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Who wants cycle lanes ?

Artists impression, the reality is often somewhat different

Bear with me people, this is not a beat up.
Last week I wrote a post about Cyclists that don’t follow the rules and that lead to a flurry of interesting debate.
The subject of cycle lanes was raised and I thought that was worth exploring further. In both the comments and in my own ongoing discussions about the post, I learned that not all cyclists are in favour of cycle lanes and some chose not to use them for safety reasons.
But …. but ….. I thought the point of cycle lanes was to encourage cyclists by making it safer? If that is not happening, then something needs fixing.

Why would we continue to throw money at a solution that it seems neither party is happy with?

The feedback I have had is that cyclists would prefer to be amongst the traffic because vehicle drivers expect them to be there and know to look out for them.

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It’s great to have a voice.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter”

– Martin Luther King

Why can’t cyclists obey the rules?

I feel some education is needed for cyclists. Every morning, on my work commute, there are several road maggots who behave like the rules don’t apply to them.

It’s Wellington and there is a steep and narrow street, not wide enough for traffic to pass in both directions at the same time. The rule is that traffic heading downhill pulls to the left where there is space, and waits for the traffic coming up to pass. There are not many places to stop, so often the traffic backs up for most of the way uphill. It’s no drama. Once the lights change the traffic moves really quickly and you are rarely held up for more than one light sequence. But that is not good enough for the cyclists. They charge on down, in the space left clear for traffic to come uphill. They are important you see: no need to wait or observe rules. Rules are not for cyclists.

One day soon a car will turn into the street from the bottom and the cyclist will literally be a hood ornament. There may even be a red mist. I will have no sympathy for the cyclist. I will feel sorry for the driver, who has to scrape them off the hood and get their car repainted.
And that’s just the first peeve of the day.

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It’s great to have a voice.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter”

– Martin Luther King

Oscar weighs in on the Gayford saga, blaming National supporters for spreading rumours

Credit: Chris Skelton/Stuff

Oscar Kightley has weighted in on the Clarke Gayford saga, pointing fingers at National supporters for spreading the rumours.

If you have a care for his opinion, the full story is here.

If not, here’s the hypocritical bit:  Quote:

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It’s great to have a voice.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter”

– Martin Luther King

In for a Penny…

Credit: Laine Moger/Stuff

Penny Bright is looking very smug. This is why.  Quote.

Auckland rates rebel Penny Bright has halted the forced sale of her home for three days, following a High Court ruling.

Auckland Council is trying to force the sale of Bright’s Kingsland home, saying Bright owes it $34,000 from 11 years of unpaid rates.

Bright’s house was scheduled to be sold by tender at 4pm on Tuesday, but the sale was halted by the interim injunction granted by the High Court.

Pending further orders, Auckland Council shall take no further steps to effect the sale of the property, the order said.

“It is a load off my mind and body to have this sale stopped,” Bright said.

“It is the most draconian form of bullying, this is ridiculous.”

Bright has until Friday to file a request for a judicial review.[…]  End of quote.

As previously reported on Whaleoil, Penny Bright set up a Givealittle page to raise funds for her outstanding rates bill. It closed on 20 April and I was surprised to see that 224 generous, but, in my opinion, misguided, donors gave $15,120.

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It’s great to have a voice.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter”

– Martin Luther King

Is the world better or worse than when we were kids?

Credit: Business Insider UK

Hubby popped down to the local takeaway last night for good old kiwi fish and chips. He commented when he got back that there were a couple of kids there, they had ordered fish and chips and then went outside to mess about on their skateboards while their dinner was being cooked.

It was a snippet of the innocence of childhood and a flashback to times past.

The two boys are presumably oblivious to the political machinations that we rant about every day, and keep us awake half the night. Life for them is innocent, simple and fun. How lucky we are as Kiwis to have the freedom to do such things.

That leads me to compare my time with theirs.

I grew up in the eighties.  As a teenager, I was very conscious of the threat of nuclear war. We watched films like The Day After and Threads, and I genuinely did expect that my life would be ended at some point in the near future, by a blast of radiation.

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It’s great to have a voice.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter”

– Martin Luther King

Public consultation: Do they really care what we think?

Wellington City Council

Wellington City Council are soliciting feedback for their ten-year plan.Quote:

A rather unusual approach is being used to encourage Wellingtonians to have a say on the future of their city.

Public consultation opened on Sunday on Wellington City Council’s 10-Year Plan, and rather than relying on websites and fliers to draw people’s attention, the council will be using prominent Wellington buildings instead.

The campaign will kick off on Sunday night, when a “provocative” message will be projected onto the Wellington Town Hall building on Wakefield St in the hope it will resonate with citizens.

“I want a city that can withstand anything nature throws at it,” the statement will read. It will be followed by the hashtag #wgtnplan. […]

[…] The 10-Year Plan will determine investment levels across the city for the next decade, including critical areas such as housing, transport, arts and culture, economic growth, resilience, and environment.

“This is our chance to shape how Wellington will evolve over the next decade and to invest in what Wellingtonians tell us is important,” Lester said.  End of quote.

What is important is a council that will listen to the feedback given by their ratepayers.

The Island Bay cycleway, which most people didn’t want at all, was always going to go ahead. That decision had already been made. Public consultation led to some tweaking, but it was always a matter of how it would be done, rather than whether it was needed at all.

It doesn’t matter how clever you get, people will not take the time and effort to submit feedback if it feels like a decision has already been made.

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It’s great to have a voice.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter”

– Martin Luther King

Our flag bearer should be chosen on merit

Credit: Newshub

Kris Shannon thinks Laurel Hubbard should be our flag bearer for the Commonwealth Games closing ceremony.

No matter what happens at these Commonwealth Games, no matter how many medals New Zealand win, the most inspiring sight surely came when Sophie Pascoe led out the Kiwi team at the opening ceremony.
Perhaps, though, if all goes to plan, such a welcome and inclusive moment can be replicated when the Games close a week tonight.
If Laurel Hubbard does as many expect and wins gold in the women’s 90kg+ weightlifting class tomorrow, she would be an exceptional choice as the flagbearer for the closing ceremony.   End of quote.

Um ….. why …. exactly?

Let’s look back at previous games flag bearers and see who was chosen and why.

  • 2016 Olympics – Lisa Carrington – Gold medal – Canoeing
  • 2014 Commonwealth Games – Richie Patterson – Gold Medal – 85kg weightlifting
  • 2012 Olympics – Mahe Drysdale – Gold medal – Rowing
  • 2010 Commonwealth Games – Joelle King – Gold and Silver medal – Squash
  • 2008 Olympics – Caroline and Georgine Evers-Swindell – Gold medal – Rowing
  • 2006 Commonwealth Games – Greg Yelavich – Silver medal – Centre-Fire pistol

All of our previous flag bearers for both Olympic and Commonwealth Games have been chosen based on their performance at the games. Carrying the flag and leading the team at the closing ceremony is an honour that is earned based on results and attitude.

It’s nonsense that anyone be promoted as flag bearer before their competition has even taken place.

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It’s great to have a voice.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter”

– Martin Luther King

Light rail for Wellington too ?

Credit: Cameron Burnell/ Stuff

Quote.
The chances of Wellington getting a billion-dollar light rail system are looking good, mayor Justin Lester believes.
He reckons there is a “strong likelihood” of the long-talked-about project happening, after the Government’s latest transport policy announcement prioritised rapid rail above state highway upgrades.
Plans have already been drawn up for a “spine route” from the railway station to Miramar, taking in the zoo and the airport, and it could all happen within the next nine years.

A second spine could follow, with options linking to Johnsonville or the ferry terminal.
The proposed spine route would take congestion away from the Mt Victoria tunnel and the Basin Reserve, which have remained the source of Wellington’s traffic problems since the rejection of the Basin flyover project in 2014.End of quote.

Take away congestion: sounds good, but whether that will actually be true or not will depend entirely on how this is done. If light rail shares the road with vehicles, and that’s what it sounds like based on the proposed routes, then congestion will likely get worse.

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It’s great to have a voice.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter”

– Martin Luther King

Can it even be called sport any more ?

Credit: the free dictionary

In just two days time, the 21st Commonwealth Games will kick off at the Gold Coast in Australia. I must confess, I’m not a huge fan of sport, but the Olympics and the Commonwealth Games used to get my attention. Now, not so much. Back in my childhood days, sport created heroes. Athletes who worked and practised hard, juggling training with day jobs and making sacrifices to represent our little country honourably, whilst up against nations with much greater resources.

These days we seem to leap from scandal to scandal, with all manner of sports involved in cheating of some kind or other.

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It’s great to have a voice.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter”

– Martin Luther King

More than a few good men

I have had mixed feelings about the #metoo movement. Sexual abuse has been happening, and known about, for many years in the entertainment industry.  But now someone has shone a light on it, all the roaches are scattering for the moral high ground.  Suddenly, the women are saddened, appalled, outraged and standing together. Even though they knew but did nothing for years.  Wearing black to the Oscar’s in support of the #metoo movement, which was founded to support survivors of sexual abuse.  It smacks of hypocrisy.

There have been accusations flying all over the place, and for the most part, it seems once an accusation is made, guilt is assumed, with very little facts available, and prior to any proper process or trial.

Actor Geoffrey Rush had to take legal action in order to not be swept along with a broad brush of assumed guilt.

On the flipside of the argument, the #metoo movement has raised awareness of sexual abuse, not just in the acting business, but across the board. I found myself agreeing with Angela Fitchett in her latest opinion piece about the #metoo movement.

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It’s great to have a voice.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter”

– Martin Luther King