Take a breath and give us a break

Jun 30, 2012
Take a breath and give us a break


Sydney’s Eastern Distributor Tunnel

I joined the early morning commuter bike crush on the Devonport ferry yesterday morning to ride to Dominion Rd for an appointment with Lachlan Forsyth (Campbell Live), his camera man John, Randhir Karma and Mark Hannan (Auckland Transport) to film an item about collaboration to fix pinch points on our main cycling routes. I’m working with Randhir and Mark on a number of projects- they are both genuinely committed to help Cycle Action change Auckland for cycling.

While riding up Symonds St and along Dominion Rd to our meeting place at the Valley Rd intersection, I noted how free fellow commuters in cars were to use their horns if other drivers or I (on my bike caused) a couple of seconds delay in their race to work. It was a reality check for me on the stress and impatience hemmed up behind some of those steering wheels. I was therefore well informed for my interview to ask motorists to give other road users a break, as a key to improved safe road sharing.

(The programme will screen this coming week – we’ll give you an update nearer the time.)
I was reminded of drivers’ stress and impatience this morning as I read the article posted on our Facebook yesterday, (thanks Caron) about Sydney’s success in the last 2 years to relieve congestion by achieving an 82% increase in cycling. Part of the success has been to reduce driver agro towards other road users including people cycling.

The increased funding for cycling improvements in Auckland is nowhere near as high as Sydney’s. This means we have to be more collaborative and creative in making the best of our lower budget. I’m wondering if I should be talking to the AA about providing free yoga lessons for motorists, so they know to pause for a breath for a couple of seconds, to give other road users a break and safe space on the road is an option. Any other ideas?

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