No future for cars, but a bright one for cyclists

Julie Anne Genter is on a mission to create cycleways right through the country to encourage more people to get on bikes and give cyclists the freedom to safely cycle wherever they like.

JAG with shopping bags. Photoshopped image credit: Pixy

This freedom to cycle comes at the expense of motorists when?car lanes are turned into cycle lanes.

Mike Hosking is very unhappy that this is happening in Auckland but when he pointed out this deliberate squeeze to get cars off the road, it went right over Ms Genter’s helmet as all she can see is getting people out of their cars and onto bikes.??Quote.

…as it turns out, cycling are really effective ways of making sure that more people are able to cycle safely and that benefits the people who want to drive. It?s one of the best ways we can free up our roads for those people in need.”?End of quote.

So, her logic is that getting people onto bikes will lessen congestion on the roads.? It’s a win-win, right?

No, it’s a loss for motorists who would prefer that the money being spent on cycleways be put into improved roading.

Who doesn’t get it that most people prefer to drive to get around? Try doing the weekly shop for a family of four on a bike, or getting Billy to soccer practice or Lucy to ballet. Yet Ms Genter expects us to rethink our lifestyle too.

The cyclists I know cycle for sport or recreation, not to travel to and from work.? After all, how many employers can provide shower facilities? Quote.

So, I mean there?s a huge percentage of people who really want to use a car and there?s also a bit percentage of people who would happily use public transport, walk or cycle if it were convenient for them. And so, what we?re doing now is that very cost-effective investment because ultimately making it convenient and safe for more people to cycle, to use public transport, to walk to use pushchairs, use scooters, whatever it is?? mobility scooters? all of that is cheaper…” End of quote.

This is simply wishful thinking. There’s no reason to think that our car driven communities will swap their cars for bikes anytime soon.?Quote.

I mean we?ve only spent a tiny percentage of the transport budget on it. I mean, like the cost of a cycleway compared to the cost of moving one person one kilometre in a car?” End of quote.

Here we come to the crux of Ms Genter’s argument. She wants us out of our cars and onto bikes because it is cheaper for the government.? I say let the voters decide how they want their taxes spent on transport.

Cycleways built on the hope that they will be utilised is throwing money down the drain.? Mike Hosking doesn’t believe cycleways are being used now or will be used in the future and points out the number of cars purchased in the last year.? Quote.

…there?s four million cars in this country. We have bought more cars this year than we?ve ever bought in the history of NZ. We love cars.” End of quote.

Pretty hard to imagine our love affair with cars being replaced by bicycles.

Ms Genter pointed out the Netherlands as a country we could aspire to. Quote.

…we know that from the research overseas that when you put in place that safe infrastructure more people cycle, more women cycle, more kids cycle and you end up with a country like the Netherlands eventually where it?s the best country in the world” End of quote.

Someone should point out to Ms Genter that the Netherlands is flat.