I have just read the most extraordinary articles and need to have another rant to calm myself down. A friend of mine in Christchurch hinted that there had been some objections to building bicycle paths in the city and so I searched to find out more. Big mistake that was! I should not have read anything about it because it doesn’t concern me and now, well, someone is wrong on the internet!
The first article I came across is people objecting to cycle paths in the city centre because they’ll lose parking spaces. I realise this is always what people object to but Christchurch is exceptional at the moment because the city centre is filled with car parks and not very much else. The earthquakes destroyed most of the buildings and rebuilding has been very slow and now there’s a glut of parking spaces. Maybe someone in Christchurch can let me know whether parking spaces have suddenly become in short supply in the last two years and I will happily be corrected.
The second article is possibly even more extraordinary because they’re objecting to a cycle path next to a primary school and those objecting are members of the school board. The reason they give for their objection is lack of space. The safety of children cycling to school and the right they have to breathe clean air trumps space for two lanes of traffic without exception. Diesel exhaust fumes are carcinogenic and linked to respiratory disease. Make the parents who drive their kids to school park several streets away and walk. Kids will benefit from the extra exercise and probably their parents will too.