Despite how polluted it looks outside, it is worse inside the vehicles making the pollution
When I lived in London, I used to regularly jog along the Thames at lunch time. My co-workers often used to tell me that they wouldn’t do it because I was breathing in all those fumes from vehicles. They felt the air was much healthier in a car or bus. I never cycled in London (in the late 90s noone did except bicycle couriers) but I am sure I would have heard the same arguments against cycling. And in fact this BBC article makes exactly that claim.
However, an experiment in London has shown once again that “common sense” assumptions are often wrong and the truth is counterintuitive.
The experiment was carried out to compare the amount of pollution encountered by one person on a bicycle, one in a car, one walking and one on a bus. The experiment was repeated on both a busy road and a quieter route.
The result was that the people walking and cycling were shown to be exposed to considerably lower levels of pollution. In contrast, the persion driving a car was exposed to the most pollution with the bus passenger not far behind. Not only that, the people on bicycles took almost half the time the person in the car took to make the same journey.
A London resident making a healthy transport choice
Interestingly, the person who cycled on the quieter route was exposed to 4 times less pollution than the person cycling on busier roads. While I would have expected the levels to be lower, 4 times is a substantial difference. It does perhaps suggest one factor in favour of projects like the Dominion Road parallel route – though there is a good argument this will be offset by fewer people using such a circuitous and less connected route.
As with so many transport issues, the obvious and generally accepted answer is not necessarily the correct one. Just another reason why bicycles are the ideal solution for short, urban journeys.
This video of riding through Copenhagen helps to remind us of what we are advocating for in Auckland. A city where riding a bicycle is a viable alternative for people of all ages and genders, 8-80 cycling:
Journey Around Copenhagen’s Latest Bicycle Innovations! from STREETFILMS on Vimeo.
The video includes a ride over the amazing Cycle Snake Bridge.
Calliope Rd/Victoria Rd intersection, Devonport
It’s not often that an intersection redesign benefits all road users – motorists, pedestrians and cyclists alike. More often than not compromises have to be made, and often it’s cyclists who get the raw end of the deal. But increasingly we’re seeing the AT design team stepping up, and the Calliope Rd/Victoria Rd intersection at the entrance to Devonport Village is a case in point. Here we have an intersection where:
- Vehicles travel too fast, evidenced by the “out of control” crash record and the substantial armco barriers designed to protect footpath users
- Calliope Rd vehicles are subject to excessive delay, often leading to them “pushing the envelope” on the Stop signs
- Pedestrians crossing Calliope Rd have to make do with an inadequate central median, a real issue given that Devonport Primary School is nearby
- Apart from an inadequate shared path, there is no cycling provision, despite this being a major cycling conduit between the Devonport Ferry Terminal and the Lake Rd cycle lanes and Green Route to the north.
Conceptual roundabout design – sketch 1
The AT team have come up with a roundabout design, but it’s not your scary dual circulating lane type of roundabout that puts the fear of God into even the most battle-hardened commuter cyclists. This one is carefully designed with single lane approaches that force traffic on all legs to slow down and navigate a tight radius turn. Continue reading 'A win-win-win for Devonport'»
Our post on SkyPath’s Northern Connectors has generated a lot of comment and it’s great to see the support not just for SkyPath itself but endorsement of the need for multiple routes catering for many different user requirements.
Click to access full Google map
So let’s have a closer look at SeaPath - the generic name for the connector between SkyPath and southern Takapuna and the Devonport Peninsula marked in blue on the adjacent map. As with any project, we’ll set out the requirements, then look at possible design alternatives, with a commentary on Forest & Bird’s NaturePath proposal.
There are two types of cyclists who will be attracted to SeaPath. Firstly, tourists, visitors and recreational cyclists, bearing in mind there will be a number of pedestrians with similar requirements as well. They’ll be looking for:
- A protected route away from motorised traffic
- Easy gradients
- Spectacular scenery and points of interest
- The opportunity to travel slowly, stop, look, linger and learn
- Access off the path to local attractions such as Onepoto Basin and Tuff Crater
- Access to paid public car parking at AUT, and public transport at the Esmonde Rd bus station
- A safe and attractive connector through to southern Takapuna, and to Lake Rd/Green Route for a Devonport/Bayswater round trip.
Continue reading 'SeaPath? NaturePath?'»