$1.5 billion dollars of funding for Wellington roads. A pittance for cycling.

4 11 2009

This entry is also on the blog http://idiotfreekapiti.wordpress.com/

In about a month’s time the government, for better or worse, is going to make an announcement on Transmission Gully and tell us the results of the consultation for Kapiti Roads. So it’ll announce, and these are rubbery figures on rubbery predictions, $1,000,000,000.00 on Transmission Gully. and $400,000,000.00 on the 4 lane WLR, and another $100,000,000.00 or so for north of Peka Peka and south of Levin. Of course that’s just the start as it won’t get it’s stated aims of a Wellington Airport to Levin corridor complete for that $1.5 billion dollars. It’s got to duplicate the Mt Victoria and Terrace tunnels for that, and the $100 million north of Peka Peka won’t go far. This road building is hugely expensive.

And how much is it spending on cycle infrastructure in the Wellington region? Absolutely sweet f. a.

So there is no money for the Great Harbour Way. Nothing for the needed bike lane on the off ramp from the Centennial Highway into Johnsonville. Nothing for a cycle lane on Johnsonville Road. Nothing for making it safe to cycle from Takapu Road through Tawa. Nothing to make it safe to cycle through Pukerua Bay. Nothing for making it safe to cycle from Waikanae to Otaki, or from Otaki to Levin.

Talking of which the memorial ride for Frank Van Kampen is on November 21, meeting at the Kapanui School, Waikanae at 8.30am

Well ok there are some new bike racks at Plimmerton Station, and the Porirua Council’s improved bike track from Mana to Plimmerton, but that’s regional and local government, not national, and there is the $50 million National Cycleway scheme, but none of that money is earmarked for the Wellington Region.

So there is going to be zero spending on cycle infrastructure, and huge spending on roads. Funnily enough spending on cycling can often lead to a reduced need for spending on roads, maybe not in the case of Kapiti roads, because of the distance to the Wellington CBD. But safe cycle lanes to the Hutt would ease the traffic congestion there, and maybe the Hutt Road would never need to go to 3 lanes, and could stay at 2.

There is a lot of bicycle traffic within Kapiti too. It being rather flat with safe cycle routes away from the SH1. Go for a ride, and you’ll soon see there are a lot more cyclists than any motorist thinks there is. It only seems to drop off when the cold (and the filthy smoke) of winter makes riding unpleasant.

To remedy this situation where we’re locked into a motorists’ nightmare of congestion and soaring costs we should have another department at the national government level, complete with it’s own cabinet minister, an NZTA for cycling and bicycle culture, the New Zealand Bicycle Agency, fully funded to promote cycling for everyone from small kids to get to school through to the elderly on pedal electrics to get to the shops and fully funded to build all the necessary bicycle infrastructure, including the National Cycleway (the only idea the current PM has ever had – buy that man a beer and a wig).

Bring on the NZBA, $1.5 billion dollars cheaper than the NZTA.

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2 responses

15 11 2009
thedrugpedaler

And now there’s the talk of ACC levies for bicycles. I heard through the grapevine that registration for a bike is going to be somewhere around $500 per year! Anyway, we’ll see.

Simply, the council needs to put a bit more effort into making this city a safer place for cyclists. Cycling around Oriental Parade the other weekend – the so-called cycle lane was chocka with parked cars then it suddenly decided to peter out into non existence….

16 11 2009
Matthew

It would truly be a moron that brought in any form of registration or compulsory insurance for bicycles. But as we know the whole world is full of morons, including in the Beehive.

Surely the drivers of things, like cars and trucks, that damage cyclists should be paying for cyclist injuries.

I reckon us cyclists should stand side by side with our motorcyclist comrades and tell the ACC to stuff their increases.

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