In response to a year of increased cycling fines

City Rider at duskBicycle NSW is not surprised to see a significant increase in fines issued to cyclists. NSW Police have delivered a series of operations (named Operation Pedro) over the last 18 months targeting bike riders and pedestrians to enforce the road rules that apply to them. It is disappointing however to see a large focus on bike riders not adhering to rules, such as having a working bell, when only 17 drivers had fines issued for not giving the minimum passing distance when overtaking a bicycle.

Cycleways Image by DSA ImagesPolice targeting bike riders has certainly seen a decrease in injuries and cycling deaths in the last 12 months, and that is a positive result.  Yet, alarmingly there has also been a decline in cycling participation across NSW. In 2015, 16.7% of people in NSW rode bikes regularly, that has now dropped to only 12.5% in 2017 – the lowest in the country according to the Australian Bicycle Council’s National Cycling Participation Survey. It’s certainly difficult to declare that the increased penalties have reduced the incidents when the overall number of people choosing to ride a bike have declined so dramatically.  Perhaps, bike riding in NSW is in a state of emergency?

NSW has a complex set of road rules, and a number of laws that focus just on bike riding. While some of these are valuable and protect vulnerable road users, there is certainly opportunity to review some of the many road rules, simplify them and make it easier for our hard working NSW Police force to both know and understand the laws and how best to enforce them. To have only 17 drivers caught infringing the minimum passing distance road rule in the last year demonstrates that better support to enforce this rule needs to be delivered.

We have more than 100 records of vehicles in the last 3 months that have not given bike riders a safe space when overtaking on our roads. Riders can add their experiences to our online record and help us demonstrate the spread of the issue. We have recently been delivering a Minimum Passing Distance Challenge (funded by a Community Road Safety grant) within businesses and have seen a high failure rate for participants who try to accurately estimate the minimum passing distance they need to give bike riders. An alarming 80% did not know they can legally cross double lines, when safe to do so, in order to give cyclists enough room when overtaking. Bicycle NSW wants to see a significant increase in public education on how to share our roads so that bike riders, pedestrians and drivers all know their responsibilities when travelling in whatever transport mode they choose.

GiveAMetreSignificant research both here in Australia and from overseas proves that with more people riding bikes, the safety of cycling increases. Enforcing the minimum passing distance is only one way NSW roads can be safer for bike riders – the safer they feel the more they will ride.  Seeing this sharp decline in NSW bike riding is not a good result, it means our roads are even less safe to share between modes of transport.

Bicycle NSW ran a Bike Riders Survey in 2016 and collated some interesting information about bike riding in NSW. It is sad to see that less than one third of bike riders are women. We know that with safety in numbers, a sign that the state is improving safety for bike riders would be to see an increase in both participation in general, but also to see an increase in women choosing to ride. You can see details of the initial results on our website as well as a downloadable PDF of our first round findings.

Bicycle NSW is here to support and educate NSW Police in enforcing the MPD rule and other ways to increase safety for bike riders. Our mission is to create a better environment for cycling, and we do that by encouraging more people to take up bike riding for achievable parts of their transport. Our flagship event, Spring Cycle, closes a traffic lane of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and dedicates it to 10,000 bike riders. We raise the profile and awareness of bike riding, encourage people to try a new way of getting around and making it easier for people to discover just how they can ride for transport in Sydney.

CanYouGiveAMetrebrochurecoverWe would love to see more encouragement and education from the State and Local Governments to show how all road users share the space, and especially empower drivers to understand that the minimum passing distance legislation allows them to safely cross double lines to give bike riders enough space when overtaking. It’s one of our key advocacy wins that our members helped us achieve last year, and we want to see more public education on this to ensure our roads are safely shared with cyclists.

With safer roads, Bicycle NSW would be happy to see more people out riding their bikes. It is not only great for its physical health benefits but the environmental ones too.  Not to mention the increased productivity and significant improvements that people experiencing stress and mental illness get from bike riding.

In our cities across NSW, there is so much potential for people living within 10km of their workplaces to choose riding instead of the car or bus or train, which in turn improves public transport capacity and reduces traffic congestion, that it’s a win for all. Businesses who support cycling through End of Trip Facilities and other incentives see the benefits through their staff retention and capacity. The people who physically can ride a bike should be supported and encouraged to give it a go instead of being threatened with big fines. There is a misconception that you need to be fit to ride a bike, when actually, you just need to be able to ride a bike to take advantage and reap the physical and mental benefits.

 

You can help us achieve a better environment for bike riding by joining Bicycle NSW today.

A membership with us is an investment in a better biking future.

join-now-footer

 

 

 

Dockless Bike Share wheels in to Sydney

Image courtesy of SydneyCycleways

Image courtesy of SydneyCycleways

The media has been abuzz lately with talk of dockless bike share coming to Sydney and what it will mean for Sydney. Bicycle NSW is supportive of any new services and facilities that enable more people to choose to ride a bike. While our main focus has been on infrastructure funding and implementation, rider safety, laws and protections, and public education campaigns to inform all road users on how to safely share our shared spaces, we also welcome the introduction of the Reddy Go bike share scheme.

SydneyCycleways have been welcoming of the new scheme and have provided guidelines and advice for the private operators delivering the bike share scheme across the CBD. In the past we have liaised with Local Council’s looking to investigate options for Bike Share Schemes in their municipality and understand the City of Sydney and the now amalgamated Inner West Councils had been undertaking a feasibility study on how best to structure and implement such a scheme. We also supported the Bykko electric bike (docked) share scheme that opened in Newcastle in November 2016 who consulted with our local Affiliated Bicycle User Group, Newcastle Cycleways Movement, as well as the local Council and businesses in the area.

Bike share schemes have a great capacity to help newer riders  to be able to test out bike riding for transport without having to invest in a new bike and gear before they are confident riding will work for them. It’s a great way to ‘try before you buy’ and we’re hoping it will get more people riding. The more bike riders in any city or town, the more visible and safer riding is for everybody. 

We recommend anyone curious about taking up bike riding or wanting to use Reddy Go bikes, to definitely give it a go, but follow a few tips below:

  1. Brush up on your skills. If you’ve not ridden a bike in a while, it’s worth having a skilled professional get you back in the saddle. Councils like City of Sydney and Inner West Council run free or discounted Cycling Confidence Courses which will help you remember and hone the skills needed to ride a bike. Or seek out a local accredited cycle coach, training provider or other skills based training outlet. Your local bike shop may be able to point you in the right direction or run their own!
  2. Get Covered. When riding a bike, it can be great fun and a freeing experience, but every now and then, something can go wrong. Whether you hit a pothole, mount a curb wrong, slip in the wet, or just have a bad day, you want to be sure you’re covered for any eventuality. A Bicycle NSW membership provides the best recreational bike riding insurance available in NSW for both personal accident and third party public liability and damage, as well as great discounts to our events like Spring Cycle, a range of retail discounts and deals from our affiliated partners, and of course, a dedicated team advocating for a better environment for all bike riders. For the cost of less than one coffee a week, it’s the best way to get confident on two wheels and feel secure any time you ride.
  3. Know the Rules. NSW has some specific road rules for bike riders that are unique to our state. It’s best to know what you can and can’t do on a bike in NSW so that you have a smooth and positive experience every time you ride. RMS have put together an easy page with information about road rules that apply to bike riding. Bicycle NSW has also put together a page of resources for bike riders and other road users to help understand the new Minimum Passing Distance Rule that came into  place in March 2016.
  4. Plan ahead. We’re helping to create an integrated bicycle network across our cities, connecting cycleways, bike paths, common routes and shared paths, but some of the puzzle pieces still aren’t in place yet. So it’s best to plan how you’ll ride from one place to another. There are plenty of online resources and maps for Local Council areas, but you can also get the best advice from the horse’s mouth. We have a network of affiliated bicycle user groups who regularly deliver rides in their area. Why not find your local group and go along for a ride with them, or ask their advice on where the local bike routes and infrastructure are.
  5. Have FUN! Bike riding is the most fun way to get around. It’s great for both your physical and mental health and gives you an amazing experience and view of your city as you use your own steam to pedal to your destination. Take a sense of adventure, discover new ways to get places and free yourself from the daily grind of the road or public transport commute. Start small, with a bike as a short part of your commute, then build to longer distances until you find yourself enjoying your commute by bike and making it the best part of your day.

Our Membership Manager, Katie Bell, recently spoke with ABC The World Today as well as The Guardian about the positive effect bike share can have and the potential pitfalls the scheme may face during it’s roll out in Sydney.

NSW Government says ‘On Your Bike’!

Cyclists and Look both ways intersection image by DSA ImagesToday we are able to deliver our members and friends news from the NSW State Government’s recent budget announcement.

Following our advocacy work and relationship we have built liaising both directly with the NSW State Government and with its agencies Transport for NSW and RMS on a number of key projects and developments, Minister Constance has announced the 2017/18 NSW Budget includes $62 million in funds this year to deliver 150 projects for walking and cycling across both urban and regional NSW. This in an increase on last year’s budget of $58m for 300 projects, and is in addition to the already announced $80 million Cycling Infrastructure Fund for key projects funded over 4 years. Read the press release: Andrew Constance med rel – On your bike 150 local projects funded.

We are happy to see the continued focus on cycling and Active Transport infrastructure, we support the commitment to these projects and we look forward to working with the NSW Government, its agencies and Local Councils to ensure smooth delivery of these quality infrastructure developments.

We have reviewed the list of projects and are excited to see a spread of works across the state.

South Coast region projects include: the Otford Tunnel No.6 cycleway, shared paths and dedicated cycleway in the Minnanmurra and Jamberoo, cycle paths in Vincentia and Ulladulla, cycling network in Bega, shared path in Merimbula, shared paths in Narooma and Moruya, shared path in Shellharbour

Riverina region projects include: separated cycle paths in Albury and Kinross, shared path in Lavington, cycle bridge in Deniliquin, shared path in Griffith, bicycle parking facilities in Hay, bike path in Lockhart, shared path in Wagga Wagga

Northern Rivers region projects include: cycleway in Broadwater, shared path and cycle path in Hungry Head, boarwalks in Tweed Heads and Kingscliff

New England region projects include: shared path in Guyra, cycle path in Inverell, bike path in Boggabilla, cycleway in Tamworth, bike lane in Tenterfield

Mid North Coast region projects include: shared paths in Grafton, shared paths in Tuncurry and Griffith, cycle paths in Old Bar and Forster, cycleway in Macksville

Central Coast and Hunter region projects include: Coastline cycleway links in Green Point, shared path in East Gosford, pedestrian and cycling facilities in Terrigal, shred path in Musswelbrook, shared path in Singleton

Western NSW region projects include: cycleway in Gilgandra, cycleway in Narrandera, shared path in Temora, shared path in Bathurst, cycleway in Blayney

Central and Eastern Sydney region projects include: southern approach to the Sydney Harbour Bridge cycleway connection, separated cycleways development in Redfern and Moore Park, cycleway in Coogee

Western Sydney region projects include: shared bath in Rooty Hill, shared path in South Windsor, shared path in Kellyville, shared path in Parramatta, shared path in Trench Reserve, cycleways in Penrith

Inner West Sydney region projects include: shared paths in Concord West and Exile Bay, the Greenway between Dulwich Hill and Haberfield, separated cycleway in Balmain

Northern Suburbs of Sydney projects include: shared paths in Macquarie Park, shared path in Beecroft, cycleways in North Sydney and Neutral Bay, shared path in Frenchs Forest, shared path in Willoughby, shared path in Chatswood

South-West Sydney region projects include: bike plan implementation in Camden, shared path bridge in Hurlstone Park, shared paths in Chipping Norton, Liverpool and Prestons, cycleway and shared path in Sutherland

The Press Release from Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, The Hon. Andrew Constance MP, states:

ON YOUR BIKE: 150 LOCAL PROJECTS FUNDED

More than 150 local walking and cycling projects across the state will receive a $62 million boost to better link communities and encourage active transport.

Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance said new cycleways, shared paths and better pedestrian infrastructure would be delivered under the Walking and Cycling program, giving communities across the state access to safe active transport options.

“We are investing in key local walking and cycling projects to improve links in the city, the regions and our suburbs,” Mr Constance said.

Mr Constance said more than 150 local projects will be built as a result of the funding to support growing communities and local industries.

  • Kiama commuters will benefit from $5.4 million in projects including the Minnamurra Bends Cycleway
  • Coogee will receive $3.8 million for projects such as a bi-directional cycleway from Kingsford to Coogee
  • Penrith will receive $2.6 million to build cycleways and shared paths on Jane Street, Coombes Drive and Trench Reserve

Key Sydney transport interchanges will be supported by more than $5 million to build missing links in the cycling and pedestrian network including:

  • More than $1 million for cycleways in the Sydney CBD, including the link from Kent Street to the Southern Portal of the Sydney Harbour Bridge
  • Almost $2 million to build a further stage of the segregated cycleway along the full length of Lilyfield Road between Iron Cove and Victoria Road in Balmain
  • A further $1.2 million to build missing shared pathways and pedestrian links in Parramatta.

Mr Constance said this funding was in addition to a massive $80 million Restart NSW reservation in the Cycling Infrastructure Fund.

“The NSW Government is investing an unprecedented amount on active transport infrastructure, making it easier for people who walk or ride to work to do so more safely,” Mr Constance said.

Parramatta Valley Cycleway, Subiaco Creek section opens

IMG_1303Yesterday we had the great pleasure of attending the City of Parramatta’s official opening of a key piece of cycling infrastructure connecting the Parramatta Valley Cycleway. We have been working with the Local Council and our affiliated BUGs to ensure quality bicycle infrastructure is delivered and the Subiaco Creek link delivers on all fronts, providing a positive addition to the Active Transport options in the area.

Cyclists and pedestrians can now travel on a high-quality, river front path from Parramatta Park to Sydney Olympic Park following the official opening of the Subiaco Creek link. Delivered on-time and under budget, the Subiaco Creek link will allow users to avoid approximately 1km of the street network, including the busy, steep and industrial South and Pike streets.

Subiaco Creek cycleways section map by Kev DuffyIt will now be possible to walk and cycle away from traffic for almost 20km on a path network between Parramatta Park and Sydney Olympic Park via Parramatta CBD and the Western Sydney University (WSU) campus in Rydalmere.

“Subiaco Creek was one of the key missing links in the popular Parramatta Valley Cycleway, and we’re pleased to now see it open for the community to enjoy. The path is designed for pedestrian use as well as cyclists of all abilities,” City of Parramatta Council Administrator Amanda Chadwick said.

“Council has worked with the State and Federal governments to complete the sections of the Parramatta Valley Cycleway (PVC) in our local government area. Delivering these links has contributed to a consistent 10 to 20 per cent year-on-year increase in cyclists using the cycleway in recent years.”

The cycleway sections that have recently been completed include:

  • Shepherd’s Wharf at the end of Park Rd, Rydalmere
  • Park Rd to Pike St Rydalmere (Part A)
  • Pike St to Subiaco Creek, Rydalmere (Part B)
  • Baludarri Wetlands Boardwalk, Rangihou Reserve Parramatta to James Ruse Drive, through to the heritage-listed wetlands and connecting to WSU
  • The Lennox Bridge Portals

The $4.5 million Subiaco Creek link was funded by the NSW Government’s Priority Cycleways Program, which is delivering missing links in the cycleway network right across the state. The project has been delivered by City of Parramatta Council on behalf of Roads and Maritime Services (RMS).

Member for Parramatta Geoff Lee said Parramatta was fast becoming the cycling capital of Western Sydney.

“The Subiaco Creek link gives local residents, cycling and fitness enthusiasts more ways to enjoy and explore our beautiful local area. I hope to see many families and visitors make the most of this fantastic new link,” Mr Lee said.

The cycleway was officially opened to the public on Monday 19 June.

Her Cycling Connections

NoveltyChequeBicycle NSW has recently received confirmation of grant funding to the deliver a new project, Her Cycling Connections, with our affiliated provider, Addventageous. Focusing on the newly formed Cumberland Council area in Sydney’s West, the project aims to teach disadvantaged women to ride a bike, to become cycling coaches, to lead group bike rides and to encourage more women and their families to take up bike riding for transport, fun and fitness. We look forward to bringing more news of this great initiative to you as the project continues.

The Stronger Community Fund grants focused on building capacity, providing service to identified parts of the local community, as well as achieving key goals in social, health and wellbeing, environmental and cultural goals. Bicycle NSW was one of 32 organisations who will share in over $1million of funding to be spent on projects int he Cumberland Council area.

Addventageous will now finalise the project plan and begin delivery during the second half of 2017 through to December 2018. You can expect to see Her Cycling Connections participants taking part in our Flagship event, Spring Cycle, taking in the new 16km River Ride on 15 October, as well as working towards the 9th Annual Gear Up Girl event in March 2018. Details on how local women can become involved will be made available soon. We look forward to working with local BUGs and Riding groups, as well as community groups and services to help grow the project and empower more women to ride bikes for fun, transport and fitness.

Rail Trails on the rise in NSW

Bicycle NSW would love to see more people riding bikes and more infrastructure to support bicycle tourism. A number of Rail Trails in NSW are under consideration and our affiliated Bicycle User Groups are involved at the local level to help these projects progress. 

Berry Rail Trail

Some fantastic work is being done by our affiliated Bicycle User Group, Shoalhaven BUG, on the Berry Rail Trail. We encourage you to follow them on Facebook and be ready to this great initiative.

Wagga Rail Trail

Wagga Rail Trail implementation plan has begun. Our local members continue to share the news and works of the project and currently meetings with the local Council are well underway. Read more about this important step in their news.

Northern Rivers Rail Trail

Northern Rivers Rail Trail is crowd funding for the design costs of a community trail to connect Casino and Eltham with an eventual plan to continue through to Murwillumbah. You can pledge your support online.

New England Rail Trail

New England Rail Trail is supported by our affiliated Bicycle User Group, Guyra Cycling Community and is pressing forward with their highly detailed community support document (obtained over many years) complete with stakeholder support and the local branch of the NSW Farmers.
A woman on a funky bicycle

Active Transport connections in the Rockdale area

A woman on a funky bicycleRecently Bicycle NSW has been involved in a workshop at Rockdale convened by RMS to look at constraints and opportunities for an improved cycleway connection of the Via Giovanni Brunetti Bridge (VGB) – the bridge over the Cooks River just west of the Airport International Terminal.

We have focused on the goal of improved Active Transport connections across the Via Giovanni Brunetti Bridge at Rockdale near the Airport. This is a complex area with major developments at the Airport and planned for the present Kogarah Golf Club.

Presently a poor connection exists between the southern suburbs and the major bike commuter route along the Alexandra Canal to the CBD. Major land redevelopment is planned along the nearby western bank of the Cooks River. Sydney Airport is presently finalising plans including how to link with the VGB.

We, along with our affiliated BUG, BIKEast, and the Australian Bicycle Council put forward our knowledge of preferred commuter bike routes in the area and likely changes with a better, more direct, route across the VGB. As such developers are now keen to include a wide, seperated cycleway along the western foreshore, which would fill in a major missing link in the Cooks River Cycleway.

We were pleased to be able to present the importance of improved connectivity in this area, both for commuters and recreational riders.

NSW Parliamentary Inquiry – Driver Education, Training and Road Safety

Watch for cyclists sign

In February, Bicycle NSW along with 75 other bodies, made a submission to the NSW Parliamentary Inquiry in to Driver Education, Training and Road Safety. You can read our submission on the NSW Parliament Inquiry website.

Our main recommendations were:

  • To include approved bicycle safety courses in the total training hours for Learners that count towards their logbook.
  • Driver Education be included as a compulsory part of the Year 10 PDHPE curriculum in NSW High Schools
  • Include a Vulnerable Road Users component in the Learner rules testing and practical examination
  • For NSW Drivers to undergo a computer based Rules test every 5 years which must include a Vulnerable Road Users component
  • A high priority be given to ongoing driver education through effective media campaigns
  • Transport infrastructure projects to include a component for the Positive Provision of Active Transport Infrastructure
  • The bicycle infrastructure component of the total transport infrastructure budget be raised to 5%

On May 22nd, we appeared alongside the Amy Gillett Foundation and the Australian Cycle Alliance, to present further to the inquiry on our recommendations and need for greater education across all road users.

The topic has garnered significant media interest resulting in news articles and radio interviews.

We spoke to 2HD Newcastle ahead of the hearing and discussed the proposal and the work our local affiliated BUG, Newcastle Cycleways Movement have been doing in pushing for the CycleSafe Network.

We will continue to update our members and stakeholders as the outcomes from the Inquiry are made available.

A woman on a funky bicycle

Give your input to the new Road Safety Plan 2021

A new road safety plan for NSW is being developed this year to ensure effective actions are in place to meet the Road Safety Strategy 2012-2021 targets for reducing deaths and serious injuries on NSW roads.

The Road Safety Plan 2021 will also position NSW to achieve the longer term target of a zero road toll to support the Future Transport strategy which is being developed this year to establish a 40-year vision for transport in NSW to meet the long-term needs of transport customers.

Safety is a shared responsibility and so input from communities and stakeholders across NSW is critical for developing effective measures to reduce road trauma. We strongly encourage members and friends of Bicycle NSW to participate in the engagement program during May to ensure bike riders and their concerns are well represented.

Development of the Road Safety Plan 2021 will draw on:

  • An examination of crash information to understand the factors involved in the crashes in NSW
  • Evidence from Australia and worldwide about what has been proven to be effective in saving lives and reducing serious injuries
  • Feedback from stakeholders and the NSW community through a statewide consultation program.

During May, bike riders can provide input to the Road Safety Plan 2021 by:

  1. Attending a two-hour forum – these will be held in:
    Wagga Wagga – 10 May
    Dubbo – 15 May
    Wollongong – 17 May
    Parramatta – 18 May
    Sydney CBD – 23 May
    Newcastle – 24 May
    Scone – 29 May
    Coffs Harbour – 31 May
  2. Taking part in an open online discussion forum or web-based survey.

For details, please visit the Centre for Road Safety website or email towardszero@transport.nsw.gov.au.

#BikeToWork Day Competition – Making #CommutesCount

Bicycle NSW is once again supporting Strava’s Global Bike To Work Day this Thursday 11th May, 2017. By encouraging our members and social media fans to participate, we can envisage a real impact on the future of cycling in Australia.

To support the initiative, Bicycle NSW are offering two prize packs for participants who share photos of their commute on social media. Simply share a photo of the favourite part of your commute, follow and tag @BicycleNSW and use the hastag #CommutesCount to be in the running to win. The photo with the most likes and the most creative photo, as judged by the Bicycle NSW team, will both win a Bicycle NSW prize pack each.

Strava is a free app that can be downloaded and used while riding to track your route, distance and speed. Strava’s “Metro” data set helps identify current commuting routes and feeds that information to town and city planners, making decision making for bicycle infrastructure easier and clearer thanks to demonstration of demand. We encourage bike riders across NSW to take part in Strava’s CHallenge as well as sharing their commutes with us on social media.

The more data identified on Strava as a commute, the more well informed decisions can be made by designers when considering an integrated bicycle network across local government boundaries, and right across the State. As a key part of our advocacy, we want to see strong decisions on cycling infrastructure made on information and evidence.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to participate in the competition and share your photos. Make sure your posts are public so we can see them!

 

#BIKETOWORK COMPETITION TERMS AND CONDITIONS

  1. The promoter:

Bicycle NSW
Bicentennial Drive
Bicentennial Park
Sydney Olympic Park NSW 2127
Email us: info@bicyclensw.org.au

  1. Who can enter:

People aged 18 years and over.

Exclusions: Employees and contractors at Bicycle NSW

  1. How do people enter
  • Follow @bicyclensw on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter
  • Post an image of your bike commute and tag it #bicyclensw and #commutescount between anytime between Tuesday 9th May and 1pm Friday 12th May  
  1. How is the winner chosen?

The winner will be judged by staff at Bicycle NSW who will be judging based on creativity and the number of likes (on Facebook and Instagram)  or retweets/likes  (on Twitter)   the post receives.

  1. When will the winner be announced publicly?

The winner’s name will be announced on the Bicycle NSW Facebook, Twitter and Instagram on Friday 12th May 2017

  1. When and how will the winners be informed?

The winner will be informed by direct message on the social channel they have entered their post on and has until 22nd May to respond

  1. What is the prize?

The prize is: A Bicycle NSW pack containing drink bottle, tshirt, stickers and promotional items

  1. When will the prize be delivered.

The prize pack will be available to be picked up by arrangement at the offices of Bicycle NSW, Bicentennial Park, Homebush or posted to you upon arrangement with the winner, by the end of May 2017

  1. Special mention

The promotion isn’t sponsored, endorsed or administered by Instagram, Facebook or Twitter