News: July 2010

12
Jul

Attendance: Stuart Edwards, Tom & Jane Halliburton, Derek, Pat van Berkel, Michael Ellis, Neville Whitlock, Derek Richardson.Apologies: Jan Simmons (HCC), Graeme LyonsFollowed a loose series of topics:1) NZTA Attendance and Ngauranga Trianagle Study.NZTA were invited to attend the meeting but after an initial enthusiasm declined citing the impending release of the Ngauranga triangle study (Due end of July 2010). NZTA representatives noted this would include content relevant to cyclists.The group were disappointed that there was no discussion or consultation with either the Cycle Aware Wellington or Hutt Cycle Network for this study. It was queried whether this was a decision document and whether there was an obligation to consult. NZTA had indicated it was not a consultation document, but that cyclists would have an opportunity to...

July 12, 2010
Stuart Edwards
12
Jul

Lloyd reported back in 2007 that the City of Toronto was using bait bikes fitted with GPS to trap would-be bike thieves. Apparently the idea is catching on, and London is now following suit. In fact, British police are going to be deploying bait bikes across the country after a series of successful trials cut theft rates by as much as 45%. All well and good, you might think, but it seems some people are concerned this tactic amounts to entrapment.As Frederika Whitehead reports over at The Guardian, British police are deploying unlocked and poorly locked bikes fitted with GPS, and then tracking them as they are stolen. The idea is not just to catch the lowly cycle thieves (who are often young kids or junkies), but to track the bikes back to warehouses where criminal gangs often store their collections of stolen bikes before selling them on. But it seems some people working in...

July 12, 2010
Alex admin
12
Jul

Libraries are going through existential crises these days as they try to figure out their role in a digital world. Meanwhile, cycling for fitness and transportation is growing in popularity. Therefore what could be more obvious than turning a library into a velodrome. At least it was obvious to Pomona College graduating student Samuel Starr, who built the velodrome as his final year thesis. Circulus is an installation and performance, a miniaturized bicycle track designed to fit inside the decommissioned Seeley G. Mudd Science Library. The track offers a circular trajectory for a cyclist to circulate the room once every five seconds. As a spectator and participant, I've often been mesmerized by the intense, aggressive movement of riders around these large, elegant ellipsoid structures. Circulus transforms the library into a velodrome, an arena that houses a...

July 12, 2010
Alex admin
11
Jul

A driver who killed a German cyclist after falling asleep at the wheel of his heavily laden logging truck and trailer has been jailed for two years and three months. Troy Roberts was sentenced in Tauranga District Court on Friday after pleaded guilty to reckless driving causing the death of Stephan Stoermer, falsifying his log book and several breaches of regulations, relating to exceeding his restricted driving hours, the Bay of Plenty Times reported. Mr Stoermer, 38, of Frankfurt, was on the final leg of a 26-country cycling holiday when he was hit and killed by Roberts' truck and trailer on State Highway 2 near Te Puke, 21km southeast of Mt Maunganui, on March 12 last year. The court was told that police inquiries revealed Roberts exceeded his restricted driving hours and did not have enough rest breaks in the days leading up to the crash. Roberts was also...

July 11, 2010
Patrick
8
Jul

"Since the programme's launch in 2009 more than 280 children from Vogeltown, Welbourn and Highlands Intermediate have learnt skills ranging from bike maintenance to using hand signals."See full article by Sarah Foy at:http://www.stuff.co.nz/taranaki-daily-news/news/3895761/Cycling-skills-training-for-students

July 8, 2010
Graeme
8
Jul

Before there were cars, cyclists agitated for smooth, paved roads. In 1896 there was a massive protest in San Francisco with five thousand cyclists, demanding that roads be improved, with the motto “Where There Is a Wheel, There Is a Way.” The roads belonged to the bike.And the bike changed the way people lived; in Hank Chapot's article "the Great Bicycle Protest of 1896" he concludes: The bicycle remained an important option for workers and businesses for decades before being redefined as a toy following World War II. Its popularity rebounded in the 1930’s and again strongly in the 1990’s. In much of the world, it never left. Appearing between the horse and the automobile, the bicycle had helped define the Victorian era. It aided the liberation of workers (and especially women and children) as it changed concepts of personal freedom. On two wheels, individuals were free to...

July 8, 2010
Alex admin
8
Jul

The bicycle has many attractions as a form of personal transportation. It alleviates congestion, lowers air pollution, reduces obesity, increases physical fitness, does not emit climate-disrupting carbon dioxide, and is priced within the reach of the billions of people who cannot afford a car. Bicycles increase mobility while reducing congestion and the area of land paved over. Six bicycles can typically fit into the road space used by one car. For parking, the advantage is even greater, with 20 bicycles occupying the space required to park a car. Few methods of reducing carbon emissions are as effective as substituting a bicycle for a car on short trips. A bicycle is a marvel of engineering efficiency, one where an investment in 22 pounds of metal and rubber boosts the efficiency of individual mobility by a factor of three. On my bike I estimate that I get easily 7 miles per...

July 8, 2010
Alex admin
8
Jul

There is a highway code - a set of expected rules, best practices, and behaviors when manipulating your vehicle on those long ribbons of public road. There isn't, as of yet, much of a corresponding city street code - a set of guidelines that help walkers, bikers, scooter, truck, and car drivers - maneuver the streets of a city in a safe and (as important) polite way. New mobility consultant and WorldStreets editor Eric Britton is proposing the street code start with a fairly simple rule. The biggest vehicle bears the burden of responsibility, and in the case of an accident, also the burden of proving innocence. If streets are for cars, as Britton says, than there isn't much need for this type of street code. But if streets are multiple use vias (and in the U.K. 12 towns are adopting the 'shared space concept' to improve quality of life) where cars are just one player, Britton...

July 8, 2010
Alex admin
8
Jul

On Sunday, June 27th, Downtown Oakland opened two miles of its streets to fun and activities—zumba dancing, circus arts, BMX bike competitions and performances from local musicians. Walk Oakland Bike Oakland (WOBO) partnered with the East Bay Bicycle Coalition, Oaklandish, Oakland YMCA, Cycles of Change, and other civic organizations to create the East Bay's first “Sunday Streets” style event. Preparations are in the works for another Oaklavia in the coming months.See video here at Streetfilms.org

July 8, 2010
Alex admin
8
Jul

Increased bicycle riding and brisk walking may be the secret for preventing weight gain, women have been told.A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that cycling or a brisk walk was associated with less weight among pre-menopausal women, particularly those who were already overweight or obese.The US study calculated that about two-thirds of American adults were overweight or obese, while 16 per cent of children and adolescents were overweight and a further 34 per cent were at risk.Study authors suggested that this may be down to the fact that only around 0.5 per cent of the commuting population ride bicycles, of which only 23 per cent are female.'To our knowledge, research has not been conducted on bicycle riding and weight control in comparison with walking,' the study authors said.'Our objective was to assess the association between bicycle riding...

July 8, 2010
Alex admin
8
Jul

If it looks like a moped and goes as fast as a moped, is it actually a moped? Not according to a Blenheim defence lawyer. That was the argument lawyer Mike Hardy-Jones made at a seven-hour defended hearing for former Blenheim traffic policeman Anthony Dale Bridgman, who faces a charge of driving while disqualified and driving an unregistered vehicle. Mr Hardy-Jones argued that what his client was riding to work when police stopped him in September last year was a vehicle classed by the Land Transport Safety Authority as a type of bicycle and did not need a licence or to be registered. Police prosecutor Sergeant Steve Frost said police stopped Bridgman about 7.30am on September 21 travelling south along Alabama Rd.Senior Constable Roger Ewers, of Nelson, gave evidence that Bridgman was aggressive towards him and another officer when they pulled him over. Bridgman was adamant he...

July 8, 2010
Alex admin
8
Jul

Thank you to Pat Watson of Community Waitakere for that kind introduction. I want to firstly share my excitement that when the panui was sent throughout the country, hundreds of people immediately put up their hand and responded to the call. I'm not at all surprised.  In this room is the heart of Aotearoa - the people who give our nation the reputation of being a country that cares. Last week was Volunteer Awareness Week; a time to celebrate the mass movement of 1.2 million volunteers aged ten and over; who give so much of your time to health, social services, sports and arts, education, the environment, faith based organisations and the like. You are people who literally get on your bike and travel. Bikes are very much on mind at the moment. Bikes were the reason I had a couple of visitors in my office yesterday literally beaming with enthusiasm about the major challenge they...

July 8, 2010
Alex admin
6
Jul

Funding has been confirmed ahead of schedule for the construction of eight new cycle trails under Nga Haerenga, The New Zealand Cycle Trail (NZCT) project. The government has confirmed $18.85 million for the construction of the eight trails. These trails, together with five trails already approved, are expected to provide 1,700km of trail once completed . The funding approvals follow the evaluation of 13 phase two trail feasibility studies submitted to the Ministry of Tourism in May. Of the 13, eight have now had their funding approved, four are still under review and funding for one trail has been declined.The eight new trails that will be provided from the New Zealand Cycle Trail Fund are:Old Motu Coach Road, Opotiki/GisborneLake Track , TaupoDun Mountain Trail and Tasman Loop, NelsonHeretaunga Ararau – Landscape Trail section, Hawke’s BayWestland Wilderness Trail,...

July 6, 2010
Patrick
5
Jul

A cycle response unit has been set up by the Devon branch of St John Ambulance to reach isolated incidents. The cycling team will respond to incidents at locations where casualties would be hard to reach by ambulance. The bikes will also be used at events like the Devon County Show to transport medical care through crowds. Medical equipment, including minor treatment kits, has been fitted to the bikes.'Saving lives' Cycling co-ordinator Ollie Mulcock said: "At Devon County Show it was very hard to negotiate the crowds of people on foot and carrying medical equipment. "It made me realise then that cycle responders would be really useful as it is much easier to negotiate a crowd on a bicycle. "Saving minutes can mean saving lives and we want to make sure that everyone who needs first aid can get it as quickly as possible."From BBC News

July 5, 2010
Alex admin
5
Jul

What needs to be done to achieve more and safer cycling across Europe?Along this central question the European Cyclists Federation (ECF) has published its first Road Safety Charter, adopted by the Annual General 2010 Meeting in Tczew, Poland.The Charter comes just in time as the EU is preparing its 4th Road Safety Action Programme 2011-2020. Within this Action Programme, the ECF would like to see rate-based targets included aiming at halving fatality and injury rates by 2020, measured in kilometres cycled [or per hour/ per trip]. This demand is in line with the "Safety in Numbers" concept, arguing that cycling gets safer the more people do it.Key measures suggested by the ECF to improve road safety for cyclists include a reduction in private motorised transport and an effective speed management. 30 km/h should become the standard speed limit...

July 5, 2010
Alex admin
2
Jul

There used to be a time when culture and cycling were not words you'd expect to use together (way back around the same time coffee was just a hot drink). But, what was once a mode of transport (or an obscure sport for skinny guys with shaved legs) has become a hot culture, with tribes and sub-tribes. Naturally, each has its own wardrobe. And some even subscribe to a manifesto. Pippa Coom is the high priestess (she prefers to call herself co-ordinator) of one of the prettier sub-cultures of cycling - Frocks on Bikes - and with a bunch of other style-conscious women is reclaiming the roads for people who prefer not to go public in Lycra. This cycling chic movement has branches worldwide (in New Zealand it's happening in Wellington, Christchurch, New Plymouth and the Hawkes Bay) and it has a manifesto which springs from Copenhagen, that city of civilised roads and uber-cool eco...

July 2, 2010
Anne F
1
Jul

Currently PNCC is carrying out a sectional review of the District Plan.  The first section relates to the Central Business Zones. Information about the proposed changes is available on the PNCC website at http://www.pncc.govt.nz/YourCouncil/CouncilActivities/PublicConsultation...

July 1, 2010
Christine
1
Jul

by Bevan WoodwardEven a small reduction in speed has huge safety benefits, a recent workshop on speed limit management showed.The one day workshop was hosted by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA), ARRB (an Australian road research group) and Austroads (an association of Australian and New Zealand road transport andtraffic authorities).Participants learned that a 5% reduction in average speed delivers reductions of 25% in deaths, 15% in serious injuries and 8% in minor injuries. Many towns and cities in Europe have reduced traffic speeds from 50 km/h to 40 or even 30 km/h. Their rural roads often have limits of 60 or 70 km/h in what would be 100 km/h areas in this country, creating safer cycling conditions.NZTA’s traffic speed management experts say that our speeds must come down. They explain that setting speed limits is a trade-off between mobility and safety, but there has been too...

July 1, 2010
Patrick