Sometimes it’s very simple. The council is currently consulting on the Regional Fuel Tax (RFT) and what to spend it on via the Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP), and the feedback process couldn’t be more straightforward. Here’s our super-quick-and-easy guide to making sure bikes count.
Read on for VERY IMPORTANT DETAILS on how to make sure Auckland doesn’t wind up with a half-pie compromise for cycling.
Be sure to have your say before Monday 14 May!
Question 1 asks how you feel about the Regional Fuel Tax – support or no?
We strongly suggest you SUPPORT this – without it the full range of cycling projects won’t happen. The fuel tax is a stop-gap measure that will fund an extra $112m of walking and biking investment over the next ten years, amongst all sorts of other crucial stuff needed to get Auckland moving. And doing nothing is not an option.
Question 2 asks how you rate all the transport options that the fuel tax will fund. Vote with your heart and your head on each. And when it comes to bike stuff, you know what to do! How important is walking and cycling? Say it louder for the people at the back!
In the ‘any other comments’ box, we also suggest you say something like ‘Because active transport is very important, please fully fund the proposed ten year investment programme.’
Question 3 asks whether you think Council is onto it regarding the big challenges for transport in Auckland. The top five are: safety, congestion, decreases in accessibility, environmental impact, and supporting growth in the region. Fair enough.
We’d add: playing catch-up from years of underinvestment in bikes. Meeting the growing demand for safe bike travel now – which will only skyrocket with the boom in e-bikes, and will be a key part of getting people to and from improved public transport in the next decade – is an urgent challenge for our city.
Question 4 asks how you rate each part of the planned transport picture. Again, we trust you to vote with your heart and your brain –– and when it comes to bikes, think: VERY IMPORTANT!
We also encourage you to go hard out in support of safety measures here, as this will make a huge difference while we’re waiting for cycleways to be built. Definitely very very important.
Lastly, Question 5 asks ‘Are there any other projects or activities you think should be included?’
This is incredibly important. TICK YES, and speak up for full funding for cycling.
Remember the $635m 10-year Cycling Programme Business Case [PBC]? That’s ten years work – assuming it’s fully funded. The numbers strongly suggest it’s not fully funded, which means it could take twenty years or longer to build the basic network.
As Greater Auckland puts it in their blog post ‘Cycling’s Missing Millions’:
For example, the Urban Cycleways Programme was meant to have been completed by June this year and includes projects like Karangahape Rd and Glen Innes to Tamaki Drive. Likewise, the NZTA projects listed weren’t included. So in reality only the $338m is for the PBC – meaning close to $300m is missing.
There’s no information on what parts of the PBC are unfunded but I’d suggest the blue boxes (right, click to enlarge) are a pretty good guess.
So this is your VERY IMPORTANT MOMENT – especially if you live in, bike through, or care about those blue areas! Make sure Auckland Transport delivers for the whole of Auckland, by saying something like: ‘I request that the RLTP fully fund the proposed 10-year business case for cycling.’
We would LOVE a bunch of passionate local voices to speak in chorus and support our big push on this. (If you’re keen to help out more, please get in touch!)
Question 5 is also a great place to mention safe school routes (the Local Boards will have funding to create these but will need encouragement), and an explicitly Vision Zero approach to road safety (yo, Hamilton’s already adopted this as official policy. Catch up, Auckland.) This is also the place to make a plea for at least some of Te Whau Pathway to be funded in this round.
And that’s it! You’ve done your civic duty and can pat yourself on the back. You are officially a Very Important Person and you’ve made a difference for every single person on bikes, who are also Very Important. Thank you!