Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Bikelash, paralysis – and progress

22 Responses

  • Paul Campbell,

    Talking about cars acting in a more friendly manner - a few things I miss from living in California

    - 25mph (40kph) speed limits in most communities (just not on main arteries)
    - 4 way stops - that means cars stop at every intersection, and never really get up to speed
    - virtual zebra crossings at every uncontrolled intersection - pedestrians have the right of way everywhere (except for jaywalking)

    In Berkeley where I lived they put in clunky roundabouts to slow traffic, here in Dunedin they speed cars up and are decidedly pedestrian unfriendly. I was in Amsterdam last month, near my hotel was a 3 ring roundabout (cars, bikes, people) with people having the right of way at the entry and exit points

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2606 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Brown,

    Also helping driver behavior and courtesy in Cali and the US generally is personal injury liability and the probability of a tort.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2013 • 136 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    4 way stops – that means cars stop at every intersection, and never really get up to speed

    Oh, I meant to say: the Occupy people’s new line, trotted out at the meeting yesterday, is now that it’s wrong to try and slow down traffic.

    I wish I was joking.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Here's AT's project page for Richmond Road (West Lynn) and Westmere.

    It includes a survey for residents. I'd urge anyone who lives in the area and doesn't want these ghastly people to ruin the whole thing to do the survey.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    If you want to help, it's best to know what you're talking about.

    And it helps if media do not regurgitate nonsensical talking points without basic journalistic fact-checking.

    Ms Bright repeatedly justifies her refusal to pay rates by claiming that AT and the Council are 'breaking the law' by not releasing line-item accounts for all contracts as she demands. She insists that the Public Records Act backs her in this - though it clearly only requires organisations to hold that information, as any records manager or person who can read English can attest. Making any of that information public is governed by other laws, most commonly the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act (LGOIMA). Even RNZ Checkpoint fell for her gambit recently.

    Such stupidity makes it harder for everybody who is genuinely trying to help local bodies work better with citizens.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to Russell Brown,

    it’s wrong to try and slow down traffic.

    Slogan Huh!
    We should slow the whole pace of life down me thinks! Fuck just the traffic. We just dont need to live life at a frenetic pace. Only arseholes want that, just so they can gloss over their fuck ups and callousness.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1881 posts Report Reply

  • C Kilgour,

    I would love to see angle parks set up so you want to reverse in and can rejoin the traffic safely on leaving.

    Ashburton • Since Mar 2018 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Rickai, in reply to Sacha,

    Prager's protest against felling the pine trees between West View Road and the Zoo is particularly barmy. I'm sure the Green Party are stoked that she is using the back of their election signs for her placards.

    Since Jan 2007 • 47 posts Report Reply

  • Helga, in reply to andin,

    We’d kill a few fewer pedestrians, maybe?

    New Zealand • Since May 2012 • 17 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Rickai,

    Prager’s protest against felling the pine trees between West View Road and the Zoo is particularly barmy.

    That was incredible. The pinus radiata there are at end of life – 55 have died in the past three years. And they're falling. It would be utterly reckless to leave them.

    Everything in their stupid statement about taking over "community guardianship" of Western Springs Park was demonstrably wrong. I broke my usual rule and commented on their Facebook post noting every falsehood in detail. No response, oddly enough.

    I’m sure the Green Party are stoked that she is using the back of their election signs for her placards.

    I wonder if they're old or new ones? Some of the local Greens did get rather too close to that crowd for a while.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Omatai, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Some of the local Greens did get rather too close to that crowd for a while.

    Not willingly. And hopefully not recently. The Lisa Prager/Penny Bright show periodically forced itself on the Greens over the years and abused our/their tolerance. If that institutional memory of their appalling behaviour has been lost, that's a shame.

    Grey Lynn • Since Mar 2018 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • LeighKennaway,

    Big sigh, as it all comes back to me.....
    Parking on Meola Road - I remember getting the Motat II car park sealed about 15 years back, and concrete stairs put in between the upper area and Seddon Fields in an attempt to encourage more soccer players to park there than on the road. It didn't make as much a difference as I'd hoped.

    And Lisa Prager's 'activism'... I remember when she moved in to Premier Ave and 'discovered Meola Creek. Great burst of self-rightous anger that NOONE had EVER done anything to clear up the dirty creek and weed infested bush. Gratuitously insulting to myself and every other local who had been quietly chipping away at it. Her firey enthusiasm did result in a few meetings with Watercare though, and at one of them she presented a 'Memorandum of Understanding' where she expected them to pay her some ridiculous sum ($100k ??) to take over management of the stream and riparian strip.

    Lower Hutt • Since Feb 2016 • 9 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    I'm told the Occupiers' new objection to the path is that it is bad for the environment because it's made of asphalt.

    That's pretty hard case. I've got fifty tones of second hand asphalt sitting heaped up in my front yard. And its got lots of very tasty looking puha growing in it, amoung other vigorously competing weeds.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4316 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Omatai,

    Not willingly. And hopefully not recently. The Lisa Prager/Penny Bright show periodically forced itself on the Greens over the years and abused our/their tolerance. If that institutional memory of their appalling behaviour has been lost, that’s a shame.

    Fair enough. I do recall being told off by Nandor years ago for not being a fan of Ike Finau's attack signs.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • TracyMac,

    Regarding Nature Baby and their view of their clientele, obviously I'm not welcome there. I go almost every time I'm in Auckland for various gifts (often into the 100s of dollars range), and guess what, I take the bus from wherever I'm staying to get there. So I won't be doing that again.

    Do they seriously think that their patrons always occupied the three (?) spaces out front with their Remuera tractors? Even the preponderance of the time, given how busy the parking areas around the Richmond Rd shops (sorry, I detest the term "West Lynn") have been for the last couple of decades?

    I'm afraid I'm still hunting for my eyeballs from when they rolled out of my head. I understand retailers' concerns about losing street frontage and foot traffic if there are extended road/building works nearby - however, acquiring a captive audience of dozens for your shop window each time a bus pulls up in front doesn't evoke much sympathy from me.

    Some retailers are trying to pull the same routine in Mt Eden where I also lived in years gone by, and the same applies with consistent parking pressure for years, and the obvious fact that the majority of anyone's patrons would not be parking directly outside the front door in shopping areas like that.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 701 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to TracyMac,

    Nature Baby and their view of their clientele

    It's interesting how really wrong most business owners are in their perception of their own clients.

    The elitist view that most of their customers are rich and would therefore drive their BMW SUVs to the shop rather than busing is kinda revolting.

    The other classic is "all my customers drive here and park right outside" which every time it's been tested is just not true. The most extreme example being K road where 2% park on the street but business groups still insist that the street parking is essential for their business.

    I love the ones who say they need that parking for their customers and then park their own car there all day, looking at you Balmoral.

    Given the lack of customer awareness I'm surprised any businesses survive at all.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    retailers will see works for as long as 18 months, some of that time with their footpaths dug up. AT and the local board really need to work on minimising the impact of construction time on those businesses.

    This is a real problem with the way things are being done at the moment. Jobs that should be done in weeks take months.

    Part of that is the retailers own fault by insisting that works do not disrupt business during the day they end up having a long slow disruption rather than a quick efficient job.

    Works like this can be done very quickly with the right planning, commitment and budget. that's what they do in real cities. At some point retailers and AT need to realise that working as if Auckland is a small town just isn't best for anyone.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • Mike O'Connell,

    Good piece Russell. When you're in Chch next and have the opportunity, would be interesting to get your thoughts on the =ves and -ves of the emerging Chch cycleway network. They are not universally popular by any means.

    Is the sharrow concept widespread in Akld? In Chch, they tend to be used in stretches of main roads, e.g. Colombo St, where it's impractical to have a cycleway. My experience with sharrow roads has been mixed and I was nearly run off Colombo St by an angry truckie hooting continuously me to get out of the way! He, like others I've winessed just don't get it. But neither has the education roll-out on sharrows been that good by the CCC.

    Also, there's a health and safety inconsistency. While most cycle paths (or stretches on those paths) allow for the cyclist to cross uncontrolled crossings while traffic waits. then unexpectedly, at the next crossing, one may meet a crossing with tiny give way signs (cyclist must give way). No logic there and I've seen one or two close calls.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 379 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Mike O'Connell,

    But neither has the education roll-out on sharrows been that good by the CCC.

    We have them on Point Chev Road, but I only discovered what they were for quite recently.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming,

    In a previous life, I ran the old gummint website NZGO where I'd get a lot of email from a lot of people. Some I'd answer, some I'd forward on to departments asking them to answer, some I'd toss straight into the bit recycler*. Penny Bright's regular missives always went into the bit recycler, as they were a) multi-recipient press releases and therefore required no answer (got legal advice on that, just in case) and b) were unreadable because of logic errors, poor writing, assumptions that you'd read all her previous ones (I read the first couple so I can personally attest this), and batshit conspiracy theories. I'm not surprised she lost her house, nor that she's tied up with this Prager person, who seems equally batshit crazy.

    *OK, not really. All email received was filed, as per proper information management practice, except spam and porn, but it was filed in the "do not respond" bucket.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2930 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to Mike O'Connell,

    Is the sharrow concept widespread in Akld?

    I've seen them in Oz, but they're very, very rare. Most councils prefer the "dead cyclists" painted in the door zone to remind us what happens when we ride there. Our council has largely stopping doing that after a certain small group pointed out the problem at every single public meeting they held. But I saw a new one the other day, might have to go to some meetings :)

    Those anti-bicycle hoops in the last photo really jumped out at me. We've been asking for the removal of stuff like that for a while and it's been interesting that the formal response has almost always been "thank you for your concern" but every now and then a barrier will quietly vanish with no fanfare. I mean "dug up and the holes patched properly", not the old-skool "cut off at ground level and hammered flat" that anyone can do. One that I had to dismount for twice a day disappeared over xmas, and my thank you email hasn't been answered. But the barrier is still gone so I'm happy.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1198 posts Report Reply

  • Adam H, in reply to Mike O'Connell,

    I went and looked up Sparrows, and found this :)

    Thanks for the steer.

    Auckland • Since Oct 2014 • 26 posts Report Reply

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