CAN’s central Committee have been busy carrying out our usual advocacy, lobbying and publicity work to support cyclists' interests. Here are some highlights-
In the public eye Our 'main man' Patrick Morgan has been making regular appearances on The Panel, an afternoon radio talk show on RNZ. Stories Patrick has reacted to covered mandatory mirrors for bikes, so-called Bike Wars in Wellington, the sentencing of a truck driver for killing a cyclist, and the feasibility of footpath cycling. And of course the Max Key episode: ‘I'd like to congratulate him on his driving. It appears he's passing with more than a metre to spare’ was Patrick’s parting shot to one journalist.
Legislation Rule changes on trucks were ratified this year; CAN spent some time presenting the arguments against increasing truck width by 5cm, but unfortunately we weren't successful this time; wider, longer, taller vehicles and more liberal use of 50-ton limits appear to be on their way.
Other Rule Changes last week were also subject to CAN’s scrutiny. We were happy to see sharrows introduced into Road Rules (they’re not a replacement for a good separated cycle lane but can be useful in some locations) but don’t forget that, from December 1st, your bike lights must be visible from 200m, immediately on sunset/ up to sunrise with no 30-minute grace period. Patrick has been attending a working group looking at options for regulations around a 1.5m overtaking gap.
Political Engagement Jo Mackay our Wellington Committee member has been preparing questions, policies and approaches for politicians in advance of next year’s elections and produced a pithy version of CAN's suggestions for policy-makers and candidates. Jo and Patrick have set up a meeting with Minister Bridges this week to go over the benefits and co-benefits of getting more people on bikes more often.
Footpath cycling petition Our survey of members (many thanks to those who responded) revealed deeply-felt concerns among members both that cyclists would inconvenience others on the road, and that putting cyclists on the footpath would reduce the pressure to cater for us properly. Thanks to everyone who answered our survey. We passed this on -via Alastair Smith in Wellington- to the Parliamentary Committee looking into the petition to allow kids of 14 years old and under to cycle on footpaths.
Our Share the Road campaign, putting heavy vehicle drivers on bikes and cyclists behind the wheel of trucks, has been given a prestigious TRAFINZ Leadership award under the talented management of Bike Auckland’s Richard Barter. Richard's careful management has seen the campaign’s contract with NZTA renewed for another three years.
Road user behaviour
NZTA’s Speed Management Guide for local authorities has been issued, as you’ll have noticed if you looked past the ‘110 km/h speeds to be allowed’ headlines last week. It’s a complex and inter-related policy tied to both the ‘Safer Journeys’ strategy and the ‘One Network Road Classification’ system. We’re happy if it makes lower speed limits in urban areas more likely, but have some concerns- it seems quite a complex system for roading authorities to work with; we worry that centralising decisions about local speed limits could have drawbacks as well as advantages, and that the new framework isn’t positive enough about proactively reducing speeds to attract NEW cyclists to our roads (not just where there are already good numbers). But we’ve lots of detail to study yet; let us know if you’re keen to help. CAN’s formal submission to the draft stage is here
Transport Policy The Government’s Policy Statement on Land Transport is coming to the end of its 3-year lifespan soon, and CAN have been active in providing cyclists’ views to the Ministry of Transport through a Loomio group set up by the MoT as they start drafting its replacement -due to come into force in July 2018. We’ve asked Members who are expert in policy to convene and pool resources so we can give a response worthwhile to cyclists.
The earthquake We've been asked by members to look at how the huge pressure on remaining routes South from Picton can be mitigated, thinking especially of cycle tourists. A suggestion from Don was to get SH1 up & running as a bike-only route while the major engineering repairs carry on.