Dear cyclists. Lets have a discussion.

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.

Here

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.

 

BY LAW USE THE PATH
The sign on the traffic light is a compulsory order to share the footpath on this section of highway.
For Big Rod
And the triangle is still there despite the compulsory use sign

 

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.

ACC Activity

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.

Stay between, its safer

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?

In closing:

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?

Cheers

StoneY

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9 Replies to “Dear cyclists. Lets have a discussion.”

  1. Completely agree Stoney. As a motorcyclist I am asked to pay an extortion fee (much like that way classic mafia protection schemes work IMHO) just to get out the driveway. I pay with my rates and with my other vehicles as well as PAYE. So to me if cyclists want a dedicated roadway just for them, then YES they need to pay for it. If they dont want to use that level of safety on offer, and wish to continue riding amongst the larger faster traffic, then they need to be taxed they way other 2-wheeled road users are. At the very least, they need a much better level of COMPULSORY safety equipment than the poor excuse for a helmet they use, and please, oh God please, stop wearing lycra. If for no other reason than the simple fact that lycra is no-bodies friend.

    1. Hi Big Rod.
      What is not evident in the photo, downloaded off street view a which is seriously out of date, is that sign no longer exists.
      I will get an image of the current sign, an instruction for cyclists to use the path, with arrows pointing them at it. it is the same past Petone on the southbound lane.

      I will add a current image after todays commute.

      As for handing in my license, as I hold 4 classes at F level, I choose to hold onto them thanks.

      Now if you are one of the cyclists that hogs that very narrow lane in rush hour on a 100kmh highway…… Darwin will catch up with you soon enough.

      Appreciate the feedback, watch for the more current image and you may retract your comment with good grace and keep your dignity intact.

      1. None of which alters the FACT that you did not know what a yellow diamond means as a road sign. It is one of the most basic.

        That you even go to the trouble of pointing a red arrow at it and trying to say it is a cycle lane sign is worrying.

        … really you need better road rule and driving knowledge.

      2. Rod I know what the sign means stop being a douche.
        The sign on place now as I checked this mornong is white with a red border ORDERING cyclists to use the cycle path.
        The image was to show how narrow that road is and I will replace it with the current signage as soon as I can SAFELY capture such an image.

        Want to go head to head on understanding of the road code?
        How many license classes are required to ride a bicycle buddy?
        Im licensed to operate vehicles over 30 tonnes are you?

        Keep banging oncabout the yellow diamond. The image is off streetview and was as above merely to show how stupid it is to cycle on that stretch when a safer alternative is 3 feet to the left.
        Good day sir.

      3. Updated the images for you Rod.

        Got them off streetview after all with some more defined searching.

        White sign, red border, ordering (yes ORDERING) cyles onto the footpath.

        Largely ignored every single day by Cyclists who think all the motorized traffic should make allowances on the narrowest section of Hutt Road SH2 for their ‘1.5m’ of safe space…which is available 3 feet to the left behind a concrete barrier separating them from the cars.

        Hope this clarifies that yes I DO know what signs mean, what colours and designs refer to law or advisory purposes.

        Do your cycling friend know the difference?

  2. Two corrections folks.

    Firstly:
    The image of the cycle sign is 2 years out of date I will replace it with the image of the current sign as soon as I can SAFELY capture the image at the start of the cycleway.
    Every day, without fail, vehicles in the left lane at Belmont have to move into the right lane, to avoid cycles on the highway while the cycle path stays empty. And the lanes are both fully occupied, that cars/trucks/vans have not had a major collision due to this has been extremely fortunate.
    When a cycle is finally get squished and someone seriously harmed the backlash will not be on the moron who rode in a situation that put themselves in the highest danger possible to be in on our roads…. it will flall on the drivers and like on the Hyawards we will see a ‘temporary(permanent) speed reduction…again because of a few morons that flaunt their safety and the common good of all road users.

    Secondly:
    It’s actually 100kmh sped limit on the Rimutaka Hill Road, which makes the hogging of the lane by the young lady rider rolling down the hill at 30kmh even more arrogant and a rise in the risk to her own well being.

    I shared the post to the Ducati Clubs Facebook page, 2 of the riders who were on the ride that day have validated this occurred.
    All of us, as annoyed as we were with overheated engines and brakes, have expressed our concern for HER safety, along with our frustration.

    This was not intended as a cyclist beat up, but the reality of the situation is, due to the few, it is….sadly.

    Thanks for reading, image will be updated within 24 hours to show the CURRENT sign, which will make more sense.

  3. Hahahahaha ….. you REALLY do not know your road signs or standards

    You should reconsider being retested. The sign is in fact notifying that the footpath is a shared cycle / pedestrian path and the applicable law is that *only cyclists and pedestrians may use it*.

    Here is the NZTA sign that you have shown.
    http://www.nzta.govt.nz/resources/traffic-control-devices-manual/sign-specifications/sign-display-page.html?CatID=65&ID=56

    Whereas this is the legal ‘cycles must exit’
    http://www.nzta.govt.nz/resources/traffic-control-devices-manual/sign-specifications/sign-display-page.html?CatID=71&ID=249

    As you are showing such a staggering lack of knowledge of road rules you are proving that maybe you need retesting?

    1. Rod, any sign in a red border is enforceable dude, your playing with semantics to try and look smart. Speed limit signs – red border. Give way signs – red border. It is a STANDARD, you do understand what a standard is yeah????

      FYI I sat a new license class 2 years ago, passed the tests 100%, full 30 questions, as well as a practical driving test in a very large heavy vehicle. When did you lats pass a test?

      You are simply doing your best to discredit the information when its clear that the sign states ‘Cycles and Pedestrians to use the lane inside the barrier.’ The fact is says share with care is just pleasant wording.

      Now please answer my question, how many licenses do you hold?
      And how many are needed to ride a bicycle on our roads?

      Place all the links from NZTA you like on this page, the true interpretation of these is in the tickets issued for not obeying signs in a red outline.

      It is mind boggling you cannot see the point here and want to pick fights over semantics and or what sign was in the image, especially as never once did I say that yellow diamond was an enforced rule indication, but the red framed signs, they certainly are pal.

      And again as per the context of my post, any cyclist willing to place themselves at such risk, causing the faster, heavier, tax paying vehicles that the road is there for, is a moron.
      There is a clearly safer path behind a barrier, there is a sign directing cyclists to that path, yet they still take the 100kmh lane and place themselves at risk, and motorists will be blamed if the fools get hurt.

      Now if you’ve done comparing cherries with grapes, I m more than happy to discuss in person over a cold beer if you happen to be local 🙂
      StoneY

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