Posts by BenWilson

Last ←Newer Page 1 2 3 4 5 Older→ First

  • Southerly: This Week in Parliament (in…,

    Netball? Surely that would be a Ministeress? Or a Wominister?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8825 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: We can make things better here, in reply to Glenn Pearce,

    I don’t think you will be able to get on at Pt Chev to head west (to airport) you need to get on at St Lukes instead. Less traffic through Carrington/ Owairaka but more at St Lukes

    Pretty sure you're right that Pt Chev won't have access to the tunnel. It's hard to envisage how they could have, engineering wise. Has the traffic through St Lukes been modeled as likely to increase? I'm just thinking that if I was at the Carrington Gt North crossing, I wouldn't drive sideways a whole km to St Lukes just to use the tunnel, rather than just heading south to Maioro, particularly since there would be a reduction in traffic using Carrington coming from further west/north.

    Must be a little embittering to live right by the tunnel mouth in Waterview, and yet know that you'd have to drive to either St Lukes or Patiki Rd to be able to get into it :-)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8825 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: We can make things better here, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Western Springs essentially replaces Pt Chev as an access on and off the western motorway once the Waterview interchange is complete.

    I'm a bit confused about this. From what I can see, we don't lose any of the current on or off-ramps at Pt Chev. So you can still come off and go on at Pt Chev in either direction on the North-Western. It's just that we don't get any way at Pt Chev to actually go in or out of the tunnel.

    I'm not really seeing why traffic at St Lukes would increase dramatically. I guess locals might use it to get to the tunnel more, but their alternative was to use it to get to South Auckland directly along St Lukes Rd anyway, or taking the motorway citybound to go south. And there should be traffic reductions from people out West choosing the tunnel over going off at St Lukes to get to many of the South Isthmus and Airport locations.

    Any thoughts? What am I missing?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8825 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Works in progress, in reply to Sam F,

    the Council plan shows a nice theoretically sweeping path that goes right up the steepest part of the reserve (I don’t know how far they have thought the project out yet). I like my MS Paint version better – less direct as the crow flies, but it seems a lot less steep overall and would leave more of the park intact for other uses (it has zero facilities of any kind right now).

    It’s hard to envisage it without being there and streetview isn’t quite adequate, but the council plan is what I’d choose – it is the steepest part, yes, but it’s hugging the ridge more than dropping down through the middle of the reserve would, and it also means no crossing. There’s no avoiding the Ian McKinnon climb (without bypassing Upper Queen St and K-Rd altogether, a hopeful idea that I doubt will ever come to fruition), but at least it can be a single climb. Your alternative does go right through the very lowest point in the park. But it would be cheaper :-). 2 million? Cripes. But then their vision is of a real cycleway, with complete separation. At the top, you’re also one less crossing from the city. It would cut out a big climb and 2 crossings.

    But thanks for the picture, it’s worth a thousand words, makes it clear just how simple what is being asked for is.

    I think if it actually happened the biggest trouble is that it would become a popular pedestrian thoroughfare :-)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8825 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Works in progress, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I seem to remember you singing the praises of the one you hacked up :-)

    Yup, I did get a lot of use out of one of them, but as I got stronger I found the good quality pedal-only one I had to be easier to use, since my riding had quite variable range and I was really only getting 25km around Auckland at best on the electric, before I was carrying a really heavy bike around. But I believe that ranges have improved a lot with newer battery tech.

    I think most of the legal ones have a rough speed limit built in, due to the power output limits. That limit is significantly slower than what a good rider can achieve by pedaling (I think it's around 24-25km/h, compared to 30km/h for a strong rider), and I found it virtually impossible to improve upon through extra effort. So I'd overtake people on hills and fall behind on the flat. It didn't encourage the continual effort that pedal-only does, you can just sit on it like a motorbike on the flat (some designs force you to pedal, though). As the exercise angle became more important to me, the electric stayed in the garage more, until eventually I sold it (for the same price I bought it for).

    Going up and down is what uses up the power, btw. Quoted ranges on the flat bear little resemblance to Auckland distances. Also since the weight of the rider is a significant fraction of the load (more then 2/3rds of it in my case), rider weight makes a big difference to the range.

    But even my bike would have been fine over the 16km round trip Tom is talking about. I purchased it for $300 second-hand off TradeMe. It was very good for taking the kids on the back - Marcus saw a lot of Auckland from the back of it.

    I think they're pretty cool, but there are reasons why they haven't yet taken over. Putting one in the back of the van or getting it up a flight of stairs, or lifting it over something was very difficult. Getting anyone to work on the electrics was impossible. Changing a rear tire myself was very difficult. And I always had its level of charge on my mind, even when relaxing at home. You have to treat batteries right or they die. I was hardly going to leave it parked anywhere that casual theft was a concern.

    Many of these factors have improved, except for the basic heaviness of the bikes (as you note). That really is necessary, because the bike frame is carrying a lot of weight. On the other hand, a heavier sturdier bike with fat tyres is probably a bit safer.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8825 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Works in progress, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I popped in on the people hiring out electric bikes on Waiheke yesterday

    LOL, I was there then too. It seemed quite popular.

    My take on electrics, having owned several over several years, was that they were a really good way to get a reluctant rider started. After you get in some kind of riding shape, though, it seemed unnecessarily complicated. But that comment probably does not apply to anyone who is unlikely to ride it hard enough for that to actually happen, which could be a lot of old people, and anyone simply using it for cheap fun transport with no interest in the exercise aspect. I'd think that would be a lot of people.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8825 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Works in progress, in reply to Russell Brown,

    It's easy to lecture the cycling gear when one lives very close to the city. Lots of hipster students on fixies wearing jeans and leather shoes give me disdainful looks around the K Rd ridge area. But I never even see anyone in that kind of gear on the cycleway, I'm about as casually prepped as possible and that's still usually shorts at the very least, and a change of clothes would be essential if I had an actual job rather than being a stinky student myself.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8825 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Works in progress, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    Physical separation by a barrier is better but cycling lanes that are just marked are still a good start. Where they occur I'd usually rather have them than not have anything.

    For people who don't have the luxury of living near a cycleway, decent marked lanes along roads like Dominion Rd would make the experience of biking much better. The problem is that there isn't currently enough actual space in many roads to support cars and bus lanes and cycle lanes and on-street parking. I think it's the parking that really should go, off from main routes, but that will face very stiff resistance from local residents and retailers. And on the numbers using the facilities they do have a point.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8825 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Works in progress, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    The one at the end of Suffolk St.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8825 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Works in progress, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    Quite the opposite, anyone riding to the CBD faces quite a lot of uphill. Much more, in fact, than cars do. That's Russell's point, the cycleway takes people up the Newton Rd bridge from the level of the motorway below, and then down the other side, when for the cost of 100m of path through an existing park (which would also be available to pedestrians), that could be avoided. It's a very strenuous hill, only strong cyclists can get up it at all without getting off and pushing. Normal mortals pushing a commuter bike with a bag attached are exhausted by the top, and it's quite annoying to think that in a minute you'll be riding down the other side, and then doing it all again to get to Upper Queen St, as cars pass continually beneath you on the more sensible path.

    It could be better designed at very little cost.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8825 posts Report Reply

Last ←Newer Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 882 Older→ First