Cycle Paths and Civilisation’s New Golden Age

14 10 2009

Like me, you’re probably a genius, and have been wondering what the purpose is to life. Well there is none, other than the biochemistry, so we’ve got to find meaning ourselves out of all the shamozzle around us. For me that’s why we should make the world a better place. That’s my personal philosophy, and that’s why I think it is okay to thump smokers. They’re only going to throw their butts in the harbour, so thump ’em. Actually I don’t do that, but sometimes I rather think I would like to. So making things a better place includes not shitting in the rivers (or letting your cows do that), planting a few trees, being kind to ducks, not filling the atmosphere with filth, smiling at people (even to the point where they think you’re deranged), telling a kid something that makes them think “wow” and advocating bicycle paths.

Yep one of the best things we can do on planet Earth is to build bicycle paths. Cities suffer from being in a rush with too much traffic, when we should all relax and slow down and use some peddle power. A day is always a good day if you’ve been for a bike ride or a hike.

Take Wellington, where the current NZ government is planning on spending $600,000,000 plus on road projects in the next couple years (and maybe $1 billion more if they build the unnecessary Transmission Gully motorway), $80,000,000 on public transport (the figures are a bit rubbery as they are from memory) and not a lot on bike paths. (yes I will personally benefit from the road projects, but that isn’t my point) Last night I went home via the Hutt and counted 30 cyclists either in the Ngaurunga Gorge or on the Hutt Road. I was surprised by the number. I’d be too shit scared to ride up the Hutt Road, and fully support these people: http://www.greatharbourway.org.nz/ . It’d be marvellous to link the waterfront and Oriental Bay to Kaiwharawhara, Ngaurunga, Petone, and the Hutt River Cycle Way (and then the Rimutaka Rail Trail). It’d be a great day to ride from Welly to Martinborough, and the next day ride back (via Pencarrow, but that’s another story.)

Today I went for a walk down the track that links Ngaurunga and Newlands, and think that it too should be turned into a cycleway. People ride it now in granny gear up, and riding the brakes down, watching out for the spoon drains. It is as rough as guts and could probably use a safety rail or two and some solar-powered street lighting. Then at the bottom of the gorge bike lanes could link it through to the Great Harbour Way at Ngaurunga Station (and while we’re at it, instead of there being a campervan and stock effluent dumping station at Ngaurunga Station, why not let some form of waterfront development happen – allowing room for the bike paths and other public space of course,  including allowing building in the airspace over the train station?)

In all cities (and towns, and between towns) investments should be made to have off busy road cycleways, either on completely separate paths or on quiet roads, for both commuters and recreational users. Those mad lycra-clad buggers will still choose the main highway with the 60,000 cars and 50 log-trucks a day, because I think they’re retarded, but normal people will use the safe parallel infrastructure and a lot more people will use it than other people think (you of course, being a genius, like me, know that a lot more people will use it if it is high quality cycling infrastructure). Then those cities can enter their golden age.

Here’s some piccies:

From near the top of the hill:

Looking down, further down the hill:

Where the North Island main trunk railway comes out of a tunnel across the SH1 on the bridge and then dives into another tunnel that goes under Newlands:

Looking back up the hill, I’d ride that in granny gear (and no I don’t mean old ladies’ cycling attire):

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18 01 2010
What Norway can teach Wellington – bike elevators « Wellington Region Cycleways

[…] said before on this post that the track that links Ngaurunga and Newlands should be turned into a cycleway. Now I’d […]

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