A Christchurch man has taken a political stand against the controversial cycleways with a blank wall, a paintbrush and a stencil.
Robert Beasley has called out city councillors for voting in favour of the Quarryman’s Trail in graffiti on his father’s building on the corner of Hazeldean Rd and Antigua St.
The cycleway is currently being built and runs along Antigua St, south of Moorhouse Ave.
The plumber has painted portraits of city councillors Vicki Buck, Phil Clearwater, Mike Davidson, Anne Galloway, Pauline Cotter, Sara Templeton and deputy mayor Andrew Turner onto the building with the title “the honourable CCC cycleways comittee (sic)”.
Below them it says “so vote these people back in if you want to keep living in a dictatorship.”
The city councillors were part of the temporary Major Cycleway Routes Committee and voted for the Quarryman’s Trail to run along Antigua St in 2016.
Quarryman’s Trail is one of 13 cycleways to be built across the city, costing $156 million. They have been contentious with businesses saying the loss of parking will cripple them.
Mr Beasley said the cycleway had taken away on-street parking. He fears it will make it difficult to rent an empty unit he was renovating in the building.
“I just felt that the city council cycleways were basically in hiding.”
Although he knew the cycleway would remain, he wanted to hold city councillors accountable for their decisions.
“We need to know who we’ve voted for and what they’ve actually been doing.”
Mr Beasley said he had done graffiti at home, but this was the first political one. He had received “lots of positive feedback.”
“I’m alright with a stencil and a brush and I feel quite strongly about this building.”
Cr Templeton said the graffiti was more effective and showed more thought than online “trolling”.
Cr Buck and Cr Davidson said it was freedom of speech.
Cr Cotter said it was “quite flattering”.
“You can hardly call it a dictatorship. It’d be a breeze if we had a dictatorship. All that money we could save on consultation.”
Cr Galloway said she was keen on getting a photo of her on her bicycle next to it.
Mr Beasley said he met with Cr Templeton yesterday and she ran him through the process of how the cycleway routes were decided, which was helpful.
The Quarryman’s Trail will run from Halswell to the central city.