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One thing you can do right now to help end the climate crisis

Cycling The Spinoff

Eating vegan, buying less plastic and cycling are all useful things you can do for the environment, but not everyone can manage that. Generation Zero’s Alexandra McNeill has something that everyone can do, right now. Biking to work makes me
'Eating vegan, buying less plastic and cycling are all useful things you can do for the environment, but not everyone can manage that. Generation Zero’s Alexandra McNeill has something that everyone can do, right now.  Biking to work makes me angry. I’m constantly aware of car drivers, especially when they’re in my lane, or cutting in front of me to turn left. Or stopped over a cycle crossing even though the light was orange for a solid five seconds and I saw them consciously make that decision to keep driving. I repeat calming mantras to myself, but it doesn’t work. The very act of having to be hyper-vigilant means that I’m on the offensive. It’s even worse if it’s cold or rainy. Look at all these people, safe and dry and warm in their SUVs! They’re not making sacrifices like I am, I think to myself. See, biking to work in the rain isn’t the only sacrifice I’ve made to try and prevent climate change: I’ve given up meat and dairy because cows burp methane and put excess nitrogen into waterways, I only buy local, in-season fruit and vegetables, and I don’t own a car. I bike or bus everywhere, including to Bin Inn where I buy my plastic-free pasta, laundry detergent, and locally-grown canola oil. I only buy cardboard-wrapped solid shampoos, body wash, and deodorant, and I recently found out that rice is a pretty bad crop in terms of its carbon footprint , so maybe I’ll switch to eating quinoa grown in the South Island. But let’s be honest. All these changes and sacrifices aren’t making a difference.  Students march in Wellington during the strike to raise climate crisis awareness (Photo: Getty Images) Instead, taking just a little time to make a submission on the government’s first draft of the Zero Carbon Bill before July 16 could be the most important, meaningful, and easy sacrifice of all. And that’s because individuals like me can’t end climate change alone. We’ll fail as a country (and a planet) to make any headway against climate change unless backed by government and corporations. That’s why the Zero Carbon Bill is such a big deal: it outlines the government’s immediate and long-term plans for making Aotearoa carbon-neutral. We’ve all been invited to have our say , and we all need to, because the bill in its current state does a disservice to our future. Generation Zero, a nation-wide youth-led organisation that advocates for solution-led climate change action, has written a summary of things that haven’t been properly covered in the current draft that really should be. For example, there’s currently no legal requirement for any of the proposals in the bill, which means there’ll be no legal repercussions if targets aren’t met. Te Tiriti o Waitangi isn’t properly incorporated. There’s no mandate to make sure that the people who live day-to-day and have no time to think about a climate catastrophe are accounted for; that any changes we make as a nation will support the less-privileged and those too young to vote. Finally, the bill in its current state does not do enough to limit warming to 1.5ºC, as recommended by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).  Quite simply, it needs drastic improvement.  (Image: Generation Zero) Now is the time to improve the Zero Carbon Bill before it comes into law as yet another watered-down piece of wishy-washy climate change legislation. Now is the time where we can make a real difference, without having to chow down on quinoa or shun yoghurt. Click here to write a submission on the draft bill . Tell the government that it’s their responsibility – no matter who’s sitting in their seats after the next election, or the one after that – to make Aotearoa reduce our carbon emissions, adapt to the changes that are inevitable, and protect the underprivileged while doing so. Follow Generation Zero’s easy guidelines if you want some suggestions on what to write. We can’t put an end to climate change through individual responsibility alone. My personal sacrifices can’t be scaled up in their current state. Imagine Bin Inn, packed to the brim with all the late-night shoppers from Pak’nSave! Imagine all those car users crammed into the same number of buses that currently exist on our roads! And imagine the people who can barely afford to buy a small bag of rice only having the option of buying quinoa, at five times the price. I’ll continue making personal sacrifices, because I can, but I’m also going to tell the Government that their Zero Carbon Bill needs some serious work, because our future depends on it. I’m sick of being angry at the wrong people. Let’s turn that anger to those who have the power to do something, right now.'

A one-of-its-kind bike that Daniel built

Cycling Times

The unique bike that Daniel Strekier has built entirely from wood looks like a priceless piece of art.While most people would think of it as an impossible task, the ingenious wood carver thrives on challenges.
'Daniel with his son Theodore who was thrilled to help his dad build the extraordinary bike made of wood.Times photo Wayne Martin The unique bike that Daniel Strekier has built entirely from wood looks like a priceless piece of art.While most people would think of it as an impossible task, the ingenious wood carver thrives on challenges.The skilled craftsman, who first arrived from Argentina to New Zealand for three months and stayed back for 12 years, says it is a dream come true. “When I first landed in New Zealand with just enough life savings to last me for three months and very little English, the only word I knew in English was hammer,” he says. “There is a German saying that with nothing you can be clever.” While it took Daniel just a week to bag his first contract job as a shop-fitter at a fashion store on Queen Street, he says he was the crazy Argentinean who kept asking his boss for the toughest jobs to stimulate his creativity.It was the same desire to push his creative limits that had him design a 60kg wooden bike with 22 gears and three hydraulic brakes.A wooden chain, padlock and a saddlebag add to the perfect finish.Times photo Wayne Martin It was a casual conversation about helping his neighbour Bruce McKay out with making a barrier out of old racing car tyres for a radio controlled car track that sparked his imagination.The passionate craftsman behind Masterpiece Wood Works toyed with the idea of using midget racing tyres to build a bike.Running his hand across the intricately curved wooden mudguard he says it has 32 pieces of wood, all seamlessly joined together.Each side of the wheel started out as a 16 pieces of flat wood that were joined together with finger joints.Times photos Wayne Martin Each side of the wheel started out as a 16 pieces of flat wood that were joined together with finger joints to form a circle with flat edges.The oak, walnut and ash coloured smooth chain guard has 12 pieces of wood, while the handle bar has six pieces of wood lined with five layers of carbon fibre.Daniel says his eight-year-old son Theodore Lian Strekier would keenly watch him and was excited to help trial the bike.Equally eye-catching are the laminated nuts and studs as is the wooden helmet he has created.The wood carver takes special pride in showing off the wooden padlock which has just a tiny piece of pin for the key to fit in.A wooden chain and the wood and leather saddle bag add to the finished look for this one-of-a-kind bike.A one-of-a- kind bike called Grace.Times photo Wayne Martin “Whilst building the bike I asked for inspiration to create a nice piece of art and that’s why I named the bicycle Grace,” he says.Daniel first tried pedalling the bike from his home at Hutchinson Road to Eastern Beach.Later he dared to bike across the Hauraki Gulf Trail which had its share of excitement–as he tried not to head straight into a ditch.He now plans to raise funds for a charity by biking from Cape Reinga to Auckland.Currently training for it, his mind is already working on the next big piece of outstanding art.           . The post A one-of-its-kind bike that Daniel built appeared first on Times .'

New footpaths improve walking and cycling options

Cycling LiveNews.co.nz

Source: Far North District Council Pedestrians in the Far North will soon have more safe walking options with 12 new footpaths to be built across the District this financial year. The paths were selected by the district’s three Community Boards
'Source: Far North District CouncilPedestrians in the Far North will soon have more safe walking options with 12 new footpaths to be built across the District this financial year.The paths were selected by the district’s three Community Boards based on suggestions from the public, and a matrix that assesses footpath projects in order of priority. Matrix criteria includes pedestrian safety, proximity to schools, marae, medical centres and rest homes, and whether the new path will extend the existing network.Of the 12 paths to be built before July, eight will receive funding from the NZ Transport Agency.General Manager – Infrastructure and Asset Management, Andy Finch, says key goals in extending the District’s 196km footpath network are to increase pedestrian safety, improve public health, boost economic and social opportunities, and provide ratepayers with value for money.  “We want to do all we can to encourage cycling and walking in the district and improve community access for those with disabilities. Our difficult geography does not always make that easy or affordable, so we are grateful for funding assistance from NZTA.”He says staff will continue to work with NZTA to fund more footpath projects next financial year. Far North Footpath Projects Te Hiku WardTe Hiku Community Board has allocated funding to build five new footpaths by July 2019. Four paths will be built in Kaitaia. These will:Link Church Road with the Arnold Rae Park ticket gate.Link Pukepoto Road pedestrian crossing with the existing bus stop footpath in front of Kaitaia College. Work will coincide with school holidays starting 15 April.Extend an existing path for 396m along Donald Road to the intersection with Hillcrest Road.The Community Board will also contribute funds towards a 2.2m-wide shared-use path through Centennial Park.At Doubtless Bay, links between Coopers Beach and Mangonui will be improved with a new path along State Highway 10 starting from Mill Bay Road and connecting to an existing path on Beach Road.The Community Board has also committed to building a 2.2m-wide shared-use path linking North Park Drive in Kaitaia to Whangatane Drive next financial year, and completing designs this year for a new path along Foreshore Road in Ahipara.Bay of Islands-Whangaroa WardBay of Islands-Whangaroa Ward Community Board has allocated funds to build three new paths this financial year and scheduled another two for construction next financial year.Footpaths to be built before July 2019 include:Continuing a path opposite the intersection with Hone Heke Road along Cobham Road to Mill Road.Continuing a path from Waipapa Stream on Landing Road to Skudders Beach Road.Extending a path on Shepherd Road to the end of Riddell Road.The Board also allocated funding for the design of two paths to be built in 2019/2020. One will be built on Mission Road and the other will continue on Long Beach Road path to the beach car park.Kaikohe-Hokianga WardFour new paths will be built in Kaikohe-Hokianga Ward, three of which will be in Kaikohe. The NZ Transport Agency will provide funding for three of the projects. These will:Improve pedestrian safety outside the Council Headquarters on Memorial AvenueAdd a shared-use path along Recreation Road to Raihara Street Link Thorpe Road to Recreation Road and provide the Twin Coast Cycle Trail Pou Herenga Tai with a shared path into Kaikohe.Link historic Saint Catherine’s Church via Horeke Road to Okaihau.MIL OSI'

Major work at Panmure roundabout over Easter

Cycling LiveNews.co.nz

Source: Auckland Council Construction on the first stage of AMETI Eastern Busway will ramp up over Easter with work starting to upgrade Panmure roundabout. The AMETI project will result in high frequency, rapid transit bus travel for east Auckland
'Source: Auckland CouncilConstruction on the first stage of AMETI Eastern Busway will ramp up over Easter with work starting to upgrade Panmure roundabout.The AMETI project will result in high frequency, rapid transit bus travel for east Auckland along with cycling and walking connections, improvements for general traffic and urban design enhancements.The completed busway, which is funded by NZ Government, Auckland Council and the Regional Fuel Tax, will reduce travel times by bus and train between Botany and Britomart by up to a third.AMETI Eastern Busway Programme Director Duncan Humphrey says the Easter break is a great opportunity to get work done while people on holiday.“Transforming the roundabout into a signalised intersection will increase traffic flow through the area once the project is completed and it will also improve safety for people walking and cycling through the area and make it easier to access Panmure Station and the town centre.”Several road closures will be in place near the roundabout over the Easter and ANZAC week period, however access between Queens Road and Ellerslie – Panmure Highway will remain open at all times.Mr Humphrey says although the Easter work may see traffic in the area slow down, it is the best time to get this work completed.“This is a significant amount of work we will be able to get done over a ten-day period and will be a major step in the life of this important project.”As part of the upgrade to Panmure roundabout, the famous Panmure sign will be removed. The sign will be stored at a secure facility while public consultation around its future takes place in the coming months.The construction of stage one of the Eastern Busway between Panmure and Pakuranga is due to be completed in 2021 and will involve significant upgrades to local roads and major intersections, widening the northern side of Lagoon Drive and Pakuranga Road, along with the construction of a new dedicated busway bridge over Tamaki River.MIL OSI'