Southerly by David Haywood

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Southerly: One Hundred and Thirty-one Million Reasons to Copenhagenize Christchurch

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  • Lilith __,

    Just who are you calling a ho?

    wonder how long it took to make the model?

    About 170 years, I reckon. And 20 seconds to break. Makes one feel a bit SMALL!

    All the world's a model, and all the men and women merely figurines? More info on faking it, here.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3411 posts Report Reply

  • Jeffrey Paparoa Holman,

    David: This has been a great contribution to a necessary debate, especially as we look to what needs doing to rebuild Christchurch and make it more cycle-friendly in the process.

    Islander: your ad hominem remarks about me and my background, from behind a nom de plume (a name you have given yourself, which masks your real identity, which is kind of ironic) miss the point. Attacking people, to discredit their ideas, is not helpful.

    I have been to Japan recently, and drew my conclusions from observations I made over the four weeks I was there. I did point out that you had to beware of cyclists coming upon you fast from behind, but my point still holds: the behaviour of cyclists and motorists sharing the same space was educational, and encouraging.

    Yes, you would get into real trouble with the law there, if you "squished" one, as someone else pointed out, but is that a bad thing? No, I do not think it is purely an outcome of population density and the amount of space available.

    While I take David's point that traffic density may allow for us to escape some of the consequences of our "selfish" road behaviour, I still feel that deeper historical factors in the Japanese character make them better users of such space as is available, less aggressive in their social interactions and enduringly polite and helpful. Such was my experience. Are they perfect: no? Can we lean from them: definitely, They could learn from us too: they don't use helmets.

    Yes, we do have in our midst selfish cyclists and red light runners on two wheels, but in the car versus bike game that is played out daily on our roads, the car wins every time it turns into a contact sport. Cyclists are injured and die unnecessarily, and this is not helped by aggressive drivers who forget just how much the odds are against the two-wheeler, if they collide with them.

    I have cycled here and I have cycled in inner London: Christchurch is just as, if not more, scary than there when it comes to sharing the road and giving us the space we need. I'm going to try and be a little more Japanese when I get on my bike the next time: I hope the guy in the big 4WD is, too.

    Christchurch • Since Jun 2011 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • Gregor Ronald, in reply to stephen walker,

    I go for a combination; I have a couple of pairs of padded-bum cycle shorts that are light fabric, designed to be worn as underwear. I can wear regular work clothes on top, and after I get to work I take 5 mins in the bathroom changing into a fresh shirt and regular undies. Another 5 mins at the end of the day to get back into bike undies, trousers on, away we go. Exposing my 60-something body in lycra would not help workplace relations!

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 68 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Lilith __,

    Somewhat off topic, but I thought everybody might enjoy some beautiful pre-quake-Chch porn. It makes Chch look like a toy ideal city. I hope we can make it even better than this, one day.

    That is amazing.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18513 posts Report Reply

  • recordari, in reply to Russell Brown,

    That is amazing.

    +1

    After this morning's shake up, even more eerie.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Lilith __,

    beautiful pre-quake-Chch porn. It makes Chch look like a toy ideal city.

    surreal

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16279 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Telecom broadband network builder envisages a de-centred new Christchurch.

    At the Tuanz Telecommunications Day conference in Wellington, Gen-i Australasia chief executive Chris Quin said all major urban centres could become, well, less centred. Instead of being the centre of all business, civil and social activity, the current CBD could become one of the larger hubs surrounded by other smaller ones.

    ...

    Mr Quin said change has already come to Christchurch. The city’s CBD was a “single point of failure” during the two earthquakes.

    Many organisations have developed into temporary distributed business hubs in lesser affected areas on the outskirts of the central business district, like Addington and Fendalton.

    “These temporary centres could develop into fully-fledged and integrated business hubs. Instead of having a single CBD, Christchurch could have several, smaller business centres, or hubs, within the suburbs surrounding the current CBD,” Mr Quin said.

    Another trend: more and more white collar workers working from home.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16279 posts Report Reply

  • Christopher Dempsey,

    I'd suggest staying on Ponsonby Rd to Franklin Rd. That's all downhill, even if it's a little further. And both roads are pretty safe - Ponsonby is 40km/h zone so you can pretty much just take a lane and hold it. Coming down Franklin you'll hit 50km/h easy so you'd do the same.

    I agree. Walk your bike uphill on Newton Rd (bugger riding up it), then go down Ponsonby to Franklin. The speed limit on Ponsonby is 40kph so don't bother hugging the left - its pretty dangerous to do so - take the whole lane. I usually take the whole lane as well turning out of Franklin onto Victoria St heading towards the city, until I'm opposite Vic Park Markets, where the road becomes wide enough again.

    In my Uni days (many years ago now) I used to wear long, flowing, brightly-coloured satin and velvet garments while riding my bike. This was partly because I liked wearing them anyway, and partly because I figured motorists were more likely to notice me and therefore less likely to hit me.

    I use the same tactic from time to time when riding around. I let the yellow high viz vest flap around in the wind, and if I'm wearing a jacket I let it flap around - I like to think that the movement of the jacket will catch driver's eyes and I'll be more safer. Perhaps I could make a long flowing brightly coloured satin 'jacket' to improve my chances?

    For example, it’s a good idea to ride at least a metre out from parked cars not just to avoid being doored, but to increase your visibility to other cars further up that might be about to pull out.

    I'm pretty aggressive in this respect. I ride at least 1.5m away from parked cars. I've no desire to be tangled up in a car door. And I'm not worried about the cars behind me - it's my life I'm worried about, not the 1.5 seconds they might loose on their commute. I really despair when I see novice riders hugging for dear life the left-hand side of the lane - right next to a footpath and virtually in the gutter, or more dangerously, right next to a car door. I just want to shake them and tell them to take the whole lane... I'm pretty sure Jane Bishop died because she was careful about keeping really left, to the point where it cost her her life. If she had simply taken the whole lane at that corner, she might have been still alive.

    I just shout “Peasant!”.

    The confused look at such an insult (“I say, are you jolly well insulting, my man???”) is priceless, and the time to process means (so far) a safe getaway.

    Oh that's a good one. Rumpelstiltskin could be another word to shout.

    In Auckland, I think drivers’ awareness of cyclists has actually improved since last year’s cycling deaths made safety an issue. It’s a grim reason for it to happen, but I do feel like drivers see me better now.

    Agreed. That and a combination of road diets caused by bus lanes, and general increase in traffic.

    “Let buses go first” is another good one. Once you get it into your mind that a bus carries as many people as 60-100 cars, you feel a whole lot less bitter at “some motorist trying to take cheap advantage, bullying you with a huge vehicle”.

    When I first moved to Vancouver I was mystified by a sign on the back of buses saying "Thanks for the brake!". A friend explained that the transportation authority were encouraging people to brake for buses and let them, and so put the signs up thanking people for braking.

    I've been known to hold up traffic when riding so that a bus can pull out... I think a campaign to 'brake for buses' wouldn't go amiss here.

    Up to a point, totally. But please: hand signals, indicate indicate indicate. Sometimes we can see you, sometimes we are happy to share the road- but almost never can we read your minds :)

    Happy to do so when I can but sometimes I can't - when I'm coming up to a corner at speed - so please! have a look a which way my front wheel is pointing. That's a good clue right there.

    And if you think you've been annoyed by stupid cyclists, I encourage you to commute by bike for a week in a city, following the road code to the letter, and see how happy or even alive that would leave you. The amount of times you'd experience something scary, dangerous or life threatening is in a completely different order of magnitude than the times a cyclist annoys you.

    I agree. Mostly I follow the road code (perhaps 85%), but when I sense increased risk from traffic, or find myself in a risky situation, that goes right out the window. Again, it's my life I'm worried about, not the finer points of law. Although it just mystifies me when I'm waiting at a red light on my bike along with car traffic and a biker just cruises past me into the intersection and across. I don't get it. Bonus though for me is that the car drivers have seen what just happened and will give me lots of room...

    So one thing NZ could do cheaply to promote cycling is some relatively minor changes to the Rode Code that more strongly shift the burden of collision avoidance on to motorists.

    I think something like this would do much to improve our driving habits, and improve safety. Changing the system so that drivers are automatically at fault if they hit a cyclist (and studies have shown that it is the vast majority of drivers who are at fault in a collision with a cyclist - see commets about "I didn't see you" above) or a pedestrian and are prosecuted would rapidly see improvement in behaviour. Expect painful whining from wingnuts in the interim though.

    Apologies for coming late to this rather fascinating discussion...

    Parnell / Tamaki-Auckland… • Since Sep 2008 • 639 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Christopher Dempsey,

    I AM NOT a wingnut - but I am sure people have noticed that I have encountered idiot cyclists. I would fight very hard against 'vehicle drivers being automatically at fault." Also, against the same stupidity being propagated against vehicle drivers who hit pedestrians. One of my friends had a person deliberately step in front of his truck. The person was known as having 2 previous episodes of suicidal behaviour.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I use the same tactic from time to time when riding around. I let the yellow high viz vest flap around in the wind, and if I’m wearing a jacket I let it flap around – I like to think that the movement of the jacket will catch driver’s eyes and I’ll be more safer. Perhaps I could make a long flowing brightly coloured satin ‘jacket’ to improve my chances?

    You might as well go the whole Priscilla Queen of the Desert :)

    Since Nov 2006 • 6150 posts Report Reply

  • Christopher Dempsey, in reply to Kyle Matthews,

    You might as well go the whole Priscilla Queen of the Desert :)

    Oh! There's an idea...you mean like the outfits those miners wear... workboots, singlets and stubbies?? ;)

    Parnell / Tamaki-Auckland… • Since Sep 2008 • 639 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Kyle Matthews,

    Visibility good. Increased visibility - better!

    Not towing a swaying bike-trailer - best!

    Please- can tourist bike people just get it into their heads that - as of now, and for the forseeable future, despite JohnKey's risible vision- all major state highways and *especially* non-state highways (rural roads) ARE NOT DESIGNED TO CATER FOR CYCLE TRAFFIC> ................ok?

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Tamsin6,

    I am also a latecomer to this thread. Sadly, this is because I have been in New Zealand spending time with my dad, and then attending his funeral last week. He was a traffic and roading engineer all his life, starting with his training with the MoW in Southland,and ending as a consultant with GHD in Tauranga. He was always involved in road safety issues and would have been so fascinated by the proposals here - even the week before he died he was still thinking about and discussing what would happen in the future of Christchurch. I am just so, so sad that I won't ever be able to discuss this stuff with him again. David - I just hope that this real chance to build something fantastic in Christchurch is not missed and that some of these ideas come to fruition.

    London • Since Dec 2007 • 123 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Kyle Matthews,

    You might as well go the whole Priscilla Queen of the Desert :)

    Tulle be sorry!
    and beware the Isadora Duncan effect...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 4555 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood, in reply to Tamsin6,

    Hi Tamsin, I am so very sorry to hear about your father. I think quite a few of us at Public Address have lost important people recently, and our thoughts are with you. It does get better, but it just takes a while. With much sympathy, David

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 955 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Tamsin6,

    this real chance to build something fantastic in Christchurch is not missed

    Would be a great tribute to your dad and others who cared about doing it right. Thoughts with you and yours.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16279 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason, in reply to Islander,

    Well actually, these roads were designed for an even slower mode of transport. Horses. Bikes are smaller and faster.

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1479 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Ross Mason,

    The original roads have generally been altered beyond recognition…I can remember when parts of SH 1 in the south were unsealed -
    And when most of the road into Big O was not only unsealed but also one-way.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Maz,

    Please Islander, to paraphrase yourself: Could you just get into your carcentric head, that our roads (except motorways etc) are for all of us, and tourists, to use, and that we should be able to do so safely.
    Next time you come across a cyclist or a pedestrian, try slowing down, giving way and giving a friendly wave. Both parties will benefit, and you will grow as a person.
    Thank you, and have a nice day.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2010 • 22 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Maz,

    Maz - I dont have a carcentric - or indeed, poweredvehicle-centric - head. I share the roads with many other drivers, some of whom drive enormous rigs or buses
    which take up much of a lane. Our roads are built to cater for such. I share the road with scooters, horses, cattle-beasts, and cyclists BUT many of our roads ARE NOT built to cater for cyclists. Or horses or cattlebeasts come to that...

    I find your advice impertinent.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Tamsin6, in reply to David Haywood,

    Thanks for your kind words David and Sacha - I am waiting for the time when things will seem less raw. I don't think I will ever be able to read or participate in any discussion about New Zealand roading without thinking things like "Dad would have said..." or "Dad would have thought..." - that's a good thing though.

    London • Since Dec 2007 • 123 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Islander,

    I suspect the "car-centric" label could be avoided by making a simple extension
    (a cycle lane, if you like), viz:

    many of our roads ARE NOT built to cater for cyclists

    ... in addition to cars.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 854 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark, in reply to Tamsin6,

    Tamsin, I envelop you in a warm cloud of empathy, and if that doesn't float your boat, my sincere condolences.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3121 posts Report Reply

  • Tamsin6,

    Thank you Jackie - empathy and condolences are both warmly appreciated.

    London • Since Dec 2007 • 123 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to linger,

    Agreed - but I thought that was both implicit & obvious...

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

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