Hosking not happy with road maggots and their cycleways

The terrifying Mike Hosking

Mike Hosking must have had a premonition, because yesterday morning he wrote this:

I find it hard to believe what we are seeing when it comes to cycleways. Cycleways are by and large a waste of time – and I cycle, by the way. Well, not entirely. The tourist trail is good news. Specific places to explore, individual places where cycles can roam free, are no bad idea.

But cycleways have been ideologically captured by clip-boarders who can’t see the wood for the trees. It’s all theory, no reality. I have, of course, been saying this for years.

However, there are now – can you believe it – protests against cycleways. From Auckland to Wellington to Christchurch, people are literally on the march against dumb councils who don’t get it.Pieces of road and footpath sliced off and up – all in the vain attempt to convince us that cars are bad and bikes are good.

Bikes are good, but just not when they prevent cars moving or buses moving or people doing business.

How prescient. Did he know that Auckland Transport were planning on spending $635million of ratepayer cash on road maggots over ten years?

In two separate parts of Auckland, that I am aware of anyway, businesses are screaming about lost custom as roads are chopped up and punters prevented from shopping.

Christchurch, same story. You can’t get in the door for all the road works. And when the road workers have packed up and gone home, as they did in their original major cycleway in Auckland, the famous – or is that infamous? – $18 million pink monstrosity in the centre of town.

When they’ve gone home, what then? No bikes. I look out my window every day. No bikes.

There is a cycleway down Puhinui Road in Manukau. I have never seen a cyclist on it. They’d be taking great risk in any case given the hopeless snake like design of the cycleway. The point is there are literally hundreds of kilometres of cycle lanes and no cyclists. We have spend millions already on just a few hundred road maggots. Auckland transport is planning on spending millions more.

Lanes and infrastructure for people who will never cycle by. Here is the problem in a nutshell: the roads aren’t big enough, and they don’t seem to get that simple reality. You can’t take a regular two-laned NZ road and turn it into a two-lane road with a bus lane and cycleway. It doesn’t work.

So bus lanes with no buses, cycleways with no bikes, is the forlorn and tragic reality of urban New Zealand.

Community after community is forced to take to the streets to tell councils that as well-intentioned as they may well have been, as theoretically interesting as they might have sounded, the simple truth is that by and large they don’t work. They’re not practical, they’re a waste of money.

The only tangible outcome is frustration, anger, protest, ill-will and wasted time, energy and money. Let’s hope the madness stops soon.

Wait until they find out Auckland transport wants to spend $635million on road maggots.


-NZ Herald

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.