Due 9 April
Spokes thanks Council for this opportunity to offer our recommendations on the cycling projects and funding in the proposed draft Annual Plan 2020-21.
Spokes fully supports the MCR’s and delivering them as quickly as possible. We need more MCR’s and a completed city wide cycle network.
In response to the quakes central government rebuilt using a 20th century mind set and Christchurch is doing what we can to make the best of it.
Now the impact of the pandemic is upon us. Economist Shamubeel Eaqub comments that the pandemic requires us to change. “A lot of that online move I think is going to stick. This will create the catalyst for adoption of technologies that are actually quite mainstream and will help in terms of working from home.
It also has some real implications in terms of the demand for network infrastructure like roads, and public transport. It completely changes how much space we need.”
In responding to the virus we need to learn from our mistakes and change this plan to adapt to our emerging and future reality. What we choose to fund is more important than ever.
It is well known that we cannot build our way out of car congestion. Old habits are hard to break, especially with so many whose concept of transportation is limited to driving a car. Council’s challenges are only increased by catering to demands which can never be met. Ratepayers were already reeling from rising rates and the pandemic will see too many worse off. Christchurch lacks the space to build roading infrastructure to accommodate single occupancy motorized vehicles as the primary mode choice. Please see Resources below.
Council’s finances are now to be strained further while revenue is reduced. We can’t just return to business as usual. Giving all of us the option to choose to cycle safely to all the places we need to travel is essential now, to keep transport dollars local, for resilience and for our low carbon sustainable future. Funding priorities have to change with a far greater percentage of transport spending applied to active transport.
Council deserves support for significant funding and advancing the schedule of the Major Cycle Routes, MCR’s. Given the matching funds from central government covering up to 66% of the costs and that much of the work done improves utilities, upgrades intersections and provides new paving and kerbs it just makes sense. Keep up, advance and increase this sensible governance.
Please be prepared to take advantage of future active and public transport matching fund opportunities from central government. These projects save ratepayers money on so many levels. Please don’t let political gamesmanship, habits or rigid ideology deny ratepayers of the benefits and improved safety.
With the lockdown the numbers of people cycling has increased greatly. Many more ratepayers would like to feel safe choosing to cycle post lock down. This Annual Plan needs to reallocate funding to make that so sooner, not later. We have already been delayed for decades.
Delivering more MCR’s, including routes to all areas and linked to a completed local cycle networks needs full funding now. The too long delayed “Connector Routes” are essential to making them work. They will need to be truly cycle friendly, not just reallocation of bits here and there where it is easy. Upgrade the Cycle Design Guidelines to Standards to achieve infrastructure which works. Please do all you can in this Annual Plan and in the upcoming Long Term Plan to advance a fully connected cycle network for people 8-80 years of age.
To fully benefit from the MCR’s we need a completed cycle network providing mode choice, safety, affordable travel and achievement of Council’s Greenhouse Gas targets. Decades of underfunding active transport has left us with a congested unsafe and unsustainable roading network. Ratepayers simply can’t afford to “feed the habit”.
The draft plan allocates just over $1 million over 3 years to local cycling networks. This is far too little. All areas need better local networks. The north east of Christchurch, for one, lacks good local networks or even MCR’s. The Otakaro MCR will be fine for tourists and recreation, but is not a suitable cycle commuter connection for the east. Major cycle routes connecting the east and all destinations are required. Connector Routes and Quiet Streets projects are needed, not that expensive and need to be significantly advanced city wide.
It is unclear just what the $466,000 for pedestrian and cycle Safety Improvements for Dyers Pass, Hackthorne and Cashmere Roads will accomplish. As this is found in the Roads and Footpaths section it may be that footpaths get the most attention. It is good to see, but won’t buy a whole lot for some of the most heavily cycled roads in the city.
With so many more people on bicycles and the recent debacle of inadequate cycle parking at the Riverside Market Spokes is stunned to find that Cycle Parking gets $20,000 over 3 years, less than $10,000 a year. No one likes to find bikes locked to every pole and post, blocking footpaths, making life for the blind or in wheel chairs more challenging. Bicycle parking is already an issue, underfunding it for 3 years will certainly undermine Council’s attempts to encourage cycling while antagonizing all those who are impacted by cluttered footpaths.
Rising rates are not a burden many can shoulder. Prioritizing a motorized usually single occupancy vehicle transport network as proposed is simply not affordable or sustainable. Typically half of roading costs are to maintain the existing infrastructure. Cars contribute approximately 10,000 times more wear and High Gross weight Vehicles a million times more wear on infrastructure than a bicycle. Providing safe fully connected cycling networks is the affordable solution for Council and ratepayers.
Where quality cycling infrastructure has been provided Council’s projected uptake numbers have been quickly exceeded. Inadequate infrastructure has led to decreases, Buckleys Road being one example.
With the lockdown the decades of pent up demand has seen cycling numbers skyrocket. A great many ratepayers would like to feel safe choosing to cycle post lock down.
This is a fundamental human rights issue. Decades of neglect have led to outright prejudice against people who cycle which is all too often expressed on social & mass media and on our roads. Elected representatives have a responsibility to counter discrimination, not enable or exploit it.
This Annual Plan needs to reallocate funding to make that so sooner, not later.
Spokes continues to call for a “Cycling Advisory Panel” inclusive of diverse members of our community. The practice of “Selected Stakeholders” has effectively continued business as usual policies and projects while excluding far too many. Shift consultation to before decisions have been made, not after.
- Learn from past mistakes in responding to crisis
- Thank you for funding the MCR’s, we need more now
- Build quality connector routes
- Ratepayers want to cycle, but need a safe completed network to do so safely
- Support funding for our community groups and projects
- Minimize the rates burden by funding what meets basic needs, is sustainable and offers a good long term return
- Open up planning and policy decision making to all ratepayers, not just “selected stakeholders” or after the decisions have been made
Spokes offers a very brief selection of articles and research in support of prioritizing funding to support sustainable walking and cycling infrastructure. Far more is available.
Business Benefits of Cycling
Cycling Infrastructure Safer for All Road Users
Building safe facilities for cyclists turned out to be one of the biggest factors in road safety for everyone.
This study published in the Journal of Transport & Health found that bike facilities act as “calming” mechanisms on traffic, slowing cars and reducing fatalities.
Cost Benefit Ratio of Transport Modes
University of Auckland’s School of Population Health four year project funded by the Health Research Council and NZTA to understand commuting and health in Auckland. … “We found that for main roads, investing in high quality on-road lanes with physical barriers, along with proven intersection changes, were the most effective at attracting new cyclists and keeping them safe. On the other hand, re-creating local streets as places for shared walking, cycling and driving at low speeds were also helpful” … high quality changes to main roads and local streets across the region are extremely cost effective, bringing more than $20 in benefit to society for every dollar spent
Health Benefits of Cycling
NZTA shows a health benefit of $1.60 a kilometre for cycling http://www.nzta.govt.nz/resources/research/reports/359/
Cost per K Bike Car
Every kilometre travelled by car incurs costs to the individual and society that are more than six times those of travelling by bicycle, a new study suggests. The researchers presented a cost-benefit analysis developed for Copenhagen, finding that cars resulted in costs of 0.50 €/km in comparison to 0.08 €/km for bikes.
Why building more roads for cars just gets more congestion and is not the transport solution.
Math myth-busting some of our worst urban planning misconceptions
There’s math showing that replacing on-street parking with safe, separated bike-lanes is good for street-fronting businesses. That crime goes down as density goes up. That providing housing for the homeless actually saves public money. That you can move more people on a street when car lanes are replaced by well-designed space for walking, biking and transit.
Urban Myths about Cycling
Millennial’s Unhappily Stuck in their Parents’ Transportation System
59 percent of Millennial’s said they would “rather spend time doing more productive tasks than driving. The study demonstrates that there is a great untapped demand for alternatives to driving including transit expansion and bike infrastructure.
Please do make your voice heard by offering a submission in support of the MCR’s, more funding for local cycle networks and earlier inclusion of people who cycle in developing projects.