A successful “CAN Do” Weekend

As another weekend comes to an end, for about 30 people it’s also the end of another rewarding “CAN Do” National Cycling Summit here in Christchurch. Based at the new Whareora building at CPIT, the delegates were treated to a wide variety of speakers and ideas presented.

Guest speaker Prof Simon Kingham at the CAN Do

Guest speaker Prof Simon Kingham at the CAN Do

The programme for the weekend kicked off with a welcome from City Councillor Phil Clearwater followed by an entertaining and informative keynote presentation from Prof Simon Kingham (Uni of Canterbury) that reminded us all of the sense of investing in cycling. A broader discussion then followed with a panel (including Phil and Simon) looking at how to apply some of those lessons to cities around NZ.

Not all talk - delegates explore Christchurch cycleways

Not all talk – delegates explore Christchurch cycleways

The CAN Do is not all about talk however; there’s always a chance to also explore the local neighbourhood as well. A guided ride on Saturday took everyone from town out to Ilam and back, showing off some cycleways past, present and future.

A scenic lunch time at Riccarton Bush

A scenic lunch time at Riccarton Bush

Saturday afternoon also saw a public open session at CPIT where people could try out putting their bike on a bus bike-rack, get their bikes checked over by the RAD Bikes team, or even try out a few interesting cargo bikes and electric e-bikes.

So that's how you do it - trying out a bus bike-rack

So that’s how you do it – trying out a bus bike-rack

The summit continued with some interesting discussions over how to deal with the perennial problem of removing car-parking when building cycleways. A common theme seemed to be to re-frame the conversation so that it was about optimising parking across the whole city, and even making it easier to find a car-park. San Francisco was cited as a good example of how they have turned around the parking debate – and been able to fit in cycleways too.

Trying things out at the public open session

Trying things out at the public open session

Other topics also dealt with how local communities can take advantage of the $100 million Urban Cycleways Fund currently being contested. NZTA national Cycling Manager Dougal List was on hand to explain the beauty of the Urban Cycleways Fund – invest $1 locally in cycling and get a further $2 from central Govt. There were also reports on recent meetings between CAN and the new Transport Ministers. It sounds like there is a lot more enthusiasm from the current political masters to see cycling play a greater role in transport (and to provide some money for it).

Patrick Morgan from CAN leads a discussion

Patrick Morgan from CAN leads a discussion

Green MP Kevin Hague joined the summit on Sunday and discussed how the NZ Cycle Trail programme could also tie in with urban cycleways. There’s been a huge level of public support for the cycle trails around the country, and now those same people are wanting to also ride their bikes around town. That public support has filtered through to the politicians; hence we’re seeing the current level of investment in cycling. Kevin also provided his thoughts and experiences on using social media to get your message out there – very useful insights.

Green MP Kevin Hague

Green MP Kevin Hague

Overall this year’s CAN Do covered a lot of ground and provided plenty of inspiration for the attendees. It was also another great opportunity to catch up on old friends from around the country and to make a few new ones. Missed this year’s Summit? Next year’s event will be held in Hamilton.

Did you attend the CAN Do? What did you think?

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4 Comments

  • David P
    30 March 2015, 4:31 pm

    Talk about progress!?
    Cars have now claimed what was a cycleway outside Canterbury University on Creyke road. The shoulder (cycle-lane) was recently ripped up and re-sealed for internet cable installation. Now that there is now marking on the freshly resealed road it has now turned from a cycleway into ‘shoulder car parks’.

    I witnessed a cyclist having to serve out into the traffic (almost hit by car) there today. Is there any way to remedy this? I hope this is temporary and not a planned change or we have just taken a MAJOR step backwards.

    REPLY
    • LennyBoy@David P
      1 April 2015, 9:18 pm

      Fear not, it’s just the usual delay between sealing the road and re-marking it again; a nuisance for sure but not a change in cycleway provision. Personally I’m more concerned about the not wonderful re-surfacing effort that has resulted in a rather rough ride now along that cycle lane…

      REPLY
      • Dave P@LennyBoy
        8 April 2015, 11:51 am

        Agreed, I was surprised at how uneven the surface now is. I will be disappointed if they rip up more cycleway and re-seal it like that!

        REPLY
  • David P
    30 March 2015, 4:32 pm

    NB: above should read ‘no markings.on the freshly sealed road’

    REPLY

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