News: December 2010

24
Dec

Today was the last day of employment for Fiona, CAN's part time South Island Network Project Officer. I want to take this opportunity on behalf of fellow advocates to acknowledge the work she has done while in the position.Through my involvement in Spokes Canterbury here in Christchurch, I first met her when she was appointed to the position. I think by now I have got to know her quite well.Given that she is a modest person not inclined to blow her own trumpet or hog the limelight, it will probably never be generally known the prodigious amount of work she has done.It is not the easy stuff I am on about, the meetings and idle chit-chat. It is the ability to not only read but also understand boring policy reports, plans and strategies. The attention to fine detail and produce a polished response.To get things done. She has the respect of many transport professionals and public officers....

December 24, 2010
stephenw
16
Dec

The number of lifestyle-related diseases is on the rise. However, socio-economic studies show that there is a lot to be gained by learning healthy transport habits from an early age—both in terms of fitness ratings and good spirits. By Malene Kofod Nielsen, COWI, and Connie Juel Clausen, Municipality of Odense The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that in 2020, 70% of all diseases will be lifestyle-related diseases. Habits and action patterns are established in childhood, and it is thus important that children learn good habits early on so a good foundation for a healthy lifestyle can be laid. For the past 30 years, the share of children who are driven to and from school in Denmark has increased by almost 200%. The consequence is greater insecurity for other children on their way to school, as well as the foundation of a bad habit with significant...

December 16, 2010
Alex admin
16
Dec

Why don't cyclists have compulsory licencing, training and insurance? Because it would be utterly pointless.It doesn't really matter what you write about on the bike blog, at some point a reader will emerge with the same irascible complaint: why, oh why, they ask, should cyclists expect any sympathy – let alone special treatment – when they don't need a licence or insurance? What about number plates?Sometimes, of course, this is mere provocation. But often it's serious. So I'm going to try and give a serious reply, however obvious this might all seem to fellow riders.I'll start with a bit of clarification. Some of the bikes-need-regulating brigade mention a lack of road tax. I'm going to avoid that particular argumentative cul de sac, not least because we've cleared it up previously on the blog.Secondly, I'll be working on the assumption that policy-making is a rational tool...

December 16, 2010
Alex admin
16
Dec

Low-Cost Solution to Keep On Bikin' One of the cyclists at Dutch Bike Co was caught without studded tires when it started snowing in Seattle, but no matter, that's nothing that a box of zip ties can't fix! This MacGyver trick isn't new, but now that winter is here, it's worth bringing up once more. Photo: Dutch Bike Co. Fritz Rice, the DIYer on these photos, says that while the ties look "completely ludicrous", they work "beautifully": I can accelerate, brake, and corner with aplomb, even on the vile snowpack/sheet ice mix the plows leave in the bike lanes. The zip ties dig nicely into the hardest packed surfaces, but they're thin enough not to bounce the bike around at low speed or on short pavement sections. Photo: Dutch Bike Co. Photo: Dutch Bike Co. As you can see on this last photo, the tie heads as position so that they give extra grip when you are...

December 16, 2010
Alex admin
16
Dec

NZ cycle crash fatalities since 2006This map shows the locations and details of 44 fatal cycle vs motor vehicle crashes occurring in NZ between January 2006 and May 2010.Data as extracted from the Ministry of Transport's Crash Analysis System (CAS) in Dec 2010.Put together by Steve Southall.

December 16, 2010
Alex admin
16
Dec

"UnitedFuture leader Peter Dunne wants a change to the road code to require drivers to give cyclists a 1.5 metre "bubble" when passing them" See attachment for full press release.In this podcast, Dunne expresses his concern for cycle safety, and support for the Great Harbour Way.

December 16, 2010
AlastairS
15
Dec

"My boy was also in the group - he was the next bike behind." The driver of a car involved in a collision with a group of cyclists in which three people died last month has admitted causing their deaths. In Morrinsville District Court today, 23-year-old Kristy King, of Matamata, pleaded guilty to three charges of careless driving causing death. She has been remanded on bail and will appear in court for sentencing on February 14. King was driving a car when it collided with the group of cyclists on the Walton-Morrinsville Rd on November 14. The accident killed cyclists Wilhelm Muller, 71, Mark Ferguson, 46, and four days later in hospital, mother-of-three Kay Wolfe, 45. In a statement read by her lawyer Paul Gascoigne today, King said she was "completely devastated" by what had happened. She said she would never drive again. King was extremely tearful as the summary of facts was...

December 15, 2010
Anne F
13
Dec

The Brooklyn borough president, Marty Markowitz, sang a self-written song about bicycle lanes to the tune of a popular selection from “The Sound of Music”: “These are a few of my favorite lanes.” A 40-year resident of Park Slope, Brooklyn, testified that an influx of cyclists had made her afraid to cross the street in front of her house. A group of cycling advocates wondered why the city would reject a nimble, environmentally friendly mode of transportation in favor of bulky, polluting automobiles.The battle of the bike lanes, a civic discussion that has turned increasingly contentious and common at community boards and dinner tables throughout New York, made its way to the City Council on Thursday. The theatrics seemed to survive the transition.Dueling protests, vicious invective from both sides and good old New York-style kvetching have been hallmarks of the bicycle debate...

December 13, 2010
jdawson
10
Dec

As some of you will have read in the media, the New Zealand Conservation Authority has now approved the Partial Review of the Kahurangi National Park Management Plan. CAN made a submission on the draft plan. Attached is a fact sheet which details the main changes to the management plan. Mountain biking has been approved as a monitored 3 year trial, to be reviewed at the end of 2013, on three tracks - the Flora to Barron Flat Track, Kill Devil Track and seasonally from 1 May until 30 September on the Heaphy Track. There are also new provisions in the plan to manage aircraft landings in the park. Hunting opportunities have been increased to control rising deer numbers. More information, including fact sheets setting out the rules for each of the approved mountain bike tracks as well as a copy of the full revised management plan, are available on the Department of Conservation website. ...

December 10, 2010
Christine
9
Dec

Co-benefits of Walking and Cycling(Thursday 10 February)Register now for this course!Presented by the New Zealand Centre for Sustainable CitiesOverviewThis course is designed to bring together key local and international researchers, with policy analysts in local and central government, NGOs and members of the public, to consider the evidence for co-benefits of active journeys -- particularly benefits for population health, climate change, and quality of life -- and how this evidence can be strengthened and acted upon effectively.Walking and cycling provide significant health benefits by increasing levels of physical activity. These active modes of transport are associated with substantial relative risk reductions (10-55%) across cardio-vascular disease, cancer, and other diseases. Compared to travel by car, active journeys also reduce air pollution and the carbon emissions that are...

December 9, 2010
Alex admin
9
Dec

November 13, 2010. Robyn and I biked with our friend Marita across Seattle to get our Undriver Licenses at a Liveable Streets event held at the University of Washington, with lots of groups tabling there, low-cost helmets, and more. We made a beeline for the Undriver Licensing station. We were greeted by Undriving founder Julia Field and her team of volunteers. Since we’ll be taping a conversation with Julia, I wanted Robyn to videotape me and others getting our Undriver Licenses for that show. Chelsea took the lead, explaining Undriving’s goal — to reduce car use, mine or others. I filled out a short pledge form for action’s I’d take in the next month. She urged me to do something that was doable but a stretch. Since I’ve already been doing many errands by bike instead of car, I had to dig a bit deeper. I pledged to get all our groceries by bike over the next month....

December 9, 2010
Alex admin
9
Dec

The environmental and health benefits of cycling are undeniable and while it might be good for you, taking to pedal power in the capital is a risky business.Last year 136 cyclists were injured around the Wellington region.A report by the Greater Wellington Regional Council found cyclists in Wellington are 12 times more likely to be injured than someone travelling in a car. Cyclists in the rest of country are just three and a half times more likely to become a casualty.“I think I put that down to the boom in cycling in Wellington and the fact that the novice riders tend not to have the skills of the experienced riders,” says Patrick Morgan, spokesperson for the Cycling Advocates Network.It is also Wellington's narrow roads and lack of specific cycling infrastructure which is to blame. But Mr Morgan says the statistics, taken from a small sample group are in danger of discouraging...

December 9, 2010
Patrick
8
Dec

Cyclists are in more danger on Wellington roads than throughout the rest of New Zealand.Figures revealed in Greater Wellington regional council's Regional Land Transport Strategy annual monitoring report show a "worsening trend" for cycling casualties on the Wellington region's roads.For every million hours travelled, a Wellington cyclist is 12 times as likely as a vehicle occupant to be injured in a road crash, compared with 3.5 times nationally. The report says the figures were based on a small sample size, but still show a concerning trend."When comparing the Wellington region with New Zealand, the risk to cyclists by distance travelled is far greater than any other risk, a trend that has worsened over time." Last year there were 136 cyclist casualties in the region, compared with about 81 a decade before – about a 68 per cent increase.The report also found Wellington's overall...

December 8, 2010
Patrick
8
Dec

Supporting Cycling in New Zealand You will recall the Petition Nine-Point Plan for Cycle Safety you supported, which Cycling Advocates' Network (CAN) presented to the Ministers of Transport, Police and Road Safety in 2008 with over 3,000 signatures. Since that time, New Zealand has had a change in Government and is operating in a more difficult economic environment, where greater emphasis has been placed on the economic benefits of ‘building roads', rather than developing sustainable, safe ,and integrated transport systems. Don't you hate it when they pass you too close or cut you off? Don't you wish there were more attractive and safe cycleways? Would you like to see more cycling opportunities for children?For the past four years, CAN has been able...

December 8, 2010
Anne F
7
Dec

Bikes are considered an important part of the solution.  Here was me thinking no one in officialdom cares about peak oil.  The story was carried on the National Programme today (just before 9am news) where the new Mayor of Dunedin Dave Cull, said basically get on your bike, weather is not a problem for cycling (all weather is good for cycling), as he had personally cycled to and from school in Invercargill.  (like Simon told me he did too, I think he even said he hid behind lamp posts to escape driving hail and sleet).When your Mayor says all weather is good for cycling (even in Dunedin!) you know you are winning!Spokes (in conjunction with Living Streets Dunedin) did a great vetting campaign of their mayoral and councillor contenders before the last election.  And Dunedin now has some fresh blood on Council with clearly some visionaries.  There is even a Councillor who was the...

December 7, 2010
Fiona
7
Dec

TVNZ's Close Up does cycling http://tvnz.co.nz/close-up/aggressive-new-zealand-drivers-3949050/video

December 7, 2010
Patrick
2
Dec

After three days the new Manners St bus route has a qualified tick of approval from cyclists.Cycle Aware Wellington spokesman Patrick Morgan said prioritising public transport was a good thing for Wellington, on balance."However, we are not especially happy about losing access to Manners St."Manners St between Willis St and Victoria St is bus-only westbound at all times and eastbound between 6am and 7pm on weekdays. Cyclists travelling from the north to Willis or Boulcott Sts must use Dixon St and turn right on to Willis St.Wellington City Council infrastructure director Stavros Michael suggested cyclists could turn off Victoria St into Bond St and, because the distance was short, use the southbound Willis St bus lane and then turn right at Boulcott St.Another council spokesman, Richard MacLean, said if that practice emerged, the council would ban left turns out of Bond St into Willis...

December 2, 2010
Patrick
2
Dec

My mother is a feisty 88-year-old who is still working to change the world. She often reminds me that Kate Sheppard was her great-aunt, so she has a proud tradition to maintain.For the past fortnight she has regaled me with her friends' reports about the hazards of fast-travelling lycra-clad cyclists. I suspect she's hoping Cycle Action Auckland (CAN) can change their behaviour.My mother's generation grew up in a different world. They are now confronted with lycra, traffic congestion, impatient drivers and endless talk about unhealthy lifestyles and obesity.Like many people they are aware of the five-day toll of five people killed while cycling and the shocking circumstances which killed a young woman cycling home along Tamaki Drive.This public awareness was reflected in thoughtful editorials in the NZ Herald and the Christchurch Press on November 22, and in the NZ Listener. Other media...

December 2, 2010
Patrick
2
Dec

Hello cycling friends,In May 2011 I am organising a Dutch Bicycle Study Tour for at least 30 Australians (or NZers) who will be learning about best bicycle infrastructure practice and sharing that information with their contacts on return to Australia. The journey will be filmed by 2 documentary film makers and they are looking for sponsors for the trip. There will be a website set up that will be used as a resource for local planners, cyclists and media and I believe will be a very popular website into the future since I receive many emails about this trip.If you or your business/organisation can help support the documentary film makers you are eligible for some great rewards. If you have a website/magazine that distributes bike related news and views I would be very appreciative of you can pass on the link - http://www.indiegogo.com/Cycling-Dutch-Style?a=56151&i=addrI have added...

December 2, 2010
Alex admin