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If you’ve been on the waterfront recently you’ve probably noticed these signs near the bridges.
BIKERS BEWARE! (picture of sports cyclist)
Um, excuse me?
I’m not too impressed with this. What possible reason could there be for using such aggressive, scare-tactic, OMG the danger! language?
The rest of the wording is “Pedestrian Priority” and I don’t have any issues with this. If Wellington Waterfront Limited has deemed pedestrians to have right of way over the waterfront area, that’s perfectly understandable. But I’m hugely disappointed with their communication style towards bike riders – otherwise known as ‘legitimate users of the waterfront’ in that awful bureaucratic-speak we all seem to have become accustomed to.
So what are the alternatives? How about ‘Bikers Be Aware’, or ‘Hey Bikers ’, or any of the neutral or friendly, attention-grabbing phrases you’ve probably thought of in the last 10 seconds. You know, something that doesn’t attack people for doing what they’re allowed – and encouraged – to do. EDIT: Even better, bike riders could have been involved in finding the solution. We’re the ones whose buy-in is required, so how about calling on, say, Cycle Aware Wellington to get involved. They’ve got a ton of smart, engaged bike riders who think about this kind of stuff all day.
Here’s another thing: what kind of bike riders do Wellington Waterfront Ltd think are riding on the waterfront? Judging from the sign (or sticker, really) they reckon sports cyclists are the main group. A few minutes at peak hour – or at any other time – will make it obvious that it’s commuters, not sports cyclists, who are riding along there. Since that’s the case, this would be a better graphic – and it’s free to use.
Patrick thought that the signs were about people riding too fast along the waterfront. I thought it was about shared space on the bridges, but I do see the occasional hoon on a bike along there. If it’s that much of an issue then I’d like to see Wellington Waterfront Ltd lobbying Wellington City Council to improve bike infrastructure on key commuter routes instead of having a go at people. You can do 50 km/h through most of the city, so if you’re wanting to go fast the roads will be better suited when the infrastructure goes in. The waterfront – not so much.