The other nice thing too is that this post is eliciting no controversies - just for once.
Lovely stuff David - warms the cockles of my heart in the North. I was about to ask the "no footprints" question too.
Oh, and by the way, I'm talking to Kim Hill about the 'quakes and the Japan trip again this morning, so I hope to get a chance to mention your case as an example of how insurance companies are NOT playing the kind of ball Gerry Brownlee was suggesting they would. 11.40am.
Imagine if these corporate greed-meisters and bean counters got their hooks into ACC, as Gerry and John and Bill and Tony plan to let them. Be very afraid for your genuine claims there in the future: American model, the rich get cover and poor can go hang.
It's starting to get some air in the media - and hopefully some traction with the insurance companies - so good on you, David.
Well, no surprises here! The Press will be interested in this David, and so should Campbell Live and Close Up be. Tower were called Government Life, were they not: something of a misnomer now? This development needs some air, to make them sweat and produce a spokesperson to try and justify such dirty dealing.
David: This has been a great contribution to a necessary debate, especially as we look to what needs doing to rebuild Christchurch and make it more cycle-friendly in the process.
Islander: your ad hominem remarks about me and my background, from behind a nom de plume (a name you have given yourself, which masks your real identity, which is kind of ironic) miss the point. Attacking people, to discredit their ideas, is not helpful.
I have been to Japan recently, and drew my conclusions from observations I made over the four weeks I was there. I did point out that you had to beware of cyclists coming upon you fast from behind, but my point still holds: the behaviour of cyclists and motorists sharing the same space was educational, and encouraging.
Yes, you would get into real trouble with the law there, if you "squished" one, as someone else pointed out, but is that a bad thing? No, I do not think it is purely an outcome of population density and the amount of space available.
While I take David's point that traffic density may allow for us to escape some of the consequences of our "selfish" road behaviour, I still feel that deeper historical factors in the Japanese character make them better users of such space as is available, less aggressive in their social interactions and enduringly polite and helpful. Such was my experience. Are they perfect: no? Can we lean from them: definitely, They could learn from us too: they don't use helmets.
Yes, we do have in our midst selfish cyclists and red light runners on two wheels, but in the car versus bike game that is played out daily on our roads, the car wins every time it turns into a contact sport. Cyclists are injured and die unnecessarily, and this is not helped by aggressive drivers who forget just how much the odds are against the two-wheeler, if they collide with them.
I have cycled here and I have cycled in inner London: Christchurch is just as, if not more, scary than there when it comes to sharing the road and giving us the space we need. I'm going to try and be a little more Japanese when I get on my bike the next time: I hope the guy in the big 4WD is, too.
I've just come back from Japan, where bicycles are everywhere in the towns and cities. All ages, all shapes and sizes and they do it without any special lanes. Everyone in Japan is used to sharing space and you see the most amazing configurations of cars, pedestrians and bikers.
You have to beware of cyclists riding on pavements, as they just sail up behind you at speed, and if you hit one in your car, look out - they have right of way, like pedestrians.
It comes down to good manners - Japanese in social situations are not aggressive like us, they make way for each other. Half our problem is bad manners and poor interpersonal skills, the cult of the individual, which expresses itself at its most narcissistic extreme in the one-occupier motor vehicle.