We can choose what our future looks like.
We can choose what the city our kids grow up in will be like.
It’s up to us to make that city the best we can.
We can choose to do nothing.
- Petrol prices will go up.
- Bus fares will continue to rise.
- Our population will continue to grow.
- There will be more cars on the road.
- More congestion.
- More pollution.
- More time wasted sitting around waiting in cars or for buses.
- Less healthy, less happy people.
- Cycling might increase too, but so will the injuries and fatalities.
Or we can realise that trying to fit more and more cars on the same roads will slow everyone down.
We can realise people want real transport choices.
One of those transport choices is cycling.
Riding a bike is easy, fun and fast. On trips under 5km, there’s little time difference between driving (and parking and walking the last bit to your destination) and biking.
It’s good for you. It makes you fitter, happier and healthier.
It’s good for your pocket. You save as much as $1000p/a if your workplace is 3km away and you bike every day.
It leaves more money in the local economy. Cyclists spend their money on coffee, cake and newspapers! And they spend more – up to 5 times more than drivers in one sample. In New York, retail sales increased by 49% in streets where they installed kerbside bike lanes.
It removes pressure on already limited parking. If some people leave their car at home and bike instead, more carparks become available for those who need them. For example, just 1 in 20 people cycling instead of driving means an extra 5 carparks available in a busy shopping centre with 100 carparks.
It attracts talented skilled workers to our city, and keeps them here.
It’s good for your neighbourhood. Real estate becomes more popular and often values go up along with the number of cyclists.
Obesity is a growing problem in New Zealand. Active transport is a great way for kids to stay fit and healthy, and boost their learning. Most parents would love to let their kids ride to school, if only it were safer. It also teaches them how to be safer on the roads and reduces congestion and hazards outside schools.
Even the AA is getting behind cycling. A survey of their members found 92% would ride a bike more often if it felt safer.
We can choose to do nothing
Our neighbourhood will become more congested and our kids will be deprived of a fun activity that will keep them healthy.
Or we can choose to support cycleways in our streets
Our neighbourhood will become a safer and more attractive place to live, and our kids will be healthier and happier. We’ll all benefit, whether we ride a bike or not.
Imagine, on a Sunday morning, rather than driving down to the local cafe and struggling to find a park, feeling safe and confident on the protected bike lane and pulling up right outside the cafe to enjoy brunch with friends. Or riding your kids all the way to school on a safe separated route – you get a bit of fresh air and exercise, you don’t have to stress about parking and your kids get a kickstart to their day which will help their learning. Or when you do need to drive to the shops, there’s a choice of parks to leave your car in, because half a dozen people chose to bike that day.
It’s taken 30+ years for European countries to get to where they are with cycling. Cities in the USA, including New York and Portland have made huge steps in less than a decade. Australian cities such as Melbourne and Adelaide are also investing heavily in cycling infrastructure and seeing massive returns on these investments.
We won’t catch up to them by doing less.
Read more about the advantages of kerbside bike lanes.