CAMWEST: Cyclists’ Action Movement West

News — February–March 2002

CAMWEST Back from Holidays

We apologise for being 'missing in action' over the Christmas break. Our web editor was away on his honeymoon, and we were all a bit too busy. We trust you had a good, safe holiday. Happy New Year to all our subscribers!

Parramatta Bike Plan Updated

Parramatta Council have updated their bike plan. The routes have been revised, and now include new cycleways, such as the Parramatta-Liverpool RailTrail. It includes a number of off- and on road cycleways. The plan is an evolving document and is regularly updated. CAMWEST, as a member of council's Bicycle Steering Committee, is very involved in the development of the plan.

The Bicycle Steering Committee is open to members of the public. It will meet at the Town Hall on the following dates during 2002: 12.2, 9.4, 11.6, 13.8, 8.10, 10.12.

Unfortunately Council did not return a response to our request for more information as of date of publication, even though we gave them over two weeks notice. We hope to bring you more details on our next issue.

Keep Parramatta Streets People Friendly

In a recent article (Cars in Mall, Parramatta Advertiser, 16.1.02), calls have been made to open up Parramatta's Mall to cars. In another article (Parramatta Sun, 12.12.01), claims were made that more car parking is needed in the Parramatta CBD. The idea is that this would bring extra parking, business and 'life' into the mall.

CAMWEST disagrees. Parking and cars won't bring night life to the Mall. People and exchange opportunities will. Parramatta's Church St restaurant strip was enlivened so much by reclaiming some of the area from car parking back to people. This has been a great success, naturally, as the street is now much more people-friendly and full of life. if you want to see what cars can do to a streetscape, look at Parramatta Road. A recent Herald article (Turning a nightmare into a dream run, SMH, 22.1.02) reports on the attempts to bring life back to this area. The challenge: "Cars. Traffic. What's killing Parramatta Road is what should be keeping it alive".

Our approach: open the mall for outdoor restaurants, free entertainment (music, comedians, buskers, etc), install lights, allow mobile icecream vendors, give it a market atmosphere, like in The Rocks, etc. This would make the pedestrian corridor between the station and Church St much safer, thus encouraging public transport. Parramatta won't thrive by trying to be another Castle Hills. It will thrive by being Parramatta.

Girl Cyclist Knocked at Westmead

On Friday 7th December, 2001, a CAMWEST member witnessed an unfortunate accident between a cyclist and a car. Although we cannot say whose fault it was, the female cyclist was obviously in a lot of pain and was taken away by the ambulance the member called.

Parramatta Council needs to improve the street safety in the Westmead area, particularly Railway Parade and Ashley Lane. These streets have very heavy pedestrian and cyclist traffic. It is a shame that this accident occurred, and we hope safety can be improved by Council before a worse accident occurs. We'd like Council to:

RTA Manager Talk to CAMWEST

Our next meeting should be of extra special interest with Rolf Lunsmann, General Manager of Bicycles and Pedestrians for NSW in the RTA coming to speak. We/ve asked him to specifically address Western Sydney issues and brief us on funding and dealing with councils. He's a good speaker and there will be the chance to ask questions. Date: 28th February 7.30pm.

If you'd like to come, drop us a line at contact (AT) camwest.pps.com.au by 18.2.

Big Ride Mates Sought

A CAMWEST member is going on the Big Ride and is seeking a partner, including a bit of training. If you're interested to find out more, please email contact (AT) camwest.pps.com.au.

Bike Rack Missing - Parramatta Mall

The bike rack outside DelliFrance, on Parramatta Mall, has been removed. They disappeared a couple of months ago, when some seating was removed from the adjoining area. We are following this up with Parramatta Council. Bike Parking is key to supporting cycling.

CAMWEST Transitways Feedback

CAMWEST was invited to participate in public forums for the North West Transitways, linking Mungerie Park-Parramatta and Castle Hill-Blacktown. Transitways are going to be great vehicles for the development of cycleway networks as the Government has made it their policy to have cycleways running parallel to all routes. We'll push for:

Transitways Site

Bike Cops are Tops - at Cabramatta

In a recent front page article, the Herald reports on the significant contribution that bike police units have made to decreasing crime in the Cabramatta area. The article states that "increased bicycle and foot patrols have led to a 300 per cent increase to 3500 in charges for street offences under the new move-on and knife search laws". The article quotes the president of the Cabramatta Chamber of Commerce, Ross Treyvaud, as saying "We have some very fine young officers, in particularly those on pushbikes, doing a good job, but there is certainly not enough of them."

Using bikes for policing has always been very effective, and CAMWEST thinks bike units should be enlarged and be better equipped.

Heroin hotspot comes clean (SMH, 21.1.02)

CAMWEST Interview With Parramatta Cop


A bike cop escorting one of our community rides

Triathlete Killed While Cycling

We heard with much sadness about the killing of Australian triathlete Luke Harrop. His death is a reminder that we need to improve cycling safety conditions in our streets. It also makes a mockery of the argument that cyclists have accidents because of their own fault and poor skills. Cyclists (and pedestrians) are vulnerable users of our roads - let's protect them and give them priority.

Harrop's death casts a pall on contest (SMH, 14.1.02)

Hunt for hit-and-run driver as triathlete dies from injuries (SMH, 14.1.02)

Transport Talks

Smogbusters Project has invited Professor John Whitelegg to provide a new perspective on sustainable transport in the 21st Century. Professor Whitelegg is a well respected speaker and author on sustainable transport in Europe as well as a government transport strategy and policy adviser. The two talks are:

 

A Vision for Urban Transport Renaissance: Inspiration from International Best Practice
18th February 2002
Venue: The Heritage Centre, Parramatta.
Time: 6.00 pm

Transport and quality of life: why action is needed and empowering local communities on what they can do to bring about a better and healthier transport future.

Healthy Communities at the crossroads of Transport Policy
19th February 2002
Venue: City Exhibition Space, Level 4 Customs House, 31 Alfred St, Circular Quay, Sydney
Time: 5.30

Transport's impact on our health and wellbeing, the need for fresh directions in policy and it's implementation with some ideas to inspire.

Registration essential! Call Sinead Flavin, Smogbuster Coordinator, at 9279 2944 for a booking form.

Addicted to Oil - Articles

A number of interesting articles about oil have been published recently by (well respected) magazines such as The Economist, The New Yorker, and the Sydney Morning Herald. It makes sense to reduce our dependence on oil, particularly in transport.

Addicted to oil (The Economist, 13.12.01)
"Saudi Arabia's [oil market] share is sure to rise in coming years. Easily extracted non-OPEC reserves will dwindle, even on optimistic assumptions about technological progress. Dependence on Saudi oil is not going to keep on fadingÉquite the opposite (see article). "
"the prospect of increasing dependence on Middle Eastern oil, together with the risk that people as dangerous as the Taliban could come to power there, does add to the case for some measures to reduce western demand for oil."
"On environmental grounds, never mind energy security, America taxes gasoline too lightly. Better than a one-off increase, a politically more feasible idea and desirable in its own terms would be a long-term plan to shift taxes from incomes to emissions of carbon. "

A dangerous addiction (The Economist, 13.12.01)
"Because the world remains so dependent on oil for transport, it cannot stand any disruption in supplies. And there is a strong possibility of such a supply-shock at some time in the next few decades. "
"The snag is that the lion's share of itÉand almost all the oil that is cheap to extractÉlies under the desert sands of a handful of countries around the Persian Gulf... As the world continues to deplete non-OPEC oil, however, that share will increase dramaticallyÉand with it, the market power of those Middle Eastern regimes. All the more likely, then, that supplies may be disrupted. "
"In order to meet the world's unchecked thirst for oil, forecasters are assuming (perhaps praying is a better word) that Saudi Arabia and its neighbours will invest the vast sums needed to expand output. If they do not, it will be the world's consumers who will pay the price. "
"Unfortunately, petroleum has a near-monopoly grip on transport. "
"The best way to encourage the development of new transport fuels and technologies is through taxation that reflects the †energy securityÿ risk (as well as dangers to health and the environment) of burning oil. "

World Energy Outlook: 2001 Insights - Assessing Today's Supplies to Fuel Tomorrow's Growth (International Energy Agency)
"The surge in energy prices during 2000 and most of 2001 has drawn attention once again to the availability and security of energy resources and the prospects for both supply and prices... The capability, and willingness, of Middle East oil producers to exploit their low-cost reserves is a major source of uncertainty."
Download the Executive Summary (PDF, 172Kb)

Sunset for the oil business? (The Economist, Nov 1st 2001)

How much would Alaska's oil help? (The Economist, 18.10.01)

Dissent in Saudi Arabia (The Economist, 11.10.01)
"The Afghan war carries risks for Saudi Arabia's ruling family"

Saudi Arabia hits back at terror accusations (SMH, 16.10.01)

One false step could leave vast oil resources in control of Islam's fanatics (SMH, 16.10.01)
"if the Saudi royals take one wrong step, militant Islam could end up controlling a quarter of the world's known oil reserves".

America's oil-rich ally was the centre of hijack planning (SMH, 18.10.01)

King's Ransom: How vulnerable are the Saudi royals? (The New Yorker, 22.10.01)

Control of Central Asia's oil is the real goal (SMH, 25.10.01)

Saudi denounces US agenda behind bombing campaign (SMH, 21.1.02)

Quick News

CAMWEST had a great time at the Bicycling Australia Show, in October last year. We talked to many people interested in maps of cycleways in Westner Sydney.

In the Media Lately

Philadelphians drop their bundle (SMH, 7.1.01)
Houston, Texas is America's new 'fattest city', after Philadelphians went on a mass diet. Don't laugh - Australia's obesity statistics are worsening. Encouraging cycling (particularly for children) is a great way to tackle this serious health problem.

Our second city stirs to life (SMH, 7.1.01)
"After years of neglect, Parramatta finally seems set to get the CBD it deserves".

Father of three girls killed in crash on Christmas trip (SMH, 24.12.01)
"A 13-year-old boy from Warilla was killed in Wollongong when his bicycle and a car collided, bringing the holiday road toll to three", reported the Herald.

Full steam ahead for a city where roads are all the rage (SMH Opinion, Paul Sheehan, 12.12.01)
"Sydney is in the middle of its biggest-ever infrastructure program - and nothing seems likely to stand in its way".

Push grows for blanket 50kmh city speed limit (SMH, 10.12.01)
"A blanket 50kmh urban speed limit would stop thousands of crash injuries a year while only slowing journeys by nine to 25 seconds, a report has found".

It's the usual weekend rat race, but there's not a Carr in sight (SMH, 10.12.01)

West has more than crime on the mind (SMH, 12.10.01)
"Western Sydney residents dislike traffic problems and poor public transport as much as high levels of crime, a major study shows".

Private fury at public bus win (SMH, 10.1.02)

Electric blues in Motown (The Economist, 10.1.02)
"In an attempt to wean itself from a reliance on imported oil, the American government has announced a new initiative to help car makers produce electric vehicles which are powered by fuel cells. "

Creating the 24-hour city with a heart (SMH, 17.01.2002)

Asthma ringing intensive care bells (SMH, 18.1.02)

Pollution warning on power station (SMH, 21.1.02)
"A wood-fired power station is being planned for Sydney's west, triggering concerns about emissions from the burning of treated timbers", reports the Herald.

Farewell for a man on a mission, going 1000 miles an hour (SMH, 18.1.02)

Concern over bicycle helmets comes to a head (SMH, 24.1.02)

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.

More Info

Action Corner!

Write/Email to Parramatta City Council, express your concern at safety for cyclists and pedestrians in the Westmead area.

council@parracc.nsw.gov.au

Dear Sir/Madam,

Thank you for revising the Parramatta Bike Plan. Please improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians in the Westmead area.

Sincerely,

<Your Name>

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!

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