News — April–May 2001
Feature: Web Advocacy
April brings the anniversary of CAMWEST's web site. In this issue we look at the lessons we've learnt on using the web and email to advocate for better bike facilities. Our simple advice: have something to say, and say it well.
Our site has done really well, and it has been a cheap and effective way for us to communicate our message to cyclists and decision makers, as well as encouraging people to get involved in advocacy.
Parramatta Parking Policy
Parramatta Council is trying to decide whether to introduce parking meters in the CBD, and has asked for community feedback. Parking chaos is one of the key problems involved with giving cars too much priority. This space could be used in more valuable ways: cycleways, seats, wider footpaths, trees. The restaurant strip at Church St has been a huge success precisely because parking space was returned to people. Let's expand this, by making our streets more people-friendly. CAMWEST says minimise long term parking, return parking space to people, and support alternative transport modes. (See Action Corner, below).
See Council's Media Release (PDF, small).
Petrol Price a Political Nightmare
With the nightmares that petrol price is causing our politicians (and contributing to the recent economic downturn), you'd think they would wise up and think of ways to depend less on the sticky stuff. This is the best option economically, environmentally, and politically. Many short car trips (which waste fuel because of a cold engine) can be replaced by bicycles. Petrol is looking to become a big issue in the upcoming Federal election, and the government can play an important role of leadership and funding in providing better cycle facilities.
We all like less taxes, but John Howard's recent cut in petrol tax seems like a waste of $2.6b. This is ten times what the BikePlan 2010 costs, and it will simply encourage car over-use. The small saving was soon evaporated anyway, after the drop in the Aussie dollar and OPEC cuts in production.
Howard's $2.6bn petrol backdown (SMH, 2.3.01)
Councillor Wants Better Cycleways
A Parramatta Councillor and CAMWEST member, Chris Worthington, is not impressed with the new Parramatta-Liverpool cycleway, claiming it had to be finished for safety reasons (Parramatta Sun, 28.2.2001). Parramatta Council will spend more than $400,000 on fixing some sections of the cycleway. The money would come from the federal government's Roads to Recovery program (see below).
"I have just returned from Perth where you can cycle around the foreshore of the Swan River away from the motor traffic - truly great!", he later told CAMWEST. "It is quite obvious that many people both big and small, use it as an alternative mode of travel to work as the safety risk is not great".
Roads to Recovery
Councils have been given between $2.4 million (Hawksbury) to $4.8 million (Blacktown) from the Federal Government for its Roads to Recovery Program. Cycleways are acceptable for funding. We are asking councils to spend at least 1% of the money for cycleways. The 1996 census reported 0.9% of all journies to work were solely by bicycle (this includes bus and train and walk). Cyclists make up more than 1% of road trips, so should get more than 1% of the funding.
Windsor Rd Upgrade - Cycleway?
We are following the developments of the recently announced upgrade to Windsor Rd and implications for bike facilities. We expect a 2 metre shoulder. We are also asking for a shared off-road cycleway/walkway along the route. Watch this space.
Baulkham Hills Council restarts committee
Baulkham Hills Council has restarted the 355 Cycleway Management Committee. They are intending to issue a regular newsletter and the first one is quite flashy. We will receive future electronic issues, and will include news from it on our website. This would be a forerunner to subsequently providing a link to their web site when it is upgraded to include the Cycleways newsletter.
Western Orbital EIS Submission Made
CAMWEST made a submission to the Western Orbital EIS, outlining the need for a grade separated high-speed cycleway for use by all cyclists. We also covered issues of air quality, debris on breakdown lanes, public transport, and our dependence on foreign oil. We will continue to monitor the development of the Orbital and any related cycling issues.
We are concerned that so much money can be spent on roads. If we can build such a mother of a road by 2007, why can't we build Sydney's bike network by 2005? Federal Government can surely help with funds (it is throwing $350M at the Orbital!).
BNSW Advocacy Workshop
A Workshop on bike advocacy was held at the offices of Bicycle NSW, on February 17th. Two CAMWEST members attended and made a contribution, including a demo of our website and how we're using it for advocacy. It was great to meet with other keen advocates and think about what we want to achieve in 2001.
Join us in our advocacy work.
The Federal Government has started a big promotion to help people reduce their household greenhouse emissions. The free booklet 'Global Warming, Cool It!' states that transport is by far the biggest source of household emissions, at a huge 38%. The booklet recommends bike riding, so we would expect the government to play a leadership role in funding bike networks in our cities. Instead, they have thrown hundreds of millions on building more roads and cutting petrol prices - a curious way to show their commitment to decreasing our emissions. (See Action Corner, below)
Call 1300 130 606 or visit the Greenhouse Office to get your free copy of 'Global Warming, Cool It!', the government's free booklet. And most importantly: keep riding.
Is the Kyoto treaty dead? (The Economist)
Drought, flood, fire, hail: Australia's seen nothing yet (SMH, 8.2.01)
Riding to the Easter Show
Here's a great way to get to the show while having a great
time. There are a number of cycleways which end up at Olympic
Park. The best thing to do is to get the RTA's FREE Cycleways
maps. Call 1 800 060 607, or
get an electronic version. We especially recommend the
From Westmead, Parramatta, Rydalmere, Ermington, and Meadowbank, simply take the Parramatta Valley Cycleway and turn south towards Rhodes.
From South Strathfield, Canterbury, and Tempe, follow the Duck River cycleway north.
These cycleways are mostly off-road paths, so you won't have to worry about cars.
State of the Environment Released
The State of the Environment 2000 report was released mid February, and it brought some critical news. "While the Sydney region experienced a population increase of 7 per cent between 1991 and 1998, the total vehicle kilometres travelled by Sydney residents increased by 24 per cent." Our obsession with the car has increased dramatically during the 1990s, leading to worsening air pollution. On an average weekday in 1997, private vehicles were responsible for 71 per cent of all trips. Cycling can replace many short car trips. It also makes public transport more attractive as people can cycle to train stations.
Drive to take the car gathers pace as pedestrians become just a footnote (SMH, 22.2.01) - Sydneysiders are walking less and driving more. Car use is outpacing population growth.
CAMWEST Leadership Changes
There has been some changes in the leadership of CAMWEST. Due to personal circumstances, our president, Roland, has had to resign. We thank him for all his hard work and his commitment to cycling in Western Sydney. He'll be missed, and we hope he'll get the chance to join us for a ride every now and then. We wish him all the best.
Roland Boer succeeded Geoff Holland as President of the Cyclists' Action Movement WEST (CAMWEST) some 5 or so years ago. Roland's big successes during his tenure were:
- Holding the group together in his typical relaxed and humorous way.
- Becoming a key person in getting the Bicycle NSW booklet, Bicycle Storage and Parking, published.
- Convincing the Minister for Transport that the project that Roland, Secretary Robert Catford and other CAMWESTies had worked on, namely the Bay to Mountains Cycleway, should be funded.
- Being a key advocate, planner and leader for the Bay to Mountains Cycleway and the annual ride on that still-to-be-completed project.
We expect that Roland will grace us with his presence from time to time, as his present peripatetic life will allow. His responsibilities at Monash University during the week and no less important responsibilities to his four children in Sydney will keep him busy. We're sure going to miss the meetings at his place with the bottled home brew!
Danny Hannan was elected as president, and Glen Hunter as treasurer in our last meeting.
Tizzana Ride Photos
Our Tizzana ride is one of our most popular. Asocial ride
along quiet and picturesque roads with many views over the
Hawkesbury River Valley, a few challenging hills, a couple of
ferry crossings and short stretches of good gravel road to
arrive at Tizzana Winery by 12:30 pm for a catered and very
social lunch. An easy 20 km ride back to Windsor completes
the day. Watch this space for the next one!
CAMWEST Needs You
We need more members to achieve better bike facilities in Western Sydney. Lately some members have become less involved because of personal circumstances. At the same time, there's a number of projects we'd like to get involved in. Join us and make a difference. This the international year of Volunteers is the perfect time!
1.Write/Email to Parramatta Council re their Parking policies:
PO Box 32
I write with feedback on council's car parking policies.
I believe that parking problems is one of the key problems involved with giving cars too much priority. This space could be used in more valuable ways: cycleways, seats, wider footpaths, trees. The restaurant strip at Church St has been a huge success precisely because parking space was returned to people. Let's expand this, by making our streets more people-friendly. Please minimise long term parking, return parking space to people, and support alternative transport modes such as cycling.
Please acknowledge my submission in writing.
2.Email the federal MP for Parramatta, Ross Cameron. Tell him the federal government should get more involved in cycling:
Dear Mr Cameron,
Thank you for your government's promotion on greenhouse emissions, informing people how they can reduce their household emissions. This is a great initiative.
As the booklet reports, cycling is a great way to reduce our emissions. I think your government should show its commitment to the environment by providing leadership and funding in the building of bike facilities.
I would appreciate a written response with your thoughts.
CAMWEST's Action Corner is where we include one or two suggestions of something simple and concrete that you can do: write an email, letter, representation, turn up for a ride, etc. Join us in making a difference!
Rides Coming Up!
On Sunday 20th May 2001, we have our CAMWEST Rouse Hill BBQ Ride. Four alternate routes all converging at the Rouse Hill park for lunch provided by local councils. Non riders and families also welcome to join usfor lunch from about11.30am. The four starting points are 1. Parramatta Park 9am 2. Blacktown Swimming Pool 9.30 3.Castle Hill 9.30 and 4. Winsor station 9.30. For further info and to register phone Peter Gilbert 9639 9465 by May 14th.
We're planning to hold a ride along the proposed Catchment Cycleway on June 2001 - watch this space!
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