My letter to Waterfront Auckland on the way they’re treating us on our bikes lately.

Ok, so I can guess what happened.

Someone on a bike rode carelessly through the wharf area to the boat, unsafely for the foot passengers around, and so somebody in authority decided that as a consequence all bikes need to be walked on the ferry terminals.

I understand where you’re coming from on that. Safety of passengers is important, and if someone is acting dangerously, then they need to be stopped.

However, what about the rest of us? We are now being made to walk our bikes despite not having endangered anyone. We are being barked at by security guards and being made to feel like bad people because of the actions of one person, and because of the way we choose to arrive at the terminals.

When someone is hit by a speeding car, we don’t respond by making all cars drive at 5kph from then on. We deal with that particular driver, maybe do a bit of focus on safety messaging, then we trust people to act like responsible adults.

Compared with the reaction to the cyclists, it seems to be punishing all for the actions of one.

I put it to you, let us ride slowly and respectfully as we do, and if you see any of us endangering anyone else, tell us, get us off our bikes. Be reasonable.

Today I was told off for riding my bike, slower than a walking pace, down Matiatia wharf, where there was no one but me there. Similarly, at Wharf 2 in town, where there was no one but me and the security guard, i was ordered off. Again, at a walking pace, no one around. I was endangering no one, and the blind application of the rule over logic is insulting and unnecessary.

Empower your security guards and staff to use their discretion to keep people safe, and not to tar all cyclists with the ‘irresponsible’ brush. I did not buy a bicycle to walk it around everywhere, and please stop treating us like criminals or hooligans.

We responsible cyclists are just as annoyed, if not more so, than you are at that disrespectful person who caused this reaction. Don’t punish us for their action. Use discretion and address safety on a case by case basis.

Regards

Michael Tavares

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