As more cyclists hit the roads of Auckland, it is becoming glaringly apparent that a lot has to change for cycling to become a viable option for many of the city’s residents. And you know what? Plans are finally being approved and there is now a conscious push from all sides to make Auckland a safer place for those with pedals. Hooray!
However, this move isn’t easy and people will always oppose anything that makes an impact on their daily routine. So now more than ever it’s important to speak up in support of new cycling projects and show that there are a great number of people pushing for this positive step forward.
Below is one such letter. Written by my good friend and bike buddy Stuart Nicol, I think it clearly and accurately describes the feelings of many cyclists in the Auckland region.
Although this letter is specifically written in regards to the Carlton Gore Road development (you can read about the plans here and here), it could very easily be applied to anywhere in Auckland. And as more cycle lanes are developed and cyclists are given more thought in the planning of road improvements, I hope we will see even greater opportunities opened to the more vulnerable road users to voice their opinions, concerns and support.
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As a frequent central city cyclist I regularly move across town from my home in Sandringham to friends in Parnell and/or Newmarket. I make trips up to Eden Terrace and beyond fairly regularly. I feel I am a pretty confident central city cyclist but even at the best of times riding in Auckland can be a perilous and often frightening experience. I feel that I make decisions based on the environment I am cycling in and as such am definitely a product of the limited cycling infrastructure afforded to us cyclists within Auckland. It is definitely harder for novice cyclists to develop confidence and courage to cycle central city streets when there is little protection or value placed on their presence on the roads.
The proposed upgrade of Carlton Gore Road then is such a valuable and important aspect of the future cycling network of Auckland and one that I will make great use of. While I have the confidence to cycle through the city I carefully plan my trips to be as efficient and as safe as possible. The corridor that these new yet short cycle lanes open up will be widely utilised not only by more experienced cyclists but will also prove valuable for connecting Parnell & Newmarket with Eden Terrace and the Central city. A lot of my trips already pass through this area and I am excited to be able to use this new infrastructure.
I pray that large concessions are not made here to appease unhappy car owners in the area. This is an important upgrade of a crucial connecting link in the region’s step towards making the city more accessible and bike friendly.
Junior School Teacher