Nothing says middle class privilege quite like a billion dollar bridge to cycle on – will it be painted pink? Please let it be painted pink

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You want the NZ Government to listen to you?

Get a bunch of white middle class cyclists to protest!

New $685 million cycling and walking bridge for Auckland’s Waitematā Harbour

A new bridge costing $685 million is to be built for walkers and cyclists crossing Auckland’s Waitematā Harbour.

The government hopes construction can begin mid-2022, in a plan unveiled just five days after cycling lobbyists broke through a police barrier and rode over the existing Harbour Bridge, demanding action.

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Does anyone actually believe Labour will build this in 5 years? We all know they can’t build one house in a room full of lego!

Also, just think about the actual dynamics of this. Commuters on the Harbor Bridge for the next 5 years watching this billion dollar glorified cycle lane grow ever slowly while they are stuck in traffic.

People will start yelling at the bridge as they drive by it.

This cycle bridge is a performance art piece called ‘helping National win the next election’.

Let me be clear when I state I don’t have a dog in this fight.

I don’t drive a car, never have, never will. I’m a long suffering urban shmuck in that I do what I’m supposed to do – I don’t own a car, I walk, use public transport and ride-share.

I’m a Gold Star pedestrian and I can’t stand car drivers OR cyclists!

I think there are two kinds of driver. Those sexually aroused by driving (which seems like almost every male) and those held hostage to it by decades of poor urban planning and pitiful investment in public transport infrastructure.

Both types are climate crisis pollution creating vandals and both types seem to loath cyclists with homicidal glee.

The amount of times I’ve been a passenger in a car and the driver immediately blurts out some Tourettes like hatred towards a cyclist as we pass is always surprising as a nondriver, like you are taken aback by just how resentful the most mild mannered driver is the moment they see a cyclist. It’s like a dog after a cat or a Twitter mob cancelling Friends for being too white and privileged. It’s instinctual while being self-righteously superior for no real reason.

My interaction with drivers as a pedestrian is a completely different experience from my philosophical disgust at their global warming pollution production.

I always make eye contact with the driver when crossing the road and always make a smiling acknowledgment that they’ve seen me and won’t run me over. I always receive cheerful smiles and the right of way.

My experience with cyclists is far more antagonistic despite my completely agreeing with their call to reengineer the city into a dour cycling utopia.

I’ve been kicked, pushed, yelled at as angry cyclists speed past me on the footpath. I think cyclists are so angered by the abuse they get from drivers that they take it out on pedestrians. The way the Israeli Army does with Palestinians.

Let me remind the cyclists – as pedestrians – we can’t hear you when you approach us from behind!

I’d be a cyclist if they weren’t such smug condescending wankers.

There’s this terrible truth that once you go middle class woke you start doing 5 things:

1 – You start loudly correcting Te Reo mispronunciation in public.
2 – You become humourless about your veganism.
3 – You pay a subscription to The Spinoff and Stuff.
4 – You buy Tim Minchin concert tickets.
5 – You become unbearably militant about your cycling.

Auckland City Councilor Efeso Collins has already questioned the way police allowed middle class militant cyclists over the bridge while working class South Aucklanders get a very different kind of policing. This free the bridge hashtag thing was and is middle class activism at its most eye rolling.

It’s like rioting for a greater range of trans friendly pre-school daycare centers.

This revolution comes with a variety of soft cheeses.

The weirdest thing about this billion dollar bike bridge is that even after winning it – the cyclists are still angry and militant on twitter!

Cyclists are like feminists, farmers, and Alison Mau, in that they are never happy.

They not only want the bridge they want to be told how brave and courageous they are for cycling as well.

It’s like babysitting a needy rich kid.

Can we please pretend housing and poverty are middle class cycle lanes so the Government does something about them too?

 

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51 COMMENTS

  1. The idea of having a dedicated cycle way across the Waitemata harbour away from the cars is good in theory; but Ye Gods! The price is unbelievable! Were they planning to have a diamond encrusted pathway? Methinks they should go back to the drawing board and come up with something a little less elaborate and a whole lot less expensive and then everyone might be a bit more comfortable with it.

    • Yes, it is expensive, but a close look at the logistics involved in putting up this structure, to the safety standards required, given the use it’s going to be put to, are considerable.. The further of the ground(or water) the expense tends to go up at a compounding rate.. The specs will have to include redundancies in the structural integrity to cope with unexpected events. The wage bill alone will be at least half again higher than the going rate… This actually isn’t that extravagant a price when it all gets added up… Of course, the design of this structure, for the price, should fulfill adequately the twin aims of allowing those who would ride if the y could to do so, and reduce the number of cars crossing the bridge every day… That, as far as I know, hasn’t been finalised yet..
      The way the $685 million is being portrayed, I consider to be missing in context, as, when the totality of the amount of money that the government has been forced to put into attempting to loosen the knot that Auckland ties itself into daily is looked at, this isn’t actually that much..
      From an engineering point of view, they got the first thing right by putting it on the eastern side, away from the prevailing wind.. They can’t get the rest wrong, for obvious reasons, so cost cutting would be an abrogation of responsibility.. If the cycle way structure robs the bridge itself of a measure of flexibility, or visa versa, then that has to be compensated for, and that’s just one of the challenges the engineers face with this..
      I’d like to get on this one if/when it kicks off.. There’s bound to be some new stuff we haven’t done here yet…

  2. The bridge will be painted in rainbow colours, just like a pedestrian crossing in Wellington was.

    Pink is far, far too gendered. Rainbows are inclusive, and when newly acknowledged identity groups are no longer marginalised and can adopt a colour, we can re-paint the bridge to show our respect and acknowledgement.

    • Saying pink is far, far too gendered is sexist! I am triggered by your micro aggression! Is ‘your’ a correct pronoun?
      I identify as a non binary Pink elephant. My pronouns are it/they. Please respect my feelings. TDB comment section is a safe space.

      • Control Denied – may I point out that if your pronouns are it/they, your possessive adjectives should probably be ‘its/their’ .
        Are it sure it should use ‘my’?

        • Alert alert! Identify yourself! Identity politics police present! Alert alert! Gay transgender Muslim drag queen causes confusion! Alert!

          • It am a non-binary non-combatant. People as old as it keep their cards close to their chests! It don’t want its cards to be laid on the table!
            It need not scream alarm on its account.
            It knows what it means, even if other its – sorry – they – don’t.

  3. This decision could very well mark the beginning of the demise of the Labour government. Along with light rail down Dominion Road it identifies a total lack of common sense.

    • I promise it will be the end of this government of they take away a lane for these tossers.

      It will cause traffic mahem at peak, it loses flexibility when there is an incident on the bridge and every time it happens, Michael Wood voodoo dolls will come out.

      It will be goodbye Labour.

    • The demise of Labour will come when Jacinda decides to step down, simple as that. I have middle aged female work mates that believe Jacinda is god, ironically their adoration is similar to those who adore Trump.

      No failure, no broken promise, no lack of transparency will even change their judgement that she is the greatest living New Zealander. If Kiwibuild, Mallard, child poverty, the housing crisis, broken promises, blatant lies hasn’t changed their minds then a mere billion on a bridge won’t either.

      I reflect that Helen Clarke got the boot for simply wanting to change light bulbs and shower heads, and compared to what Jacinda hasn’t gotten away with it makes you wonder if Clarke had been ‘prettier’ she’d still be power.

  4. $685 mil is close to the $800 odd mil tender the previous national government accepted for transmission gulley to be built. That cost will blow out to around 3 bil by the time its finished. So expect the cost of the cycle way to be a least 1 bil.

  5. If the cycle way ever materialises under this government let it be known as ‘the pink and white woke middle class bespoke cycleway’.
    It can also be known as the eighth wonder of the 6th labour government of Aotearoa New Zealand. Yes indeed, behind the other wonders of this government including kiwi build, ending child poverty, the zero-carbon act, 1 billion trees, legalised medical cannabis, pill testing at concerts, and Phil Twyford.
    Not to mention the biggest wonder of them all. What to do with a majority government for the first time under mmp?

  6. As an Act Party supporter I am really chuffed that Labor has decided to go ahead with the cycle way as they are not going to win any votes out of it, in fact quite the opposite.

  7. If a big truck can get blown off the road on the bridge then how is it safe for cyclists and 2 feet? This will mean a wind sheltered structure included, sort of like a tunnel. Hell may as well build a tunnel underwater and then we could gas them all with diesel fumes from locos and…………..

  8. I can only wonder what ‘scatter’ brains come up with these ideas. You only have to endure the traffic solution in New Lynn and what is currently being done in Glen Eden to know pragmatism is missing in the design department. If the cycle bridge goes ahead it must be tolled until it is paid for, just like the existing bridge was – then we will see how committed the ‘pedlars’ are.

  9. I’m in the, “It ain’t gunnah happen!” group. “FIVE MORE YEARS! SUCKERS!”

    It looks like the real objective for this woke attack has been revealed. Now the lycra wokesters don’t want a specific walk/bike bridge built for them to be safe on. They want to play in the traffic by claiming they want a lane dedicated to them NOW!

    180,000 vehicles per day will have to be reduced to 5 lanes.
    Somehow, I don’t think 30,000 drivers a day are going to dump their vehicles to walk, ride, run to work across town, not just into the city to work. This is the nutty white wokey leaffie-gentrificationaries going full retard. FFS!

    My guess is that some cyclists and walkers will most likely be killed by road rage on the bridge, guaranteed.

  10. The cycling bridge will be a scam. While we’re still buried under neoliberalism AKA [capitalist] democracy any and every public works scheme will be a scam.
    If it’s anything like down round this here neck of the woods the lane will simply be a way of laundering rate payer funds in such a way as to afford Auckland City subcontractors Bruce and Kev and their mates a new ford grinder each, the one’s with the 4×4 penis extender option. The ones with the fake, bomb deflecting, plastic Desert Storm hood scoop that does nothing and the sundry tough, real man, “boo yeah mutha fucka’s” screw-on trinkets and fripperies. All in matching matt black, of course.
    A cycling bridge spanning a vulgar multi-million dollar yacht pond and connecting two halves of a pointless logical fallacy like Auckland IS NOT about the health and well being of people who’d prefer to cycle to save the planet and themselves. It’s all about making public funds warp into private pockets. You have phil goof, long time lover of roger ‘where’s my wee diddle? douglas ( roger? Hint. It’s under your moustache. ) and his money fetishist mates as the mayor and his consorts are waiting with their moist, lily white little hands held out for your money.
    Folks? The banksters have us buried under a capitalist aligned democracy so everything’s about the money, aint a damn thing funny in this land of jandles and kitsch kiwi fruit decorated pavlov’s.
    If there’s a better anthem for Auckland I’d love to hear it.
    Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five – The Message.
    https://youtu.be/PobrSpMwKk4
    Auckland and Wellington? You’ve fucked what was once our sustainable, first-world and regenerative agrarian primary industry infrastructure as a starving, dying planet limps towards us. You’ve bled out the towns and smaller cities of its people and you’ve destroyed their infrastructures like hospitals, dental , schools, public transport and polluted our councils with your greed and arrogance and entirely sabotaged whole communities of well trained multi generational farmers.
    Here’s how that’s going to pan out. While you’re worried about your little bridge and you’re mountainous egos the world just out there is soon to be extremely worried about what they’re going to eat and you’re fucking about as if the Ferrari’s always going to have gas in the tank. There’s no other planet you greedy little pricks and you’ve done your absolute best at deliberately sabotaging our chances at being the life boat to planet earth and you’re arguing about a pathetic, billion dollar cycling bridge.
    Here’s a better idea. Fuck the cycling bridge. And instead scatter that money, our farmers money, over our agrarian export industry workforce right after you make banking a criminal enterprise subject to an on-going public inquiry.

  11. As I said before, the big worry is what Labour spend the money on. Nothing of use, nothing that makes the country more productive or easier to live in. All just woke feelgood shit. I spent 4 hrs driving back from Tauranga to AKL. 4hrs for 200km!!! The roads are crap. Cones everywhere but nobody working. Ashburton bridge will fail…but hey 500K for the flood fund….big announcement woohoo!!!! Remember all that Shovel Ready hype? Pure drivel….nothing is fucking Shovel Ready. All spin..
    all hype…all bullshit. Bert accused me of having a stupid childish moniker. I think it’s more accurate than ever before. It’s all about the spin. That is Labour’s Big Gig!!!!

  12. Pink is too subjective. It must be of a gender neutral or “non binary” colour.
    Like grey, or beige, taupe.
    It’ll be lovely

  13. Does anyone know what this works out to be per metre of path? Or know how long this path is, so I can do the math myself? $685 million will more likely be 8-900 million. Seems awfully excessive to me at the present moment.

    • @ MickeyBoyle The current bridge is 1050 meters in length, so if you use that as a baseline it works out to $652,381 per meter. Good value??!?? Further to Ignatius’s point that is equivalent to 1050 three bedroom kiwi build homes… Good choice really. #Fuck the homeless
      #end bicycle poverdy
      #lycra lives matter

  14. The fucking Harbour Bridge was cheaper to build than this Cycle lane to Nowhere? Check out the Main road that leads out to Devonport, which has a dedicated cycle lane that cost thousands of dollars to build? Buggar all cyclists use it & that’s what will happen with this white privileged, woke, cycle lane Bridge? Pathetic! Just build a second Harbour bridge that has this included all included as well as a Light Railway line that runs alongside the Motorway! $685 million for a bloody standalone Cycle bridge is a ridiculous waste of money!

    • i know what i would do park my car in birken head and cycle accross in to the cbd cycle back to the car in the evening toll the cycle way it would still be cheaper than parking in the cbd the lawless two wheeled terrorist came from right across the city and really how were 5 cops going to stop 2000 people

  15. Bomber you’re turning into the most woke wokester around with your clickbait headlines. Has the Green party been in contact yet?

    What it actually says is we have spineless politicians.

    They could take a lane off the bridge and save 90% of the cost (or poss more)

    So make no bones about it, this is pandering to the rabid car drivers of Auckland.

    Nothing to do with the average punter who wants to get to work on his push bike.

  16. A bridge for the greens.Conceded by Labour who next time around may need their support to form a government.
    Put their personal agenda ahead of policy.

  17. This shows how out of touch this government is .
    Promised roading plans on real black spots have been cancelled but this system is going ahead
    Maori in Northland are losing the ability to use their own land
    Cancer patients are being made to wait in Chch hospital because of lack of beds and the upcoming nurses strike.
    3000 front line workers still not vaccinated .
    The list of dissatisfaction grows the only thing going for the government is National keep scoring own goals.

  18. Your on it Mickey Boyle.
    Child poverty,mental health and countless other policies drop down the priority list to accommodate self righteous cyclists.
    Hard to believe this is happening?

  19. This bridge will not be built. It is a completely doolally idea.

    In the first instance, the government doesn’t have – and, even if it did, would never be willing to spend – the amount of money required to overcome the physical and engineering difficulties of such a project.

    Secondly, this is a government which has made an art form out of the inability to organise anything at all. In virtue of what would anyone expect it to bring this off?

    Cycling, cycling…. Biking, folks. I grew up in a rural family: cycling is what cows do: you know, calves and all that.

  20. That bridge is an eye sore and engineers have been warning for years of a looming catastrophic failure. They can’t strengthen it anymore. It already is more clip on than bridge and adding two more is hilarious. Never mind the fact it’s hight leaves it vulnerable to winds that can blow trucks over and only a lunatic would want to actually cycle it, I don’t even like to drive over it.

    It was built to survive fifty years and should have been replaced twenty years ago. It’s ugly and like it or not cars aren’t going anywhere, public transport cars and gas and electric cars are around for the foreseeable future. Families can’t cycle , disabled people can’t cycle and shift workers can’t cycle or catch buses at 3 am to the middle of nowhere.

    We actually need a new harbour bridge.

    But not just a bridge…

    This focus on exterior infrastructure is mental, sure cycle lanes are nice to haves but we are building billions and billions of dollars of them around the country while our ancient water and sewage infrastructure crumbles.

    I hope those cycle lanes pass fresh water wells because it won’t be too long before we have an entire city getting gastro

  21. I live in New Lynn but unfortunately work on the Shore. The commute is trial-some to say the least. It’s something that requires alot of time planning and at times dependence upon public transport.

    For the 4 weekday mornings I get a lift to work but that requires me having to walk to a local park in darkness(at this time of the year)to catch my lift. That means I leave home at 6.15am weekday mornings to get to the local park and my lift.

    In the evenings, after work, I rely upon public transport and at times requires up to two buses and one train to get from Northcote to town(lower Albert Street), Britomart to New Lynn and New Lynn to home.

    If I didn’t have the lift on the 4 days of weekday mornings all up it would take me 4 plus hours per day to get to work and home again by public transport.

    It’s not exactly a positive image for Auckland pubic transportation. Thanks to AT and I am speaking facetiously here there is no direct service from home to the Dorkland CBD.

    But it accentuates how bad commuting from one part of Auckland to the other can be. Auckland is in a mess and perhaps blame could and should really be laid upon those now past Auckland City Councils, Mayosr and Councillors of the 80s.

    In the 80s the mayors of the time were more interested in Vanity Projects eg the Aotea centre than on infrastructure planning. The reports galore that were reported in the Auckland Star and NZ herald that had cost Auckland Ratepayers many hundreds of thousands of dollars were often consigned to the “Too Hard Basket” and today(2021 and for many previous years)we are reaping the consequences of delaying tactics with the result it is costing Auckland ratepayers more today than it would have cost 38 years ago.

    And so as a Auckland(or as I now call it Dorkland) ratepayer it annoys me that we ratepayers are again footing the bill for what Auckland has become.

    So whilst I am required to commute from New Lynn to the Shore and back I have noticed the obvious fact there is need for another harbour connection for those on the Shore. And so whilst we here on what I will call the “Mainside of Dorkland” have access to both tran and buses those on the Shore have very little option.

    Auckland and its Councils both past and present have failed Auckland/Dorkland, But I doubt the problem will be remedied even by 2023 because as per usual the matter will yet again go into the Too Hard Basket.

    There will be of course alot of debate and reports and naturally the Auckland Ratepayers will be left the bill of all that.

    By the time Auckland moves ahead and gets things done I will either be well out of this Shit-hole city or 6 feet under. Meaning I may as well hold my out-stretched hand out to the wind to stop it blowing through i.e nothing being done as per usual.

    • Blame past Auckland City Councils, Mayors and Councillors of the 80s? Was the die was cast in the 50s and 60s? Would bold, creative forward thinking back then seen the establishment of rail which would have been the spine of modern commuting? 2020s and we’re virtually starting from scratch.

      The inner city businesses in crisis as construction goes on? They are suffering the legacy of lack of foresight and courage of years gone by.

  22. Must be a lot of space under it for homeless people to sleep, otherwise not sure how you justify 700 million for a bike bridge for Auckland wankers when we have real issues to fix.

  23. OK I’ll put my boring engineers hat on and tell you what should be done:

    The Harbour Bridge is tired. It’s near the end of its life. The clip-ons are cracking internally and we’ve had to stop ultra heavies from going on the outside lanes.

    We need a replacement harbour bridge and we need to get on with planning it NOW.

    There are no realistic alternatives. A tunnel would be vastly expensive because the topology would mean it had to start somewhere near Remuera and finish north of Northcote. A train tunnel would go nowhere and not address the main reason for having a bridge in the first place:- through traffic that is not going from or to Auckland city.

    Once we’ve built a new bridge alongside the existing one, we can dedicate one lane of the old bridge to people in Lycra.

    • Thanks Andrew,

      I would much rather hear from engineers than politicians when discussing new or replacement infrastructure.

    • Andrew: “…I’ll put my boring engineers hat on and tell you what should be done…”

      Exactly. The engineer in this household agrees with you. Though in their view, no people on bikes or on foot should ever be allowed to use the clip-ons.

  24. One thing that you may want to ask yourself, why is providing a walking and cycling connection between Auckland City and the North Shore perceived as being for the benefit of the middle class. The answer is two-fold, the North Shore is an area that is markedly wealthier than the rest of Auckland (and the country) and what we notice of cycling is an expensive pass-time.

    As far as these two reasons are facts, and the second one is debatable, why are they facts. I would contend that transport poverty has contributed to the concentration of affluence on the North Shore, if not actually caused it. It costs money to travel, the most expensive type of transport is private motorcar, the second is public transport. The North Shore was created by not only being principally connected by private motorcar, but having a local tax (in the form of tolls) on the use of that connection. A decent, reliable and efficient public transport connection has only been in effect since the completion of the Northern Busway. The cheapest and most available forms of transport walking and cycling are outright banned or are only available in conjunction with public transport.

    This structure privileged wealth and made the North Shore an enclave of wealth. Those initial conditions have reinforced themselves through higher land prices.

    Cycling is by far the cheapest means by which to travel middle distances (5 to 15 kilometres). In a city that should be sufficient to keep commutes under an hour. The reason cycling is perceived as a middle class leisure pursuit is because it is. It has been structurally removed from its utility as a real transport option and confined to a weekend sport. That sport is then marked out by higher entry costs for its participants. The result is that cycling appears to be an expensive pastime. The reality is that since the 50’s Auckland has been built to privilege the private motor car as the primarily and in most cases only practical means of transport. This initially was a middle-class privilege as they moved further out to the suburbs. It has now become the working-classes burden. As the inner city has become more desirable, the working poor have been moved further out to suburbs where they can only access their job opportunities through the car.

  25. This is nuts. Take a lane out for cyclists and walkers, make it a big barrier between so it is nothing to do with the cars, much cheaper and it will work and then they will have the rest of the money for housing.

    Awh housing probably doesn’t matter does it really, I mean cars are available for living in.

  26. $685 million? Isn’t that just about what the bludger Peter Jackson has been given to make his shit movies at the expence of the working man & woman? I say stop giving that thief the money and build a bridge. Bomber, I’m surprised at your middle-class white priveage angle, there’s plenty of brown fellas and poor white folk that will and should use this crossing, the bridge itself will cost $100m, it’s the infrastucture that blows the budget out to $685m because ALL existing infrastructure has been set up for four plus wheel vehicles. The majority of the comments are just following and elongating your wolf whistle, this would probably be the second greatest legacy that our glorious leader could leave behind after her four term premiership.

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