Mike's Minute: Obsession with cycleways out of control

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Tue, 8 Jun 2021, 9:29AM

Mike's Minute: Obsession with cycleways out of control

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Tue, 8 Jun 2021, 9:29AM

I would like to thank Kirsty Wild for her lovely offer to donate $1000 to charity on my behalf.

She is a cycling fan and a so-called expert, whatever that means in cycleways. She, perhaps not surprisingly, makes a living at a university.

Wild has suggested people like me, people who are not cycleway fans, will be seen crossing Auckland's Harbour Bridge within weeks of the cycle path or a cycle lane opening, and she'll give a grand to charity for the first snap of me doing so.

She is, of course, dreaming. I will not cross the bridge on a bike, ever. But she is more than welcome to donate the $1000 to my charity, which are the Guide Dogs who do very worthwhile and underreported work.

The crime committed around the harbour crossing is now two-fold. The ruinous waste of money for a whole new structure, the only positive aspect being it most likely will never happen. The government, by the way, might want to reflect on that widespread type of reaction.

Why are so many people sceptical? Because their delivery record is abysmal, and it's now haunting them. Governments should make announcements like this and have support, what they get through their own ineptitude is scepticism.

But the other issue is, if it's not a new structure, they are looking at taking a lane from the current bridge and handing it over to bikes. This is bordering on economic treason.

In a country crying out for infrastructural reform, not to mention no money and a shortage of skills and materials, the best they can do is a massive cross water cycle lane.

If you don’t see that as the sheer insanity that it is, you're either employed at a university, in the Green Party, or you’ve lost your marbles. Roads build economies, cycles don’t.

We now have more than enough evidence that cycle lanes don’t work and aren't used. From the pink joke in the middle of Auckland, to the scandalous Island Bay debacle in Wellington, to the shambles in Linwood in Christchurch, the bulk of cycle lanes are ideological disasters. They don't work, they are dangerous, they impede business, and they cost more to fix than they did to build.

This isn't about being anti-cycle. Bike as often as you want, ride till you're exhausted. But the farce that the infrastructure has become at a time of real infrastructural shortage, proper infrastructural shortage, is one of the great economic crimes of the modern age.