So, as cyclists don't pay a cent into the National Land Transport Fund they have no right to demand motorists pay for an exorbitantly expensive NZ$42.8 million new lane. $42.8 million is NZ$4 million more than the Wellington Inner City Bypass, $1 million more than the Avalon Drive Bypass in west Hamilton on State Highway 1. It's an expensive project.
Furthermore, what the hell is the ARC Transport Chairwoman Christine Rose doing supporting the illegal cycle protest from Sunday? The Auckland Harbour Bridge is part of the Northern Motorway - cycling on motorways is a traffic offence because motorways are not designed to handle slow traffic.
This silly bint - apparently responsible for so much of Auckland transport (except the motorways and indeed your cars) said according to the NZ Herald "I'd like to know why it isn't safe, why can't you cycle across, and who organised that".
Being even more banal she also said that "walking and cycling across the bridge was an equity issue and "a human right"". Great, you go do that, every day Christine - maybe Aucklanders will be better off with you walking the motorways, getting taken into court or maybe, perish the thought, run over. If you don't know what the hell a motorway is, then you shouldn't be chairing transport at the ARC.
I notice also the Police, ever keen to catch a speeding driver who presents next to no harm to anyone else (like me doing 108 km/h on a straight empty highway in Canterbury) didn't fine the cyclists because "there was no harm done". There you go, a $250 fine avoided - perfect chance for more Green protestors to clog up Auckland's motorways. By the way motorists pay for the Police to do traffic enforcement through the National Land Transport Fund too - good to see the cops not doing their job then.
The illegal protest drew support from Labour and Green candidates apparently.
My view is simple - the bridge should be sold. The new owners should toll it to fund the expansion of the Victoria Park viaduct and a duplicate crossing if they deem it commercially worthwhile, and can choose to install cycling/pedestrian ways if they so wish. Meanwhile, those who haven't paid for something shouldn't moan because they can't use it - it's called life. Cyclists get full use of almost all roads in the country, even though they pay nothing to use state highways, and only pay towards local roads as ratepayers. If they want better facilities, they ought to cough up the money themselves or do some fundraising.
UPDATE: Brian Rudman has a rush of blood to the head, and is against the cycleway clipon in the NZ Herald. On the various proposals he says "there is no evidence to suggest building either will lead to widespread use. All we get is faith, argued on the basis of what is said to happen elsewhere".
He recalls this issue from decades past when the truth was that hardly any cyclists really cared "If I wanted to call the lobbyists' bluff, I'd lay on a trial shuttle between Northcote and Shelley Beach Rd and see how many takers there are. Even the cost of providing this as a free shuttle would be cheaper than commissioning another report. Thirty years ago, after a similar clamour, several shuttle trials were conducted. The first month-long trial carried 25 bike/passengers a day. A subsequent three-month trial shuttle carried fewer than 10 return travellers a day. A final year-long trial in 1983 averaged under 20 users a day.
The cyclists argue that shuttling or catching a ferry mid-journey forces them to a timetable and restricts their free-as-a-bird independence.
But surely they owe the public purse a better justification than pure faith, before asking for $43 million."
Indeed Brian - but the Green Party transport policy IS pure faith.