A rant … feeling better already

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!

Someone_Is_Wrong_On_The_Internet1.gif

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.

15 thoughts on “A rant … feeling better already

  1. Sad state of affairs in NZ. I wish how much more pure NZ would have been had they made the it cycling-friendly country.

    I am glad you are feeling better. And rofl at …well, someone is wrong on the internet! 😀

  2. I empathise with your rant; it’s actually worse in the uk.

    Almost 40% of British 11-15 year olds are overweight. 

    Around 3,500 cyclists are killed or seriously injured on uk roads each year. 

    Cycling bans at uk schools are not uncommon, eg:

    http://road.cc/content/news/76905-parent-criticises-surrey-primary-schools-ban-children-cycling-two-its-three-sites

    In fact,  schools having anti- cycling  policies are so commonplace the CTC publishes a guide on how to persuade them to change! 

    http://www.ctc.org.uk/article/campaigns-guide/how-to-encourage-cycling-schools-anti-cycling-policies?page=show

    In order to tackle these issues,  the uk government has just cut cycling funding.  Obviously. 

    http://www.ctc.org.uk/press-release/2015-11-25/%E2%80%9Cpm%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%98cycling-revolution%E2%80%99-punctured-osborne%E2%80%9D-says-cycling-charity

    Rant over.

    1. Hi verytallguy, as a fellow Brit, I just wanted to add to your comment (which both educated me – thank you – and shocked me, being a bit out of touch with school ‘stuff’ since my children are all grown). I remember riding my bike to school in the spring and summer months (we lived in a village in rural Suffolk, grew up in the 70s) but cars still came along the two mile, windy road. I was so proud to pass my bicycle certificate and know the rules of the road and my school had plenty of space with a large bike rack for keeping the bikes locked up during the day. But of course, without wishing to sound ‘old’, back then, children were outside more than in, on the go, exercising while playing and so it was rare to see someone overweight. What is this Government thinking of cutting cycle funding? Makes me fume…

  3. Hi Rachel, no wonder you couldn’t sleep. Grrrr… Although, I did just see a sign up at the park (where I power walk, lol!) saying something about a cycle path going in. There is a school nearby too, so this gives me hope after reading all this, that maybe, just maybe, there are still some parts in the UK that are listening to reason. Part of of mine and hubby’s plans this year are to get bicycles. I can’t wait 🙂

    1. That sounds promising and yay for new bicycles! I hope you’ll post pictures of whatever you get to your blog. I’ve been threatening to get a new bike for ages and I think we’re finally going to do it.

      1. I will Rachel! You’ll be the first to know, I feel quite proud to think we’re taking this step and you’ve inspired me! Yay for yours too! Exciting 🙂

  4. I love your rants! But more than that, look what popped up in my RSS feeds this morning:

    Moving Beyond the Autobahn: Germany’s New Bike Highways

    This is amazing, both for the shift in cultural attitudes toward cycling that’s been happening in Germany in recent years, and especially for the way that government at all levels is responding, not as something they’re being forced to do grudgingly, but as an opportunity to do something that has so many benefits and to really do it right. Wow.

      1. Oh, I missed that! Well, good for you. Hopefully, at least someone there is thinking about it. But if there isn’t yet, at some point there will be. It’s pretty clear the world is changing. I live in Los Angeles, where the amount of genuine cycling infrastructure is only slightly more than absolutely none at all. But last August, the city adopted a new 20-year transportation plan to comply with California’s Complete Streets Act. Along with continuing to expand the metrorail system, it’ll add a lot of protected bike lanes and dedicated bus lanes, as well as changes to make things safer for pedestrians. So at least we’re starting to point in the right direction.

      2. That’s a promising sign. I’ve never been to Los Angeles but it’s notorious for being a car city so it’s a huge leap to start even start changing the situation. There are plans to improve the infrastructure here too but it will take time and I’m not very patient 🙂

  5. It’s not all bad in Christchurch; here’s some sanity about the business benefits of biking in the same press:
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/opinion/75117984/The-business-benefits-of-bikeways

    And if you really want to hear about all the good stuff happening in Christchurch as they build their $150 million cycleway network (there’s a few grumbles, but City Councillors are by and large standing firm), might I humbly suggest that you keep an eye on Cycling in Christchurch: http://cyclingchristchurch.co.nz/

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