in this sad incident.

    2. I, along with the rest of the civilized world, am getting tired of hearing about the poor, hard done by cyclists that are “abused” and “killed” by motorists on our roads. Its about time people in this country grow a spine and stop wiping the backsides of people who winge and moan when quite clearly it is them who are in the wrong. Has it escaped everybodys attention that roads were designed and built for motor vehicles to travel on, not lycra clad morons on push bikes who not only cant do the speed required and posted,via speed limit signs, thus holding up (impeeding) the flow if traffic, but also flaunt there idiocy in a display of arrogance, bad manors and general lack of regard for road rules.
      weaving in and out of traffic, running red lights, riding 2 or 3 abreast and riding in the middle of traffic lanes are but a few examples of behaviour exhibited by cyclists on our roads. Maybe some planning and forward thinking of which roads to and not to travel on should be actioned by said cyclists not to mention exercising some form of respect and courtesy for the motorists using these roads for the intended purpose. I cant count how many times i have been travelling on an open road ( posted speed limit 100kph ) and come around a corner or over a crest to be greeted by a cyclist a good metre plus into the lane forcing me to take a wide path around,bearing in mind a car travelling at 100kph takes in excess of 40 metres to safely come to a stop, often having to cross the centre line. Thankfully to date no vehicles have been coming the opposite way because lets face it, head on collision or run over cyclist? Cyclist will lose every time.
      i agree that cycle paths are a good idea and perhaps instead of volume, the powers that be , could focus more on the routes that these paths take. Having said that, especially the case with tamaki drive and indeed the takapuna area in my experience, when these paths are provided why don’t cyclists use them!! I would at this point like to congratulate the person/s who decided that when a cyclist lane arrives at one of our many sets of traffic lights that extending it across the road infront of waiting cars has to be the most idiotic thing i have seen in town planning. I wonder how much of our tax dollars went into that process and execution?
      in closing i would simply reitterate “roads are for motor vehicles, not push bikes. Spare a thought for motorists that have hit and seriously injured or worse these silly, inconciderate and sometimes suicidal cyclists. After all it is them that have to live with the result of cycling stupidity.

      1. marty.. leaving aside most of your intemperate rant, your comment about “lycra-clad morons” is interesting.

        It’s interesting because you use it as a generalised description of “cyclists”.

        But in countries where cycling is widespread, almost none of the cyclists are wearing lycra. Or helmets.

        As an aside, the reason for this is because they are generally riding at a moderate pace on a segregated bike lane.

        The point is that in such a context, you don’t even think of those people as “cyclists”: they are visually and demographically no different from the general population.

        That said, I wear lycra for a training ride. Then again, I don’t wear jeans when I go for a run.

        I’m glad we both look forward to a time when there are suitable segregated facilities for cyclists.

        Meanwhile, we have what we have.

        You mention Tamaki Drive etc.. may I suggest you get some perspective by actually using one the shared paths you mentioned (they are not cycle paths) for say a week or two. If you use the Tamaki Drive path, be prepared to develop a bad back from the hopeless surface (e.g. southern side of the road, west of Ngapipi), or risk a bike v child or dog incident (e.g. Mission Bay, Kohi, St Heliers).

        You might also be kind enough to let us all know how you actually got to or from the beginning or end of the path without breaking your “roads are for motor vehicles” rule.

      2. Marty the speed limit on some open roads is 100kph just because its 100 you dont have to drive at 100 over the crest of a hill, what if im in my big truck and going slower than i ride my bike,I think the last thing you will ever see is my diff as it takes your windsheald out and you with it! Pull your head in and do a advanced driving course you may learn somthing that will stop you being a hazard on the roads of this country Drivers with your mind set give all drivers a bad name,for gods sake Grow up

  10. I read with sadness this morning that another cyclist has lost his life…I live in the central city but drive a car to work in the outer suburbs. The first cyclist I saw this morning ran a red light at the intersection of Hobson and Customs and then crossed through two lanes of moving traffic to enter his place of work. I didn’t see any motor vehicles, trucks or buses run a red light on the way to work.

    1. Malcolm, that is why we should use data, not anecdotes for our transport design – I could just as well tell you stories about how I saw the opposite, and be telling the truth too. I went on a long ride today, and several times was badly threatened in my safety by drivers while I was going about in a legal fashion, and in fact following NZ Road Code recommendations (particularly in claiming the lane in an unsafe section, which one particular moron hated because it delayed him 2 seconds, and once with a driver cutting me off with a left turn while I was going straight).

      Fact is that NZTA’s own research shows that cyclists in fatal injuries are solely responsible in only about a quarter of cases. Then there’s some shared responsibility, and the lion’s share of fatal cases, it’s motorists at fault. See NZTA’s “Safer Journeys” strategy document which has the stats.

      Also, unless you believe that New Zealand cyclists somehow have a death wish (just because they dare to ride on the road as they are legally allowed to? If that is the case, how have we let it go that far???) then you still have to ask yourself: Why are our cyclists (and pedestrian!) crash statistics so BAD here in this country?

      1. Drawing white lines to make cycle lanes and ridiculous green patches at traffic lights (never was sure how they promoted safe cycling) is not the answer…the solution will require massive investment over many years. An overnight solution is not possible

        1. Thanks Malcolm – we fully agree. We need a much more intensive change, not the less than 1% (less than we have cyclists on the road!) funding it currently still gets.

          The green patches (they are called “advanced stop boxes” in engineer’s lingo) are intended to allow a cyclist to position themselves visibly in front (rather than to the side, along the kerb in a potential blind spot). They have some little benefit, but they are certainly not a big change. But they are easy to paint, which is why we see them everywhere :-/

          1. Thankyou for the constructive and informative replies. I try to respect all road users, but I am sure none of us can claim we have never made a mistake on the road. The problem is that a small mistake can kill a cyclist or pedestrian, but just dent your car.

          2. Very true words, Malcolm. Very true words…

            It frustrates me heavily whenever I see a cyclist run a red light, because it makes our task of advocating for better cycling conditions so much harder than it should be.

            But we can’t be pushed on the defensive on this. The elephant in the room may not be all black and white, but it remains an elephant…

      2. anecdotes? what are you talking about? if Malcolm said that he saw this happen in front of him then this is first hand experience which is much better than data and or anecdotes.

        Max, you should stop the crazy talk and get real

        1. It is the very definition of “anecdote”.

          Using personal, localised experience to guide one’s opinions and decisions – instead of wider data sources that are less biased by personal opinion or experience.

        2. Max, what do you want to prove here? More motorists run through red lights than cyclists? We know that as a matter of fact. After all there are a lot more motorists on the road, so I don’t even need to read stats to reach this conclusion, just by basic mathmatical sense. At least red-running motorists are closely watched and severely punished when caught. But red-running cyclists tend to get away with it because some of them believe they are above the law.

          In this particular incident, the cyclist ran a red light and ran into the truck that had the right of way. This is the very only reason why the cyclist was killed, so the stats data is not relevant here.

          1. Incorrect – it is quite relevant, because a howling mob of commenters is basically saying “f*** those cyclists, and their calls for better road safety”.

            These people are basically saying because a minority of cyclists disobey the rules (like drivers), the calls for more cycleways and better treatment of cyclists should be ignored (I even had that from a board member of AT once). And cyclists should be free targets for abuse, on the road, on the internet, and around the barbie (unlike drivers, where it seems, different standards rule, because hey, it’s only SOME who break the rules, not you or me, mate, but hey, those CYCLISTS, they really have it coming, all of them, I see it all the time…).

            That’s why statistics are extremely important in this discussion. They move the debate from the “I saw this” and “This one guy…” to the actual reality.

          2. Max, and “Enuf”..

            I really don’t know where to start with your posts, they are so full of nonsense. Besides, as George Carlin said..

            “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.”

          3. Lol, fair enough Tim. But as a cycle advocate, you need a certain dogged persistence. Sometimes that translates into the inability to let stuff go online as well 😉

          4. Tim and Max: I’m amused by Tim’s quote – just shows your immature side; at least I have not used any insulting words in any of my comments here.

            Respect needs to be earned. Cyclists as a general group have not, to date, earned this respect from other road users. This is a public perception, whether you like it or not. And the public perception was drawn by people’s personal experiences.

            As a motorist, I never abused any cyclists; I treat them and pedestrians very well whenever encountering them on the road. But I’m annoyed seeing 9 out of 10 cyclists running through red lights. Sometimes I get scared by their radical movement on the road (which you can see almost everyday on Featherston St in Wellington). I’ve seen cyclists abusing motorists with their nice finger-showing where they rode 2 abreast on a narrow bridge and held up a queue of 30 odd vehicles by not using the cycle lane right beside them.

            To change the public perception and get all road users to co-exist well on the road, cyclists also need to do more. This includes obeying the road rules. I would like to see this being emphasised from you cycling advocates, not just always blaming others for not accepting cyclists.

    2. As with registration plates on motor vehicles, i would advocate that perhaps cyclists should display some sort of identification label so that when they break the law , running red lights etc, they can be reported to police and prosecuted accordingly. Isn’t it after all the way of the world that each person should be held responsible and accountable for the actions they take? Does this seem like a reasonable and sensible way to help decrease the number of cycle related incidents on our roads. Further to this ,also as with motor vehicle licensing, a small annual registration fee could be applied to help offset the cost of building, improving and maintaining cycle ways and reduce the burden on tax payers in the ever struggling economic economy. Perhaps constructive policies , like this ,being introduced would go a long way to solving the problems of the world.

      1. So you would propose a system which would further decrease our cycling numbers by sheer cumbersomeness, which (numbers of cyclists) is clearly proven to be DIRECTLY related to safety (google “safety in numbers” and the inverse relationship of cycling rates to cycling deaths per distance travelled). In other words, your scheme would make the life of the few cyclists still left afterwards even more hazardous, thus further reducing cycling.

        Enforcement of rules for cyclists can be done easily enough by police (it isn’t like the cyclist could outdistance a police car, even if he/she wanted to). However, they (Police) know that a person running a red light or speeding in a car is much more lethal to OTHERS than a cyclist running a red light. As a consequence, police concentrate their limited resources elsewhere.

        That said, CAA would have no problem at all if police did more against red-light running as long as it covers ALL road users. The intersection is well known for trucks and cars running the red light – especially coming from the Strand I experience it a lot. Some police presence here would help everyone! Ironic, because a police weigh station is right on the corner, but nothing happens.

        1. So that you know – bicycle registration and tax systems are in place in China. This is not a non-sence idea; the consideration is whether it is practical to apply in NZ.

          1. Instead of China, where poverty created their bike riding culture, that is fast declining as people can afford cars, why don’t we use best practice from relatively wealthy countries with high mode share for bikes? You know, where people can afford to drive but choose to ride.

          2. Don’t know why the word ‘poverty’ was brought in here. I owned my first bike when starting high school over there. Do college students in NZ all drive to schools?

            My original point is that requiring cyclists to register and pay taxes is not a crazy idea, but may not suit NZ.

            In Singapore, only super rich people can afford to own a car due to heavy taxes on such ownerships for environment and traffic congestion purposes. But Singapore has very advanced public transport facilities. Perhaps this is one of the directions to look at, which will ultimately reduce the number of any type of traffic accidents.

      2. So a 6 year old child would have to have registration plates on their bike to get to school? How are you going to prosecute a 6 year old?

        1. No, you don’t prosecute a six year old. But I’d look closely at any parent who thinks it’s okay to let a six year old ride on the road!

          1. You’d be looking closely at me then….. My son rides the streets surrounding our house. They are 30km/h, volume limited (no rat running). Very safe. Safe enough that residents stop and talk on the street. You’d be horrified. Cars even go around people.

  11. Whilst there seems little doubt the cyclist ran a red light I wonder if the overhead rail bridge could have played its part in this tragedy? Whilst the primary cause of the accident was not stopping for the red, perhaps a secondary cause was the truck or the speed of the truck was masked by poor visibility from the cyclist as he came under the overhead rail bridge.
    Other points to consider are if cyclists should be allowed on some streets. I realise this may anger some of you but you wouldn’t ride on the motorway because of the dangers and equally you shouldn’t ride on some streets for the same reasons. The location of the accident could have been avoided if the cyclist turned left into Carlaw Park ave. Perhaps AT needs to make that a bike way and ban cyclists from lower Stanley Street. The Stanley Street footpath could be made shared cycle/pedestrian use south of the Carlaw Park Ave intersection to join Grafton Mews further up the hill. With some thought and some signage AT could reduce cycle risk in this area. I believe many danger areas can be avoided by providing well sign posted safe alternative side streets. Sure it is a mild inconvenience but it is a low cost fix that would be acceptable to all stake holders (Cyclists, private motorists, and commercial drivers). I believe any letters to authorities should adopt this approach as the council is much more likely to respond to an affordable fix rather than more demands from a minority for separated cycle lanes and paths.

    1. The Dutch have no problem with keeping bikes of certain streets as long as they have given them a real alternative. I would be happy to end up in this situation.

  12. The red light discussion has probably run it’s course and, on the way, taken the focus of everyone involved or linked to this tragedy, however I do have an official study into red light running and it makes for some interesting reading. Everyone needs to be more careful. Please ensure you take due care, whether in the right or wrong (being right and dead means you’re still dead) and get home to your loved ones each day.

  13. My husband was seriously injured while cycling to work along The Strand in 2011. He survived, but it forever changed both our lives and the lives of our two young children. He will never have the mobility that he used to, but has recovered exceedingly well. But to this day our daughter still suffers from knowing her daddy almost died and now has such severe anxieties that she is currently under the care of the Marinoto Unit (mental health – north shore hospital) – she is 6 years old. We need to do whatever we can to make our roads safer for ALL users so that other families don’t have to go through the pain of loosing a loved one or seeing them badly injured. Well done on a great cause.

    1. Thank you Michelle – it is heartbreaking that those who do cycle sometimes have to tell such stories. It can be better. It WILL be better.

  14. I am dumbfounded at the direction that reaction the comments on the Cycle Action Auckland? website have taken in reaction to the death of a man riding a bike for transport.
    We need useful collaborative solutions: many of us ride bikes, most who don’t have family, friends colleagues who do, or want the roads to be less congested for their urgent motor vehicle journeys.
    Cycling is part of the solution- cycling is not a problem to be done away with/reduced/sidelined.

    Last night I watched ‘Lincoln’- great movie- good way to learn US history – many of the arguments about cyclists on Auckland roads were the same as those used in opposing the 13th amendment.

    Human nature doesn’t change- those of us who have a vision for a stronger healthier community, and the resources to make it so, need to speak out and act.
    For the sake of the todays Aucklanders, their children and their grandchildren!
    My grandchildren are living with me this year – am I to drive them the kilometre to school- or should they be able to cycle safely?
    Should they be encouraged to ride a bike for transport?
    What are the benefits for any of us of moving one kilometre in a car?

    1. Barb I think your comment is excellent. I agree that cycling is part of a good transport solution, and needs to be encouraged with safe infrastructure.

  15. The fact is the cyclist died because he did something practically all cyclists do all the time – he ran a red light. Cry me a river…

    1. Cyclist red-light running in Auckland and Melbourne, according to studies: 4-7% (links provided in these comments). You have a strange definition of “practically all” and “all the time”.

      And yes, we SHOULD cry if a young father of four dies, whether he’s at fault or not. He didn’t deserve to die, just as a driver speeding or running a red light doesn’t either.

      1. I can’t believe how stubborn you guys are. No one here ever said the cyclist deserved the death. Can you not read properly? or just interpret the way you want even though it’s not what other people meant? Putting emotion aside, it’s rather obvious the red-running is the direct cause of the accident. This is a fact; not implying that the cyclist deserved to die.

        1. I assume you must get on other blogs somewhere else, pretty much every day that a motorist is killed, in the interests of a balanced opinion.

          1. I mean, there was a lady struck by a car, while at an ATM machine yesterday. I assume you’ve lost all respect for all drivers due to this incident?

        2. I disrespect road users who cause harm to other people due to negligence, incompetency or arrogance. For example, the truck driver who caused two deaths in Manawatu.

          I assume you are associated with CAA. I just want to say the “hating” and “blaming” mindset is not going to help all road users to peacefully co-exist, whether it’s from a cyclist or a motorist. People don’t hate others for no reason, typically drawn on bad personal experiences. As well as asking the government agencies and local councils to invest in making the road conditions safer (which I don’t have problem with), you guys need to do more in educating cyclists to obey the road rules, how to ride to the condition of the road.

          1. I am associated with CAA. I ride a MTB in the forest. I use an old MTB with road tyres to get to the beach, get a few groceries, get to cafe’s and the like. My wife rides a situp bike and my 6 yo son loves to get around town on a bike. I also cover 20,000 km’s a year in my car for work and have a class 2 licence which gets used from time to time, so you might say my views come from quite a balanced background.

          2. I’m also a motor mechanic by trade (starting late 80’s) and love motorsport.

          3. It’s interesting that you would still not acknowledge what I suggested about the rule obeying. Mind you this is the No. 1 reason why motorists get annoyed by cyclists. After all, obeying the road rules is for their own benefit.

          4. If people on bikes were the number one cause of road deaths in NZ you’d have a point but they’re not even close. Motor vehicle drivers breaking existing laws and generally driving poorly are the single significant factor in our road toll. I’ve never said people on bikes don’t break laws but consider this, perhaps the same people on bikes also break laws in their cars just like hundreds of thousands of other motorists every year?

          5. Thank you for all the point you have made. But you are diverting the conversation from where my focuses are. So I can only hope that you take a step back and think hard about what actions can be put in place so road users can co-exist more effectively. It seems your main focus is on cycling, so what might you do differently tomorrow to create a more effective outcome? Just like motorists – If you don’t change anything, nothing will change. If you keep doing what you’ve always done (lobbying the government), I would suggest you refresh your strategy to include a better balance of initiatives (e.g. Formal cycle education), which may result in the government contributing more than what they currently do. I wish you well and am looking forward to a day when there is harmony on the road.

          6. My focus is on road safety but motor vehicle safety and the engineering of roads and education towards that exists already whereas there has been incredibly little done for pedestrians or people on bikes. Education is required as well as an environment that doesn’t unduly contribute toward poor actual and perceived safety. I’m not hating nor blaming other road users other than to point out that many motorists break laws and make mistakes as well as people on bikes. It’s not a one way street. There needs to be understanding on both sides that until we can get the kind of infrastructure that I’d like to see, we need to share the road. Bikes, don’t unduly piss motorists off, motorists, be aware that people a very vulnerable on bikes.

    2. Practically all cyclists, all the time huh? If you want to make a sweeping claim like that then be prepared to back it up with facts please.

      1. Based on over 600,000 speeding infringement notices given every year, most motorists speed. How’s that for a stat?

        1. Actually, i need to revise that – only 300 to 400k per year. Only a couple.

  16. A number of us know that if you ride down Parnell Rise you need to be on the brakes just about all the way in order to not overshoot the corner. Someone new to cycling and possibly enjoying the speed of the downhill may nat have realised this. This is very likely an unfortunate mistake by someone who was not an habitual red light runner but someone who, as reported, had recently taken up cycling. Unfortunately it is the ‘riding for transport’ cyclists who are predominantly the ones being killed on Auckland roads and while the lycra clad have come in for some stick here the educational/ informative aspects of bunch riding should be underestimated particularly regarding how to ride ‘defensively’ when you are on your own. While CAA are correct that road conditions need to be more forgiving, upskilling riders may be a more achievable priority in the short term.

    1. Completely agree with your view, but seems it’s rather difficult to even get the advocacy group to admit this and list it as one of their priorities.

      1. In fairness to CAA, they are almost entirely distracted (as a voluntary organisation) on the necessity to to provide advice to AT on cycling and how cycling infrastructure should work. This is because AT have not seen fit to actually employ the experience and knowledge required.

      2. Just for the record – Cycle Action was responsible for the formation of the Good Bunch, road cycling pilot for Tamaki Drive, in conjunction with AT and the Transport Agency. Unfortunately the programme has not spread more widely because it is hard for Cycle Action to do everything in the advocacy space without more contractual support. We also promoted road cycling classes with support from AT. This also warrants expanding to be a wider permanent programme. $$$$$????

        1. What Barb doesn’t fully explain here is that CAA’s ‘call to action’ response to this accident is largely driven by the sheer frustration of dealing with AT. Almost every Auckland public cycling initiative (safety, infrastructure or otherwise) is either orchestrated by CAA or requires the overview of her small voluntary/ unpaid team. It’s a fact that AT have a mandate to encourage more cycling in order to help relieve Auckland’s transport congestion and accordingly have a well staffed division given that responsibility. Safety issues are paramount in many Aucklanders reluctance to take up cycling but due to laziness or incompetence, AT has abdicated leadership and vision on cycling safety issues (infrastructure/ bike skills etc) to CAA, they then keep CAA under the thumb by requiring them to beg for the little money that remains after AT feeds itself before returning to it’s slumber.

    2. Education, of both drivers and bike skills, is an important part of the Dutch system. It can not be underestimated and yet they still design their infrastructure, where possible, to enable people to make mistakes and hopefully survive.

  17. Continually we hear cyclists go through red lights all the time and immediately this was the call after the Parnell accident. It’s unfair to prejudge any accident and knowing the intersection and how steep Parnell rise is my immediate reaction was not he went through a red light but I wonder how good his brakes were etc. If there is rain falling and rims are wet. even on the flat it takes several revolutions for the brakes to start working at all and on a steep hill even if you intended to stop for a red you might stop half way across the intersection. Cyclists should learn to do track stops with their mits on the front tyre in an emergency and these skills should be taught to novice groups.

    p.s. WEnt to Auckland last saturday impressed by the number of cyclists about. Those that were not moving were ALL STATIONARY AT THE LIGHTS WAITING FOR A GREEN…NO CYCLIST RED RUNNERS BUT ATTACKED BY FOUR RED RUNNING CARS AT ONE INTERSECTION ALONE PLUS OTHERS!!!!

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