Take for example, and it is only one amongst many, the current fad for cycle infrastructure. There is no justification for expenditure on cycling as a transport mode from an economic point of view. All the statistics show that despite massive investment over the last quarter of a century cycling to work is in decline. Yet this very fact is then used to justify even more expenditure. It is insane, but that’s how it is in Auckland Council's transport planning department.
Eventually wasting money like this causes resentment. Five years ago I supported cycle lanes because they were advocated for on the grounds of safety. In reality cyclists prefer to use the roads rather than cycle lanes even where they are provided. The safety issue was just a sham.
What I didn’t realise then was that cycle lanes are just a mechanism to constrict roads, especially in city centres, so that traffic congestion is made worse. This is then used to justify massive investment in public transport, which can only run on bloated subsidies from ratepayers. This in turn leads to rates rises 100 times the rate of inflation, now and into the future, as we have seen in Auckland.
This comment on Facebook is typical and expresses the growing resentment against cycling.
I am not against cycling - I ride about 100kms a week on my MTN bike. I am not against cycle lanes where they are needed for safety. What I am against is needless wasting of money on fluff and nonsense - Greenwashing - to pander to a tiny minority of car hating hipsters (or in Patrick Reynolds case, Car hating men with a mid life crisis).
It is a fact that only 6% of Aucklanders cycle at least once a week and half of these are doing it for recreation. That is great but we have to acknowledge that on those statistics, there is no justification for spending millions on cycle lanes that will never be used. Especially when it inconveniences the overwhelming majority of Aucklanders who choose to use other modes of transport.
Take Onewa Road on the North Shore. Thousands of people in private cars and public transport endured months of road works for a cycle lane that is a painted line on a slightly widened footpath. The few cyclists that do travel on Onewa most certainly use the road heading east because its downhill.
What a colossal waste of money and a huge inconvenience to people.
Lets look at the proposed cycle way on Queen Street Northcote. AT - riddled with cycle nazis - wanted to rip out parking on most of the street. Home owners had no expectation of use the lunatic mob at the Anticarblog and Gen Zero clue bleated.
Having realised that the original plan would never see the light of day, plan B has become a cycle lane between the car parking and the footpath. In order to accomplish this Queen Street will be down to one lane in places and have seven (it could be 5-7) speed tables to reduce car speeds to 20kph. All this on a road that HAS NEVER HAD A REPORTED CYCLE INJURY.
This is madness of the King George scale. Yes I agree there are parts to the Northcote safe cycle route that will bring benefits but come one - common sense needs to be applied. There is also the new expensive bike shed on Birkenhead wharf. Its empty and scheduled for removal. M.A.D.N.E.S.S.
When the costs of cycling are so high and the benefits so low, the answer is stop wasting our money on cycle lanes not continue providing more of them.
Proof our money is wasted on cycle infrastructure