Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Safe cycle-lane petition on a roll.

Green Party Port Hills candidate Joseph Burston is backing the submission of a petition to CCC which calls for more funding for cycle paths in Christchurch to help improve safety and encourage people out of their cars and on to bikes.

“I look forward to joining the group of concerned cyclists and delivering the petition by pedal power to CCC this Thursday,” says Joseph.

More than 3000 signatures have been collected for the University of Canterbury Environment group petition which urges CCC to prioritise cycling and live up to the goals of its own cycling strategy. Petition organiser, Ants Field was injured when his bike was hit by a car in June and he decided to make the best of a bad situation by trying to initiate change.

“We need to invest more money in a dedicated network of cycle lanes and driver education programs.” Joseph Burston says. “Simply spraying lines on the road doesn’t go far enough to ensuring people’s safety. The number of commuter cyclists in Christchurch has declined since 1996 and we need to reverse this trend.”

He comments, “Other solutions include equipping more buses with bike racks so that people who would normally take the car are encouraged to use public transport and the bicycle. People generally don’t want to cycle more than 4 km to work and this is one way to provide them with alternative options if the bus service doesn’t quite meet their needs.”

The Christchurch Cycling strategy 2004 [1] states “Achieving the full potential of cycling cannot be expected to occur until the network is complete, safety issues are addressed and positive messages about cycling are promoted. Resolving these issues should be top priorities for the short term and might require increasing the construction of cycle lanes and facilities.”

Green Party Transport policy [2] includes developing a national network of safe cycleways and ensuring that cyclists are better protected by legislation if involved in an accident with a motor vehicle.

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The petition will be delivered to CCC on Thursday 30th October. A group will ride from the university (meeting at the library steps at 8.30am), and make their way to CCC, arriving at 9.00am (163-173 Tuam Street).

Release Ends www.greens.org.nz

Background notes


[1] Christchurch cycling strategy http://www.ccc.govt.nz/Cycling/Future/CyclingStrategy.pdf

[2] Green Party transport policy http://www.greens.org.nz/policy/summary/transport

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