Twenty nine innovative cycling projects and dedicated people from across New Zealand were announced today as finalists for the 2017 Bike to the Future Awards.
The awards, organised by the NZ Transport Agency and Cycling Action Network (CAN), celebrate the people and projects making cycling a better way to get around.
The finalists, selected from a new record of over 80 nominations, range from large scale infrastructure projects such as the Western Rail Trail in Hamilton, to community initiatives including USO Bike Ride, a programme that promotes cycling as a way of keeping healthy to Polynesian males across the country.
CAN spokesman, Patrick Morgan, says that with the sheer number of nominations received compared to previous years, there's no doubt that momentum for cycling is increasing.
“With the Government and councils building new cycleways, investing in skills training for our young people and encouraging more and more Kiwis to give cycling a go, it’s getting even easier to get about by bike,” says Patrick.
NZ Transport Agency Senior System Design Manager, Brett Gliddon says the future of transport is about providing real transport choices as more New Zealanders look for faster, more efficient ways to get around our towns and cities.
“The Bike to the Future Awards recognise the best new infrastructure, innovative projects and dedicated people who are supporting the Government’s goal of making our towns and cities safer and more attractive to get about by bike. I wish the finalists well.”
The 2017 Award judges said the number and calibre of this year’s nominations are testament to the dedication of so many New Zealanders to sharing the benefits and the joy of cycling with their communities.
Speaking on behalf of the judging panel, Pippa Coom says, “It was inspiring and impressive to see a significant increase from last year in nominations from across the country for a wide range of projects, events, and initiatives having a significant impact on encouraging more people to cycle. Along with the dedicated individuals providing New Zealanders with the confidence and skills to get about by bike, and significant growth in quality cycling infrastructure, we can tell the future is bright for a bike-friendly New Zealand.”
The winners will be announced at the Asia-Pacific Cycle Congress awards dinner in Christchurch on 19 October. The 2016 Supreme Award went to Auckland's Te Ara I Whiti (Light Path), which has since gathered several international awards.
This year’s finalists are:
Big Bike Bling Award
Bikes in Business Award
Get on Yer Bike Award
Innovation Hub Award
Outstanding Contribution to a Bike-Friendly Future Award
Taking Communities on the Journey Award
The awards were judged by:
Pippa Coom - Chairperson Waitemata Local Board, cycling advocate and member of the Urban Cycleways Investment Panel
Richard Leggat - Chair of the New Zealand Cycle Trail, Board Member of Cycling NZ, Chair of the former Cycling Safety Panel, member of the Urban Cycleways Investment Panel
Peter King - Policy Research Manager / Editor, New Zealand Automobile Association