e.CAN 207 - The email bulletin of Cycling Advocates' Network, NZ

e.CAN 207 - The email bulletin of Cycling Advocates' Network, NZ


Happy "Go By Bike Day"

12 February 2014- Today is Go By Bike Day, when people are encouraged to leave the car at home and cycle to work or school. In a number of regions, they can even enjoy a free breakfast on the way. Enjoy!

Go By Bike Day is one of the key events in Bike Wise Month. For a full list of Bike Wise Month events, see:


Cycling 'much safer than playing rugby'

3 February 2014- Cycling is around 35 times safer than rugby, according to Auckland University researchers who compared accident claims and participation rates in several activities.

They calculated that around 6000 two-hour bike rides took place for each cycling injury claim covered by the Accident Compensation Corporation and one rugby injury claim was accepted for every 167 games, on average.

Medical student Michael Chieng, supervised by Professor Alistair Woodward, concluded a two-hour bike ride was about six times safer than horse-riding, 15 times safer than a day's skiing and 35 times safer than a game of rugby.

Read more here:


Cameras to watch bikers

15 December 2013- Distinctive new road markings are being rolled out in an attempt to prevent cycling deaths - and video cameras will be watching how people react to them.

The year-long pilot scheme will begin this week at five residential areas around Auckland. Motorists and cyclists will also be under video surveillance for the 12-month period.

If the initiative is as successful as it has been in Australia, the United States and Europe, it will be rolled out nationally in 2015, said Matthew Rednall, Auckland Council's community transport manager.

"At the moment we only have cycling lanes on busy routes and we need a facility that encourages cyclists to be more confident on quieter streets and use them more for family-related activities."

The stencil-style markings - called sharrows - indicate a shared lane environment for cyclists and motorists. They help to position cyclists on the street for better visibility and stay clear of hazards such as car doors, and also to mark routes for cyclists to use.

Read more here:


Cyclists safer on southern roads

4 January 2014- A raft of safety measures are being credited with no cyclists dying on Southland roads for the past five years.

Invercargill City Council senior traffic management officer Eddie Cook said keeping cyclists alive had been a high priority for the council and partner agencies including police, the NZ Transport Agency and Road Safety Southland.

Work had been done around the district, with cycling lanes and facilities improving for cyclists and pedestrians. Mr Cook said the city council's Walking and Cycling Strategy had been in place for three years and safety measures had been introduced at high-risk intersections.

The strategy aimed to encourage people to cycle and walk. But it needed the development of a safe, accessible and integrated network for walking and cycling in Invercargill, he said.

"I think all road users are respecting each other more on our roads and realising cyclists have the same right as motorists."

Read more here:


Seeing red: who's running the lights?

13 January 2014- Cyclists accounted for 60 per cent of red-light runners surveyed at four Auckland intersections, the city's transport authority has revealed.

Car drivers were responsible for 37 per cent of 360 red-light breaches observed by Auckland Transport, and buses, trucks and one motorcycle made up the balance.

The survey was taken nine months ago, and used by Auckland Transport to formulate safety messages aimed at encouraging all road users to obey red lights, but was not publicised at the time.

The council body has issued the results after last week's death of a novice bike rider who collided with a truck at an intersection with a busy freight route in Parnell, a tragedy which has sparked a Herald series starting today on cycling safety.

Read more here:


Meanwhile, in New York, new research has shown that bikers there have become more law-abiding as more bike lanes have been put in and more people are using them:


There's a reason we really do not see cyclists

15 January 2014- Ask just about anyone. We all have a story to tell about the time we were driving, and "Just didn't see him", whether the situation involved another driver, pedestrian, cyclist, or motorcyclist. This is because looking is not the same as seeing, and no one is immune to inattentional blindness.

Drivers often fail to notice unexpected events, even important ones. Critically though, we assume we will notice - as long as we are looking in the right direction. We think unexpected objects and events will "grab" our attention. We consider ourselves careful drivers, and that we would see a cyclist because a cyclist would just "pop out" into view. However, human attention does not function in this way.

Cognitive psychologists refer to this phenomenon as the "illusion of attention". People don't see the cyclist because they aren't looking for the cyclist.

Why are Kiwis bicycle-blind? New Zealand is not a transport-by-bicycle culture, unlike many European countries such as Germany and the Netherlands where visually, bicycles outnumber cars. Most New Zealand motor vehicle drivers' brains are not intentionally malicious, or careless towards cyclists, they just don't see them.

Read more here:



Youth call on council to invest in quality cycleways

15 January 2014- Youth organisation, Generation Zero, has revealed that Auckland's commitment to cycling infrastructure has fallen well behind New Zealand's other urban centres, despite its aim of becoming the most liveable city in the world.

Generation Zero spokesperson Dr Sudhvir Singh, explains "quality, separated cycleways are the only sure way to protect regular people who would like freedom from being dependent on their car, and the choice to cycle safely around the city."

Currently the proposed budget for cycling projects in the 2014 / 2015 Auckland Council Annual Plan is $8.8 million. This represents an annual per capita investment of $5.70 per person, compared with Wellington and Christchurch which have an annual per capita investment of $21.00 and $37.00 respectively. Dr Singh explains that "Auckland Transport has a piecemeal approach to cycling infrastructure, leaving us with incomplete streets. A more comprehensive approach is required to complete our streets with a connected network of quality, separated cycleways. Auckland needs to complete the Regional Cycling Network if we are to become the world's most liveable city."

There are many international examples of quality cycling infrastructure. Between 2006 and 2011 New York City invested in separated cycleways, resulting in a 40% reduction of injuries to all road users on these streets, and a significant increase in retail spending.

Read more here:


'Gold standard' cycle lanes coming to Nelson

31 January 2014- Nelson will be the first city in New Zealand to install a two-way cycle lane, which cycling advocates say is the "gold standard" internationally.

The cycle lane will run along St Vincent St from Totara St to Gloucester St, displacing the angled car parking on the street. There will be a buffer zone next to the lane and then a row of parallel parking spaces.

The cycle lane is among a number of improvements to cycling infrastructure the Nelson City Council plans to make this year.

Bicycle Nelson Bays (BNB) has been working closely with the city council as part of the Active Transport Advisory Group over the past 18 months. Co-ordinators Chris Allison and John-Paul Pochin said the St Vincent St cycle lane was exciting.

They said Christchurch was expected to introduce similar lanes soon. Similar cycle lanes are popular overseas, being prevalent in European cities such as Copenhagen and Amsterdam, with cities in the US and Australia also starting to install them.

"It's the first stage of its design and it will be improved as time goes on," Allison said.

Read more here:


Christchurch council crusade for 'normal' cycling

11 February 2014- A team of Christchurch City Council staff is planning a subtle crusade to get "Mr and Mrs Average" to bike to the corner dairy.

They want parents to ride to school with their children - and grandparents, too. Forget Lycra-clad commuters, the council is focusing on the non-cyclist.

Christchurch's 13 new cycleways will form a $68.3 million network and, following consultation, are scheduled to be constructed in the next five years.

Michael Ferigo, a council transport planner, said a lot of work had been done "at staff level" developing and planning the alignments of different routes.

Council education programme manager Anne-Marie Kite said a biking culture needed to be created. "We have got a culture... that the roads are for cars. That's not only the culture we have had, but it's also how the infrastructure has worked," she said.

"There is a big barrier out there - people's perception of cycling being unsafe. The [education] programme will increase as cycleways increase."

Read more here:



Investment in cycling has economic benefits, says expert

17 January 2014- A University of Canterbury (UC) urban transport expert believes the Government and local authorities should invest more money into cycling because of the economic benefits.

UC Professor Simon Kingham says investing in cycling shows significant benefit cost ratios. He says some of the current motorways have substantially lower benefit cost ratios.

There is significant evidence showing people who cycle to shops spend more money. The main beneficiaries are non-cyclists as it is gives them more choices, in not having to drive but having the option of biking. Cycling reduces congestion as some people will shift to biking, thus freeing up roads.

Read more here:


Cycling infrastructure more economic than for other transport

5 February 2014- Cycling investment has long term health benefits for Auckland, according to a recent study.

The research is a world first in systematically exploring the future effects of realistic policy options to increase cycling.

The study, just published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives demonstrates the clear long term benefits to Auckland's health of making the right kind of investment for cycling.

The research, undertaken at the University of Auckland's School of Population Health, is the culmination of a four year project funded by the Health Research Council and NZTA to understand commuting and health in Auckland.

The work brought together international evidence about cycling to work and its positive and negative effects on health, household costs and the environment.

"We know already that shifting to walking and cycling for the trip to work can create a lot of benefits for health and the economy, as well as making for a fairer society," says lead author Dr Alex Macmillan. "We also know that in cities like Auckland, where motor vehicles dominate, fear of traffic numbers and speeds is uppermost in preventing people from taking up cycling.

"We found that for main roads, investing in high quality on-road lanes with physical barriers, along with proven intersection changes, were the most effective at attracting new cyclists and keeping them safe. On the other hand, re-creating local streets as places for shared walking, cycling and driving at low speeds were also helpful", says Dr Macmillan.

Read more here:



Radio NZ cycling collection: a collection of RNZ's cycling-related podcasts:


Cycling to the South Pole: British adventurer Maria Leijerstam has just become the first person to cycle to the South Pole:


The Copenhagen Wheel: a new device to convert any bike into an electric bike:


Riding a Boris bike up Mt Ventoux: how three friends took a London hire bike up the French Alps for charity (and returned it within the 24-hour time limit):


Bicycle Choir: this event hit the streets of New Brighton, Christchurch, in November 2013:


SkyCycle: a proposal for 220 km of elevated cycleway in London, above existing train lines:


Bike helmets made of paper?


Bike share map: showing bike share schemes all around the world:


About e.CAN

e.CAN is distributed approximately every 1-2 months to CAN members, Friends of CAN and other interested people. CAN members also get our bi-monthly magazine, ChainLinks.

To check back issues of e.CAN, go to http://www.can.org.nz/ecan .

About CAN

Cycling Advocates' Network (CAN) is New Zealand's voice for cyclists. We want to see cycling become an everyday activity in NZ. CAN's membership includes experienced cyclists, advocates, engineers, planners, local and regional councils, bike shops, and local advocacy groups throughout the country.

To find out more about CAN, go to our website, http://www.can.org.nz.

Sign up to CAN online via credit card at http://www.can.org.nz/join-can/. Join us!

We also welcome donations to support our work. You can donate online at: http://can.org.nz/donate

address: PO Box 25-424, Wellington 6146
email: secretary@can.org.nz
website: http://www.can.org.nz