This urban walkability project might be relevant. I downloaded the report months back but can't quickly see where from again.
SHORE's website navigation is disastrous (not my first time struggling to find something I know is there). No link from the walkability project page. On the publications page, it's not under Transport, but under Social Determinants of Heath, and then into neighbourhoods. Intuitive eh?
Page 148 of this doc is pretty cool as well. Census figures on travelling to work. The only parts of Auckland where under 75% of people don't travel to work by car are:
*Innermost suburbs (Ponsonby, Parnell) and perhaps slightly further afield.
Presume you meant parts of Auckland where less than 75% of people do travel to work by car? Interesting map though - makes you wonder if those North Shore suburbs could become a nicer shade of blue if the powers that be got a move on with a bridge cycle link...
Curiously, I still parse mine to mean what I wanted to say, and yours as the opposite. (I read a great post on a graduate student's love of their specific bit of pragmatics that lead to them finding this stuff fascinatin).
FWIW, as a somewhat frequent visitor to the Shore these days, I don't see it as at all cycle friendly. There are a lot of big angry car roads that I'd chose not to bike down, and quite a lot of little valleys and hills, although there are some bits that would be brilliant. And lots of windy roads that don't make it easy to get from A to B. On the other hand, the traffic is soooo bad at peak times, it might be tempting if I lived there.
And let's not start on the insane anti-Lake Road cycle lane campaign which has been playing out in my 'hood over the last year or so.
Turn your hysteria dial up to 11, and start writing those letters to the local press!
The 'anti'-hyteria has got so bad that there a petition to keep the lane.
Here, if you're interested.
Indeed Rich. The fact that cycling is the solution there rather than the problem can easily be seen with the changes to Esmonde Rd. There's all those extra lanes, which apparently are great, but it just seems to make it easier to join into the next queue. I look at the 'improved' situation, and think, so glad I live in Dunedin and can walk to work.
SHORE's website navigation is disastrous (not my first time struggling to find something I know is there).
Phew, not just me then. Ta for hunting it down, James.
Plus, Amy: I think you're totally onto something. Before Mr Honda's el cheapo second car, it was Shanks' pony or on yer bike, for getting to and from school or the shops, for your average one-car family.
I can't help wondering, also, if the culture of parents-constantly-supervising-children has contributed to the problem. When I was in primary school it was normal to walk or bike to and from school (or bus if you had far to go), and nobody expected an adult to go with you once you were past the primers. Nowdays it's not considered OK to let children of that age travel independently, which means most kids don't get into the cycling habit.
It would be a crime to put a helmet on that gorgeous hair.
So true! Boris Johnson is such a cutie. [should mayors be required to have good hair, do you think? I didn't look to see if the DM has already written on this subject :-)]
Boris Johnson is such a cutie
AND Royal too!!!!
Rob: yes apparently so
The actual physical reality of the helmet is another. To put it simply, helmets are a pain to carry around. They're impractical to attach to your bike (if you lock it to the frame, they're just at dog-urination level), and they're a bit annoyingly shaped for carrying around in a bag. When you're not wearing one, a helmet is another bloody thing to have to lug around/look after.
And they get wet. You either have to lug it round indoors ("look at me! I'm a cyclist!") or leave it on your bike in the elements.
Grrr - I was just run off the footpath by a cyclist, I'm soaked to the skin and (ever so slightly) bleeding. - where's the pedestrian vs cyclist thread again?
Paul, my consolations to you. Faster, bigger, more dangerous vehicles should always give way to lesser ones (people, in this case), and the penalties and opprobium towards those who break that rule should be the same.
So do you think I should borrow my brother's stick? (mentioned upthread) I had an umbrella out it should have had the same effect
Paul Campbell, remember that sticks and umbrellas are always most effective when wielded point first - if it has wire spokes, go for those; carbon wheels - um, the hazardous rider springs to mind...
But it's a really nice umbrella with a lovely impressionist print on it .....
But it's a really nice umbrella with a lovely impressionist print on it .....
aaah! a case of take the Monet and run then?
I've come rather late to this discussion, much has been stated, quite a few questions asked, and some misconceptions aired. I'll comment on a few of the points, maybe have a bit of fun, etc...
so I'll start with a disclaimer: I am a scientist, I have researched this topic, etc. and I will endeavor to be clear about what is fact and what is opinion, but I may fail, and having researched this doesn't make my opinions right per se!
Somebody asked about seat belts, do they work?
Yes and no!
There is this little problem in safety/risk management, its called risk compensation - everybody, so some extent or other, compensates for risk, if people feel safer they take greater risks. Makes improving safety a challenge! The ideal safety measure should provide more safety than it appears, so after the increased risk taking that will result there is still some benefit. The obvious corollary is you should never oversell the benefit of a safety measure, you're just asking for it.
So back to seatbelts, do they work?
Well the observed behaviour post compulsion in the UK was that while accidents increased (risk compensation) the number of injuries to car occupants decreased. Sound like a win?
Well no it wasn't. You see when a car crashes it sometimes hits a pedestrian or a bicyclist, and more cars crashing... yes, sadly the number of pedestrians and bicyclists injured went up. Worse the increase in injuries to pedestrians and bicyclists was greater than the decrease to car occupants. Sound like a loss?
So do seatbelts work? Across the population it is debatable, but I wouldn't advise you not to wear one - just watch out for those outside your vehicle!
Now that wasn't really a diversion, as understanding the above helps understand why helmet legislation has been such a failure:
* Everybody always knew bicycling wasn't very dangerous, so how to persuade them they need a helmet? Talk up the danger! Geez, the traffic these days! No room for bicyclists... Etc. Fact: The LTSA in a public meeting in Christchurch admitted they had shot themselves in the foot over the helmet law campaign - policy was by then to encourage bicycling but they'd spent years discouraging it by talking up the danger to promote helmets...
* Now everybody thinks bicycling is hyper-dangerous and you're stupid not to protect yourself. Fact: remember "barehead, knucklehead"?
* But you've got a solution! The helmet... But in getting here you've way oversold the danger, and now are way overselling the protection provided by the "solution", which is not good... Fact: bicycle helmets are not designed, and cannot be - the laws of physics get in the way, for impacts with moving vehicles.
* Law fails... Fact: the NZ law, at best, has not produced any significant reduction in injury rates.
I noted some comments regarding "helmet hair", people being wimps for stopping riding because of the need for a helmet, etc.
While a few people might be concerned over helmet hair, I've never seen any indication it is a significant concern. But I suggest there is a bigger issue which discourages bicycling stemming from the law.
Remember to promote helmets in the first place a multi-year campaign was run to explain how dangerous bicycling is and how vital a helmet was - sure it was all hokey, but people believed...
Now put yourself in the shoes of a parent, in these days of "helicopter parents", faced with the choice of whether to let little Johnny/Jane use a highly dangerous method to get to school, so dangerous you need a helmet, or instead to use the super-safe method of driving them...
Now the parent doesn't know there are more car occupant head injuries every year than bicyclist ones (the rate per hour is similar), or that exercise and independent mobility provided by walking/bicycling is vital to their child's physical and mental development (fact: research has shown that kids who are driven to school do less well academically than those who are not, I kid you not), all they see is danger helmet required
So maybe bicycling hasn't dropped because people are wimps, or overly hair-conscious, but as a simple reaction to the misdirection that it is hyper-dangerous.
Helmets and car occupants, I know somebody brought that up.
Yes, both our and the Oz governments claim we'd save a lot more if car occupants wore helmets if the theory they used to justify the bicycle helmets laws is valid.
They claim it is.
They choose not to wear helmets on their own heads while in cars.
So their practice shows they don't believe what they claim...
Shock! The law is a political one and nothing to do with health and safety, who would have guessed???
I've written enough, so let's close with something scary but true: The Norwegians recently decided not to pursue a bicycle helmet law because their research showed the NZ & AU laws produced a 14% increase in risk.
Keep bicycling folks!
And if you wear a helmet, always ride as though you don't.
so I'll start with a disclaimer: I am a scientist, I have researched this topic, etc.
That ought to be a claimer, surely? :-)
(Really, though, it's an interesting comment on the times we live in that expertise is something that needs to be hedged - see Bart's valiant contribution elsethread.)
The Norwegians recently decided not to pursue a bicycle helmet law because their research showed the NZ & AU laws produced a 14% increase in risk.
See, our lawmakers were right: cycling is dangerous!
Interesting post, Nigel.
I don't know what the evidence is for the helmet hair thing but pretty much every woman I can think of cites it. It can take me half an hour or more to do my hair, depending on what the weather has done/will do to it, and I simply won't waste all that effort by sticking a helmet on & ruining the style.
It's a shame, because I enjoy riding. But not more than I enjoy looking professional in a professional environment.
It can take me half an hour or more to do my hair
That's about my quota for a year.