Newcastle’s Bike v Car Time Trial

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Last Tuesday, a small group of active transport advocates coordinated an independent time trial in Newcastle.  Their aim was to access the differences between various modes of transport travelling between the Newcastle campuses of the University of Newcastle. Synchronising their watches at 8:30am they headed off in their different modes of transport – public bus, shuttle bus, car and bike. Having recruited architecture students from the University of Newcastle for this time trial they had more than enough hands on board.

Decreasing the car parking in the Newcastle CBD has raised many concerns amongst residents recently.  University of Newcastle is contemplating expanding the city campus but this does not include any additional parking.  While within the CBD itself there has been a loss of parking spaces due to new buildings.  These advocates for active transport aimed to tackle this growing demand for more car parking by highlighting that driving by car is the slowest way to get around in peak hour.

 

NewcastleTimeTrialBelow are the times it took each time trialer to reach their meetup point:

Public Bus – 35 minutes, 12 seconds

Shuttle bus – 36:41

Bike – 44:50

Car – 46:04

 

Interesting Sam who drove his car did say that he would have arrived at the same time as the public bus however, he struggled to find parking on campus.  In actual fact, there were 2 hour spots closer to the meeting point but for a 2 hour lecture at university they wouldn’t have been sufficient enough so he had to drive an additional distance to find a four hour parking spot.  Not to mention it cost him the $4.50 to park at the university, plus fuel and car maintenance on top of that.

Their time travel test highlighted the need for having alternative methods of getting around other than by car. The active transport advocates are pushing for the Cyclesafe Network to be built in its entirety to prevent the rapidly growing centre of Greater Newcastle from being buried in car parks and roadways. This was great work by some active transport advocates to help highlight the need more alternatively ways to get around other than by car.

 

Watch the video below!

New Pedestrian & Cyclist Bridge Design

As part of improving connectivity and celebrating the Parramatta River, the City of Parramatta is designing a new world class pedestrian and cyclist bridge over the Parramatta River at Alfred Street, Rosehill.

We are inviting you to provide feedback and comments on the concept design by Saturday 28 October 2017. Community support for the project will greatly assist Council in advocating to potential funding partners for its construction. This project will unlock pedestrian and cycling movement in the area, link precincts and reflect the City’s vision to be Sydney’s Central City; sustainable, liveable and productive

It’s an exciting and innovative design, as the first ever diagonal arch bridge in Australia, a potential coup for Western Sydney to claim. Public feedback and support for the project will be key in securing funding for this beautiful piece of architecture, so we’re encouraging our members and friends to show their support.

Parramatta Council is conducting a series of pop-up community consultations, including at our very own Spring Cycle finish site in Sydney Olympic Park! Find out more information and RSVP on their Facebook event to keep up to date.

Pop-Up Consultations:

Friday 13th October, 9am to 2pm 2017
Pop-up @ Parramatta Town Hall / Centenary Square

Sunday 15th October, 9am to 2pm 2017
Pop-up @ Sydney Olympic Park, Spring Cycle

Saturday 21st October, 9am to 2pm 2017
Pop-up @ Corner of Alfred St and River Road West

Sunday 22nd October 7am to Midday 2017
Pop-up @ Northern Foreshore Path between Pemberton St and Morton St

 

A woman on a funky bicycle

Parramatta Light Rail – Stage 1

The Parramatta Light Rail EIS (Environmental Impact Statement) has been released. It can be viewed here, and will be on exhibition until Monday 23 October 2017.

There are thousands of pages within this document and not all of the proposals are going to benefit bike riders.

Bicycle NSW Advocacy Manager, Ray Rice, has made a submission on behalf on Bicycle NSW. Many voices will make a change to help make a better environment for cycling, so we’re encouraging all members to consider making a submission as well.

If you are wishing to make a change for Parramatta and greater Sydney by making a submission, Ray has made some suggestions for you below to help you with your submission.

Make your submission here.

A woman on a funky bicycle

Preamble:

  • Parramatta Light Rail presents a golden opportunity to complete essential Active Transport links for the future
  • This is a 50 year plan so we must do this well
  • Route is already noted as a Strategic Bicycle Corridor in Sydney’s Cycling Future (Dec 2013)
  • Will be part of Sydney’s future Principal Bicycle Network as it is an essential link in the route, connecting Parramatta with Epping and Macquarie University & Park
  • It connects major trip generators: three uni campuses, two business districts, and major residential areas
  • Links with the existing Parramatta Valley Cycleway

Features needed:

  • Build it now, for the future
  • Separated cycling and walking areas
  • Multiple/frequent access points to the Active Transport link to aid in permeability and usage
  • Must be continuous to cater for all Active Transport groups, from ages 8 to 80

Specifics:

  • Must be in corridor for full length. The proposed out of corridor section at Adderton Rd (Telopea) should instead remain inside the corridor. This serious lack of continuity impinges on the total amenity of the project. It will be a barrier for the younger and older.
  • Walking and cycling areas should be separated over the full length
  • At Kissing Point Rd, access to the Active Transport link should be from both sides of the road
  • The bridge over the Parramatta River at Camellia should be minimum of 4m wide. A width of 2.5m is manifestly inadequate, for example we have seen width issues on both the ANZAC Bridge and Sydney Harbour Bridge
  • Bicycle riding must be maintained in all Parramatta CBD streets, including those with Light Rail
  • A 30 km/h speed limit should apply to Parramatta CBD core
  • Church St should have a pair of dedicated uni-directional bicycle paths
  • The unused rail corridor from Camelia Station to Clyde Station should be retained as an Active Transport Link. This will then link in the future to a Duck River Active Transport Link. This would provide an Active Transport link all the way to Sefton. A major Active Transport corridor!

Complete your submission here

Spring Cycle – The Biggest Advocacy Day of Them All!

The 34th annual Spring Financial Group Spring Cycle is right around the corner. With a new, fourth ride option, and plenty of people excited to Ride the Bridge, it’s a great opportunity to step back and see the bigger picture.

The event has grown from a small ride event 33 years ago, to what now sees around 10,000 people of all ages and experiences ride together on one massive display of bicycle advocacy. As the only cycling event that closes lanes of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and dedicates that space to bike riders, being involved as a rider or a volunteer is akin to standing up and being counted as one of the 1.25 million bike riders across NSW who we represent when we speak to the NSW Government for better biking outcomes.

By participating in Spring Cycle you’ll be part of our critical mass, demonstrating that the vital work we do is paramount to making bike riding accepted and normal on our roads. Adding your two (or three) wheels to our event means you will be seen by our side by the likes of The Hon Melinda Pavey, Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight, and The Hon Andrew Constance, Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, as we work with them to ensure the best outcomes from their portfolios for all vulnerable road users. With you by our side, we can roll ahead to create a better environment for cycling for us all.

It’s not too late to gear up and ride or volunteer in the Spring Financial Group Spring Cycle on Sunday 15 October 2017. Register today to beat the 1 October price rise, and be sure to receive your rider pack in the mail. If you’re not a Bicycle NSW member yet, why not add your membership to your registration and get your 20% members discount of your ride too! Members can log in to the Members Benefits page to receive their discount code. 

Ride the Bridge. Ride Sydney. Ride with us and help make a difference this Spring Cycle!

 

Driver pleads guilty to Shellharbour cycling death

Our southern Bicycle User Groups alerted us last October to a tragedy on the Illawarra roads however it has taken some time for the legal system to bring the driver in question to trial. With great relief, last Wednesday the driver faced court and pleaded guilty to “a charge of negligent driving occasioning death”. 

Our thoughts are with the Angus family as the legal system does it’s work and this case comes to it’s close on 16 November with sentencing. We will continue to work with our southern BUGs and members to follow this case through to it’s conclusion. 

We note a common theme that drivers are experiencing difficulty seeing riders when driving facing into sunlight. We urge any person operating any vehicle at dawn and dusk to take extra care on the roads, and more precaution if vision is obscured due to intense sunlight. It’s the responsibility of every road user that they take measures to ensure they do not cause harm to others, especially road users more vulnerable than themselves.

Parliamentary Inquiry Report

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Back in February this year, Bicycle NSW submitted to the Parliamentary Inquiry into Driver Education, Training and Road Safety, and we were one of three cycling advocacy bodies, alongside Australian Cycle Alliance and AGF, who presented evidence directly to the inquiry.

The report from the inquiry is now available to read.

It’s pleasing to see that one of their Recommendations (number 22, page xviii) is that Transport for NSW should “conduct future driver education campaigns with an emphasis on the development and demonstration of safe driving attitudes, which address the following topics:

– Driver and other road user distraction, with particular emphasis on the dangers for vulnerable road users,
– Road sharing and pedestrian, motorcycle, bicycle and heavy vehicle awareness,
– New and poorly understood road rules such as the minimum passing distance rule with bicycles”

We are willing to assist Transport for NSW in these campaigns to ensure the riding public are both informed and assured that wider road users are also educated.

It’s also pleasing to note that they agreed with our recommendation that a more professional approach is needed in Learner driver education.

The Government is required to respond to the Committee’s recommendations within six months of the report being tabled. We will endeavour to bring you more on this promising outcome as plans progress.

Sydney Harbour Bridge Update

Bicycle NSW welcomes the news that the Sydney Harbour Bridge design consultation will soon be open for public feedback. Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight, The Hon. Melinda Pavey announced over the weekend that the consultation will open for public feedback in November.

“The Sydney Harbour Bridge is an international icon and appreciated by millions of people each year. It is also a vital commuter link for Sydneysiders including cyclists enjoying the view of the harbour or commuting to and from work,” Mrs Pavey said.

The Sydney Harbour Bridge Cycleway upgrade has been a key advocacy project we have worked on from the very beginning where we have advocated for improvements to both the North  and the South ramp access points and are delighted to continue working with the NSW Government now to ensure sufficient community consultation and feedback is received on the designs so that swift action can be taken to deliver the much needed upgrades to our national icon.

“We look forward to working with Minister Pavey and her team to ensure the best piece of infrastructure for Sydney is delivered, bring our iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge to everyone who rides a bike or wants to explore our cities growing network of cycleways.” commented Craig Meagher, Bicycle NSW CEO.

Completion of the Sydney Harbour Bridge Cycleway forms a pivotal piece in our goal to complete an interconnected Sydney wide bicycle network to support and encourage more travel by bike and to relieve our congested streets. We announced, in partnership with the former Minister, the confirmation of funding for the multimillion dollar project in December 2016 and committed to supporting the consultation efforts to ensure best practice and design are achieved.

 

We have since been regularly attending the City of Sydney and RMS co-run workshops on the South Ramp Access with the goal to improve the connectivity between the Sydney Harbour Bridge Cycleway and Kent St, as well as the North Ramp workshops run by RMS, with the goal of replacing the steps with a complete cycleway connecting to Northern Sydney existing and proposed cycleways.

 

Our advocacy work has seen our influence on the preferred design options to ensure the best outcomes for riders, as well as for the local community. We look forward to advising our members and friends when consultation is open and how bike riders can have their say on this exciting project.

 

You can read the full Press Release from The Hon Melinda Pavey, Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight here.

Bike Riding in NSW – Decline of Bike Sales

Announced this morning by the Australian Cycling Promotion Foundation (ACPF), bicycle sales are at decade low. Simultaneously, Australian children are at a peak of inactivity. Are Australian children in an inactivity crisis? The ACPF has called it so.  Bike riding in NSW is also in a crisis being the lowest in the country. By encouraging children to ride more we can help tackle this increasing lack of physical exercise in children through encouraging bike riding.

Within the City of Sydney Council 20% of residents ride their bicycle regularly compared to the 10% in Greater Sydney. Lord Mayor Clover Moore, stated that it was the long term project of building safe and connected bike paths that created this increase.  Even between 2016 and 2017, there has been a 6% increase in bike riders within the Inner Sydney area.  Three quarters of these riders had been cycling consistently and more than one fifth were returning to riding after a break.

Interestingly, residents in greater Sydney has access to one or more bicycles but rode twice as little as City of Sydney residents. 

Two women riding bicycles

At Bourke Street Public Street in Surry Hills (located in the City of Sydney) approximately 80% of the children walk, ride or scoot to school.  Principal, Peter Johnston, said “The kids enjoy it because they can ride along the bike lane to the school gate...Living in the inner city, it’s the perfect way for families to get daily exercise. It’s also great for the kids’ minds because they’re observing all that’s going on in their surroundings. It makes them an active part of the community. We encourage riding, walking and scootering as transport because they are such great fitness activities that promote a healthy lifestyle.”

Even amongst children aged 10 to 17 living in the City area, 40% are riding bikes, once again double that of the greater Sydney area.

 

New research highlights that 71% of children and 92% of young people are not meeting the recommended guidelines for physical activity in Australia.  This is a grave concern to us especially when bike riding in a viable option for many as an active form of transport.

According to the CEO National of the Heart Foundation, Adjunct Professor John Kelly, a survey of parents found that only 7% said their children did the recommended one hour per day of exercise, which means an estimated 600,000 children are inactive.

“It is vital we encourage daily physical activity for all our children and the daily trip to school is one of the best value investments we can make for their future health,” Professor Kelly said.

Comparatively, forty years ago 75% of children walked or rode their bikes to school and 25% were driven.  Times have changed and now more than 70% of primary aged are driven to and from school daily.

 

Why not even encourage your children to be active by riding in events?  Spring Financial Group Spring Cycle is the largest bike riding event in NSW and the only one where you can ride across the Sydney Harbour Bridge car free. Children also ride for free. It would be a great ride to work towards and lead to children being more active on weekends.

With national children’s bike sales at its lowest since 2003-2004, is it easier to link this information.  Children are simply not riding or walking to school as much. 

 

City of Sydney has been actively encouraging children to walk or ride to school.  This includes, conducting Bicycle Education for a 1000 students last year.  Roads and Maritime Services have built a number of Community and Road Education Scheme (CARES) Facilities in order to teach the local communities about road safety for all users.  You can find these centres in Wyong, Prospect and Bass Hill.

 

The Australian Cycling Promotion Foundation is concerned that it has become too hard for children to be active as part of their daily trips to school and other local destinations.

“The ACPF believes that the declining sales (of children's bikes) are a simple indicator that we need to do more to make walking and cycling a real option every day for our children,” ACPF spokesperson Stephen Hodge said.

They continued to call on governments and local councils to focus on creating safer routes for children to get to school. It would be the first step to building a healthier and more engaged generation.

“A coordinated approach to active travel to and from school will give 3.7million children in schools access to healthy physical activity every day and embed good health promoting behaviours from an early age,” Rosemary Calder, Director, Australian Health Policy Collaboration stated.

 

Bicycle NSW encourages this change. Bike riding is an active form of transport that will help curb inactivity amongst children.  Simply riding to school, children can gain all or most of their recommended physical activity. Together, we can tackle this situation.

Newest Ride Leaders put through their paces

 

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Every year, Bicycle NSW assesses and approves every day bike riders to become qualified Ride Leaders. These Ride Leaders are knowledgeable, experienced bike riders who love to show new and experienced riders alike, the great areas and routes in their local area to ride. Fostered by our affiliated Bicycle User Groups (BUGs) and Riding Groups, we have hundreds of approved Ride Leaders across all of NSW to help get more people riding more often.

Ride Leaders can be trained and assessed in the field, or, twice a year candidates and volunteers take over the Bicycle NSW office in Sydney Olympic Park to conduct large group assessment and approval. On Sunday 6th August 2017, we were happy to welcome another 10 approved Ride Leaders to our ever growing network. Continue reading

Qantas Assure is Ready to Ride!

Qantas Assure Staff try to Give a Metre

We had the great pleasure of visiting one of our Spring Cycle Supporting Partners, Qantas Assure, to participate in their Wellbeing Day recently. A terrific incentive, the day gave staff time to engage in activities and talks that can help them achieve a greater work/life balance, look after their health, and ensure their staff have support for their personal wellbeing. Continue reading