Cycleways in Chrstchurch

February 13th, 2013 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Lois Cairns at The Press reports:

If Christchurch is to become a city for cyclists, then the city council should spend the $69 million needed to create a city-wide cycleway network.

That is the view of Cr Aaron Keown, who says that if the council is serious about turning Christchurch into the Amsterdam of the South Pacific, it needs to put its money where its mouth is.

He said number crunching by council staff showed that if ratepayers were prepared to accept an extra 1 per cent increase in their rates, the network could be funded and built within two years.

“The average household in Christchurch pays $1600 a year in rates, so a 1 per cent rate increase is an extra $16 a year,” Keown said.

“If the people of Christchurch really want a cycle network, are they prepared to pay an extra $16 a year for it?”

Christchurch looks to be an ideal city for as it is so flat. The idea of cycleways is a good one. However I am unsure about the robustness of the $16 a year figure.

There are around 140,000 households in Christchurch. $69 million is in fact $492 a household. Not $16.

The story refers to it being funded within two years. So that would in fact require $250 a household per year – not $16.

This wasn’t hard to calculate. It would be nice if had the resources or inclination to fact check claims made by politicians, rather than just report on them.

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24 Responses to “Cycleways in Chrstchurch”

  1. liarbors a joke (1,069 comments) says:

    Aaron Keown is a publicity seeking toss pot who will be booted out come next local body elections. He is as useful as a chocolate teapot in his role as Christchurch City Councilor.

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  2. swan (659 comments) says:

    I assume he is talking about financing a debt. $16/492 = 3.25%. Clearly he is getting interest rate advice from the Green Party.

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  3. KiwiGreg (3,246 comments) says:

    It’s not like Christchurch has any commercial assets which could be sold instead of a rates rise. Or that cyclists should pay for their own cycleways.

    Clearly the only solution is to build something that the market wont provide and tax non-cyclists to pay for it.

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  4. RRM (9,745 comments) says:

    Sixty nine million dollars?? :eek:

    To put up a sign saying “Creyke Road is now CLOSED to vehicle traffic. Pedestrians and cyclists ONLY”…?

    To build slightly wider margins onto some roads?

    Seems dear… IMHO ;-)

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  5. barry (1,317 comments) says:

    I was in Chch for the last 5 days. On the weekends there are more cyclists on the roads than cars – and many on bikes that cost more than some cars.

    They are a hazard to themselves and motorists and its about time they started to pay up for either road use or separate cycleways.

    Its always amazed me that cyclists wontn use the cycleways along the east auckland waterfront – so I have a doubt that cycleways in Chch will be any more used than the auckland ones. This idea seems like a complete waste tome unless the cyclists pay up.

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  6. thor42 (971 comments) says:

    The city will have that green-belt “frame” thing *anyway*. It won’t *need* any cycleways.

    I’m sure there will be paths through the frame that’ll probably be used by both cyclists and pedestrians.

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  7. kowtow (8,103 comments) says:

    A lot of this is the old “no risks allowed”. Keep everything separate and safe philosophy.But we are taking that to an extreme.

    If motorists treated cyclists with the respect that they as other road users are entitled to ,then there’d be no problem.

    And cyclists also have to take responsibilty for themselves too.Adhering to the rules they expect everyone else to.

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  8. Ed Snack (1,828 comments) says:

    Barry, some cyclists do use the eastern bays cycleway, those out for a recreational cycle who don’t mind sharing the space with walkers, runners, dogs, and Uncle Tom Cobbley and all. I’ve done so myself, and it’s fine if don’t mind the “traffic” as it were. People road cycling for exercise though would either entirely fail to gain any useful exercise or would be a bloody menace to everyone else on the path.

    And it’s been pointed out before, most cyclists including myself, also use a car and thus contribute plenty towards road costs. However I’d be inclined to support some sort of charge for specialist facilities if I could imagine an easy way to make a meaningful levy. Maybe something like a 1-2% special levy on road bike sales directed exclusively to a specific fund for cycling specific infrastructure. Maybe something like that to provide hot-mix sealing of cycle-lanes instead of the cheap-jack bumpy chip seal used in most places.

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  9. RRM (9,745 comments) says:

    kowtow – hear hear.

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  10. Auberon (873 comments) says:

    What you have gotten close to identifying DPF is that councilor Keown is a muppet.

    The draft transport plan which will soon be ratified already has a huge focus on cycling, so he’s talking about a problem that simply doesn’t exist.

    But more concerning is that in the same week that the Christchurch City Council decided to suspend issuing a 10 year plan because its finances are so delicate and so many elements of its ongoing financial exposure to the rebuild are presently unknown, this madman thinks you can just whack another 1% a year on rates to pay for biking.

    Newslash Aaron, your own council is proposing annual rate increases of over 5% a year for over a decade to pay for the rebuild already.

    Bring on the local body elections!

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  11. david (2,568 comments) says:

    “That is the view of Cr Aaron Keown, who says that if the council is serious about turning Christchurch into the Amsterdam of the South Pacific, it needs to put its money where its mouth is.”

    FFS wot a wally. The Council has no money of its own, what he is talking about is the ratepayers need to put their money where the Councillor’s mouth is. yes, pedantic I know and he does go on to say that it will mean a rates rise but when, oh when are we going to find an honest politician who will tell it for what it is up front. Spending OPM.

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  12. nasska (11,065 comments) says:

    The precious (funded with OPM) rights of the road lice.

    ref: https://www.dropbox.com/s/uafzur2xd0u4tbc/Cycling%201.jpg

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  13. Parlyguy (22 comments) says:

    david (2,254) Says:
    February 13th, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    “…what he is talking about is the ratepayers need to put their money where the Councillor’s mouth is. ”

    Its a fallacy to say it is “ratepayers money”. Property owners are charged a fee (rates) for services provided by local council (I’m not making any value judgements on the quality of those services however).

    The money belongs to the council to do with it as they see fit. Yes they have a duty to spend the money carefully, however, the money does not belong to the ratepayers.

    Imagine you buy a loaf of bread and then tell the baker how he is to spend the money.

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  14. nasska (11,065 comments) says:

    There’s a huge hole in your analogy ‘Parlyguy’. The baker has made a product & has to sell it at a price the market will bear….the rewards of his labour are his to do with what he sees fit.

    Councils are permitted by statute to thieve whatever money they see fit from residents living in their area. They earn nothing & contribute nothing bar regulations & expense. Therefore everything they spend is ratepayers money & they should be accountable for the quality of the expenditure.

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  15. hj (6,794 comments) says:

    Gareth Morgan says ratepayers shouldn’t have to pay for the infrastructure of new subdivisions. Given 80% net population increase is from offshore (over the last 20 years). I take it most of the commenters would say “no” to cycleways but yes to subdivisions.

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  16. MT_Tinman (3,092 comments) says:

    Aaron Keown can hop on his sweatwheel and fuck off!

    I don’t care whether it’s $16 or $1,600,000, I’m not interested in paying a single cent for pests recreation.

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  17. gump (1,604 comments) says:

    The infrastructure that the council builds doesn’t have a zero value.

    They are talking about investing 69 million dollars to build an asset.

    I hope that they succeed. We need to provide more support for cyclists.

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  18. simonway (379 comments) says:

    This wasn’t hard to calculate. It would be nice if media had the resources or inclination to fact check claims made by politicians, rather than just report on them.

    Maybe there is some other source of funding that would be used, supplemented by the rates increase.

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  19. davidp (3,570 comments) says:

    Is Keown a modern day Nero, fiddling while Christchurch burns? Christchurch Council seems to be close to insolvent, they’re losing population, their city center is a wasteland with twenty years worth of re-building ahead of it, and sections of the eastern suburbs have been basically abandoned. There is a shortage of replacement housing that the Council seems to be uninterested in solving. There must be doubts about the long term viability of the city. And he wants to concentrate on bike lanes?

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  20. Rick Rowling (825 comments) says:

    Classy cartoon, Nasska.

    (funded with OPM)

    98% of the roads where you see cyclists are local roads funded by rates – so the cyclists are funding the roads as well as the drivers and the pedestrians.

    Arguably out-of-towners should pay a levy to use your local roads if you’re running the “they don’t pay for it” line.

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  21. nasska (11,065 comments) says:

    Rick Rowling

    From Wikipedia ….”Today, all funding for state highways and around 50% of funding for local roads comes directly from road users through the National Land Transport Fund”….. Ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transport_in_New_Zealand

    While you are correct in that rates fund a fair proportion of council roading the motorist pays a fair whack as well. Cyclists, as a group, pay exactly NOTHING more than any other ratepayer or road user yet screech for preferential treatment.

    They are parasites.

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  22. gump (1,604 comments) says:

    @nasska

    If you want to whine about parasites, you should start with superannuatants. They are the greediest and most selfish parasites that we have in this country.

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  23. thor42 (971 comments) says:

    This Keown guy should pull his head in, stop going on about the “nice to have” stuff, and focus on essentials.

    Essentials like – oh, *housing*…..

    Christchurch is a *tiny* city by world standards. It won’t be able to afford this pie-in-the-sky stuff for at least 20 years, if ever.

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  24. Jim (407 comments) says:

    “While you are correct in that rates fund a fair proportion of council roading the motorist pays a fair whack as well. Cyclists, as a group, pay exactly NOTHING more than any other ratepayer or road user yet screech for preferential treatment.”

    Not to mention PEDESTRIANS! Bludging scumbags all of them. Imagine the cost of all the footpaths in Christchurch, pedestrian crossings, etc. Must be many times this cycleway cost. Pedestrians pay exactly NOTHING more than any other ratepayer or road user yet screech for preferential treatment.

    Don’t get me started on wheelchairs…

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