Creating streets for people is an economic imperative.

Can Janette Sadik-Kahn help Auckland replicate what has been achieved in New York?

I ride a bicycle. Slowly. To get to places. ‘A to B’. Occasionally with family members. And that would seem to be all it takes to get oneself invited to ‘press the flesh’ with Janette Sadik-Kahn. Her visit to our shores created a real buzz. Let’s hope that buzz can be converted into ‘runs on the board’ in the short and long term. Metro Magazine got the ball well and truly rolling. Auckland Council gets an ‘A’ for initiative.

And on the matter of the ‘Conversations’ series, wouldn’t it be great if all the best content from all the previous ‘conversations’ was packaged up, and sent out on a tour of the ‘burbs’? A slick and compelling marketing campaign. To reach a new audience. Beyond the converted. Reaching out to the fruit hanging slightly higher up the tree.

Ms Sadik-Kahn talked about the need for boldness and innovative thinking. She described our current transport model as luxury we can no longer afford. Change is an economic imperative. It’s about economic prosperity.

And it’s about the quality of life in our cities. The streets belong to the public at large. They should be designed to be inviting to people, not cars. Every citizen, every neighbourhood, in the entire city needs to have access to safe streets and all modes of transport.

These are the messages that need to be amplified and repeated. Slick and compelling.

‘Cycling’ is sport and recreation. ‘Riding a bicycle’ is everyday activity. No sweat. As easy as walking, but faster.

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