Mayor Calls for Safe Cycling City


Cyclists and those concerned about cycling safety attended the Bikes for Life rally at Queens Wharf today.

The rally, organised in association with Cycle Action Auckland, called for “urgent action for world-class cycling safety in Auckland.”

Mayor Len Brown could not attend but sent a message expressing concern at the recent  tragedy concerning the cyclist along Tamaki Drive.

“We need to move beyond simple positions that cyclists take up too much room or cars are inconsiderate,”the Mayor said.

“Most cyclists I know drive a car. And most car owners will take great pride in watching their sons or daughters take their first tentative pedals on a bike. Most reasonable people see that cyclists have as much right as anyone else to travel along our roads and get home without being harmed.

“Whether for recreational or for transport reasons, we need to make high use roads like Tamaki Drive safer – and with my colleague Mike Lee, my council has moved to do that.

“Mayor Boris Johnson of London says: “a cyclised city is a civilised city.” In Auckland, we need to continue working on issues like the regional bike network, the Get Across Harbour Bridge project, the “Share the Space” campaign and general road safety improvements, to better serve the needs of cyclists. And in turn to help to turn our city into one of the world’s most liveable, civilised, cities.

“Then we can reduce the number of families whose lives are forever harmed by loved ones who set out on a bike but never came home.”

Auckland Council transport chair Mike Lee was among the speakers.

Thanks to Max for photos and coverage




  1. max says:

    Thanks Jon - it was a real good event. Good mix of sports cyclists and casual cyclists too.

  2. rtc says:

    Let’s hope this leads to some actual action on rolling out expanded bike lanes across Auckland’s streets.

  3. max says:

    In our experience (Cycle Action Auckland), Auckland Transport / Council is becoming more responsive to cyclist needs - but so far that has not translated into more funding. Maybe at budget time for the first super city budget.

    I won’t even get much into the piteous 0.7% (!) of the transport budget the MoT puts aside for walking AND cycling. The yearly BLOW-OUTS in the motorway budget (at 100-150 million more than forecats, each of the last couple years) are up to 10 times as high as the whole dedicated walking and cycling budgets.

    So any initiative at the moment is likely to have to come from local government. I hope Auckland realises that walking and cycling have huge synergies - just think of the endless, overflowing bike racks at train stations in the Netherlands or Japan. It could drive up PT patronage significantly (a point which a recent NZTA research report has agreed with - bike parking at train stations got massive BCRs).

  4. AKT says:

    Shocking story from Italy today- car hits and kills 8 cyclists. Driver found to be high on dope.

  5. max says:

    I wish car deaths got reported as much. Maybe people would then use the bus more? Or call for more money to prevent road deaths, rather than call for more traffic lanes…

    There will always be some random horrors like this. But countries worldwide have shown that cycling can be made much safer than it is at the moment. London and New York in the last decade doubled their cycling levels but kept the accidents at the same level, thus cycling there is now twice as safe as before, partly because people know to look out for cyclists.

  6. Decanker says:

    Sadly, under the current regime, I think any initiative is going to have to be linked directly to economic benefits. Talking about wider social wellbeing isn’t going to result in direct action on making our cities more livable.

    So hopefully the idea of lower long term costs to healthcare, more people spending more time in the CBD (and spending money?), less money spent on fossil fuels (and instead saved), better flow of traffic, more productive workers, and generally happier civilians will be simple enough for economically-driven policy-makers to comprehend.

  7. [...] in Auckland Cycling Featured by AKT — December 5, 2010 at 4:28 pm | 6 comments [...]

  8. max says:

    Decanker - ironically, the health benefits (both direct - i.e. the $$$s included in the calculations for keeping people fit and indirect - the dollars not spent on cycle crash costs because of better cycle infrastructure) make up about 99% of the benefits in a benefit-cost calculation of cycling projects in NZ.

    The percentage of traffic benefits (“one less car”) is negligable in the calculation formula, and the economic benefits do not exist in the calculations (only big projects like Puhoi or CBD tunnel even try to assess them).

    But all this still doesn’t help unless we totally overhaul how our system of funding works. A cycling project can have sky-high BCR ratings. It still has to be funded from that tiny little 0.7% pot for walking AND cycling. If that pot is empty, a cycling project with a BCR ten times that of a roading project still won’t get any funding. These projects literally get told to go to the “back of the bus”. There are dozens and dozens backlogged right now. Councils are trying to get that money to co-fund improvements, but there’s none. Some Councils like Waitakere have in fact gone forward with reduced schemes paid 100% from Council funds, instead of just letting the projects die, to their credit.

    Arguing for a fairer assessment of cycling’s benefits alone would change nothing, I am afraid. We’d need either more money in the cycling pot, or a level paying field in the BCR-competition. The second change would be best, but is even less likely than a raise in the pot size, as it would endanger the roading money for the RONS that National loves so much.

  9. Jacinda Ardern says:

    Managed to get to the rally too- a really good event, and especially good to see the various cycle groups coming together to deliver the message.

    On the central government front, Kevin Hauge (a really good Green MP) set up a while back a parliamentary group for MPs wanting to see conditions/safety improve for cyclists. I joined the group, not because I am a cyclist, but because I used to be one back when i lived in a place that felt a little safer to ride (the irony that that place was Morrinsville).

    You’re right though Max, Len Brown and Mike Lee made great statements- and there is a lot they can do- but the funding allocation centrally doesn’t help.

  10. max says:

    Good to see you there, Jacinda. Between trains and bikes and walking we will eventually break the stranglehold the motorways have on us, I think :-)

    Maybe not with this government though. Hope you get in for the Auckland seat next year. Campaign hard on the CBD tunnel - and while you do, have a quick look at this research report from NZTA:

    Basically, it is very glowing on providing for cycling to, and bike facilities at train stations. And no surprise - overseas, train stations and huge areas full of cycle parking go hand in hand.

  11. Railman says:

    I would just like to point out that safety is also a significant part of a cyclists responsibility. To level the playing field for the claim that drivers do not respect cyclists, I would like to point out that I see on many occations cyclists egnoring redlights frequently at pedestrain crossings and even more alarmingly, at intersections. It is only a matter of time before a pedestrain is killed by a cyclists barrelling through a redlight that allows a pedestrain to cross just outside the ferry building.
    You are on the road, you obey the road rules like everyone alse.


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