RWC transport heaven

In the lead up to the RWC, Cycle Action consistently asked Auckland Transport (and ARTA before that) to consider promoting cycling for transport during the event. Overseas experience has shown that with the right kind of promotion backed up by infrastructure, locals and visitors will use a bike for transport to get to events.

For many people opening night was transport hell. For anyone on a bike it was a delight. Unseasonally warm evening, no wind, empty roads, good natured crowds. As I cycled from Grey Lynn to the Cloud on Queens Wharf I couldn’t help thinking that it was a massive missed opportunity.

There has of course been a lot of soul searching about what went wrong on opening night as Aucklanders flocked to the waterfront and embraced public transport like never before. In the scheme of things getting a few more people to cycle wouldn’t have made a huge difference  on the day but it would have provided a lasting legacy.  I followed up with Auckland Transport with a resolution at our  September Board meeting to see if any action could be taken.

Waitemata Local Board – September meeting 2011
Resolution number WTM/2011/205
MOVED by Member Coom, seconded Member Moyle:
d) That the Waitemata Local Board requests Auckland Transport, as a matter of urgency, to promote cycling for transport during the Rugby World Cup for journeys into the City Centre and to Eden Park.

This is how Auckland Transport responded to the resolution:

“The community transport team have been working hard on initiatives to complement the RWC:

  • The update and release of the new Auckland Central Cycle Map identifying routes , infrastructure and bike parking .
  • Installation of  68 new cycle parks have been installed around the periphery of the CBD during the last 12 months to increase the supply of cycle parking.
  •  Introduction of a visitor public bike hire scheme in the CBD
  •  Introduction of additional on road dedicated cycle facilities in the CBD

Promotion of safe routes and parking facilities is provided in the Central Cycle Map which is available for visitor centres, libraries, on line and at the visitor bike hire stations in the CBD. A press release was undertaken last week to promote the publication of the maps.  These should now be available at the i sites.

In relation to  promotion of a specific event at  Eden Park or at the Waterfront to encourage cycling –  a major element is the issue you raised around cycle parking and safety of the bicycles and visitors. A level of cycle parking is already supplied by around Eden Park, the CBD and the Waterfront.  From experience of previous cycle events, to promote a specific cycling event would see the need to provide significant additional cycle parking at venues which would create additional  security and safety measures requirements.

Auckland Transport  is putting considerable resource in planning and developing a regionwide 2011-12 spring / summer cycle campaign, in partnership with advocates, which we believe will provide a long lasting and positive behavioural change outcome. This will follow the current promotion of cycle and walking which Auckland Transport is currently undertaking through the RWC.

Community Transport will be  happy to arrange a time to go through the proposed region spring summer proposal outline the events proposed, if desired”

Oh dear – maybe next time!