ZB

Roman Travers: What's the point in having cycle lanes, if you're not going to maintain them?

Author
Roman Travers,
Publish Date
Tue, 19 Apr 2022, 7:07am
(Photo / NZ Herald)
(Photo / NZ Herald)

Roman Travers: What's the point in having cycle lanes, if you're not going to maintain them?

Author
Roman Travers,
Publish Date
Tue, 19 Apr 2022, 7:07am

I hope you managed to get out and do some of the things you love to do over the delightfully long Easter weekend. Or perhaps you’ve tried something completely new.

I’ve been a cyclist since I can remember, which is a very long time; so this weekend I got out and rode my bike every day, clocking up 240 kilometres over the whole long weekend. Not bad for a middle aged burnt out man in lycra.

But as much as I love cycling, I usually avoid the designated cycle lanes. That’s because they’re usually filled with life’s little crap. It’s the little things that make a big difference and I’m talking glass, staples, pieces of metal and nails. All of that stuff naturally drifts from the main lanes to the sides where the cycling lanes are.

Designated cycling lanes very rarely - if ever - seem to be cleaned and after many punctures over a short period of time, I tend to avoid them like Covid-19.

Like many cyclists who also drive a car, I often look at the absolute dogs breakfast of ubiquitous signage, traffic lights and cycle lanes crossing main roads and pedestrian ways and wonder who won earth designed them.

I also often wonder why we spend millions of dollars building cycleways but very rarely if ever free them of the debris that causes many riders to avoid using them.

It’s one thing to renew all of the delightful green paint and signage but unless cycleways are cleaned then all you can expect is more cyclists to avoid them.

That old adage of ‘build it and they will come’ is certainly true apropos New Zealand cycleways and we are seeing cycling going off like a dog in a butchers shop, especially in Christchurch where cycling has always been big and Wellington has a plethora of pathways in the planning.

But nothing will make the general motoring public fizz at the bung more than seeing cyclists navigating through the texting traffic and not using these incredibly expensive designated cycleways.

Continuous punctures trying to do the right thing leaves me feeling incredibly deflated. Why spend millions on cycle lanes and not maintain them?