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Max Coyle’s Submission to Hamilton City Council’s 10 Year Plan #Ham10YP

Id just like to congratulate the designers of the 10 year plan consultation PDF. Beautiful work, it’s easy to read and makes it easy for people to digest the information.

It was also great to see just as many cute little pictures of bikes as cars! You’d almost get the idea that there was some positive steps being made in that direction. So lets look and see.

$7M on cycleways. 2.68% of the ‘projects’ transport budget. Or 1.3% of the total $507M transport budget.

Great there’s some money being spent on cycleways, though it is a mere pittance. Unfortunately it won’t be starting for around another 15 years. With a look to completion in 25 years. Great for my grandkids! And will mean that the Tron is once again not the City of the Future but the city of the forgotten past.

But why do so many of us want cycleways anyway? Why do transport experts provide such interesting studies showing their extremely high return on investment and overwhelmingly positive cost/benefit ratios?

Well looking at the 10 year consultation document we see a projected population increase of 60’000 over 30 years with the number of motor vehicles increasing by 66 percent in that time, which comes to 49,753 cars. With each one of those vehicles making two trips a day. With a population of 145’000 this 25% increase will see a 2/3 increase in vehicles meaning Council’s projections are that every new man, woman and some children will be driving their own car.

A lot of those extra car trips will be needing to cross one of our bridges. Have you seen our bridges currently at peak time? Perhaps we should just concrete over the river and turn it into a highway?

So what’s the solution? Well what would be a positive move for the city is to limit those trips, limit traffic and limit congestion. Here’s some answers which don’t involve spending as many hundreds of millions on more roads, which will of course create induced demand and lead to exactly the sort of numbers you’re predicting.

Few Hamilton cycling trails and shortcuts are destination-signposted. We are not getting the value for money from our already-built infrastructure because we’re not telling people how to use it to go places.

Signage will encourage more users, leading to safety in numbers and its relatively cheap.

Long-term residents and those used to walking/cycling Hamilton may be adept navigators but for many who haven’t explored so much, fear of getting lost is likely a deterrent to them learning their ways around.

Trails and shortcuts within city limits are ideal for spontaneous and short journeys for locals and visitors and activating these will ease congestion and make Hamilton a more liveable city.

Another step is for HCC to Adopt the Hamilton City Green Ring which meets the Council Priority #7 which is to “Become an Urban Garden” (sounds cool right? It’s a shame its not reflected in anything in the 10 year plan).

Following on from that the main routes through the city, as identified by other groups such as Cycle Action Waikato, need to receive separated cycleways.

Once we have these changes we then need to encourage use of new facilities through marketing and promotion of cycling in Hamilton via social media – ‘HAMILTONS SAFE CYCLE NETWORK’

Safe. That’s the keyword here. Speaking to people across Hamilton, especially women, mums, safety is their number 1 reason for not cycling and for being worried about their kids cycling. Making cycling safer will see a marked increase in the numbers of women cycling. Commuter cycling should not be seen as a macho daredevil activity.

So instead of the pittance how much should HCC be spending on cycling? A slightly larger pittance! A good start is $3 million dollar annually. If HCC were organised this would only amount to approximately $1.5 million because of the subsidies available. That would be amazingly good value for rate payers. $3 million dollars a year worth of infrastructure for $1.5 million per annum. Fantastic!

The 10 year plan in its current form is a worry. None of the 3 main funding proposals have cycling included. 2029 is way too late to spend $7M on the current HCC cycle strategy. Council needs to move now and take advantage of current opportunities for funding with the Governments Urban cycle fund etc. We are missing the boat, and in the meantime we will miss all the other cool cycling knock on benefits, both economic and social from the likes of the local great cycle trails & the Avantidrome.

The 10 year plan also has no mention on page 15, the “transport” page, of active or public transport types. Its like they’ve been completely forgotten where it matters most and its sad that the Council don’t seem to have been able to get their act together and secure any funding for cycleways. You’re really not devoting enough energy to cycling and have dropped the ball here.

The finances needed for effective cycleways and outstanding improvements are small, which you will be praised for in times to come as they reduce traffic and lead to a healthier, more economically and socially vibrant city, a true City of the Future. Please don’t stuff it up. Thankyou.

>> I encourage everyone to make their own submission << Feel free to reuse, reword, copy/pasta whatever. Submit here or hashtag your submission with #Ham10YP and post it on Facebook (to the Council Facebook page) or short statements via twitter to Council’s twitter page.

Trump v Trump – NZ News Sites Report the US Primaries

I gave up my daily habit of checking Stuff.co.nz and the NZ Herald sites a while back. Between coverage of Entertainment news and Crime reporting and cross-over ‘stories’ on reality TV and its ‘stars’ it just didn’t seem like there was any actual news.

I was comforted by the fact that if there was some, you know, news in the newspapers, someone else would link to it and save me the trouble of seeing more Kardashians than child poverty reporting. Of seeing more The Block stars than people from my block and the real issues people are dealing with.

Anyway, I wondered how NZ news sites were covering the US primaries, after seeing a story from The Guardian showing Donald Trump has received more media coverage than all the Republican candidates put together.

Surely our bastions of kiwi journalism (No not RNZ) wouldn’t be as bad as Fox News, CNN, CBS etc.

I used a simple metric, it’s called Ctrl-F (or Command F for you Applets). On the home page of each website, where a huge number of kiwis go to digest what the site has chosen to show them, you hit find, and type in the word, and see how many times it appears.

The first time I tried it, just after the Super Tuesday primaries, my hope in NZ news editing was, unsurprisingly intact! That is the complete and utter lack of hope, which has been evident ever since the lead up to the last election.

Mentions on the home page:
NZ Herald
Trump: 14
Rubio: 6
Clinton: 4
Cruz: 3
Sanders: 1

Stuff
Trump: 11
Rubio: 5
Cruz: 1
Clinton 1

Have checked back a few times since then and seen similar flows of numbers. Today for instance:

NZHerald:
Trump: 4

Stuff:
Trump: 3
Rubio: 3

No I didn’t miss anyone out in today’s ones. We seem to have a higher Republican coverage slant. No mention of Sanders historic and game changing Michigan primary win. Unfortunate.

Many Kiwi’s would assume Trump is on the way to becoming the next American President, based on their ‘headline only, quick glance’ consumption of news becoming more and more prevalent.

It’s a worry.

 

Against “conservative leftism” : Why reactionary responses to neoliberalism fail

The most pertinent essay for the NZ left in a long time

FightBack

NZ flag

by Daphne Lawless. For Fightback’s upcoming magazine issue on neoliberalism.

If you had told a socialist or a radical of a few decades ago that Marxist socialists would not only be defending the Union Jack-emblazoned New Zealand flag – a remnant of the British Empire, known as the “Butcher’s Apron” because of all the blood spilled on it, the flag of the colonialist, capitalist state – but marching behind it on demonstrations, they would undoubtedly think that you’d gone crazy. As recently as 2005, the “Defend Our Flag” movement was the preserve of conservatives like the Returned Services Association or the fascist National Front.

And yet, on the marches against the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) signing on 4th February, Union Jacks were plentiful. On Facebook, socialists and radicals were calling supporters of Kyle Lockwood’s alternative flag, to be voted on in a referendum in March, “traitors”. How did this…

View original post 5,315 more words

Hamilton City Council caves conceding cash to cycling

As readers of this blog may have noticed, I’ve been campaigning hard for decent cycling infrastructure in Hamilton for some time now. My blog post numbers reached 500 individuals a day. As one of Hamiltons 2 cycling/make world a better place/political blogs (chur Hamilton Urban Blog!) thats pretty ok numbers for a small city who tend to not even vote in local body elections.

An info graphic showing Hamilton City Council planned to spend $0 over the next decade was used by the good young things at Generation Zero and led to over 350 submissions on the ‪#‎Ham10YP‬ and shared all round the place. We drove online social media submissions and accounted for 98% of all of them.

Yes it’s wonderful that the council have finally bowed to massive public and factual pressure and decided to actually spend $ on cycling infrastructure.

Of course it’s only 0.6% of the transport budget and cyclists make up 6% and growing according to census figures. Bow down before the mighty 10th of what should be received. We as a City are clearly not worthy.

Jump on this piece of consultation, tell them you want more, you want better, maybe even also thank them for at least making a start. Sigh. Do it for our kids, so that they may ride safely. Do it for others both now and in the future. Do it for less traffic and a cleaner planet. Do it for the love.

Chur.

backtothefuture

The Delorean Bicycle – Hamilton City Council Celebrates 100 Years Of Back To The Past

The following article was published in the ‘Waikato Argus’, the forerunner to the Waikato Times, back in 1913.


Cycling Tracks 

Speaking at last nights meeting of the Hamilton borough council, the Mayor said he was almost ashamed of the number of people who were being prosecuted for riding bicycles on the footpath. He thought the time had come when they should lay down cycle tracks in Hamilton, and he would be glad if the works committee would report on the matter. He moved that they be instructed to do so. It seemed to him they might lay a track from Whitiora and over in Hamilton East, and along some of the other roads where there was a good deal of traffic. He was informed that in Ulster alone there were 150 bicycles.

Cr Tidd, in seconding, said he had brought the matter up a month ago.
Cr Speight was totally against the proposal. They needed footpaths in the outer districts, and these should be attended to first, unless they got a special rate from the cyclists.

Cr Tristram said his experience was that cyclists deserved no consideration whatsoever. No matter how good the roads were they would get on to the footpaths. If the roads were good enough for walking on they were good enough for cyclists. When he used to cycle they were not half as good.

The borough engineer said a cycle track six feet wide would cost from £5 to £6 per chain. Cr McKinnon said he was quite of Cr Tristram’s way of looking at it. If they formed cycle tracks, it would just be a favourite track for speed tests and that sort of thing, and they would have more trouble controlling the traffic than they do at present. He did not think they were called upon to spend any money in this way.

Both footpath and track would require to be kerbed. Cr Hayter said he would like to see cyclists getting a fair chance. They had none at present against vehicle drivers, who would not keep to their proper side.

The Mayor thought the cyclists were very ill-used. There were hundreds of them in Hamilton and nothing had been done for them during the last few years. Cycling was the poor mans method of getting around. Cr Tristram said there was no use remitting it to the works committee, as they had considered it and had no recommendation to make.

The Mayor altered his motion to appointing a special committee, consisting of himself and Crs Fow, Tidd and Hayter, with the engineer. Cr Howden seconded, and this was carried by five to three, Crs Tristram, McKinnon and Speight dissenting.

Cr Howden suggested that the committee should experiment with a track along Anglesea street to find out the cost, etc., and the Mayor said that could be considered.

I really wanted to make my next post about the Council denying oral submissions to the public and being the only council to do so, and since I’ve recieved a response to both my formal complaint and my OIA request surrounding the erosion of democracy in our ‘City of the Future’ I guarantee it will be. Stay tuned Tronites and other Kiwi’s interested in cycling, local democracy and the separated cycle path to a brighter future.

– Max Dillon Coyle

WaikatoArgus-page-001Cycling — Ohinemuri Gazette — 21 August 1901 — The Ohinemuri Gazette. AND UPPER THAMES WARDEN WEDNESDAY  AUGUST 21  1901. Local and General.Ohinemuri Gazette — 21 August 1901

Which Hamilton City Councillors Hate Cycling?

CyclingHCC

At a June 2014 Hamilton City Council meeting there was a discussion on the way cycle facilities are funded in relation to other transport modes. It was suggested that the group developing the Cycleway Plan take into consideration the suggestions that were being flagged through this Annual Plan process.

Councillors Macpherson and Gallagher put forward an amendment:

“That Council will equitably fund cycle facilities, at least commensurate with the proportion of cyclists in relation to other transport modes, and will lobby Central Government to restore the same level of partnership funding as currently applying to motor vehicle facilities.”

Those for the Amendment:
Councillors Gallagher, Macpherson, and Wilson

Those against the Amendment:
Mayor Hardaker, Councillors Chesterman, Yeung, Forsyth,Pascoe, O’Leary, King, Green, Mallett, and Tooman

The Amendment was declared lost.

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Complaint to the Hamilton City Council on Banning Formal Oral Submissions #Ham10YP

Here is my email sent to the appropriate HCC addresses. I have also made an Official Information Act request for the feedback which supposedly led to this decision. Personally I doubt this feedback exists, except in some ephemeral anecdotal form in a certain Mayor’s head. Here’s this mornings complaint:

Good morning,

I am writing to make a formal complaint about the current Submission processes surrounding the 10 Year Plan and Hamilton City Councils ongoing submissions procedures.
Hamilton City Council must offer the option to submitters of presenting an oral submission to full council within the council chambers as it has always done.

The only chance for oral presentations during the submission period for the Hamilton 10 Year Plan has been through ‘Community Engagement Meetings’, a very informal space where public talk over you and you talk to a few councillors and a few staff. This is unacceptable. It is not an appropriate forum to give a full submission to reach all councillors, appropriate staff whilst being heard by the public gallery and any attendant press.

Council has stated that due to changes in local government legislation, the Council is able to use different ways to hear people’s views on proposals. You’ve stated you are able, not that you are required. Many other councils in NZ are continuing to have formal oral submissions heard and have also added community meetings to their process, thereby strengthening democratic engagement and offering more avenues of participation. Not less.

The contention from Council that you have had feedback in the past that the hearings process is very formal and people would like opportunities to share their views with councillors in a less formal setting” is wonderful and I’m glad some people can now happily attend a community engagement meeting. Conversely many people find the formal oral submissions in the chamber extremely important, and wish for this to continue.

Thankyou for hearing this complaint and I look forward to your reply,

Yours Sincerely,

Max Coyle


Will keep you updated by updating this post, on both the OIA and the complaint.

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Cr Paul Eagle, We Need To Chat

Hi Paul, we’ve been friends for 3 years now. In fact this is our third FB friend anniversary. We don’t catch up enough to be sure, and its a real shame, maybe we should have had more chats.

Reading about your attacks on cycling infrastructure has lead me to doubt our friendship. I had thought to run away from this relationship, but perhaps instead I started to think, I should stick around and have a conversation around it.

Why exactly are you against it? What part of the cost/benefit analysis doesn’t seem overwhelmingly positive to you?

Very interested to hear your answers and open up this line of dialogue :)

Yours faithfully,

Max Dillon Coyle