Island Life by David Slack


Get over it

I know the human being and the fish can coexist peacefully. I have known this ever since candidate Bush declared it to be so in the election of 2000.

Presidents come and go, enmities accumulate. We arrived back home in December to discover that raw hostility had broken out in our neighbourhood. On one side: the car, van and SUV drivers; on the other side of a brand new strip of white roading paint, trying gamely to coexist with angry commuters: cyclists.

You could read all about it in the Flagstaff, our great little local newspaper, and more recently in a Metro article entitled The Cycleways That Ate Auckland. Watch the human being and the cyclist struggle to coexist in this Metro {live} thread.

I rode a bike to high school ten miles each way. With a good tail wind I could beat the school bus on the downhill run. I could enjoy the bracing rural morning air and the feeling of the wind in my hair because firstly you didn't have to wear a helmet in those days and secondly, I had some.

Cattle trucks and trailers would fly past doing sixty and I would grab the slipstream. We coexisted peacefully. Geffrey Erard would throw projectiles at me from the back window of the school bus, because there’s always some wanker who can’t leave well enough alone.

He wouldn't be able to hit me on the Harbour Bridge cycle lane. It will have a barrier. I gave this thing a plug on Nine to Noon earlier in the week, and mentioned a web site. GetAcross.Org. NZ is now open for viewing. It shows you precisely how a cycle lane and walkway could be added to the clip ons for not 30 or 40 million but just 3 to 5 million dollars.

The funds are already there, and the strengthening work on the clip on is going to be happening anyway, starting in just a few months. Transit New Zealand just need to know that they have the endorsement of the local authorities and popular support to use these available funds.

I fancy riding a bike to the city. I’ve run over the bridge several times now, and it’s a blast. The web site is inviting people to click their opinion: yes or no: in favour or not. Go on, have your say. Let me just throw this in for your thoughtful consideration: $2.40 a litre.

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