News from WCC
The idea of commuting to work by bicycle can be daunting for some, but it doesn’t have to be. It can be fun, safe and convenient – provided you know what you’re doing, which is where BikeEverywhere.co.nz comes in.
Created by passionate cyclist and Victoria University design lecturer Kah Chan, the website has easy-to-follow videos – shot from a cyclist’s point of view. These demonstrate cycle-friendly routes into Wellington City.
So far, there are videos for commuter routes from Karori, Northland, Brooklyn, Hataitai, Island Bay, Miramar, Johnsonville, Petone and Lower Hutt:
Shot using GoPro cameras attached to the handlebars and helmet, the videos provide detailed directions for all the routes (and they fast-forward through long straights to keep things interesting). They also feature a commentary from the cyclists offering tips for safe cycle behaviour and guidance for dealing with tricky intersections.
The project began when Kah produced a series of commuter videos for BikeWise.co.nz in 2011.
Then, in 2012, he recruited design student (and video and web editing whiz) Chris Callus – who was sponsored through a $3500 City Council Safe and Sustainable Transport Grant as part of a joint Council and Victoria University Summer Internship programme – and together the pair shot several more videos and created their dedicated website.
Kah says the initiative is the first of its kind in New Zealand, and is as much about promoting behavioural change among existing cyclists as it is about encouraging newcomers to enjoy the benefits of cycling to work.
“We really want to encourage experienced cyclists to lead by example and become ambassadors for the cycling community when they’re out on the roads.
“Unfortunately some riders out there seem to think they have impunity when it comes to road rules because they have two wheels rather than four – and those people are giving the rest of us a bad rap by running red lights and whatnot.”
The website has some fun – and at times provocative – rules for all cyclists to follow.
“Cycling is such a logical way of getting to and from work – and it can have so many benefits for both the rider and the city. So it’s crucial cyclists and other road-users learn how to share the roads safely and efficiently,” says Kah.
He hopes to expand BikeEverywhere to include more routes eventually, but as he largely foots the bill for shooting the videos himself, it might take some time. He’s also planning to help other cities set up similar initiatives by creating a ‘how to’ booklet and will present the project to an international audience at the upcoming Velo City conference in Vienna in June.