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Ride Bikes, Save Doh

May 19, 2013

I recently designed some printed material for an online survey Cycle Action Auckland was doing in conjunction with Auckland Transport.

They are looking at why so few users of the Northern Busway arrive there by bike. The busway has proved extremely popular and car parks fill up quickly, but the bicycle racks are relatively empty.

Busway Survey Graphic

My brief for the flyer and accompanying poster was to “make them eye-catching & colourful”.

I thought my concept was a little clichéd, you know… “bikes are the missing piece of the puzzle”, so instead of an illustration I made the puzzle pieces with Play-Doh for a slightly different look.

Finding Play-Doh in our house not contaminated with cat fur or biscuit crumbs was a challenge so any old colours were used and I fixed them up later in Photoshop. I kept the layout and typography super simple and hoped the prominent picture would capture people’s attention long enough for them to board their bus (flyer in hand) and read some of the text on the trip into town.
Survey Poster in Situ

It was somewhat ironic that when I popped up to Albany in the car to see how the posters had turned-out I couldn’t get a bloody park anywhere. I ended up legging it across the fields from the mall parking-lot, and as is often the case, the round-trip would have been just as quick by bicycle.

I now understand why the crematorium below was built in the busway car park. Turning up at 8am on a rainy monday morning (praying there is a free parking spot) must be VERY, VERY stressful!

Caroline Robinson's Luna

“Luna” by Caroline Robinson

Do any of you guys use the Northern Busway? Do you ride your bike to the station and use the bike-racks or bike-boxes provided?

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Rod permalink
    May 20, 2013 10:12 pm

    I used to use the Boxes at Smales Farm Station on a daily basis when I worked in the CBD and would still be doing so had I not retired for (probably) the last time. I believe they are a great idea and they did seem to be well patronised as sometimes they were all taken when I arrived at 8.45am (I worked gentlemans’ hours) and I therefore had to use the rack. I still use the boxes should I need to bus to the CBD and find them very convenient.

    • May 20, 2013 10:21 pm

      Certainly preferable to leaving your bike out in the weather Rod, more secure too (I would hope). Next time I’m riding past the Constellation station I must see if my bike actually fits in one; at 6′ 5″ my saddle is 1.1m off the ground!

  2. Natasha permalink
    May 21, 2013 12:23 pm

    Hmmm you have given me an idea …. I stress about riding from Rothesay Bay into the city (44km round-trip and now it’s dark and the traffic is a pain in the evening), and have tried options like driving to Takapuna and riding from there … but maybe a better option is cycling to the bus station … good idea! Have people had issues with bike safety at the bus stations? I’d hate my bike to be attacked!!!

    Love the art work … very cool!

    • May 21, 2013 5:35 pm

      Thanks Natasha. I don’t know if bikes get stolen or vandalized at the stations but you would certainly want a couple of good locks securing both wheels to the racks. The bike-racks are also not undercover (as far as I could tell) so your pride-and-joy is out in the weather all day. I don’t know if all the stations have them, but at Constellation Drive (my local) they have big blue bike-lockers. I haven’t looked at one in years but you used to put a gold coin in and when you returned the key you got your deposit back. There is enough room for your helmet and wet-weather gear etc.

  3. BikeCommuter permalink
    May 23, 2013 11:27 pm

    I bike commute on the shore, but go east-west and so this isn’t my area of attention. But, I used to bike-bus-bike heaps overseas. The missing thing in Auckland are the bus bike racks (and pram hooks too).

    An example of this is

    I would think Auckland weather would mean year round bike racks.

    • May 24, 2013 9:25 am

      Buses here had pram-hooks when I was a lad! Auckland Transport were looking at a trial of front bicycle-racks on the northern express buses, not sure if it ever happened? (It was done in Christchurch I believe)

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