Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Change for the Better

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  • Sam F,

    At risk of over-posting here - I took the Nelson Street and NW Cycleway route back home to Morningside last night. Massive difference - it's shortened my commute home by 15 minutes (1/3rd reduction). That is time in pocket to commute in from further out, or visit destinations in town, or stay later for work or entertainment - and it's moved the city that much closer for people coming in further out by bike. This is a Very Good Thing.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1609 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Russell Brown,

    But part of me said “hey, it’s cyclist day, use the road”.

    Yeah. I don't seek to excuse the driver, and I can understand why you did it - I'm luckier in that my hair raising experience at that intersection was in a car. Of course I was not at fault then either. At least no more at fault than you were, in so far as I made a judgment that drivers were not complete shitbags, and I was wrong. But I'm not going that way again to prove any points. Something about it just encourages motorists to act crazy. It's effectively a pinch point on a corner, since in both directions it goes from 2 lanes to 1+parked cars, and drivers (including bus drivers) seem to race each other to merge ahead. It would probably be safest if it was just a no right turn.

    It's especially shit that it's literally outside the front door of a shop selling a lot of bikes, probably to tourists.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10629 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    his vacuous rants

    The problem is that his rants are not vacuous, they are in the full of incitement to do harm. In this case to cyclists. But also to do harm against refugees. To do harm against those with different political opinions.

    He's gone from merely trying for clickbait, essentially trolling, to actually defining groups of others (the poor, the unemployed, maori, cyclists) that according to him it is OK to hate and denigrate.

    That's more than just despicable, it's dangerous.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4449 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    I guess driving is regarded by many drivers as not just a way of getting around, but a moral good and a human right

    Much like gun ownership.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4449 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa, in reply to Jeanette King,

    Those magenta wheels - so cool! And Claire & baby so pretty in pink :-)

    I love Sam's description of the over-the-top colour choice, too... this thing is getting noticed all over the world. It's such a massive gesture of cheeky chutzpah and vote of confidence in a new way of doing things. So great to see the providers of infrastructure coming to the party in such a big way.

    It's also testament to the persistence of a small but strong band of people who've spoken up and worked quietly behind the scenes for years, not just for this project (go Max, Super Cycleway Man!) but on all sorts of improvements for people on bikes that wouldn't have happened otherwise.

    At the risk of sounding like an advocate (which I am!), if you like the sound of what Bike Auckland does – whether it's the epic events like the First Hoon, or the behind-the-scenes consulting, or both – do keep an eye on the website for more news about what's happening in your corner of the city.

    We welcome any kind of feedback and support, and LOVE to connect with "bike champs" in every part of town to help push things along. You can also sign up for the occasional newsletter, or even become a paid-up supporter if you're feeling generous (ooh, and, if you join by Wednesday, i.e. tomorrow night, you might win a wicked yellow bike to ride on that mad magenta pathway).

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1472 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    He's gone from merely trying for clickbait, essentially trolling, to actually defining groups of others (the poor, the unemployed, maori, cyclists) that according to him it is OK to hate and denigrate.

    Worth firing off a few BSA standard complaints about denigration, perhaps?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19667 posts Report Reply

  • izogi,

    By all accounts, the driver of this car deliberately entered the cycleway and drove towards a family heading up on their bikes. The driver laughed before reversing out and exiting via Cook Street, presumably breaching the no-right-turn sign there.

    Sorry if I’ve missed something in the comments. But especially given there’s photographic evidence, including a registration plate, has this incident been reported in any way?

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • Mikaere Curtis,

    I finally got to try out the LightPath this morning as part of my daily commute. I remember the concerns raised here so was interested to see how things turned out.

    Very good, as it happens. I like and the perspex safety walls don't bother me too much. And the Nelson St cycleway feels ten times safer than when I've ridden down Nelson St in the traffic.

    I commute from Morningside, and once I figure out the optimum way to include both the Arch Hill mountain bike trails AND the LightPath, I'll be set :)

    Tamaki Makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 528 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens, in reply to Jim Cathcart,

    OTOH, I’ve seen some appalling etiquette among cyclists in Auckland, particularly the MAMIL weekend warriors...

    Inapproprite speed is as dangerous on a bike on a cycleway as it is in a car on the road. A lot of MAMILs are old school cyclists who are used to neglected and unused cycleway segments that were basically deserted and their playspaces. The increasing popularity of cycling is causing some cultural adjustment issues for these people as well.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2210 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Easterbrook,

    Today was my first time on my bike since [mumblemumblemumble], and even though I was heading to K Rd, I took the Lightpath route to try it out. I have never felt so at ease on my bike in Auckland, ever.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 262 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    Inapproprite speed is as dangerous on a bike on a cycleway as it is in a car on the road. A lot of MAMILs are old school cyclists who are used to neglected and unused cycleway segments that were basically deserted and their playspaces.

    I was having this disagreement with Wellington cyclists recently. When you're around pedestrians on a shared space, anything above about 15km/h is either unsafe or uncomfortable for the people you're around, depending on how many of them there are. That means slowing down for a few moments, but life is too short to go round scaring people, and having to dodge them when they amble aimlessly. If you want to go fast, there's always the road (in Wellington there's only the road, or the large pedestrian boulevards that line the waterfront areas).

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Roger, in reply to BenWilson,

    It is possible to call *555 to report bad driving. Or the police if it was really bad. For someone pushing me with their car it would be the police.

    Well, of course it is - but the attraction of doing so disappears quite quickly, the Police generally aren't interested and you tend to get advised that it is a civil matter even when the 'accident' was quite deliberate. I've been deliberately hit half a dozen times over the years and only bothered to report it once, it is simply not worth the time and aggravation.

    A few years ago I was deliberately hit by a delivery truck who after hitting me stopped, flipped the bird and yelled abuse. As I lay in the road the following car driven by two airforce officers avoided driving over me and insisted that I report it to the Police and that they would both give evidence. Even with credible witnesses the Police let it go as careless driving with a minimum fine.

    My understanding is if you have Go Pro footage they are not interested as apparently you could have fabricated it.

    Hamilton • Since Jun 2007 • 179 posts Report Reply

  • nzMM,

    Out of curiosity, what is the planned route to connect Onehunga to the central city cycleways?

    Auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 15 posts Report Reply

  • Patrick Morgan,

    Tune in to RNZ Mediawatch on Sunday for some thoughts on how media treat cycling - and how this is changing. Case study: http://www.3news.co.nz/tvshows/story/worried-wellingtonians-question-new-cycleway-2015120317#axzz3tgpA4NX5

    Wellington • Since Jun 2011 • 9 posts Report Reply

  • Glen Koorey, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    I guess driving is regarded by many drivers as not just a way of getting around, but a moral good and a human right - a triumph of western civilization which countless TV shows and advertisments tell them is an important status symbol in a values system they've totally brought into. Cyclists are seen as moral outsiders challenging their value system. On top of that, two other factors feed road rage against cyclists IMHO. First of all, cyclists are not just moral outliers, they are a highly visible minority moral outlier. Secondly, they are egged on by the public 2-minute hates of Hoskings, or Jeremy Clarkson, or any of a plethora of anti-cyclists.

    Not sure that we can put Jeremy Clarkson in the "cycle-haters" camp these days; he's regularly seen riding around London on his treadly and has been known to sing their praises...

    Christchurch • Since Apr 2013 • 19 posts Report Reply

  • Glen Koorey,

    I'm mostly fairly excited and impressed with what's been happening cycling-wise down our way in Christchurch lately (e.g. 9km of new separated cycleways so far this year), but I gotta say that I'm really keen to try out that shiny pink new ride you've got when I'm next in Auckland! Great stuff.

    Christchurch • Since Apr 2013 • 19 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Roger,

    I doubt you can expect a conviction in these circumstances, but you can report people anyway. At least a record is kept that they were involved in this kind of traffic incident. Might deter them at best, or get them later at worst.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10629 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to George Darroch,

    I was having this disagreement with Wellington cyclists recently. When you’re around pedestrians on a shared space, anything above about 15km/h is either unsafe or uncomfortable for the people you’re around, depending on how many of them there are.

    That is true, but it's hyperbole to say that speeding bikes are in the same danger league as speeding cars. It's like comparing slingshots and pistols. Both can kill, of course. But which one does, in fact, kill the most people, by far?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10629 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to nzMM,

    Out of curiosity, what is the planned route to connect Onehunga to the central city cycleways?

    The SH20 (southwestern) cycleway tracks the motorway, so it currently comes as far north as Mt Roskill.

    It will connect with the SH16 (northwestern) cycleway when the Waterview Connection opens – or maybe a little after, because NZTA are being sulky about it. (They tried to get out of having to build a cycleway over the tunnel stretch at all, but an independent inquiry told them to get with the programme.)

    The main problem will remain with the part of the northbound journey which includes an off-putting climb up to Hillsborough Road.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22743 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Sacha,

    He’s gone from merely trying for clickbait, essentially trolling, to actually defining groups of others (the poor, the unemployed, maori, cyclists) that according to him it is OK to hate and denigrate.

    Worth firing off a few BSA standard complaints about denigration, perhaps?

    Not remotely worth it. It falls well within the standards for broadcast opinion that the BSA applies. And, y'know, it probably should. Having a state agency wade in on expression is not something you should easily do.

    But that doesn't stop the rest of us publicly debunking and lampooning him. He definitely deserves that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22743 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Mikaere Curtis,

    And the Nelson St cycleway feels ten times safer than when I’ve ridden down Nelson St in the traffic.

    I used to do it sometimes. You really needed to be feeling confident.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22743 posts Report Reply

  • FletcherB, in reply to Russell Brown,

    The SH20 (southwestern) cycleway tracks the motorway, so it currently comes as far north as Mt Roskill.

    It will connect with the SH16 (northwestern) cycleway when the Waterview Connection opens [snip]

    The main problem will remain with the part of the northbound journey which includes an off-putting climb up to Hillsborough Road.

    Well yes, that hill is a turn-off for all but the most enthusiastic… but really, I think the biggest turn off is the distance…

    I already do “two sides of a triangle” (compared to a more direct route, as seen from above) commuting between Green Bay and Parnell via Avondale shops and the Waterview/Carrington entrance to the Northwestern Cycleway… for me it’s 2-3 km extra (10-20%) distance in exchange for a nearly flat ride and nearly half on protected cycleways.

    Onehunga to CBD via the SH20 cycle-path and the same Waterview/Carrington merge into SH16 seems like a valid solution for only the most trafic-timid, but very-fit, and time-abundant cyclist… a direct route is ~10km while this route is over 17-19km (70-100% extra distance) with added hills! It does admittedly have the advantage of being about 90% separated/protected cycleway!

    Great for a weekend tootle, or a fitness program… but not really a commute?

    West Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 887 posts Report Reply

  • David Kraitzick,

    Thanks for the photo credit Russell!

    Since Dec 2015 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to David Kraitzick,

    Thanks for the photo credit Russell!

    Thanks for the photo, dude.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22743 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to FletcherB,

    Great for a weekend tootle, or a fitness program… but not really a commute?

    Yeah, that’s certainly true if your commuting destination is the CBD. It’s a function of the fact that full-fledged cycleways are a byproduct of motorways.

    Otoh, it’s a bit different if you happen to live in Point Chev. For us, it’s like the cycleways converge on our collective doorstep.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22743 posts Report Reply

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