Nelson St cycleway ramps up investment in car-free travel
The new Nelson St cycleway is important catch-up infrastructure for Aucklanders, with a linked up network the final goal.
Healthy Auckland Together coalition spokesperson Dr Michael Hale says rates of cycling are heavily related to the number of safe, connected routes.
“We applaud the investment made by local and central government with Auckland Transport and NZ Transport Authority rolling out a $200 million network of cycleways across the city over the next three years,” he says.
Transport agencies are making one of the most important contributions to our population’s health through providing this new infrastructure. Auckland Council and Auckland Transport are part of the Healthy Auckland Together coalition, because they understand that increasing cycling and walking will contribute to improving people's health and the liveability of the city,” Dr Hale says.
One of the best ways to lift physical activity amongst Aucklanders is to promote convenient cycling for daily travel.
The evidence is consistent that the benefits of cycling such as a reduction in all-age mortality outweigh the risks of death or accident.
“Most of the city is walkable, and some areas even attract pedestrians such as the Viaduct and our parks. However, much of our city is hostile to cyclists, unless they want to dodge cars.
“Aucklanders are cycling more, with more people commuting in bikes, and for recreation. If even ten percent more of our population could cycle to work or to the shops, then we would improve our high rates of preventable diseases,” says Dr Hale.
“Regular physical activity such as cycling to work is one of the best things Kiwis can do to protect themselves from heart disease, which is New Zealand’s biggest killer,” says the Heart Foundation Medical Director Gerry Devlin.
“Doing just 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day, even in 10-minute chunks, can help reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke and high blood pressure.”
Obesity falls sharply with increased cycling, walking and public transport, as seen in many European cities. Cycling promotes health in five ways. It provides physical activity, reduces fatal road traffic accidents, increases social contact, reduces air pollution and is environmentally sustainable.