CAA strongly supports “culture change” for cycling. Some of the most dedicated people in CAA – and in Council / AT – working for cycling are aiming to make cycling be perceived as mainstream again. They love cycling, and that passion shines through.
Yet for the poor novice on the road, that passion can quickly turn sour. And a telling example was recently, when the AT website linked to the Google Maps cycle layer for Auckland (see image at right).
What popped up was the below map layer on Google. Well, so if I live in Mt Eden, and want to ride to Onehunga or New Lynn, I have… no safe route. At all. Lots of little unconnected bits of cycle infrastructure, and large swathes of isolated areas. And on the opposite side, the map shows large parts of Howick – a pretty bad area of Auckland for cycling – as connected up with cycleways like a little Netherlands!
[Explanation: Google’s map shows lots of footpaths unsuitable for cycling on the cycling layer]
Reality is both better and worse. Better, because Auckland Transport actually has better cycle maps online themselves (towards the bottom of this page), that provide a much more realistic pattern of where cycling is safe (and also give you hints of how to get from Mt Eden to Onehunga).
Worse, because despite that, Google’s map is not too far off when taken as a symbol where the Auckland Cycle Network still is – a patchwork, and one that is growing. only. very. slowly. For all the exciting plans we are working on with AT on closing certain gaps.
And we are quite concerned about the speed (or lack of it) with which those cycle projects are occurring. Stay tuned for more on this, one of our most important workstreams – the scope, consistency and delivery of the Auckland Cycle Network.
Because you can’t catch fishes if your net has holes, and you can’t attract (many) cyclists, if your network has gaps.