One of the problems with advocating for improvements to cycle infrastructure is that many people only seem to consider cycling as something kids do for fun or that is done for sport by MAMILs (Middle Aged Men In Lycra). That’s why Cycle Action Auckland’s vision is
Cycling in Auckland is an attractive, safe and viable every-day choice for all our communities.
In cities that we often look to for inspiration - especially those outside of Europe as some people seem to treat European cities as if from a different planet - those cycling for sport are a minority, the 1%. This isn’t to say we should ignore them but that the biggest opportunity and potential users of improved cycling infrastructure is people using bikes for everyday trips like going to school, local shops, work or just visiting friends.
Ponsonby’s bike corral is one such piece of infrastructure that’s meant to support locals riding and shopping in Ponsonby. This is what AT say about it.
Auckland Transport has developed its first bike corral on Ponsonby Road. This is a new on-street bike parking facility and has the capacity for 10 bikes at any one time.
Providing an on-street bike corral enables secure and convenient bike parking. It ensures that footpath capacity is maintained and the area de-cluttered, with fewer bikes chained to street furniture. Australian studies have shown the economic benefits of bike corrals, due to the increase in parking capacity they provide when compared with on-street car parking.
This is a community-focussed project and we are engaging with the Waitemata Local Board and the Ponsonby Business Association to inform our decision-making.
So it’s amazing how tone deaf Auckland Transport is in this video they’ve created about it, especially as it’s meant to be for the Velo-City conference which is:
Velo-city is the world’s premier international cycling planning conference. The four day event offers delegates from around the world a chance to share best practices for creating and sustaining cycling-friendly cities, where bicycles are valued as part of daily transport and recreation.
With the exception of local board memebers Christopher Dempsey and Pippa Coom, every cyclist in the video is wearing Lycra and shown with cleats and talk about cycling as a sport and not just a way to get from A to B. Although it might be that they’re the ones using the corral the most as everyone else is simply too scared of the incredibly hostile environment that Ponsonby currently is to anyone not in a car.
On the positive side, at least the retailers are noticing a benefit to having the corral there and hopefully it will help in persuading other businesses that getting more infrastructure for cyclists will be good for their business – as has been shown everywhere else in the world.