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.

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

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.

My speech – Submission to HCC for Separated Cycleways on Anglesea St

What follows is my speech to the Hamilton City Council Finance Committee on the 15th May, 2014 and files that were attached to the submission;

Good afternoon to her worship the Mayor of Hamilton, chairperson Rob Pascoe and Councillors, and the CFO, CIO, General Managers, Group Accountants, Managers, Directors and Advisors. 

I’m speaking today as a member and spokesperson of Cycle Action Waikato, with me is Ashley Hooper of Hamilton Urban Blog. 

Anglesea St between Knox St and Collingwood St needs repairs as you know. Anglesea (and Tristram) are the Major north-south roads through the central city, carrying high volumes of traffic (Ham City Centre Local Area Plan *HCC*)

Coming up in the City Local Area plan are plans to make the CBD more pedestrian friendly. Part of the plan is easier access to Wintec, CBD and the Transport Centre. A critical element of this is access for cyclists and as such we’re proposing the repairs include separated cycle lanes. 

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The repairs include the kerbs being removed, footpaths repaired, all the trees being chopped down and WEL networks replacing infrastructure at the same time. Including cycleways in these repairs will be of a very similar cost and it is essential the work is done now rather than a very costly retrofitting being placed on ratepayers later. 

597 more people,or 15%, cycle to work daily (1,719) than take the bus (1,122) according to the 2006 census. In the 2013 census this increased to 97% (1761) more people (3570) people cycling than (1809) taking the bus. Yet in the annual plan, for 2014/15 the sums allocated for bus stops, transport integration and minor improvements are $1.58M. Road resurfacing and replacement of the road base are allocated $5Million. 

Nowhere is cycling specifically allocated for yet the more people cycling, the cheaper it is for Hamilton residents, ratepayers etc. 

Going back to the local area plan, pedestrian is mentioned 154 times, while cycling is mentioned 5 times. In one of the very few mentions of cycling in the 81 page document, the ‘sustainable design section’ states its purpose to:

“Promote sustainable transportation through provision of clearly marked / identifiable walking and cycling routes and close proximity to public transportation routes.”

It also goes on to say: The nature of Anglesea Street will change from vehicle oriented to a mixed use street with increased pedestrian priority and amenity. The aim is to improve walkability in the central city and improve connections between some of the city’s major attractors such as the cricket grounds, the Transport Centre, Wintec (west of Anglesea Street) and Casabella Lane, Barton Street, Centre Place, Downtown Plaza, Garden Place, Victoria Street, Hood…and, it says “Anglesea Street is currently a major pedestrian barrier and although it will remain a major vehicle route in the city, it will become an environment better suited to pedestrians.”

In that spirit it is also essential that pedestrians and cyclists are free of each other, as well as of vehicles. Anglesea Street is designated as a City Living Precinct, the definition of which is ‘an area with the greatest potential for transformation’.

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Now one of the documents you have in front of you is an article from the Waikato Argus newspaper, published in 1913. Over 100 years ago in 1913, Hamilton City Council was looking at doing exactly what we’re proposing now, separated cycleways along a stretch of Anglesea Street. Please don’t let another young man or woman be standing here, in 2114, another 100 years on, pleading for a scrap of decent cycling infrastructure. This project is over 100 years in the making and its time it went from committee stage to action.

Thankyou.

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