Informed : Flurry of cycleway chills at Dunedin

Meanwhile, when in warmer parts.

Received from John Evans
Sun, 31 Jul 2016 at 11:42 p.m.

Subject: Up to date report on cycleway usage in Australia

After an extensive second trip to examine the use of cycleways in Australia, I can report that there are now more cyclists than I saw at this time last year.

I saw three cyclists in three weeks in Queensland in areas including the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane.
Not one of them was using a cycleway.

New South Wales:
Up until today in two weeks I saw only two cyclists.
Today I took my son and grandson fishing at Kuringai Chase National Park.
There were no cyclists on Pennant Hills road or Highway One.
However, on the road into the national park all of a sudden there was a surfeit of cyclists. 24 in total!

All of them happily riding up and down the hill to the estuary. But surprise, surprise, none of them were using a cycleway. The pesky varmints just keep riding their bikes where they want to go, not where the bureaucrats want to herd them.

What does this tell us.
Cyclists have different intentions when they get on their bikes. They all do not want to go to the same place.

Therefore there are only two choices. No cycleways (a complete saving) or cycleways on every road (a complete waste of money).

One must question just why council employees believe that cyclists will be governed by bureaucrats.

This forensic cycle seeking trip was funded by the Otakou division of the harbour cycleways investigation bureau. A thinktank investigating illogical decisions by councils. This body has so far spent too much time on cycleways, but the inane decisions by various New Zealand and Australian councils need more evaluation. To that end our representative will be travelling over 2000 km seeking cyclists from Sydney to Melbourne to Hobart. We shall report on these investigations later.


█ For more, enter the terms *cycle*, *cycleway*, *cycling* or *bicycle* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

Election Year. This post is offered in the public interest.


Filed under Climate change, Coolness, Cycle network, Democracy, Design, Dunedin, Economics, Finance, Geography, Health, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Pet projects, Politics, Public interest, Sport, Tourism, Transportation, What stadium

51 responses to “Informed : Flurry of cycleway chills at Dunedin

  1. Fendalcia Purr

    Three cyclists were at lower Princes, beside the Oval, when an enraged driver pointed what he laughingly called ‘a car’ at them. Missed. Not to be outdone, our perambulated hero got out, and chased them, while his passenger took off with the ‘car’. Ilam Road would banish drivers who can’t hold their rage.

  2. Peter

    I haven’t really followed the whole cycleway thing that closely.
    My overall impression is that an ostensibly positive idea with beneficial results has turned sour; That the proponents have failed to sell the idea that warrants the capital outlay.
    The debacle involved in poor layout of the plan is not peculiar to Dunedin. I see Green Mayor of Wellington Celia Wade-Brown today pulled out of that mayoralty race. A big part of that decision was some problem with the Island Bay part of the plan, the suburb she lives in. She recognised she has lost a lot of support.
    A shame in a way as some of the more gracious commentary on her decision recognised her inherent decency as a person.
    There is a lesson here for politicians who talk up great plans and dreams, but fail to do their homework or ask hard questions of themselves and others.
    Sadly for them, their dreams hit the rocks. That’s politics for you.

    • Elizabeth

      And the ratepayers and taxpayers were loaded up again and again because of the ego-driven lightweights attracted into politics who don’t typically survive and fight the Good Fight in NZ business and commerce.
      eg Jinty MacTavish and Dave Cull – knock out one or the other, or both, like skittles. (Nope, not at all suggesting by ‘fray’ with legally blind owners of 4wds sporting bull bars). I might be bad but not that much. Political skittles, don’t draw blood.

    • ab

      Hm. Not taking into account the obstructive right, well heeled Nats on the Wellington City Council. We have a binary Green = Bad, Right = Good, but it is said up North that Conservative governance is ‘not an answer to a maiden’s prayer’.

  3. Gurglars

    AB, just a thought, have you ever considerd that the political parties could be newly named as Right and Wrong?

    It is high time that politics became an unpaid venture in that way we could get the benevolent part of benevolent dicatorship sorted.

    Our (and every other western democracy and any other controllers) have discovered the concept of legal theft.

    See Commissioners, Mayors, Councillors, Trump spending $60 million for what end? To make $120 million of course!

    So let us vote for those prepared to stand for no reward and spending no money on advertising; advertising implies a financial benefit to the elected.

  4. Gurglars

    There may be hope for us in Dunedin.
    Celia Wade-Brown has only made one mistake and she’s toast (read comments):

    So Cull with cycleways errors the least of his peccadilloes, add Delta, management style, arrogance, green, agenda 21 etc, etc, he’s a full loaf!

    • Peter

      It will be interesting to see what angle Dave, and other councillors who are strongly identified with defending various unpopular initiatives, take.
      We can all remember the old stadium councillors went mum at election time about how great an asset the stadium was for the city. Except for Michael Guest and one other. Walls?
      Given the furore over cycleway botch ups l reckon that topic will be left alone.
      The infrastructure problems made stark by the South Dunedin flood will be harder to brush over.
      I don’t think preparing the city for climate change will be a goer in the election. The issue is divisive in the community. I note Aaron’s two planks at announcing his bid for Mayor were the Dunedin dollar idea(?) and paying DCC employees a living wage. (Implemented in Wellington) No mention of environmental policies. lnteresting.
      There will be the usual growth announcements for the city….more in the form of sentiment than anything concrete to achieve this.
      One problem in talking about how well the DCC has performed in encouraging growth is the plethora of empty shops downtown. People see this for themselves every day.
      Encouraging heritage renewal will not be an issue because the development taking place in areas like the Exchange is one area the council can take credit for in terms of being a helpful facilitator.

      • ab

        ‘Going Mum’ in Wellington meant going to the Dominion Museum to view ‘The Mummy’, an ancient Egyptian, which young ones thought was somebody’s Mother.

  5. Gurglars

    Interesting Peter, from the perspective of the average voter just how high does Heritage renewal rate?

    Jobs in empty shops, House values in South Dunedin, Huge mistakes by cycleways proponents and designers and constructors are surely real issues, as one would imagine are the huge losses by Delta and the non contribution by DCHL companies. Cull’s arrogant attitude and failure to be a real chairman may be less obvious to ratepayers, particularly if they only read the ODT, but many will have noted his uneven treatment of elected persons.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      I think we all react positively to neglected shabbiness being tidied, beautified. Whether we think of the area as “Heritage Precinct” or not, what’s happened is that one after another huge drab grey or faded with flaking paint lumpish old buildings have sprung back to life. They are clean, the details lost in overall dinginess are visible and “new”. There’s a contagion of freshness. There’s signs of life. It’s hard to keep optimistic in the middle of grim greyness getting grimier, and hard to be sour in the midst of ongoing rebirth, the spring season of a part of the city.
      The CBD with its dead shops has the opposite effect, it has the voice of clinical depression flatly repeating messages of failure, hopelessness, defeat. I’m against making it pedestrian-only, it would only discourage people and it’s an areas that can’t afford to discourage anyone. But perhaps where there is a round-the-block alternative route a George Street block could be restricted to delivery and service vehicles only before say 10am? I’m thinking of southbound vehicles turning up, past Meridian (carparking facility!) to Filluel Street, down the next street to rejoin George St. There is a complementary round-the-block for Northbound vehicles.

      In the full-width street, one city block long, how about allowing vendors of what’s not in surrounding shops? Fresh local produce, sold by producers only (more opportunities for the Saturday marketers); like the cherry vendors who at present squash against the walls, why not allow them proper carts of barrows? More buskers, unamplified, not too close to shops so they wouldn’t be annoying. And what about the amazing dance platform that the enliveners of post-quake Christchurch created?

      I don’t remember Christchurch public spaces having a fraction of the energy or engagement pre-quake, compared with what the inventive pre-CERA creative people made. That interim period needs studying. What made it zing, and why do councils and committees and facilitators and managers deliver for, mainly, passive consumers of Events, not situations for active inventive involvement?

      • ab

        What made CH zing? The ‘Spirit of The Blitz’, a socially cohesive response by ‘ordinary’ people. Not all power is Top Down. This independent spirit may inform Brexited Britain, eventually.

        • Hype O'Thermia

          Yes! That’s why I’m always going on about the need for DCC to “facilitate vibrancy” by butting out as far as possible.

  6. Elizabeth

    Asked how they perceived walking or cycling routes to school, pupils raised concerns about too much traffic, too many hills, a boring route and dangerous crossings.

    Sun, 7 Aug 2016
    ODT: Half of pupils driven to school
    Half of Dunedin high school pupils are driven to and from school, while 30% walk and just 1.5% ride a bicycle, the latest results from the Beats Study show. The multidisciplinary study, which focuses on the ‘‘built environment and active transport to school’’ (Beats), has surveyed the physical activity, transportation and health status of 1800 Dunedin high school pupils during the past three years. Data is still being collected from parents.

    █ Flood of data analysed by the Beats Study research team, led by Dr Sandy Mandic of the University of Otago School of Physical Education, Sport and Exercise Sciences, gradually being released through symposiums, reports and scientific papers.

    • ab

      Simply, it is currently unsafe for children to cycle, or walk, to school in peak traffic. Not to mention the sometimes abuse from drivers.

      • Elizabeth

        I don’t think it’s unsafe to walk for some school ages, eg smart schools are using walking buses.

      • Hype O'Thermia

        No it’s not. Thousands of children walk to school, with or without accompaniment. Some children are too scatty to be trusted to be sensible walking alone before they reach intermediate school, but by then if they can’t do it safely it may be up to Darwin to work out if they have a future based on dumb luck.
        I’m talking about ordinary kids here. “Special needs” children often have special needs re getting to school, on top of their other difficulties.

        • ab

          Not exactly. Children of primary school age have not developed spatial awareness and skills to assess distance>speed of motor vehicles. There are also cars pulling up around schools blocking sight lines at crossings. No child should have to walk to any school alone if it involves crossing roads in heavy traffic. Stages of childhood that require protection have nothing to do with ‘Special Needs’, a label that is only opinion, anyway.

    • Peter

      This seems to be the kind of independent and objective data that needs to be taken notice of in terms of planning the extent of a cycleway network in Dunedin.
      Usage is paramount. lsn’t it?
      I hadn’t thought low usage of bikes by school kids was partly practical… the amount of gear they have to cart to school. Not sure what the boredom reason for not cycling is all about, though l do understand the hills argument. Age seems to have no relevancy here.
      People simply hate biking up hills unless they are a fitness fanatics.

  7. Gurglars

    But Elizabeth, ” Build it and they will come”.

    Gurglars Sydney Cycleway Report Update!

    They’ve built them in Sydney, complete with pesky little intrusions every now and then just to piss off both car users AND cyclists. In all of my travels this week, I saw no, nada, zero, nix cyclists on cycleways! Last week as I reported I saw a large group of hardy self flagellators desperately trying to prolong their lives climbing up a very steep and long hill from Bobbin Head to highway 1. Who knows where they disperse to then, but I can tell you from various extensive examinations, they do NOT go home on a cycleway.

    The only rational explanation for this serious waste of cash is hovering in my mind between graft between cycleway constructors and publicly appointed officials troughing it and worse on the public purse; or alternatively the idiots at the UN driving this curious cash theft on some crazy plan to eliminate cars —not just petrol driven cars, but all cars as we are tending towards electric cars, and unless they allow them to use the cycleways they are also impinged by this worldwide incursion into carways.

    • Elizabeth

      Gurglars, BIATWC at #Dud is 1.5% of children cycling to school. HILLS, omg. DCC Transport sat upon by Jinters … blinked at the idea of HILLS. Boredom, however, is a new Bike.

  8. Gurglars

    Gurglars Cycleway evaluation- Melbourne Australia

    After a week long tour of the very flat Melbourne cycleways your intrepid reporter would like to thank his sponsors, the Otakou cycleway evaluation institute a venerable aged organisation who has had his power cut off by Just Energy, the bastards who have ruined my store of Spelt bakery pies from Highgate, due to my long extended cycleway evaluation tour. Conspiracy specialists blame the lone cyclist at Just Energy, the bastards, for pulling the plug.

    However I have a new power company saving me $150 on my annual power and I will fight the plethora of fees that Just Energy, the bastards have imposed on me for paying late (all power is paid for) for disconnecting, not potentially reconnecting, changing power companies, a sum now approaching over $300 and no doubt penalties accrueing hourly.

    And now back to the cricket!

    In a vain search, Melbourne (flat) and presumably ideal for intrepid pedalmen and pedalwomen (or pedal LGBITA, more letters to come) I have been unable to unearth one cyclist. Admittedly cycleways are not everywhere, they appear haphazard, poorly designed and with potrusions everywhere, but even including fallen cyclists, there was not one, not a sausage.


    Gurglars Law of Australian (and presumably Oceanic) cycleways.

    The number of cyclists is inversely proportional to the number of cycleways.
    Cycleways are a complete waste of money by cities in Oceania and presumably most of the world.
    The potential for graft and rorts by council employees involved in cycleway construction negotiation must be huge for these white elephants to get across the line everywhere.
    Council employees, councillors and consultants must be stopped from going to these council conventions at the ratepayers expense where they all get these crazy lemming like concepts that are just a total waste of public moneys far better spent on drains and drain maintenance, a topic never on the agenda at a council gabfest.

    Agenda 21 has a lot to answer for.

  9. Hype O'Thermia

    “The potential for graft and rorts by council employees involved in cycleway construction negotiation must be huge” – I have come to the conclusion that it’s a subset of Roadway Bloat. Have you seen the amount of paint and concrete in the previously unremarkable somewhat off-square intersection between Spotlight and Veggie Boys? And traffic lights are out-breeding possums, without even producing valuable fibre.

  10. Gurglars

    Melbourne Cycle Update.

    One cyclist spotted riding on a main road in peak period traffic avoiding the cycleway one street over.

    Curious Fact:

    At a meeting in a dual office building housing 300 persons working for various small companies I came upon a strange sight. The building owners had installed 6 cycle stands. In those stands were a red gaudy model and a green retro ladies model, that seemed to be permanent. On the other side of the piazza was a genuine flash $3000 job that looked like it was taken out every day for a run. One can extrapolate (admittedly from a small sample) the building owner expects (hopes?) that 2% of commuters will cycle, the reality is that 0.33% actually do and 0.67% appear to do so.

    There seems to be little or no demand for more cycle stands, so is the cycle boom at an end?

    Who will then pay the extraordinary sums to maintain these miles of cycleways? Who will be held responsible in each town for this gross waste of money?
    In Dunedin will Jinty and Green Aaron be placed in the stocks when it all becomes alarmingly apparent?

    In general, international trends evolve about three years later in New Zealand than Australia. Cycleways are dead in flat Australya now.

    • ab

      Yes, well, ‘spotted’. Who wants to cycle alfresco if people like your good self flick paint spotter at them?

    • Mike

      my daughter cycles to work across Melbourne every day – another small sample

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Improvements in technology may make a difference. Powered cycles take the pain out of hills, but at present they are heavy and expensive, for the really good ones. Retro-fitting plain bicycles is being done here by some keen people. One of the handy things about cycles is you can put them in the motor vehicle, but for that that the weight needs co come down – it’s possible but not easy, now. Whether this will make them a popular choice is another matter. Probably for most people bicycles will remain a piece of recreational equipment, like the jetski, the inline skates, the kayak.
      I can see a bike being a good alternative to bus for the hard-to-park area. Park somewhere on the outskirts where DCC doesn’t gouge parking fees and fines, take bike out of the vehicle and use for the last few blocks, having found the least dangerous byways and mid-block alleys to avoid the truck menace on SH1 cycle lanes.

      • ab

        What of the enclosed mobility scooter? None of the reinforced PVC these days, full cabs, fitted over the scooter, almost the mass of a Fiat Bambina. I assume they are footpath use only.

        • Hype O'Thermia

          Interesting point. The separation of transport into lanes or classes isn’t getting clearer.
          What of the insanity of skateboard ruling that because they have wheels, they are ROAD vehicles – danger? What danger? E.g. the dark-clad young man on Albany St at dusk yesterday, middle of the lane!
          Trikes – overpriced wanky grownup ones –, one comment: “In Wellington there is a trike that parks in the motorbike parks, it takes up as much room as a car, very annoying.”

          Future planning, should they all have separate lanes? Is everything with wheels (e.g. skateboards) a car or are some conveyances (e.g. enclosed mobility scooter) honorary non-wheeled transport thus allowed to use pedestrian-only footpaths? What about wheelchairs, what about prams? What about motorised wheelchairs?

          Questions to ask candidates!

        • Richard Stedman

          I think you may have something there ‘ab’. The said scooter could have quite a future for multi-use if the batteries and power-train were beefed up. If electric cars can become viable, why not adapt the mobility vehicle for inner city commuting. A decent luggage boot and off you go shopping. Beats the bicycle in that respect. Have you ever carried a baby’s bath on a bicycle? It’s easy until you get on the seat.

        • ab

          Babies were carried alfresco. I myself travelled in a bucket seat attached to the carrier. What larks, as the WI pedalled out, bells ringing, singing. Ref you tube ‘Deanna Durbin’, to get an idea of those long ago times. My child was sometimes in a baby back pack, terribly unsafe hippie things, before the advent of the papoose front carrier. I carried cartons on bikes, and dragged hip baths to Claris, Great Barrier. But, your question reminds me of Anthony Newley: ‘Have you ever tried to post a policeman in the mail? It’s alright until you get up to his letterbox.’

  11. Gurglars

    Mike, so is the sample one cyclist per day in 4.5 million people or is it 100% of people cycle to work? I guess it depends upon which PR firm you hire!

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Be fair, here’s an honest man with honest evidence that there IS a cyclist in Melbourne.
      One swallow may not make a binge but it disproves a teetotaller.

  12. Elizabeth

    A website to hammer:

    ### Thu, 11 Aug 2016 at 5:42 pm
    New blog is turning wheels
    A pair of Dunedinites who have recently returned from overseas travel have created a blog to help put a human face on the city’s cyclists. The Dunedin By Bike video blog is only a handful of episodes old but already it has wheels turning.
    Ch39 Link

    Channel 39 Published on Aug 10, 2016
    New blog is turning wheels

  13. Elizabeth

    How to muster votes for Dave and Co.

  14. Gurglars

    I’m fair, I’m reporting the number of cyclists I see driving around Queensland, NSW and Melbourne. Today I finally after three trips to Australia actually saw three girls on bikes on a cyclelane, the point of this whole exercise! Mike’s daughter may ride her bike across Melbourne and that is admirable, her choice and I applaud it.

    The first issue is does she ride all or part of the way across Melbourne on a cycleway?

    And the second issue is, should city councils spend extraordinarily large sums like $47 million on cycleways that little or no one uses rather than drains and water that everyone not only uses, but needs!

    The answer is no they shouldn’t, we shouldn’t and let them ride on the footpath and take care of the pedestrians. There is also hardly anyone (in percentage terms) walking!

    In public expenditure let’s have some common sense rather than a lot of emotive claptrap and the frivolous spending of other people’s money.

  15. Elizabeth

    Thu, 18 Aug 2016
    Poor Simon Underwood, a great idea has bombed. Go simple – grand engineering design is so last year.

    ODT: Cycleway-leg cost doubles
    The expected cost of the St Leonards to Port Chalmers cycleway has more than doubled. The estimate came as the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) updated the Chalmers Community Board last night on progress in its plan for the completion of the pathway, and members again expressed frustration with delays and the agency’s cost-saving efforts.

  16. Calvin Oaten

    “Poor Simon Underwood”? Dopey Simon Underwood more like. He’s Jim Harland’s ‘Gofer’ and he cocked up the SH1 inner city SH1 cycleway plans as well. Now he talks of ‘teens of millions’ to complete the St Leonards to Port Chalmers leg and not before 2018. Community Board member Steve Walker says that would be a long wait. ‘Note to self: Steve Walker is a candidate for council, I must not vote for him. Would probably be another big spender.’
    Watch this space for another costly option for the one and a half dozen regular cyclists likely to use it.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Actually I think this is one of the few cycleways that would be used quite often. It’s a commuting route, and it’s also a recreational route with a destination at the end. If I were a cyclist I’d think of it as a jolly nice thing to do alone or with companions, a trip out to Port Chalmers, coffee or an ice cream or the excellent fish and chips from the shop down by the fire station, then back home feeling virtuous from exercise! Not being a cyclist I occasionally drive out there for the F&C and give virtue a swerve.

      • Elizabeth

        Agree!!! I used to bike to Aramoana in the late 1970s when at university here – well before all the trucks on the road really made it unsafe for cycling. Loved it. The harbour cycleway (Aramoana to Harwood) is likely to be as popular as the Central Otago Rail Trail. It’s a must do project for Otago, and NZ.

      • Well there is one thing for certain – SH88 is a diabolical route for cyclists. But the shared pathway along the harbourside from the Boat Harbour to St Leonards is safe and easy for cyclists as pedestrians (and the occasional dog). So even a Hype could make it safely.

  17. Tussock

    Well there is one thing for sure with the new harbourside walkway/ cycle way. The bloody cyclists think they own it. As a walker you are likely to get run over by arrogant cyclists who race along and don’t give a shit about walkers. It is not an enjoyable walk at all, when cyclists don’t want to share the area. A new piece of equipment is needed by walkers, and that is eyes in the back of the head to watch out for the Lycra idiots.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Competition is supposed to be a Good Thing, Tussock. Those lycra bike types are like the Moana serious swimmers who came to the Physio Pool when Moana was closed for maintenance. They charged up and down lanes clearly convinced that slower recreational swimmers were a blight that could bugger off, or drown, they didn’t care which as long as they had Their lanes to themselves. Their sense of entitlement was monstrous! Just like the serious cyclists whose attitude to ordinary walking and cycling mortals is the same. When they were back at Moana Pool the fast and slow swimmers in the physio pool returned to habits of courtesy, doing their best to make sure everyone had equal rights to an enjoyable experience.

  18. Tussock

    Hype. Maybe we should be building that $30 million pool out at Mosgiel to keep those Moana serious swimmers away from the physio pool, when Moana is closed for maintenance ?

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Nah Tussock, enrol them in Remedial Courtesy & Empathy course, 30% subsidised so they have a financial incentive to learn fast, and they can’t come to other public pools until they have a Pass Certificate.
      These are transferable skills that will be of value to them in innumerable situations throughout the rest of their lives, helping them to become more valuable members of the community than if they concentrated on being elite sportspeople.

  19. Gurglars

    What John Wayne would do with cyclists not using the cycle lanes!

    Coming up!

    What John would do with bureaucrats who foist the stupid lines and barriers on our roads, endeavouring to stop the rest of the populace from driving whilst driving DCC vehicles illegally all over town

  20. Elizabeth

    The only cycleway needed – a full harbourside trail from Aramoana to Harwood…. agree with Tony Williams re SH88!

    Wed, 23 Nov 2016
    ODT: How to finish the harbour cycleway
    By Tony Williams
    OPINION ….[SH88] has been hijacked […] For cyclists and pedestrians there is a solution in the form of an excellent plan by NZTA to complete the off-road track which at present stops at St Leonards […] it is time the port company and the trucking companies stepped up to the plate and made up the shortfall. Cont/

  21. pb

    Most cycleways are poor compromises and have far too many intersections, crossovers, skull splitting fences or bollards, and random walking kiddies. Each intersection is a death wish, so cyclists other than those meandering at 10kph, avoid them. The SH88 push is a blatant public money grab. An added bonus for the SH88 pushers would be the Lenin-like monolith to the inevitability of cycling. In motorists faces every day: “Suck it up car people!”

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