our country comprises more places worth travelling to than just its urban areas, and that some of the best of these non-urban places do not have
... many people. Most people live in areas with a lot of people (tautological but true). Solutions that work there are often going to struggle or be outright stupid in less populated areas. But the 80% solution is going to work where 90% of the people are, and that's major cities. So "cars mean freedom" but also "cars mean parking hassles, dings in carparks, getting stuck in traffic jams, and OMG the cost of petrol".
I grew up in Tasman which has small towns and rural areas rather more than it has cities, but even there most people lived (and still live) in areas with usable-to-good public transport. Importantly, because things are smaller bicycles work really well as active transport. Riding from Wakefield to Nelson every day (25km-ish each way) would be a struggle for the couple of hundred people who do that, but anywhere closer and you're choosing between electric assist and a lighter, faster unpowered bike. Even my parents have taken up recreational cycling now they've retired, and have suddenly discovered that it's fun and also works for trips around their local area.
Making the same mistakes as everywhere else is not smart but neither is assuming things that work in one place can be transplanted to Auckland and will work exactly the same.
I agree. But I am also very, very sick of "but we're special" being used as an excuse for inaction. Or, more commonly, action against cyclists.
You're using strawmen and arguing in bad faith so it's hard to know which bits of your comments are actually serious. Could you possibly indicate that by referencing things so that when you say "will work exactly the same" I can read where someone suggested that.
, one of the special aspects of having a car is the freedom to get in and drive to wherever you wish whenever you wish without having to meet someone else's timetable or geographical constraints.
That's just not the experience of a lot of people I know. A car is a costly thing that soaks up time and space and needs constant care. But then when you go to use it it's slow, fragile and unreliable. Journey time is estimated give or take 50% or more, and depends on factors way outside the operators control.
To me, you're describing a bicycle. Especially a bicycle that can go on trains (I have bicycles that can't). It's notable that bicycle riders seem to fall into two broad groups "everything is half an hour away" and "it takes 8 minutes to ride to the railway station".
This might be the generational divide mentioned, but if so it pushes "older people" well into the retired category - I'm nearly 50.
Changing transport modes across a city is hard. You'll get resistance from all quarters as well as unexpected support. And people will make mistakes. It takes time, and effort, and long periods of quietly grinding away by dedicated people.
I'm just glad to hear about the improvements. And grateful to the people doing the work.
I think part of the problem is we are in unknown territory.
Can I suggest that the territory you're in is called "ignorance" and your options are learning from the experience of others, or making the same mistakes as they did? There is a huge amount of research and experience available on this, as on so many other topics. There is almost certainly information about what's happening, what's planned and why, if you looked for it.
New Zealand isn't The Netherlands and Auckland IS hilly
The same is true of everywhere outside the Netherlands. People still cycle. Portland, Sydney, London, San Franciso FFS. Auckland is unique just like all the other cities are.
and most importantly kiwis LOVE their cars.
My experience, and understanding of the research, is that dependence isn't love, and people "choosing" to use the only viable option doesn't indicate commitment. What a lot of people have is an entirely reasonable fear that changes designed to make driving slower and more difficult will not be countered by improvements to other transport modes that offset them.
Especially when powerful people say 'there will be winners and losers", the powerless people have good cause to expect that the powerful will win and they will lose. Again.
There's all manner of useful stuff out there
Brilliant! Also, thanks for looking for that for me. I never thought the product would actually exist.
I suspect it's been mentioned here, but trying to organise a public event that's accessible is one way that able-bodied people can discover just how frustrating life is for people who need those disabled toilets. Dave Hingsburger is one blogger I follow who periodically writes about how hard it is to find out in advance whether an "accessible" venue actually is. It has given me ideas, and also made me very grateful for the pub in Melbun where we used to meet, which not only had a quiet-ish meeting room that could be rolled into, it had a disabled toilet ditto. Only when I went "there's got to be a closer option" did I discover just how wrong I was.
Are there wheelchair users who carry a battery powered hammer drill to fix toilets? Or as a less destructive option, the sucker-cup handles that glaziers use to move sheets of glass would work. Probably too heavy for wheel-less disabled folk, but possible worth considering.
I say this as a habitual cyclist who has been known to repair bicycle infrastructure when the providers of said stuff wont.
I still love the fact that giving poor people money is a very effective way to get them out of poverty. It's sounds so superficial and facile, but it actually works. Who knew?
(that's a rhetorical question)
(Ian quoting) He teaches me all the time that kindness is more important than honesty
Well he's got things "more important than honesty" down pat. If only kindness got a look in.