I’m not sure why people in Island Bay are so up in arms about their new cycleway.
The City Council advertised the meetings, and interested members of the public turned up. I did, as did many others. The venue was right in the middle of the area concerned. There were flags flying outside the Baptist Church. If you’re just too damn lazy or disorganized to get out of bed and walk next door to discuss with the Council what is happening in your street, then don’t come running to complain later.
So, yes, it is all about loss of carparks, or a perceived loss. Some scurrilous blogs are writing of 500 carparks lost between Island Bay to the city (no, not me), others are saying just 40 in Island Bay. Perhaps what is really needed is for everyone to just calm down, take a deep breath, and look at what is actually planned here.
Is the work they are planning in Island Bay, really just a cycleway to nowhere? No. It’s stage one, and they’re now planning stage two. After that comes stage three.
Is this just a vanity project for the Mayor, who, shock horror, actually lives in Island Bay? No. The first project, probably ill-advisedly, was the Tawa to Porirua cycle way which is a long way from where Wade Brown lives. It’s taken her three years to get to this point – the place where a major cycleway gets planned for a major traffic route out to a major destination.
Why aren’t things being done for bikes in the city first? Well, actually, they are. There are cycle boxes going in all over the city, thanks largely to Councillor Andy Foster of the transport committee, and the workers at the Council who have been asked to install cycle boxes to enable cycles to occupy positions at lights safely.
Why are the council deleting the existing cycleway in Island Bay and putting in a new one next to the kerb? Because the existing cycleway is not that safe – it puts cyclists (the most vulnerable of road users) into the lanes with buses, cars and trucks, and into the same zone as car doors. That’s just not the safest place for a cycle way – the safest place is for cyclists to be near the pedestrians, well away from the traffic. You’re complaining because somebody is doing something safe, and proper for once? You should be ashamed of yourselves.
Grow up, people.