Cyclist killed in collision named

MICHAEL FIELD
Last updated 17:50 08/01/2014

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The cyclist killed in a collision with a truck in central Auckland has been named as John Tangiia.

Tangiia, a 37-year-old Auckland man, collided with a truck pulling a container through the Parnell Rise and Stanley St intersection, near the CBD yesterday.

His daughter Keysha Tangiia said her father would "remain in my heart for enternity", in a posting on her Facebook page.

"I guess god needed another angel ...  RestInParadise Dad," she wrote.

Tangiia's death has caused outrage over continued inaction on cycle routes.

The truck driver, who police say had a green light, was unaware he had hit the cyclist who was dragged under the truck and died at the scene.

Cycle Action Auckland (CAA) said it was not the first fatality in the area, which links the container port to Auckland's busy Southern Motorway.

Authorities needed to do "a lot more" to prevent these kinds of accidents", the group said.

Two years ago another cyclist was killed in the area.

"Since then, we have seen numerous intersection improvement plans being discussed back and forth by the two authorities responsible for these roads," CAA says on its website.

"We keep hearing that cycle facilities will be built 'soon', or 'this summer' (the latest undefined date) but things get pushed back and nothing happens.

"We used to say 'somebody has to be killed for something to happen' - do we have to change that to 'somebody has to be killed for people to notice that nothing happens'." 

CCA said Auckland Transport and the NZ Transport Agency had several months ago completed a report on cycling and walking improvements for Stanley St and The Strand.

"While the proposed changes in the report would have our full support, we have heard through the grapevine that many of the changes would meet strong resistance from those worried it might impact on vehicle traffic," it said.

Cycle death rates in New Zealand are several times those of Europe.

Entrepreneur Lance Wiggs blogged on yesterday's crash, which he arrived at soon after it happened.

"The sight of a person lying motionless in the street with mangled bicycle in the background is chilling enough," he wrote.

"The sounds of grief-stricken people comforting each other, the shock on the face of the woman in the car stuck in full view of the scene, the general feeling of despair - these things are not easy to portray.

"For the family and friends of the deceased - utter devastation.

"For the witnesses who saw the event happen, that event will replay for years.

"For the police, ambulance and other emergency staff - another brutally tough day. I don't know how they cope."

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The accident was entirely preventable and such accidents could be eliminated, Wiggs wrote.

But in New Zealand they would not be "and we should all be very angry and upset about this".

Improvements needed to be made to physically separate trucks and cars from cyclists and cyclists from pedestrians, through a system of bike and pedestrian paths that crisscrossed cities and formed commuter routes, Wiggs said.

"It means investing serious dollars into this human-scale infrastructure, and rather happily this also creates a lot more jobs per dollar than truck-scale infrastructure," he said.

In an election year it was time for parties and candidates to take a tough stand.

"Cycling and work safety are not green, red, blue or other party-affiliated issues, but ones that offer benefits across the board.

"Too many people are dead and I think we would all like to see a genuine sense of urgency before more people die."

- Stuff

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