Apparently, the Minister of Transport, Steven Joyce, doesn’t believe that additional funding for cycling initiatives is warranted based on what he calls the “small mode share” of cycling on the nation’s roads. Check out the post at Cycling in Auckland.
Is the safety and access of more than 1,000,000 New Zealand bike riders not relevant enough to consider an increase in transport funding? And when the Minister says that road users can’t be expected to share their “road taxes” with what he apparently considers to be the small population using the road as cyclists, who does he think is paying the taxes? (As Patrick points out in the CiA post, there are no actual “road taxes” in New Zealand; rather the roads are funded by a variety of sources paid by individuals regardless of their preferred mode of transportation.)
What will it take for the Minister to recognize that increased funding for cycling initiatives reaps benefits that accrue to the population beyond just those who comprise his fantasy “small mode share”? What will it take for him to understand that cycling is not just a recreational activity but a viable alternative to heavy congestion if only the infrastructure is supportive of that intention?
I appreciate that a cyclist wrote into the Minister, and I’m starting to believe that others should as well. If you’re interested in lodging your thoughts with him, perhaps consider writing as well. Here’s the link to the Ministry of Transport website, or you can simply write to:
Hon Steven Joyce
Minister of Transport
or email firstname.lastname@example.org