I’ve been bellyaching for years now about how silly it is that there is no way to cycle from Auckland’s North Shore to the city centre. I discovered getacross.org.nz yesterday and encourage everyone to take a moment to visit and register your support for the idea.
The bicycle is the most energy-efficient machine ever made. You give it a drop of oil each month and all you have to do is eat some food to power it. Bicycles take up far less room on the road and can travel almost half as fast as a car on the open road and it often faster than cars in city traffic. Cycling is also far better for your health than sitting in a car.
The next time you are able to observe a traffic queue at lights try to imagine all the cars gone and the occupants standing on the road exactly where they are. You’ll see that cars are a cumbersome and grossly inefficient way of getting around within a city.
The downside of riding a bicycle in a city built for cars is that you act like a human pollution filter (especially if you are puffing a bit) and it is horrendously easy to get yourself killed.
I’d like to see our cities redesigned to favour walkers and cyclists and have car traffic relegated to motorways and as second-rate citizens within cities themselves. Cars are still useful and are probably here to stay but we need to recognise that there are better ways of getting around our cities and that one of the things holding this back is the fact that our infrastructure is often designed exclusively for motor vehicles without regard to walkers or cyclists.