CAMWEST: Cyclists’ Action Movement West

News — August-September 2003

Feature: Duck River Cycleway Proposal

Two cycleway networks are starting to form in Western Sydney. West of Woodville Road/Duck Creek throughout Greystanes, Wetherill Park, Prospect and Fairfield; and to the East based around Bicentennial Park and the Olympic site. Unfortunately, to date these are separated by a stretch of just a few kilometres. In this article, Mark Robson outlines his proposal to the Duck River Cycleway concept, which would connect these two networks.

Full Article

Rides Coming Up

Tizzana Luncheon Ride
Date: Sunday August 31
More Info

Bike Week
20-29 September

Bay to Mountains Ride
Sunday 21st September
More Info

Ride to Work Day - Parramatta CBD
23rd September
7.30-8.30am
Parramatta Mall outside Delifrance for some breakfast specials.
More Info: Eva Martinez at Parramatta Council on 9806 5558.

Parramatta Heritage Ride
Sunday 28th September
Meet 8am at Tudor gates in Parramatta Park.
Safe and easy 20Km.
More Info: Eva Martinez at Parramatta Council on 9806 5558.

Sydney to Wollongong Ride
2nd November

RTA Cycle Sydney
30th November
Call 1800 68 68 54
More Info

Celebrate Bike Week!

Bike Week is being held on 20-29 September - how will you celebrate? Why not join CAMWEST's Bay to Mountain's Ride. Look out for bike activities organised by your local council and the RTA. Otherwise, you could just take that old thing out of the garage and go for a spin around the block.

Parramatta will host a Ride to Work Day again this year in Bike Week on 23rd September meeting between 7.30-8.30am at Parramatta Mall outside Delifrance. Delifrance have offered a few specials to reward those commuters on bikes.

Parramatta bike shops will promote cycling in the mall between 12-2pm
between 23-25th September. Parramatta Park will have a car-free day on 28th September. A Heritage ride led by CAMWEST will start from the Tudor gates in Parramatta Park at the George St entrance 8am Sunday 28th September, easy and safe 20km ride visiting historic sites around Parramatta including commentary.For more information on all these events contact Eva Martinez at Parramatta Council on 9806 5558.

Bay to Mountains Ride
Sunday 21st September
More Info

Blacktown - International Peace Park Cycleway

The cycleway behind International Peace Park has been completed. The council's Cycleway Committee hasn't been meeting regularly of late due to other commitments. The Blacktown-Prospect reservoir cycleway plans are up for comment and CAMWEST has made a submission. It's 100% RTA funded and all off-road.

Parramatta — M4 Cycleway Complete!

The M4 cycleway is now open and fantastic! Riders might like to continue along to the end of Martha St to rejoin the cycleway to Auburn. (it's not very well signposted).

The cycleway across the Gasworks bridge at Parramatta is now complete.

Designs have been reviewed for cycleways across Subiaco Creek and Vineyard Creek at Rydalmere. These will eventually become part of the Parramatta Valley Cycleway links.

Parramatta Council have voted to formalise the Parramatta Cycleways Steering Committee, and subject to affirmation from the Services Committee on 11 Aug, will be placing ads for interested parties to join the committtee.

Hawkesbury - $100K Allocated

Hawkesbury City Council have allocated $100,000 which includes $50,000 from the RTA for cycleways for 2003/2004. A further $50,000 has been allocated from Council which gives a total of $150,000. The funds have been committed as follows:

The extra $50,000 has not yet been allocated however CAMWEST is pushing for it to be spent on the Kurrajong Cycleway and hopefully get close to Kurmond by Christmas. Construction is scheduled to start in September.

Cycling is on the increase in the Hawkesbury and in June a CAMWEST member took 42 cyclists for a two day camp based in Toukley, cycling around the two lakes between The Entrance and Budgewoi covering 100 kms.

The Steering Committee decided to support a proposal from Penrith Panthers Cycling Club to stage a Criterion in Windsor during Bike Week using McQuade Park and two surrounding roads. The Local Traffic Committee killed it because of the furore over cycle races on public roads. However in the meantime we are approaching the UWS (Hawkesbury) to see if it is possible to hold the event during Bike Week next year using their facilities and roads.

Conflict Crossings

We have noticed a number of 'Conflict Crossings' at some cycle routes. These are where an off-road cycleway meets a road, so cyclists need to come face to face with cars travelling at 60 km/h and have to cross the road totally unassisted, sometimes near obstacles that limit sight lines, or at angles that limit vision.

When compared to the very high costs of a single road fatality, a cycleway underpass is a great investment. Alternatively, cyclist in motion detectors can make the delay to the car traffic very small as they detect numbers and speed of cycles and turn lights green for the cars as last bike clears the crossing.

But more importantly these conflict crossings frighten off potential cyclists because the consequences of a misjudgement by the cyclist can be fatal. Off-road cycleways are great for beginner riders to develop skills in a safe car free environment. Conflict crossings are a cheap way out and should be avoided.

See our Action Corner for what you can do on this.

CAMWEST Member Dies in Tibet

It is with deep regret that CAMWEST has lost a member through unfortunate circumstances. Herb Lippmann (pictured here with his wife at one of our rides) died recently in a bus crash in Tibet with his new wife, where they were holidaying. He first came to the notice of CAMWEST when he joined us regularly on the Parramatta critical mass rides around 1997-98. Apart from being a cyclist, Herb was an enthusiastic and experienced bushwalker and conservationist and led his own bushwalking group.

Herb was a pensioner but this didnt mean he led a quiet life. Apart from interests already mentioned, he was the Disabilities Officer at UWS assisting people with disabilities, he was involved with parents without partners, a keen bushdancer, and drove trucks as a volunteer in the Olympics. Herb had a zest for life that was infectious. Unfortunately, the more excited he got the faster he spoke and the thicker his accent. Herb was born in Austria and came to Australia in 1970 and became a baker. We'll never forget his role in the CAMWEST stall two years ago at the Bike Australia show how he drew people to the stall with his enthusiasm.

His zest for life and willingness to volunteer his services will be sorely missed by CAMWEST and the other groups he was involved with. He is survived by six children.

WA Minister Acknowledges Oil Depletion and initiates Transport Energy Strategy

Alannah MacTiernan, WA Planning and Infrastructure Minister, has recently acknowledged that "oil will be in increasingly short supply in the coming 10 to 20 years" and has as a result launched a Transport Energy Strategy. This strategy will seek to shift Perth away from its high car dependence towards more sustainable modes, such as rail, cycling, and walking. The committee has released an interim report, which states "... We do believe that there is a problem coming, and the best course of action for the community, is to:

In a media release launching the report, Planning and Infrastructure Minister Alannah MacTiernan said "We must start reducing our dependence on oil, so that we are not vulnerable to the great price increases expected over the next decade as demand outstrips production."

The Federal and NSW State Governments need to follow her example. Instead of discouraging public transport by hiking up prices, Michael Costa should move Sydney towards Sustainable Transport. He could start by linking Parramatta to the Parramatta Link and accelerating the implementation of cycleways.

Oil prices have remained at around a fairly high US $30/barrel, despite a world wide economic downturn, the Northern hemisphere being in summer, and the US taking control of Iraq. What will it be when we get to the peak demand of the Northern winter, or when the economy picks up?

Where is our 'Green Premier' when we need him?

Sustainable Transport Energy - Western Australia Government
"While the internal combustion engine, powered on carbon-based fossil fuels remains the predominant means of propulsion, it is not sustainable to consider that this will remain the case for more than one to two decades. Indeed, there is considerable argument to support a faster changeover!"

WA Transport Energy Strategy- Media Release

Bush Energy Adviser Discusses Oil Production Peak

Matthew Simmons, an investment banker and energy analyst, discussed the peak of world oil production at a recent conference by ASPO (Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas).

Matthew Simmons has been a key advisor to the Bush Administration, Vice President Cheney's 2001 Energy Task Force and the Council on Foreign Relations. An energy investment banker, Simmons is the CEO of Simmons and Co. International, handling an investment portfolio of approximately $56 billion. He has served previously on the faculty of Harvard Business School.

Some of his comments:

"The uh, I think basically that now, that peaking of oil will never be accurately predicted until after the fact. But the event will occur, and my analysis is leaning me more by the month, the worry that peaking is at hand; not years away. If it turns out I'm wrong, then I'm wrong. But if I'm right, the unforeseen consequences are devastating. But unfortunately the world has no Plan B if I'm right. The facts are too serious to ignore. Sadly the pessimist-optimist debate started too late. The Club of Rome humanists were right to raise the 'Limits to Growth' issues in the late 1960's. When they raised these issues they were actually talking about a time frame of 2050 to 2070. Then time was on the side of preparing Plan B. They like Dr. Hubbert got to be seen as Chicken Little or the Boy Who Cried Wolf.... "

Full Presentation Transcript (ASPO website, 12.6.03)

Many oil scientists calculate that world oil production will peak sometime in the next decade. Non-OPEC production would peak earlier, making us more and more dependent on OPEC. America peaked in 1970, UK in 1999. Australia peaked in 2000, according to an oil industry paper. This doesn't mean that we'll suddenly run out of oil, but that demand would overtake supply, leading to steep and permanent increases in oil prices. Even if we found large new fields, which is unlikely at this stage of the game, this would only shift the peak by a few years.

Read more: CAMWEST Oil Watch

Postcard from the Future - Rickshaws Everywhere


A cycle rickshaw at New York's Times Square, probably the busiest street corner in the world. Way to go! Rickshaws are very popular in many Asian countries, and are a cheap, fun and clean way to get around. We could have Power Assisted ones.

News in Brief

CAMWEST has recently met with Holroyd Council staff to work towards the establishment of a council bike committee. A motion will go to council soon.

CAMWEST was recently involved in a survey of bicycles parked near train stations, co-ordinated by Bicycle NSW. Althought it wasn't a full scientific study, it aimed to get a measure of potential demand for bike lockers. CAMWEST thinks the integration of cycling and rail transport is a key priority. Bicycle NSW's Bike Locker service is a great initiative.

Public transport priorities have come up on top of a recent NRMA survey on transport issues. The top four priorities were "better quality public transport/more comfortable", "more frequent public transport", "more accessible public transport". Improved roads came fifth. (NRMA "Hub and Spoke" Issue 10 June/July 2003)

In the Media Lately

Operation: battle obesity (SMH, 31.7.03)

George Monbiot Discusses Oil Depletion with Phillip Adams (ABC's Late Night Live, 24/07/2003)
(Real Audio file)

ASPO Newsletter - July - Russia
Includes a brief article by Brian Fleay, an Australian oil commentator.

Natural Gas Crisis (From The Wilderness, 23/6/03)
A paper by Dale Allen Pfeiffer on the worsening situation in North America. "Fertilizer Prices Up 55%; US Chemical Industry Suffering - Jobs at Risk; Cities Facing Brownouts; The Shape of Things to Come"

Insurance rate trim for using car less (SMH, 17.7.03)
Australia's largest general insurance group is considering a plan to encourage people to be more environmentally friendly by reducing the cost of car insurance for motorists who cut the kilometres they drive.

Not available in green: big 4WD profiles (SMH, 24.7.03)

The Petroleum Plateau (MuseLetter, No. 135 - May 2003)
by Richard Heinberg

Alan Greenspan Raises Energy at Testimony
US Federal Reserve Chairman, Alan Greenspan, has raised energy prices as a concern for the US (and therefore the world) economy at a recent testimony to a congress committee:

“Although forward-looking indicators are mostly positive, downside risks to the business outlook are also apparent, including the partial rebound in energy costs and some recent signs that aggregate demand may be flagging among some of our important trading partners. Oil prices, after dropping sharply in March on news that the Iraqi oil fields had been secured, have climbed back above $30 per barrel as market expectations for a quick return of Iraqi production appear to have been overly optimistic given the current security situation.

Also worrisome is the rise in natural gas prices. Natural gas accounts for a substantial portion of total unit energy costs of production among nonfinancial, non-energy-producing firms. And as I noted in testimony last week, futures markets anticipate that the current shortage in natural gas will persist well into the future. Although they project a near-term modest decline from highly elevated levels, contracts written for delivery in 2009 in excess of $4.50 per million Btu are still at double the levels that had been contemplated when much of our existing gas-using capital stock was put in place.”

Krafty plan to cut the fat and stave off those litigious little Vegemites (SMH, 2.7.03)

Man beaten in first known case of carpark rage (SMH, 23/7/03)
No parking problems with bikes...

Pack cyclists hurt in fall as race ban lifted (SMH, 8.7.03)

Road racing will go ahead, says police minister (SMH, 8.7.03)

A discussion on pack cycling on our roads (SMH, 8.7.03)

US backs down on representative council for Iraq (SMH, 10.7.03)

BBC Looks at Iraq in Light of Oil Depletion (BBC2)
"The advocates of war insist it's not about oil. But global oil production is on the brink of terminal decline and when the West begins to run short of supplies - Iraq could be a lifeline".

Energy Crisis Will Hit Transport (Sustainable Transport Coalition)

The Iraq factor (The Economist, 13.6.03)
"The first contracts for the sale of Iraqi oil since the end of the war have been concluded. Will exports from Iraq complicate OPEC’s efforts to control the price of oil?"

Reconstructing the Middle East - But it all depends on Iraq (The Economist, 26.6.03)

CAMWEST Needs You

We need more members to achieve better bike facilities in Western Sydney. There's a number of projects we'd like to get involved in. Join us and make a difference.

More Info

Action Corner!

Why not write to the Engineering Director of your council and the RTA and ask them to provide better solutions than 'conflict crossings', which put cyclists at risk and discourage others from riding (see article above).

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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