- Auckland Harbour Bridge SkyPath approved
- Urban Cycleways Programme welcomed
- Cyclists hail new approach by NZTA
- OECD report a recipe for cycling, say advocates
- Who's doing what round the Network
- Got a chip on your shoulder?
- Cities where people walk and cycle are healthier and richer
- Cyclists can ignore some traffic lights, Paris announces
- How the Dutch love for cycling is benefiting the nation
3 July 2015- Auckland's SkyPath cycleway and walkway over the harbour bridge has been approved. The resource consent was granted on Friday morning, Auckland Council announced.
It means the $33m public-private partnership can go ahead, and could be built as early as 2016.
Project director Bevan Woodward said it had taken 11 years of work to get to this point and it was a "really exciting" moment.
"I have to admit when I first got involved I had no idea how big it was going to become... This isn't just about bridging this gap it's about giving birth to a whole walking and cycling network around the city."
Read more here:
25 June 2015- Kiwis keen on cycling have hailed the biggest single investment in cycling in New Zealand's history, announced today in Rotorua. Advocates for cycling have praised the scheme as "forward-thinking, clever groundwork".
The Urban Cycleways Programme (UCP), managed by the NZTA, facilitates a record $333m million in spending for 54 selected urban cycling projects nationwide. $100 million of this is from the UCP, the remainder from Land Transport and local authority budgets. Councils throughout the country have drawn up detailed bids for the funding, which were assessed by an NZTA-led Investment Panel. Cycleways in cities from Whangarei to Dunedin will be built under the plan.
Cycling Advocates Network (CAN) were quick to commend UCP as "smart investment". CAN interim project manager Will Andrews told press, "This is awesome. It's forward-thinking, clever groundwork by the Prime Minister and Simon Bridges. It will boost the liveability of every town it touches by helping people choose not to use the car for short trips."
The hard work for local councils now begins, in confirming their portion of projects' budgets, getting the detailed design right, and convincing local voters of the many benefits and spin-off gains that flow from people swapping their car for a bike for certain journeys.
"Let's hope this awesome announcement will be accompanied by rapid training of engineers in cycleway design, and by education of all road users in how to share space", Andrews continued. "There will still be many streets where cyclists share with motor vehicles, so it's important to keep improving the environment -especially in CBDs- with low speed limits and good junction design. But this is a tremendous initial step and a day to celebrate for anyone who wants congestion-free liveable NZ towns."
17 July 2015- NZ's principal cycling group CAN are today hailing NZTA's "new approach" to transport planning.
The NZTA's three-yearly Statement of Intent document was published yesterday to a broad welcome from cycling advocates. The SoI highlights safer, more attractive urban cycling as one of its six key priorities, and emphasises the integration of different modes of transport. Additionally, it sets out to add another 10 million cycling trips in the three main cities by 2019.
"This marks the first time NZ has set specific and ambitious goals to grow cycling, which is a historic step", said CAN interim spokesperson Will Andrews. "Cycling improves our health, reduces road congestion and gives people more transport choices. It's great news whether you ride a bike or not. With benefit-cost returns of up to 8 to 12, the 1.5 million New Zealanders who ride bikes will see this Statement as marking a commendable new approach."
11 June 2015- Advocates for better cycling facilities gave an unusual welcome to the recent OECD report, which called for action on two problems New Zealand faces- traffic congestion and obesity.
Release of the report from the international body, primarily concerned with promoting economic growth, was welcomed by national network body, Cycling Advocates Network (CAN). The report generally praises New Zealand's economic performance, with some reservations about income equality and the housing shortage, but finds fault with the failure to tackle traffic congestion in major cities, and mentions New Zealand's steadily worsening obesity epidemic.
The report calls for action on both these issues, and CAN members pointed to the unusual link. CAN interim project manager Will Andrews told press, "The OECD haven't made the connection that cycling is a solution to both these problems, but it's a link that we and our member groups highlight constantly. The prospect of a joined-up approach, where health advocates and transport engineers work together to increase people's use of bikes or walking for transport, is awesome."
CAN is currently following a programme of engagement with public health, transport and environment MPs and Ministers, to encourage co-operation between sectors and Ministries.
Cycling isn't often promoted by economic development organisations, but many studies show substantial economic benefits from converting short trips to cycling. These include recent studies of the cycling economy in the EU, NZ roading studies, and several analyses of the benefits to public health funding. Economists generally agree that investment returns in cycleways are considerably higher than in motorways.
CAN interim project manager Will Andrews has been in touch with most of CAN's local advocacy groups round the country, and has posted some photos and news snippets on the CAN website. Some quite inspiring work going on, from Whangarei to Dunedin. See what the nearest groups to you are up to, and up against, here:
Or a 'works end thank you' sign blocking your shoulder? Contractors doing road repairs follow the Code of Practice for Temporary Traffic Management. The Code sets out where to put signs, temporary speed limits, cones and guarding around road works. It does ask contractors to look after cyclists' interests, but too often, cyclists using shoulders get unnecessarily pushed out into the live traffic lane to share with motor vehicles by those temporary signs.
CAN recently got in touch with NZTA, who are currently reviewing the Code, and have asked them to insert stronger wording to prevent this happening where people are biking in the shoulder. They've taken our feedback on, and hopefully a stronger Code will soon trickle down to contractors on the ground.
Meanwhile, if your shoulder is blocked by a long-legged sign and road cone saying 'shoulder closed' or 'works end thank you', try to make the time to stop and remind the contractor's traffic management supervisor (there must be one for every site) that they need to buck up their ideas. Section A5.7 says they must ensure the safe movement of all road users, particularly pedestrians and cyclists! The process in the Code says contractors must assess the site, so they ought to know whether we're using the shoulder. Your Council is also involved - they sign-off on traffic management plans, so give them a yell too if you think it's a safety issue.
14 June 2015- Cities with more physically active residents are financially healthier too, a study has found, with benefits being higher property values, economic productivity levels and school performance.
Where walking, cycling and public transport are prevalent, the University of California study has found, there is a return of $13 for every $1 invested in these projects. Benefits for the cities include more trade for local shops, less traffic congestion and reduced pollution. Workers are more productive too, taking on average a week less off work per year.
Read more here:
9 July 2015- Announcing a new policy for cyclists who ride in Paris, the city says it will allow people on bikes to ride through red lights or turn right at intersections that are marked by a special traffic sign.
Cyclists will have the most leeway at T-shaped intersections, where they can continue on without crossing other lanes of traffic. But in all cases, they'll have to yield to pedestrians and other vehicles who have the right of way.
The new policy follows several years of an experiment in which Paris allowed cyclists to pass through intersections more fluidly. The city says the test demonstrated that "the passage of cyclists through red lights isn't accident-prone and avoids certain conflicts between cyclists and vehicles that are stopped at lights"- notably those cases in which a bike is in a car's blind spot.
Read more here:
6 July 2015- The famous Dutch obsession with bicycles is clearly paying off - a recent study by Elliot Fishman, Paul Schepers, and Carlijn Kamphuis has found that, due to cycling, about 11,000 deaths are prevented each year in the Netherlands and Dutch people have half a year longer life expectancy than the average European.
While there have been a plethora of studies demonstrating the health benefits of cycling as a means to reduce the risk of sedentary lifestyle diseases and all cause mortality, the study "Dutch Cycling: Quantifying the Health and Related Economic Benefits" - which was published online, ahead of the print version, in the American Journal of Public Health on June 11, 2015 - is the first to actually quantify the health benefits and related economic benefits at a population level in the Netherlands.
Currently, about 27% of all trips in the Netherlands are made by bicycle and the weekly time spent cycling is about 74 minutes per week for Dutch adults of 20 to 90 years of age. Even more noteworthy and remarkable, over half of the total life expectancy increase calculated in this study is being achieved by cycling among adults aged 65 and older.
Read more here:
Brake lights and turn signals on a helmet:
Downtown Dublin is getting rid of cars:
And so is Milan:
Incredible places to bike around the world:
Why millenials are driving less: the clearest explanation yet?
BIKE - The amazing world of cyclists in Utrecht:
Asia's longest cycling route: about to be constructed by the Thai government:
How Cambridge became the U.K.'s model cycling city:
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To check back issues of e.CAN, go to http://www.can.org.nz/ecan .
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.
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