Nowhere to run
Lament about Waka Kotahi and utterly blinkered thinking
I offer deep and sincere thanks to the wise and sensible stewards of Waka Kotahi. Boy did we dodge a bullet at the end of last week thanks to you!
There will be no trial of any bike lane on the Auckland Harbour bridge, it would just not be safe or sensible, you told us.
Hear hear, and other harrumphing noises. You really earned your at-least-a-couple-of-dozen-of-us-are-are-paid-more-than-the-Minister salaries there, chaps.
Honestly, we have no idea how lucky we are. Take a look at some of the madness going on in places that should know better.
Hello New York.
You really took leave of your senses when you switched a car lane over to bikes and pedestrians on the Brooklyn Bridge.
Look at the danger they're exposing themselves to there! What are they thinking?
Cycling is skyrocketing, there, I’m reading, so it can only be a matter of time before someone gets hurt and then all the wailing will start.
And you know what I'll say to you wailers? I’ll say you need Waka Kotahi my friend, to keep you all in your cars going bumper-to-bumper over the Brooklyn Bridge and shouting at the car in front come on fuck you and….well anyway it's dangerous and some people might say this is the future, but it's not my future no sir, and thank God it's not our nightmare.
I hear you hated what happened to the Burrard Bridge when they took one of the six lanes and gave it over to bike riders.
But I'm struggling a bit with these figures. This has to be be some woke hack just making it all up
There are now two bike lanes, and they’re the busiest in North America. More than 1.3-million bikes cross the bridge each year and it has become the foundation for a network of protected bike lanes in and around the downtown.
I bet they hate it.
I bet Canadians on bikes are getting bowled over left right and centre.
I bet that picture is photoshopped.
What were you thinking making all that room for bikes? Did you ever think anyone would be prepared to take their lives in their hands and ride a bike in London?
I mean, sure, the stats say your segregated cycle lanes are moving five times more people per square metre than the main carriageway. But when did statistics tell anything but lies? I mean according to statistics you're worse off since you left Brexit! Give me a break.
Let me turn off the sarcasm and say it straight:
Thank you once again for absolutely nothing Waka Kotahi, and your dismal fealty to a way of life that may feel to you like the present and the future but is emphatically not.
There is a far better way to go, but we cannot have it while your tar-seal-splattered boot remains oafishly pressed on the oxygen tube.
The bike, the humble bike, is at the heart of that new better way of life being embraced around the world.
Because the bike, the humble bike, is more than it once was. What I'm describing includes the e-bike.
And the e-bike is no small thing. It is a game-changing vehicle: far less costly than a car, far easier to park, never caught in traffic jams, breezing you from one place to another.
Under a minute is all it takes. Under a minute for anybody to get onto one and start moving and start absolutely exclaiming:
This is amazing
God now I get it
God, all the things you could do with one of these
And no, it's not the vehicle for all and every trip you need to make. But it can absolutely change the weight and balance of how we all get ourselves around.
This is why I go on and on and on about it. It's not just some kind of favourite hobby. It stands to be absolutely transformational.
But to make the picture really work, you need a functioning network. You need a path that will carry you from one of part of the city to another. And I don't mean some elaborate gold-plated thing; just a fucking connected thing that doesn't have a gaping hole in the middle where there's a fucking harbour.
And that gaping hole can be easily and readily filled. We have the space ready to go, just like they did in New York and Vancouver.
But no, say the fossils at Waka Kotahi, too hard. No, can't be done.
I offer these further images of a better world, and I invite Waka Kotahi to try harder. Or even just a very goddam little.
Here are ten examples of Australia making things better, and cheers very much to reader Kerry for the link.
Here are 10 square Kms of creative thinking in Croatia.
And here's a before and after that makes it as plain as day that the past is where we should be leaving this blinkered thinking.
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