I find it hard to believe what we are seeing when it comes to cycleways. Cycleways are by and large a waste of time - and I cycle, by the way. Well, not entirely. The tourist trail is good news. Specific places to explore, individual places where cycles can roam free, are no bad idea.

But cycleways have been ideologically captured by clip-boarders who can't see the wood for the trees. It's all theory, no reality. I have, of course, been saying this for years.

However, there are now - can you believe it - protests against cycleways. From Auckland to Wellington to Christchurch, people are literally on the march against dumb councils who don't get it. Pieces of road and footpath sliced off and up - all in the vain attempt to convince us that cars are bad and bikes are good.

Read more: Comment - The extraordinary incompetence of Auckland Transport


Bikes are good, but just not when they prevent cars moving or buses moving or people doing business.

Read more: Rainbow path paves way for Auckland cyclists

In two separate parts of Auckland, that I am aware of anyway, businesses are screaming about lost custom as roads are chopped up and punters prevented from shopping.

Read more: Auckland's Grey Lynn sidelined by cycleway project

Christchurch, same story. You can't get in the door for all the road works. And when the road workers have packed up and gone home, as they did in their original major cycleway in Auckland, the famous - or is that infamous? - $18 million pink monstrosity in the centre of town.

When they've gone home, what then? No bikes. I look out my window every day. No bikes.

Lanes and infrastructure for people who will never cycle by. Here is the problem in a nutshell: the roads aren't big enough, and they don't seem to get that simple reality. You can't take a regular two-laned NZ road and turn it into a two-lane road with a bus lane and cycleway. It doesn't work.

So bus lanes with no buses, cycleways with no bikes, is the forlorn and tragic reality of urban New Zealand.


Community after community is forced to take to the streets to tell councils that as well-intentioned as they may well have been, as theoretically interesting as they might have sounded, the simple truth is that by and large they don't work. They're not practical, they're a waste of money.

The only tangible outcome is frustration, anger, protest, ill-will and wasted time, energy and money. Let's hope the madness stops soon.