Cycle Aware Wellington news release ** draft **
18 March 2009
Cyclists welcome Wellington's first cycling stop boxes
Green rectangles painted on the road have appeared near traffic lights in Newtown. But these aren't street art, they are Wellington's first advanced stop boxes, designed to help cyclists get a smooth start at traffic lights.
Cycle Aware Wellington chairperson Illona Keenan says the stop boxes are a welcome safety innovation for both cyclists and drivers.
“Stop boxes make cyclists more visible to motorists, and help cyclists get through the intersection smartly.”
“Left-turning motorists won't have to wait for cyclists on their left who may be going straight through the intersection.”
Stop boxes ensure right-turning cyclists are properly positioned. They reduce exposure to exhaust, which is especially heavy from cars idling or accelerating from a stop.
Stop boxes are already in use in Auckland, Nelson, Christchurch and other towns, where they have been successful.
Cycle Aware Wellington says it has never been more urgent for the city council and business to invest in cycling.
As petrol becomes less affordable more people are looking for alternatives to driving.
“We urge councils to meet the demand for safe and convenient cycling by investing in cycle lanes, traffic reduction, bike parking, cycle training, driver education, and safety campaigns.”
Cycling costs 7 cents a kilometre compared to about 60 cents for a car. Cycling provides exercise that helps keeps people fit, healthy and happy, therefore reducing costs to the health system. Cycling also decreases pollution and congestion, both of which cost New Zealand over a billion dollars each per year
Keenan says high fuel prices are driving people out of their cars -
and they are rediscovering the convenience and fun of cycling.
"New Zealanders love cycling. Bikes outsell cars, and there are more than a million people already riding for recreation, fitness and pleasure.”
“Many would like to use their bikes to get to work, school or the shops, but are deterred by traffic or perceptions of safety.”
stop boxes and lower traffic speeds are steps in the right direction.
We congratulate the Wellington City Council on these sensible
Illona Keenan, Cycle Aware Wellington
Stop boxes have been marked at the Adelaide Rd and John St intersection, and at Riddiford and Mein Sts.