The Cycling Advocates' Network congratulates the Ministry of Transport on its recent release of a new guide for improving cycling and walking facilities in New Zealand. Called 'Raising the Profile of Walking and Cycling in New Zealand: A Guide for Decision-Makers', the guide is the first of its type and represents a milestone for New Zealand.
The guide is especially useful because it recognises the economic impacts of cycling and walking in local communities.
CAN spokes person Stephen McKernon says "the guide shows recent evidence that walking and cycling are on the increase in New Zealand. It's not so much a case of 'raising the profile' as catching up with what's actually happening. People are walking and cycling more for reasons of health, enjoyment, economics and practicality."
McKernon comments, "the guide is especially notable in recognising the economic case for walking and cycling. This has been neglected to date but evidence and case studies in this guide show the case is a strong one."
"Walking and cycling increase spend with local businesses and involvement with groups. With traffic calming, local property values also rise while the costs of pollution and congestion decrease. The result is to enrich a community economically, socially and ecologically."
"This means if you spend transport funds on cycling and walking, you make savings in health and earn funds through business growth, rates and other revenues" says McKernon. "It is important that politicians and transport authorities understand this flow-on effect, especially during difficult times. Everyone gains at some point."
Sections of the guide cover the overall benefits of cycling in quality of life for all, the economic, social and other benefits, increases in numbers of walkers and cyclists and the actions required to improve conditions for walking and cycling.
The guide can be found at http://www.transport.govt.nz/assets/Images/NewFolder-2/RaisingtheProfile...