Ron Beernink, Cycle Aware Wellington Committee member, reports:
Over 350 hands went up when people at the Get On With It rally were asked, “who has had a near miss?” That same morning another cyclist had an collision on Thorndon Quay. That says it all about Wellington’s unsafe cycling infrastructure. Our cycling community has had enough of it and yesterday a large group of people cycled from Wellington Railway Station to Civic Square the deliver the message to the Wellington City Council to put aside their political differences and “Get on with it!”.
Alice Coppard of Generation Zero explained that a comprehensive cycleway network is one of the best ways to achieve a liveable and sustainable city. Ron Beernink spoke for Cycle Aware Wellington and mentioned how the AA, our largest motoring organisation, has come out promoting the health benefits of cycling, how it can help to reduce the burden on our transport system, and giving examples of how a number of cities in New Zealand are “getting on with it”. Patrick Morgan of the Cycling Advocates Network warned that Wellington will miss out on the $100 Million that the government has made available for cycling if the council does not get its act together.
The call was for the council to show courage and implement the separate cycle lanes and speed slowing measures that are needed to make people young and old to feel safe about cycling in their communities, starting with the Island Bay cycle way, and to ensure safe cycle routes into and around the city, and in particular to urgently fix the dangerous Hutt Road route.
A number of Councillors attended the rally and Mayor Celia Wade-Brown took to the stage to express her support and her hope that her colleagues will get behind the cycling infrastructure plan that is being discussed and voted on by the council this month. Let’s hope they will indeed get on with it!