Bikelash? – new creative forms of cognitive dissonance

The Editor, The Listener,

Private Bag 92512, Wellesley St.,  Auckland 1141

24 February, 2018

Dear Editor,

In Island Bay, Wellington, there was consultation on the bikeway over many months, and people in Wellington and elsewhere generally have heard about the coming of cycleways for years. But as Kathryn King of Auckland Transport put it kindly about their cycleways, “we didn’t perhaps hear from all the people who now have concerns”. Indeed.  The catalyst for the bikelash in Island Bay was, if I may use the vernacular, Council finally got around to building the bloody thing. 

As Kirsty Wild said, “cycle lanes present fundamental challenges to existing power relationships within cities”. Cycleways are just the beginning.  Climate change has presented a fundamental challenge globally.  In Island Bay, they tried to pretend change wasn’t coming but when it did, the angst finally burst through and they admitted they want things to revert back to what they were before the cycleway.  Similarly, at the globally level, the response to climate change has been growing denial, not less, with new creative forms of cognitive dissonance, leading to the Post Truth Era we now live in.


Richard Keller


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