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Thursday September 24, 2015

LETTERS to the editor In favour of safe cycling Dear Ed, I read with dismay the comment from Councillor Andy Foster in the Cook Strait News of 17 September 2015 (Controversial cycle way given a construction date), where he said the reason the cycle way work was starting in Island Bay was "because it is the easiest option".

If the Wellington City Council really wanted to do something to enhance the safety of cycling commuters from Island Bay, they would be doing something about the narrow stretch of Adelaide Road from Island Bay to the John Street intersection. Cyclists are in peril on that road every day. To create a

cycle way there would provide a tangible improvement in cyclist safety, as well as speeding up traffic flows into and out of the city once motorists and buses no longer had to either travel slowly behind cyclists or perform dangerous passing manoeuvres to overtake them. Council resources are finite.

So let's prioritise sensibly and tackle the problem areas before we spend money on areas where there isn't a problem. To be spending $1.5 million because it is "easy" is a shameful and irresponsible waste of ratepayers' money. Shirley Tarrant, Island Bay

gains are good for all of us – 2014 Auckland research by Dr Macmillan et al shows for every $1 spent on separate cycleways and slower local streets over 40 years, the gains are $10-$25. The missing link from last week's letters on cycleways and flyovers is our dangerously changing climate. We have just a few years to reverse the businessas-usual projection to runaway catastrophic climate changes. And that one-person or onecountry-is-not-enough-to-dosomething is not an argument we apply elsewhere, whether teachers or All Black team players! I'd love to encourage reader

discussion over what we want to save in Wellington, what matters to us, and how we want to futureproof our city. What do we want the new Council Climate Plan to look like? With the flyover off the table, could we have 100 per cent clean energy transport within 10 years? Light rail at the heart, supplemented by feeder buses, safe attractive cycleways and walkways, car share cars in every suburb, every Council car electric as a source of second hand electric cars locally...what do readers think? How do we want to future-proof our beautiful city? Liz Springford, Berhampore

Cycling healthy for our city Dear Ed, Thank you for the cycling feedback, Geena, Heather and Eleanor (September 3). I can hear your frustration with some cyclists, just as I was concerned by the cluster of three incidents on just one bike-ride to the beach. Cycling training is useful, I recommend it from experience. Courtesy and patience is also essential, whether driving, cycling or walking. But on that day I actually asked my cycling commuter spouse, what am I doing wrong here? We had to conclude: unaware drivers and no cycling infrastructure. Safety and perceptions of safety matter – especially for the many

Wellingtonians who have said they'd like to bike but don't. Parents and children are already out on their bikes. The contrast of the toddler on the back of a bike with the car-seated toddler in a metal-encased vehicle is a vivid argument for decent cycling infrastructure urgently needed throughout our city. Yet cycling is still much healthier than not cycling, especially to reduce greenhouse gas emissions which world-leading medical journal 'The Lancet' has called a global medical emergency - and potentially the greatest global health opportunity of the 21st century. The health and climate

“Division of a community” Dear Ed, I’d like to personally congratulate the mayor and her council for the stupendously brilliant handling of the Island Bay cycleway project. The strategically planned division of a community could not have been better orchestrated if it had been masterminded by Dr Evil himself. What a triumph to all those involved. The “international best practise” adopted (I’m sure) social and political skills, respect and appreciation of how a community works is to be applauded! Well done mayor, councillors, Cycle Aware and Generation Zero you couldn’t have done a better job of introducing your “safer cycling policy” across Wellington. Lance Devlin Te Aro Letters on issues of community interest are welcomed. Guidelines are that they should be no longer than 150 words. Send or fax them to the address on page two, or email them to

Cycleway will have an “emotional cost” Dear Ed, On Monday evening I was present at the Island Bay Bowling Club, to listen to some very concerned residents appealing for assistance in their attempt to delay works on the Island Bay cycleway. I saw a trio of very genuine, concerned local woman leaders, desperate to stop their street and their environment being altered irrevocably by the installation of

a kerbside cycleway. Alarming to see the toll this issue is taking on the health of those people living closest to the innovation. It is hard not to wish them well in their bid to raise the finance for one last ditch to keep their road just the way it is. Also alarming, I felt, was to see aspiring mayoral candidates appearing to fuel the flames by

making disparaging comments about local council representatives who were not there to speak up for themselves. One of the councillors under attack has been a long term stalwart member of the Island Bay Baptist Church, a mere two doors down from the bowling club. Neither of the aspiring mayoral candidates appeared to be aware of this fact, or take into account the possibility

that such an attack might came back to bite them on a tender spot when council elections next take place. Not sure how many millions the proposed Island Bay cycleway will cost, but it is obvious there is going to be a huge emotional cost to many Island Bay residents currently living on The Parade. Christine Swift Island Bay

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