I’ve recently signed up to all these cycling twitter feeds which may, or may not, have been a mistake.
Either way, here’s some cool stuff I’ve seen lately.
* 25 awesome cycling advocacy tshirts. Some are a bit smug/preachy for my taste, but others are cool. See below. I reckon that if there was a cycling t-shirt stall at the next Grey Lynn Festival they would sell out (just in case any entrepreneur would like to pick up this idea).
* Questions and media about uneconomic motorways. Julie Anne Genter, the Green’s new transport spokesperson and Phil Twyford, Labour’s transport spokesperson have been doing some good questions in Parliament this week pointing out the craziness of the government’s $14 billion dollar investment in uneconomic motorways.
They’ve had a lot more success getting Gerry to give embarrassing answers, which fully reveal the economic folly of the government’s “Build it and they will drive” policy, than they ever did with Steven Joyce. You can see the full videos on Auckland Transport Blog but here’s a typical snippet.
“Julie Anne Genter: Why does the Government claim that the roads of so-called national significance have been selected because of their economic importance, when the projects were announced in early 2009, well before the business cases had been undertaken?
Hon GERRY BROWNLEE: I think the point is that a Government comes in with a programme and does what it thinks is necessary to create the environment for economic growth. There is not a successful economy in the world that has achieved results by stopping roading progress.”
* Reports show driving down, cycling up. A few weeks ago, Stuart Donovan did a fairly awesome blog post about how traffic volumes have been dropping or held steady in NZ since 2005, despite significant population growth. Sadly, as we all know, that hasn’t necessarily been mirrored by a big rise in cycling rates (at least in Auckland).
However, a big report also just came out in the USA showing that young people are driving less and cycling 24% more than they did back in 2001. They are using public transport 100% more.
It seems likely this might soon be true for New Zealand youth, too, because we have a lot of the same factors (rising petrol prices, more rigorous driving tests) that are driving this shift in USA travel patterns.
Who knows? It will be interesting to see the results of the latest annual cycle count when they get released in May.
New trains with bikes! Some pictures of the new electric trains we will (finally) be getting in 2014 have been released. And some of the pictures even show space for bikes on the trains.
Whether that’s an accurate depiction or just artistic license is still being thrashed out by Auckland Transport I believe….although Cycle Action Auckland might be able to offer some enlightenment on that question?
What do you think? Are you looking forward to our new trains? Is the government looking increasingly shaky on their motorway investment?