The slow wheels of cycling infrastructure



Auckland Harbor Bridge Bike Path
Photo: Paul Roper Auckland Bike

Kirsty Wild donates $ 1000 for the first photo of Mike Hosking cycling on Auckland Harbor Bridge.

Dr Wild is an avid cyclist and expert in cycle paths. An environmental sociologist at the University of Auckland, she has been studying healthy / sustainable transport transitions for the past five years. She has also done a lot of research on “bike lash” or negativity towards cyclists.

She and her young son were among hundreds of people who walked the Harbor Bridge on Sunday as part of the Liberate the Lane protest.

They are calling on Waka Kotahi to test a bike path on the bridge for three months this summer. The transport agency is studying converting a traffic lane to a cycle lane, but says the current barriers on the side of the bridge are not safe for cyclists and walkers. He also says there is no protection against traffic entering a cycle lane.

Cyclists say the government has been too slow to come up with a solution, but critics of cyclists who crossed police barriers to access the bridge called them cockroaches and lice on social media and urged motorists to use their vehicles. bumpers to crush them. .

Today, Wild talks to The detail on what happened on Sunday; the angry and mean backlash and why she would cross the bridge again in protest.

She jokes that Hosking and other vocal bike lane opponents would be pedaling the bridge in the second week of a bridge lane opening – if that ever happens.

Kirsty Wild, cycling advocate

Kirsty Wild, cycling advocate
Photo: Sharon brettkelly

On the serious side, Wild says Auckland will never meet the goal of 7% “modal split” for cyclists by 2030 to meet climate goals, unrelated to the North Shore.

Auckland Council has pledged to halve the city’s emissions by 2030 from current levels. As part of the transport targets, the modal share of the cycle per distance will drop from 0.9 percent now to seven percent. The modal share is the number of trips or the percentage of travelers, using a particular type of transport, from public transport to car, walking and cycling.

Wild says that goal is unrealistic without a cycle path over the Harbor Bridge.

” What do we do ? We can’t wait 10 years for electric cars, we keep our cars for about 12 years, there is very little charging infrastructure (for electric cars), even the city rail link will reduce emissions of one percent. The ferries are full, 50 people were turned back last month trying to put their bikes on the ferries, cycling is one of the first taxis out of the ranks on the climate. “


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