CAN response to Climate Change Commission draft advice
Be more ambitious. Cycling is a proven way to cut emissions, with extra benefits for health, prosperity, decongestion and fun.
The target of doubling cycling by 2030 is much too low. It is lower than the growth rate we’ve got today. Surely we can do more than double. We say the target should be 15% of all trips nationally by bike by 2050 against 1% today. This is the target in the report Turning the Tide - from Cars to Active Transport that the CCC report references.
Set a target of 8 percent of all trips by bike by 2035 (on the way to 15 percent by 2050)
Enable biking at a system level with infrastructure, training, programmes, and subsidies
Boost the growth of e-bikes, making cycling viable for more journeys in more places and improving the equity of a transition to EVs.
“A climate appropriate response would be to rapidly roll a comprehensive network of safe routes in towns all across the country, backed up by low traffic neighbourhoods. Instead of, or at least as well as, suggesting incentives to switch to electric vehicles, the commission needs to recommend the government provide incentives to e-bikes – which could also be much cheaper for the government given e-bikes are magnitudes cheaper than buying even non-electric cars.”
Source: Greater Auckland
Crush the carbon curve
New Zealand’s success so far at crushing the Covid curve proves that with the right advice, leadership, goals, and communications, a team of 5 million can transform habitual behaviours for the better. Let’s apply those lessons to crushing carbon.
Change systems. Avoid preaching.
Let’s get serious about driving behaviour change. It’s a system thing not about individual choice.
Climate-friendly behaviour like biking needs to be the easy default rather than a tough personal choice. Behaviour change will come from making biking more attractive, not from asking people to change their behaviour.
Increase investments in programmes that get more people riding, more often: For example, Low traffic neighbourhoods, Bike Ready, public e-bike and bike share schemes, and Bikes in Schools. Use trials like Innovating Streets to demonstrate success and kickstart projects.
CycleScheme Is a proven way to get more people on bikes
Making cycling easier can benefit people who don't cycle too. For example, when someone switches from driving to cycling and leaves their car at home, it frees up road space and parking. Unfortunately, demand tends to increase to use up any 'spare' capacity generated. This is known as Jevons' Paradox - with a more dramatic example being the way new urban motorways quickly become just as congested as what was there before.
To avoid this rebound effect eating into the benefits, we must improve other modes like public transport and make driving relatively less attractive to cancel out any increases. Tools to achieve this include cutting road space, reallocating it to bus and bike lanes and footpaths, and cutting space for on-street parking. Improving travel choice helps everyone - the 'stick' is not used to punish those who need to drive but to shift the balance towards those other choices. Car-free city centres are a popular and effective tool used in many cities.
Build park and ride at transport hubs for bicycles
Adding secure bike parking at train stations and bus stops is a good idea. Building carparks is less effective than improving public transport.
Reshape the city
Aim for the 15-minute city, where you can access most destinations you need within 15 minutes by foot, bike or public transport.
Consider equity and value for money
Incentives that shift people to electric vehicles will favour those who can afford one. E-bikes are expensive compared to other bikes, but far cheaper than electric vehicles. Each dollar of subsidy would have far more impact used to support e-bike uptake than EV uptake.
This article sums up the issues of over-investing in EVs.
EVs are not and cannot be the primary answer: we must prioritise mass and active transport over EVs, and share EVs where we do use them, writes Jack Santa Barbara.
Overcome the barriers that Councils face in building bike lanes
Government funding is currently linked to fuel consumption. This incentivises adding road space and increasing fuel use. Move from a ‘predict and provide’ funding model to ‘decide and provide’.
Reform the way land transport funding works so it's not dependent on increased fuel consumption. Solutions include (de)congestion charging and road pricing
With limited resources, we must focus on things with the best return. Cycling projects typically have much higher benefit-cost ratios than other transport projects.
A glimpse of what can be possible comes from Ireland:
walking and cycling receive 20 percent of transport capital expenditure
every local authority must develop a high-quality cycling policy,
review road use and increase the number of children walking and cycling to school
Have your say on climate action here (external link) by 14 March 2021.