Patrick gave a brief update on the Bicycle Mayor initiative, which was one of the topics at the 2Walk&Cycle conference last week. This is being done in a number of places around the world to have a people’s champion push a positive message. Some more planning needed before we look to launch this.
Ron explained that the Biketober initiative will be done next year when we have more time and assurance of the right support (e.g. funding). Instead we will put our effort into making the Open Streets Wellington / Te Ara Tapare ki Pōneke event on 28 October a big success. Ron’s partner has already come up with offers from her Ukelele and Dance groups to perform at our stand. We also hoping to have the Dutch embassy partner with us with their stand and wooden bike.
We talked about issues with the buses. A key message is that we need to do our bit to stay alert as new bus drivers are getting used to having to share the road with us. MetLink and TranzUrban will look to join us next month for more of a discussion and explain how drivers are trained to be aware of vulnerable road users. Not clear if drivers are allowing people to use the bike racks on all buses yet. Hutt Council ran a facility to try out one of these racks. Good to have this done at for example the Wellington railway station.
Patrick provided a few more highlights from the 2Walk&Cycle conference including our own wonderful Alastair Smith getting the well deserved “Outstanding Contribution to a Bike Friendly Future”. NZTA talked about their shift to a multi-modal approach to transport. Key speaker was Lucy Saunders who’s “Healthy Streets” is the discussion to have about new ways of improving our cities.
Volunteers are asked to help to trial the Sensible app and button to easily record people’s experiences of their trip. Hamish McNair will be in Wellington on 24 August to give 30 of these Sensible units for people to trial over the weekend. As he doesn’t have enough units yet to just them give away the idea is to provide as many people as possible the chance to try it out (for one ride or for the weekend). More details in this article: Sensibel_article_wellington
An update was given on our monthly meeting with WCC to discuss cycling-related projects and concerns. Items that were addressed:
New pedestrian islands should not put cyclists in conflict with cars because of creating a pinch point. WCC will address this with their traffic department as there a standards to follow.
Councils around NZ are adopting chip seal as a cheaper option. WCC will look at ensuring a smoother seal for key cycling routes.
WCC will talk to their parking reinforcement team about our suggestion that their wardens can get bikes to patrol areas like Thorndon Quay and Hutt Road. This helps to legitimise and normalise use of bikes for work purposes.
WCC will look at what can be done to make the south-bound connection between Thorndon Quay and Bunny Street West safer as the recent road changes have narrowed the median strip, making it more dangerous for cyclists. They will also check what is happening to the Bunny Street West improvements that Councillors had agreed to.
Some of the other items we briefly touched on
The government is doing a consultation on law changes about vehicles keeping a 1.5m distance from cyclists, allowing people on bikes on footpaths, improved give-way rules for intersections, and drivers having to give way to buses turning out of bus stops.
The online bike count is becoming more detailed, showing actual counts for specific monitoring points.
Advanced lights for cyclists for the Ohiro rd-Cleveland St intersection.