New Zealand Cycling Safety Summit – Briefing Notes – April 2014

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This information from the recent New Zealand Cycling Safety Summit can be found here, on the Cycle Action Auckland web site.

While most of the information presented is fascinating, three pages in particular that caught the eye.

This first one benchmarks NZ cities with each other, and Christchurch is the standout, with hilly, windy Wellington second – maybe the 30km/h safer speed areas help. Anyway Hamilton & Tauranga ranked equal. This gives us the opportunity to measure success should our two cities try different approaches to providing for cyclists.

Cycling rates by urban area

The other two pages of interest to me are on Safety. They start with “safety in numbers” – the safety improvement that is equal to the cost of buying a bicycle and being encouraged to use it.

What's is happening in NZ to improve cycle safety?

Most of the other improvements suggested are around re-prioritising the road layout, which does not have a high dollar cost. For example, allowing car parking spaces to be used as a traffic lane. This loss of free parking can have a high political cost; sadly, safety for the most vulnerable road users has to compete with this.

What is happening in NZ to improve cycle safety (continued)?

To cycle advocates this is probably the most important statement:

Good standard cycle lanes improve safety – squeezing them in can be worse than no cycle lanes.

This highlights the importance of being uncompromising when it comes to the quality of cycling infrastructure. To allow squeezed cycle lanes only makes cycling feel less safe.

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