Greetings for the New Year We hope you went into the holidays buoyed up by the SkyPath success at Council just before the break, and that your holiday was rewarding. I know the weather was fickle if you were camping or cycle touring, but on the East Coast we’ve had lots of hot sun mixed with the wind and showers. I’m hoping you’ve had time to reflect on the year past, and have ideas for the year to come, as Cycle Action is gearing up for a year of celebrations for cycling.
One of our last blogs before the break showed that 2013 was not exactly a stellar year for AT Cycling. We ended the year with all new cycling ‘build’ projects well behind schedule; ill- conceived plans put out for public consultation with inadequate cycling infrastructure, and virtually every one of our collaborative efforts with AT stymied by the tendency of some in the organisation to regard meetings, monitoring or risk management as an end in themselves, rather than the genuine partnership and delivery that is so overdue.
I met AT just before the Xmas break to review the year, and was relieved to hear that Year 4 of AT will focus on efficient delivery and collaboration with the NZTA to capitalise on the ‘One Network’ approach to transport networks, including cycling. I was even more relieved to hear that Cycle Action will be invited to submit our priorities for 2014 and that no further mention will be made of delays caused by the need for new systems or staff or the poor legacy inherited from the pre-Supercity regimes. Whoopee!
While AT is still a work in progress, I’m pleased to advise that in 2013 NZTA logged up an impressive set of cycling achievements, ending the year with good progress on the various Alliance and single contractor projects happening around SH 16 and 20. We were consistently pleased with the effective communication with the project teams, including Elizabeth and Jala’s blogs.
We also had a good meeting in Wellington with the NZTA HQ to begin a new system of working across the country with the 3 other Regional Directors to ensure the trail blazing done with Stephen Town in Auckland isn’t lost sight of when he begins his CEO Auckland Council job this month.
Another good flow-on from our strong NZTA relationship is the Agency’s work on the next stage of the Coroner’s Inquiry on Cycling Safety. Cycle Action expects to be closely involved in the Reference Group that the NZTA intends to form to work alongside its panel of experts. We are encouraged that the brief for the project has been widened to review our national road culture as well as boost cycling uptake and improve cycling infrastructure.
On the Local Board front we ended the year with strong relationships with a number of Boards. Cycle Action’s last piece of work for 2013 was to agree that we will be working more closely with the Orakei Local Board and their Transport Portfolio leader. The Board has a series of inspirational projects that will deliver benefits to the Central City and over into the Glen Innes catchment. And we also acknowledge other Boards are showing strong leadership for walking and cycling that is already making a difference across the region. Go Local Boards – our money is on you being stars in this 2nd term of the Supercity.
Lastly, our joint projects in 2013 with Generation Zero and Transport Blog were fun and productive. The PT CFN pioneered by these bodies stimulated our work on the Cycling CFN, and the TB and CAA were delighted with the results of the hard yards put in by Gen Zero on the election Scorecard.
So, 2014 is shaping up well –
- Reorganisation for cycling underway in AT and recognition that with smart management, including collaboration along the One Network model, ‘more can be achieved with less’,
- Strong new collaboration with NZTA on a national basis and a healthy record of progress to build on in the Auckland region
- A new strong partner in the Auckland Council led by Stephen Town
- An impressive set of informed active Local Boards who know that their residents hugely value connected, safe cycle routes to schools, shops and transport networks
- The prospect of more creative teamwork with Gen Zero and Transport Blog for the General Election at the end of this year
Once our mayoralty shakes down I’d say the stars are aligned for a great year of Auckland and national cycling achievements. Bring it on!