Bike lanes will be for all
If the ride over the Harbour Bridge proved anything, it was that not all cyclists are lycra-clad as the moaning motorists would have everyone believe.
What I noticed was the large numbers of mums and dads with their children out for a pleasant ride, older people using biking as a form of exercise (in their normal casual clothes).
The reason most motorists don't see people using the bike lanes is because cyclists are out way too early in the morning in order to avoid motorists' crazy driving behaviour.
Sadly, at the present time too many "dedicated" bike lanes end and throw the poor cyclist into the lane of the motorists. So the "dedicated" bike lane is not that dedicated.
The other reason motorists don't see cyclists is that the motorists are not that observant.
I guarantee you a cyclist is a way better motorist, more considerate and certainly more aware than your non-cycling motorist. Yes, another fact is that a lot of cyclists are also motorists, already paying car and petrol levies, so just because bikes don't have number plates doesn't mean they aren't paying their share.
What would be most helpful in these discussions would be some statistics around car versus cyclist incidences, just who is at fault the majority of the time? I'm willing to bet my lycra cycling pants that it isn't the cyclist!
Perhaps moaning motorists could advise us just where mums and dads with children can ride their bikes. Where leisure cyclists can cycle safely? Around and around in ever decreasing circles in their smaller backyards as you don't want them on the footpaths, and clearly cycling with children on the roads is a definite no no.
Not everyone wants to, or is able to run or walk the streets. Cycling is a fantastic exercise for anyone who requires no weight-bearing exercise. What a joy to be able to cycle with a youngster, out getting some exercise and spending some time with Mum or Dad or even a grandparent, on a bike lane.
Brenda Barnes, St Heliers.
Changing the way we travel
I read councillors from South Auckland are fuming at the axing of the Mill Rd changes to traffic upgrades (NZ Herald, June 7). In the same article, Auckland Business Forum chairman Michael Barnett is outraged at the cancellation. It's an understandable outburst, but dated.
Isn't this the time we start supporting the view that we need to make changes to the way we live? We all know, or should by now, what sacrifices we have to make and, with scientific knowledge, are fully informed of encroaching dangers. We need to be more cohesive in acknowledging the good decisions made for us and support them. Only then will it make it easier for those living close to water, on drought-stricken, or flood-prone land to also accept a move in thinking.
Changing the way we travel around is not a "political" move, it's a life-saving one we should all get on the bus for.
Emma Mackintosh, Birkenhead.
Bloodline privilege a rort
It dismays me that the state schooling system in New Zealand currently condones bloodline privilege — in many state schools the children of past pupils have priority over other potential pupils.
A similar bloodlines system operates in such structures as the royal family — having a particular father or mother means a lifetime of wealth and privilege, no matter what skills or otherwise the progeny possess.
The Ministry of Education, to its credit, is currently addressing out-of-zone priorities. As a result, the media and social media abound with arguments, largely by those in support of keeping the current system.
School communities wanting to keep the existing zoning system tend to be wealthier (higher decile), and their public arguments revolve around family, community, networks, and support. In reality their desire for the status quo is all about perpetuating their families' and schools' cultural and economic privileges. Or looking after number one.
Abolishing the priority given to children of past pupils, a rort of the state system, is long overdue.
Dr Vicki Carpenter, Grey Lynn.
Three crossings make sense
In my view, the Government is absolutely right to prioritise public transport options over the madness of building more and more motorways.
The proposed new cycling and walking bridge looks fabulous and will become an iconic tourist attraction as well as moving people in a healthy, pollution-free way as they cycle to work on their e-bikes.
To protect the long term integrity of the existing Harbour Bridge, we should remove all heavy vehicles from it as soon as possible. That means all buses and trucks. A harbour tunnel should be constructed to take these vehicles in addition to trains. Then the existing bridge can be for cars only, which should minimise weight and subsequent degradation of the bridge, protecting it for another hundred years.
So to summarise, I visualise three separate harbour crossings: the first for cyclists and pedestrians; the second for buses, trucks and trains and the third for motor cars. All are valid transport options with their own requirements.
This is not rocket science just common sense. Hopefully there has been enough talking now and the Powers That Be can just get on with it.
Glen Stanton, Mairangi Bay.
I have close friends who are coeliacs and read your gluten-free recipes with interest.
I have to tell you your pearl barley bake is definitely not gluten-free and would ruin any coeliac's life for a few days.
Such a shame, but a reminder of how this disease is misunderstood by even your expert adviser.
I have been to restaurants and heard the assurance of the chef the meal is gluten-free only to have my friends in agony for days after being effectively poisoned with gluten.
Much like your pearl barley recipe, they have failed to understand the importance of diet to a coeliac's health.
Cynthia Burgess, Panmure.
Constant royal reminder
Lilibet Diana? Meghan and Harry need to move on.
The birth of their daughter could be a new beginning, instead merely saying her name will be a constant reminder of the supposedly unfair and degrading treatment they have suffered at the hands of the unfeeling royal family.
At least the name Archie showed a spark of originality.
Rosemary Balme, Howick.
More pressing projects
As a resident of the inner city I would like to assure everyone else in New Zealand that not all of us here agree with spending a hideous amount of money on keeping a few self-entitled elitist cyclists happy when there are so many other pressing needs for money, Ashburton's bridge and New Zealanders' health to name two of them.
Bill Allen, St Mary's Bay.
Let the bus go first
Has anyone observed the way motorists have to get in front of the bus? At any bus stop, watch how many motorists have to get past the bus rather than let the bus go first.
Heaven forbid you have to follow behind the bus for one whole bus stop before you get to pass it anyway.
What is it with motorists' mentality that they are too selfish to let the bus go first? Have they not yet figured out that the quicker the bus reaches its destination then more people are incentivised to catch the bus so there are less cars in the motorists lane.
Bus companies please produce a sticker that I and many other considerate motorists will clearly display on the back of our car: "I am a considerate driver and I let the bus go first".
Brenda Barnes, St Heliers.
Liquor industry battle
In the 19th century, the liquor industry fought against women's franchise. Today the industry fights against every attempt to control it in spite of its enormous cost to society, especially our health system, and its contribution to violence against women and children.
Janet Crawford, St Johns.
Winning transport options
Paper beats rock, scissors beats paper and rock beat scissors. Rail, efficient mass transport and shuttle buses for cyclists beats a relatively useless harbour bridge.
Paul Stock, Point Chevalier.
Short & sweet
It is incredible what obscure reasons are given for getting on the Honours List. Maybe I will get on next year for letter writing to the Herald?
Jock MacVicar, Hauraki.
I see why James Shaw is kept away from the economic portfolios. Shaw's statement in 2018 priced the Harbour Bridge Skypath project at $67m. Still, we now have his cost estimates on his climate change policies to look forward to.
Jim Cotman, Te Kauwhata.
On Steve Braunias
Now come on Steve Braunias, two weeks in a row using Bob Dylan's Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts to add colour to your column? Time to expand the options. Bruce Springsteen might offer up some useful unattributed quotes.
David Tennent, New Zealand.
I am 80, in group two, got my two jabs and feel rather guilty about getting priority. Millennials should come first. They are still productive. They socialise more at gyms, pubs and restaurants and are more at risk of infection or spreading Covid-19.
Hing Yu, Pakuranga Heights.
If Lorraine Kidd (Herald, June 7) can predict when and how the "end" of Covid-19 will come then perhaps we will know when we have reached the "beginning of the end".
Anne Martin, Helensville.