North Shore Electorate

VOTE BIKE 2017

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Romy Udanga – LABOUR

Romy Udanga is standing for Labour in the North Shore electorate.

More kids on bikesCurrently only 2% of Kiwi kids ride a bike to school. Is lifting this number a priority? If so, how will we get there?

I personally would like the number of kids on bike to increase–not only to school but to run errands for mum and dad as well.

My wife and I, up to a month ago, were operating an out-of-school care for primary school children. When we draw up our term and holiday programmes, we always include Wheels Day so our kids can bring their wheels and enjoy riding in a safe environment.

It is very important to us that our children have “travel freedom” at an early age. Many of them are interested to bike to school. But many parents I spoke to only allow their kids to bike to school when they are confident they are safe on the road. If we want more kids biking to school we have to assure parents that they will be safe.

North Shore is fortunate to have designated cycle routes and dedicated pathways but we need to work on making them safe, and more important, getting parents to see that they are safe, so they will allow their kids to bike to school.

 

Bike-friendly citiesWhat would you do to make it easier for Aucklanders (in your electorate, and beyond) to choose bike travel?

Auckland is crisscrossed by recommended and dedicated cycleways, and local government is in the process of upgrading cycling facilities. We also have cycling training groups that help learners and amateur riders become confident cyclists, and cycling programmes and communities that cyclists can be part of. The basics are there. But we need to encourage more Aucklanders to get on their bike. To do this, we should talk more about it and share stories, routes, tips about how they can do it too. We should also give bikers greater access to public transport so they can “bike, ride, bike” to their destination—and when they get there, a safe place to store/park their bike.

I used to cycle to work from Mt Wellington via Ti Rakau Drive to East Tamaki where I was working. And our building had a safe place for bikes. Cycling worked well for me then.

 

Safer streets

How would you make streets (in your electorate and beyond) safer for everyone who uses them, including those on bikes?

We do need to have safer streets and two ways that come to mind is to have the proper infrastructure in place and to legislate for safety.

In terms of infrastructure, marked, separated bike lanes in urban areas will be good to have, and where cycle ways meet the road, traffic signals that adjust to pedal power. We can also transform underutilised land like easements and berms into bike lanes. These should fit into the transport network to make it easier to “bike, ride, bike” to destinations.

Legislating for safety is about road culture, addressing factors such as riding habits and driver (both cyclist and vehicle) behaviours. Education will be a major consideration.

 

Fave place to rideWhere’s your favourite place to ride a bike in Auckland?

I gifted my bike to my son about a year ago, and have not been cycling since. But when I did, cycling to the shops was a favourite.


Nick Kearney – ACT

More kids on bikesCurrently only 2% of Kiwi kids ride a bike to school. Is lifting this number a priority? If so, how will we get there?

ACT believes that communities make the best decisions when it comes to issues such as lifting the number of school children biking to school, and also local governments which control the local roading network.  Communities have led a small revolution in things like walking school buses, and arrangements like this could be enlarged to include cycling.  Also, people react and respond to incentives.  One of the issues with congestion is the number of people driving children to school.

 

Bike-friendly citiesWhat would you do to make it easier for Aucklanders (in your electorate, and beyond) to choose bike travel?

ACT believes in freedom of personal choice. In situations like this, it’s often a chicken and egg scenario.  Unless the infrastructure is available, people won’t use it.  ACT has always supported a user pays model for the Skypath, in conjunction with a PPP, and did so as far back as 2005.  It is notable that is how the project eventually developed.  Again, cycling infrastructure is often a local government matter, as local government is responsible for local roads.The best thing any party can do for innovation in transport is to allow entrepreneurial activity and innovation to occur, and not put road blocks in their place, as happened with ride-sharing programmes, such as Uber.

 

Safer streetsHow would you make streets (in your electorate and beyond) safer for everyone who uses them, including those on bikes?

We shouldn’t be so bleak on the road toll. Technology in the vehicle market has made cars much safer, and technological advancements should be welcomed, but left to the market, rather than “sponsored” by government through handouts.  In terms of cyclists’ safety, there is no evidence that the introduction of compulsory helmets has made cyclists safer, and indeed, there is strong evidence that the cost of entry into cycling, including compulsory helmets, makes it less attractive for people to do. A reduction in price is a huge incentive to take part in the activity.  ACT believes strongly that individuals can be trusted to look after their own safety, and most choose to wear a helmet anyway.

 

Fave place to rideWhere’s your favourite place to ride a bike in Auckland?

Tamaki Drive, and then out east to Clevedon and Whitford via Panmure and Botany.  It’s beautiful out there!


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Vote Bike is a Bike Auckland initiative for the 2017 General Election. Authorised by Barbara Cuthbert of 2A St Aubyn St, Devonport, Auckland 0624, on behalf of Bike Auckland, of 2A St Aubyn St Devonport Auckland 0624.