John Key chose cycleways as his make work, social engineering project for idle hands following the financial collapse of 2008. Since then, the Government has continued to pump our money into the preferred leisure pursuit of rich, urban metrosexuals and mamils, people very like John Key in fact.
NZTA has employed an ‘independent’ market research company to conduct the attitudinal survey to justify the spending. The questions are loaded in favour of getting the result the survey wants. No surprise in that. The market research company gets to keep their survey contract with government and the government gets its desired result.
One of those interviewed by phone has told me the questions are all directed at making the interviewee say they will cycle to work. They are not about which alternative transport modes the public prefers, or the reasons behind their choices. Instead the questioning was persistently about what would make the interviewee switch to cycling. For example, the interviewee was asked, ‘Should cyclists be allowed to ride in the middle of the road so that cars have to wait behind them?’
The interviewee cited the many factors that would not make them change to cycling; the inclement weather in New Zealand; the difficult (hilly) terrain; the need to carry shopping; distance, physical disadvantages, age, travelling in the dark and a preference for other transport modes such as public transport and the healthier option of walking.
Cycling is the preferred religion of metrosexuals and mamils. These creatures inhabit the inner cities. I wonder how many people in South Auckland will welcome being told by Council and Government to get on their bikes, even assuming they can afford them?
Government and local government is experiencing some push back from disgruntled residents and ratepayers in urban areas where citizens are more likely to suffer the adverse effects of cycleways. These adverse effects include increased traffic congestion, removal of on-street parking, and unsafe cycleway design. There is also outrage that so much of their taxes should be spent on so few (less than 1% cycle to work). Cyclist behaviour further alienates the public when cylists prefer to cycle on the roads even when separate cycle lanes are provided, and have a persistent habit of running red lights. The 'Paint It Back' movement in Wellington is one example of the push back. This 'Is Skypath safe?' video is another.