2WALKandCYCLE Conference 2016

Light path at night
Auckland’s Te Ara I Whiti/ Light Path

I was very lucky to be supported by CAW and Frocks on Bikes to attend the 2WALKandCYCLE conference again this year. There were some great speakers and events. It was also great to see some of Auckland’s amazing infrastructure close up. They’re fast becoming a bike-friendly city and Wellington has much work to do to catch up.

Some key takeaway messages from the conference are noted below. For more quick snapshots, check out the twitter hashtag 

Keynote speaker Gil Penalosa was super inspiring. His presentations are worth a post on their own (or a visit to youtube) but some key points here –

  • Quality = safety & dignity
  • change is not unanimous (otherwise you end up watering it down to much)
  • When the stars are aligned, do as much as possible! As good as possible and as fast as possible.
  • “CAVE people – Citizens against virtually everything!”
  • When you say ‘no’ to something, you’re also saying ‘yes’ to something else, i.e. if you say no to bike infrastructure, you are saying yes to more congestion, poor health and environmental outcomes.
  • “The forbidden is fun” open streets, open minds
  • “NZ is unique…just like everyone else”

Other speakers discussed a range of topics, including:

  • Auckland has a policy which puts young people first, I am Auckland, which builds a better city for everyone. What does Wellington have?
  • NZTA: Tell the ‘why’ story – make links to what people are passionate about
  • Elizabeth Claridge from NZTA: Cycling makes more sense as part of an integrated transport approach.
Rebecca Cunniffe, NZTA presents “Building the ‘why’ story of cycling”
  • Debbie Lang from AT: *infrastructure* is the key behaviour change tool.
  • Jodie Lawson from Rotorua Council: low social license is not insurmountable
  • Sharleen Hannon from GHD: Is it true that if you “build it, they’ll come”? No. Well, some might but you *need* to promote it. Lots of work to be done behind the scenes before infrastructure goes in.
  • Liz Beck from Let’s Go, New Plymouth: We consult and consult and consult; it takes far longer than you can imagine
shared by Chris Bowie from Opus

[If you want to know more, check the abstracts and papers and the presentations from the conference]