I have a question to ask Cyclists. Bit of a delicate one at this point of time. Please read the full article and respond to my question close to the end.
Wellington City Council met yesterday to discuss delaying the introduction of a dedicated cycle road through Wellington City. It is understood the budget is in deficit, and this may be cut from the years engineering activities, or that’s how I understand it.
Let me start by saying, I approve of the whole concept. Daily I see two types of cyclists. The ones who stay left, who stop for stop lights/signs/pedestrian crossings. Sadly they are so inconspicuous as to be literally invisible. So the ‘peloton’ forms somewhere along SH2…two bikes…3…4 and now you can see them. But, one or more of them are now in the 100kmh lane space, rather than the huge breakdown lane available for them to safely ride in. “Oh but that’s full of rubbish and we get punctures” I have been told. As is the existing dedicated cycle path alongside the train tracks. So get ya club/lobbying group/councillor to have it swept once a month …??? The shared footpath/cycle lane by Belmont along SH2 is almost universally ignored by the lycra clad terminators who think the ultra-narrow road there can fit cycles, trucks and cars…arrogant twats. There is a signs making it compulsory for cycles to use that path, but no maybe one in 5 does.
Share with Care, says the ‘compulsory’ signage at the start of the section. White with Red border = MUST be followed.
This same sign repeats where the next road into western hills meets SH2 yet is blatantly ignored by many cyclists forcing motorists to take evasive action at 100kmh daily.
Still want to argue signage Big Rod?
On a recent club ride we came across a cycle group on the Rimutaka hill Road, downhill side, Featherston bound…holding up hundreds of cars and other motorists as the lead rider held centre lane at 30kmh all the way down the hill, an 80k speed limit. She absolutely refused to pull into slow car lay byes and stopping bays to let traffic pass. I can provide witnesses to this, it happened. The smell of overheated brakes and cooking engines was foul in the air. The pungent smell of cooking brake pads, boiling brake fluid and hot engines was a miasma of motorist hell. The cyclist had no idea brakes were boiling off to the point they failed to work (my back brake faded at Bridge no. 6 and didn’t come back till Featherston when the fluid finally cooled)… had cars brakes failed to that point right behind her she would have been dead of her own arrogant refusal to move over to the left where possible.
Ok the point of the story.
Cyclists have many clubs, lobbying groups, and some of these have huge coffers.
Cyclists pay ACC on their PAYE and Car/Van/Ute if they own a motor vehicle. And then the odd one has a Motorcycle as well (YAY!)
I am a Motorcyclist. I campaigned HARD and LONG over the last 5 and a half years to get reductions in the proposed ACC rates applied to our lifestyle and transportation choice. We have to pay more because we cost more they say.
I have over 4 grand in safety gear. I also have over 25 year’s accident free on two wheels.
I have never ever claimed a cent from ACC for an MC related issue (but got tens of thousands in support and treatment for a blown AC joint after a drunken mountain bike crash. Yes they paid, yes they knew I was munted when it happened, off work for 9 months and loads of income support)
I get no rebate on my ACC for the gear or the lack of claims made.
I have never, claimed a cent for motorcycling. Yes I deliberately repeated that (Alzheimer’s aint quite fully set in yet)
Now we also have a system where 30$ from every bike rego is applied to a fund that’s now into tens of millions, and not one dedicated motorcycle lane/road/throughway is available to us. In fact the council running the management of that fund is invisible, silent and ineffective, yet we still have to pay and get NOTHING back. NOTHING. See my earlier blog on this topic if you have the time.
At this point I simply want to remind all that this is about cyclists and a dedicated cycle lane/road/bridges/subways to keep them safe….like they already have the green paved area at the lights to pull into in FRONT of the cars at lights…what moron though of that? See this link, there is a safer way that also applied to cycles, the green spaces should be created between the front ranks not IN FRONT of the cars.
So … the cycling lobbyists had the funding to get the road layouts changed, yet motorcyclists who have paid millions for the last 5 years still get denada. Ok that’s fine. Sounds like envy but no, honestly a mere observation, trust me.
I ride a bicycle occasionally but would never dream of riding on a 100kmh roadway… motorway, highway or even a country road with open road speed limit…. I would rather ride a Harley! If I can’t keep up with the 2 ton guided missiles I want no part of being in their flight path …. that’s a safety decision I make for myself, even based on 40 years of road use (I got my first bike at age 6 I am now 45) Just because I legally can place myself in the riskiest situation possible, I choose not to. It’s bad enough on my motorized two wheeled transport while wrapped in armoured leather and Kevlar.
So here at last, is the question:
Why can’t Cyclists proactively offer, seek, or devise some way to directly contribute to the damned cycleway?
You are less than 1% of the commute fleet morning and night, yet your impact on traffic flow added to your vulnerability, it’s insane to think the rest of NZ should pay the full bill on your PRIVATE ROAD??????
Please, justify to me why 1% get a huge chunk of the public rates to have a dedicated road, when you have made NO direct contribution outside your rates. Again I come from the point I am paying levy’s on my income, car, and both our motorcycles, as well as the ‘dedicated safety fee’ applied to me as a motorcyclist. In fact we pay that contribution twice, bylaw, it’s enforced by the Blue Coat Tax Collectors (sorry Lance had to slip that in). And the cyclists groups want a chunk of my regional rates to build a dedicated cycleway.
Gaining support for your cause is easy:
OFFER TO PAY. Something … just a contribution.
Let me provide a few idea’s, some may fly others may be anchors but let’s have a discussion.
- Set up a Snapper swipe at the start and end of the cycleway and pay it back as a toll (Jaffa’s paid for their harbour bridge with tolls in the 60’s/70’s).
- Add a levy to every bike sold, every piece of kit sold, not much, say 1$ for gear and 10$ on the bikes. 30$ per motorcycle soon created 10’s of millions…… capiche?
- Corporate donations…health incentive tax break for employers with cycling staff that use and therefore contribute to the system.
- Lobbying and club groups funding (existing) come on you guys you have massive amounts for road management and closures at your events, put a dribble into this scheme, kill the concept you want everything handed to you for free.
- Start raising a public fund on Crowdsourcing websites etc. Crowdsource to get a chunk of ‘good faith’ money together. I will put in 10$!
Honestly I do support the idea, but I do not support it being paid for by the public.
It’s happening already in Upper Hutt where I live, our Mayor has gotten a dedicated cycleway along the train corridor approved and funded. Some funding was sought outside the rates according to the local rag, so I can live with that as its not 100% ratepayer funded as I understand it, and its also a lot cheaper than building one through a CBD.
Here’s a really, really good idea!!!!
Ask John Key to pay for it…. He is only 7 years late delivering the bloody cycleway he promised. He has the coin in a sludge fund for his Hawaii lawn mowing crew. Ask him for a donation.
No one else gets it for free in a user pays society, why should you?