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BNSW supports Minimum Passing Distance Announcement

Bicycle NSW welcomes the introduction of a trial of the Minimum Passing Distance Legislation in NSW, announced today (December 21) by the Minister for Roads Duncan Gay.

“This is a major advancement in bicycle safety in NSW and brings us into line with Queensland, ACT, and South Australia,” said BNSW CEO Ray Rice.

“We’re proud to have consistently lobbied for this measure in NSW which will bring about changed road user behaviour, and a better and safer environment for cycling.

“The success of the trial in other states is testament to the effectiveness of this initiative.”

The news comes as the NSW Government also announced a number of increased penalties for bicycle riders, and the compulsory requirement of carrying ID.

“Bicycle NSW agrees that safer roads is the joint responsibility of all road users. However, if fines are to be raised to such a high level, then bike riders need to be treated fairly in terms of road design,” said Mr Rice.

“What NSW needs is a stronger investment and commitment to safe cycling infrastructure, for example fully separated cycleways on key routes and proper traffic light phasing with sensors for bikes.

“Bicycle NSW believes that the majority of bicycle riders are law abiding, and that riders wish to share the road safely.

“Bicycle NSW looks forward to continuing to work with the NSW Government to develop the infrastructure and education to support this Cycling Safety Package.”

For more information of the Minimum Passing Distance Legislation head to http://www.amygillett.org.au/new-south-wales-says-a-metre-matters

For more information regarding the Cycling Safety Package head to http://roadsafety.transport.nsw.gov.au/campaigns/go-together/index.html

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CEO Report | December

Dear Members and Friends,

In the lead up to Christmas, the team at Bicycle NSW have been wrapping up the Spring Cycle and moving onto our next great event, the ladies Gear Up Girl ride to be held on 13 March 2016.  We are pleased that the Heart Foundation are again sponsoring this event, and together we can make a difference to women’s health.  More news on the Gear Up Girl event will be out soon.

Advocacy News:

In 2016 we will be looking at four main aims in the advocacy area:

  • Introduction of Minimum Passing Distance Legislation in NSW
  • Improving Cycling Connections – with a first emphasis on the Harbour Bridge
  • Regional Cycling – with a first emphasis on the Newcastle Cycle Safe Network
  • Diversity and Inclusion in Cycling

At every Government forum we attend, we continue to press for the introduction of Minimum Passing Distance Legislation in NSW – most recently at the Road Safety Advisory Council, where I was able to meet with Minister Duncan Gay before the main meeting.  Queensland, South Australia and the ACT have all introduced this critical safety measure for bicycle riders – why not NSW?

The question of improving cycling connections is always important, and we have continued our work with RMS on the Harbour Bridge. However, sometimes we must work to maintain what we have!  An example of this is the Old Meadowbank Rail Bridge which is a critical active transport link.  Just this week we met with Ausgrid to help ensure that this bridge is not fully closed for a month while they install a new high voltage cable in the area.   Ausgrid received over 600 replies to their survey on this potential closure – mainly due to publicity from Bicycle NSW and local BUGs.  Many thanks to all those who voiced their concerns.

This is what Bicycle NSW is all about – Advocacy in NSW – for NSW.

Ray Rice

CEO

Bicycle NSW submission on the proposed Jerra Circle Upgrade

Jerra Circle Upgrade

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the proposed Jerra Circle Upgrade. In looking at Active Transport (ie walking and cycling) it is worthwhile considering some facts from RMS and TfNSW publications:

    • About 70% of people in NSW either ride regularly or would like to ride more and say they would if bike riding was made safer for them.
    • There has been a 50% increase in riding to work in metropolitan Sydney since 2006. This would be indicative across the State including Queanbeyan.
    • Bicycle sales exceeded 1.4 million in 2012-13 and have outstripped car sales for over a decade.
    • The NSW Government has an aim of reducing cycling fatalities and injuries by at least 30% by 2021. Cycling infrastructure is a proven method of reducing cycling fatalities and injuries.
    • The NSW Government also has an objective of doubling the mode share of active transport to 5%.
    • A primary method of achieving this aim is to consider cycling safety in every infrastructure project. This strategy is included in the RMS’ own Bicycle Guidelines policy (p5)”

“To improve the bike network by making comprehensive provision for bicycles on all new major road infrastructure projects with a strong preference for off-road cycling.”

 

We are most concerned that the proposed “upgrade” plans for Jerra Circle do not meet the basic criteria of making riding safer. Forcing all local riders through a major, at grade, signalised intersection will be both unsafe and a discouragement to active transport.

Ask yourself this question: “Would you let your children ride through this intersection?” The answer should be a resounding NO.

This proposal fails a basic town planning test of connectivity, ie it reduces active transport community connectivity across a major road. It increases division, and increases the need for car transport. Surely a counter-productive result?

The solution to this deficiency lies with the provision of a number of underpasses, so that all arms of the intersection can be crossed safely by walkers and riders. Yes – this will add expense. But again ask the questions:

    • Can you afford the issues of a community divided by a main road?
    • Can you afford the decrease in local health as people drive more?
    • Can you afford the eventual injuries by forcing riders through an at grade intersection?

View the full submission here.

To have you say and make your own submission contact Queanbeyan Council.

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Wylde MTB Trail scores two state awards for landscape architecture

The Wylde MTB Trail is proving to be a popular addition to the Western Sydney Parklands after winning two state awards for design in landscape architecture – the 2015 Premier’s People’s Choice Awards in Landscape Architecture and the NSW Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA) Design Award.

Group GSA won the AILA award in collaboration with Western Sydney Parklands Trust for the Wylde MTB Trail. The Trail won 41 per cent of the vote in the Premier’s People’s Choice Award, with the next placed Cronulla Esplanade & Seawall upgrade taking 33 per cent of the vote.

Western Sydney Parklands Trust’s Director Suellen Fitzgerald said the success of the Trail is a result of collaboration between the Trust and Trail users and welcomed the awards as validation of its popularity.

“The Western Sydney Parklands Trust has received very positive feedback on the Wylde MTB Trail since it opened in 2014 and we are very pleased that it has been recognised with these two awards,” Ms Fitzgerald said.

“A lot of hard work has gone into the development of the Trail and I thank all of those involved for their efforts in making the Trail the success it is today.”

Western Sydney MTB Club Vice President and Bicycle NSW CEO Ray Rice said club members who use the Trail were more than happy to recommend the Trail for the Premier’s People’s Choice Awards.

“The Wylde MTB Trail is an excellent facility for mountain bike enthusiasts in Western Sydney and beyond and it deserves the recognition through these awards,” Mr Rice said.

“I was pleased to work with the Western Sydney Parklands Trust in the development of the Trail and can say that it is a very valuable addition to recreational activities in Western Sydney.”

 

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College Street Cycleway demolition will decrease rider safety

This Sunday the State Government will start the demolition of $4.9m worth of the safe separated cycleway along College Street without providing a viable alternative to current and future bicycle riders. The removal of this popular and proven safe infrastructure will force the 2,200 daily trips made on the existing cycleway onto the congested and potentially unsafe traffic lanes. A move not popular with people driving OR riding.

The existing riders on College Street are primarily accessing the north-east of the city and cannot do so via Kent Street on the western side of the CBD.

Construction of the Light Rail has been given to justify the removal of the cycleway. With little to no evidence that the government has adequately measured the safety implications of their decision it raises the question of how will the government respond when the first accident occurs along this busy street.

“We anticipate the existing 2,200 bicycle trips per day on the College Street Cycleway will continue to use College Street but on the road. As a consequence cyclists’ safety will be decreased and the congestion for motorists significantly increased. Ultimately the efficiency and productivity of the transport system will fail to serve everyone trying to access the city”, says Bicycle NSW CEO Ray Rice.

This shameful waste of money is contra to the Government’s own Sydney’s Cycling Future (Dec 2013) plan which calls for “investing is separated cycleways and providing connected bicycle networks to major centres and transport interchanges.” Regrettably there is no network in Sydney, and removing this existing infrastructure weakens the little that does exist. The 2015 Cycling Participation Survey released today confirms improvements to infrastructure have created a better environment for cycling, which has led to more people riding. Now is the time to keep the momentum going by committing to improved and increased infrastructure, implementing the Cycling Safety Action Plan and not removing critical infrastructure such as College Street cycleway.

The NRMA’s top priority in their Cycling Strategy (March 2015) is seeking the State Government to “deliver a minimum grid of separated cycle paths in the Sydney CBD, as proposed in the Sydney City Centre Access Strategy”. And the recent Speak Out post from the NRMA Advocacy Newsroom recognises the Save the College Street Cycleway as one of the most popular submissions ever. It is not just the cycling community who want this infrastructure retained but the motoring community too.

Bicycle NSW believe that during the construction of the Light Rail, too much emphasis is being placed on catering for the existing number of vehicles, while little thought is being given to the alternatives of active transport including walking and cycling. This is reflected in the removal of the College St Cycleway and the narrowing of footpaths at some CBD locations.

If the State government would embrace and prioritise active transport we could have their highly marketed “Tomorrow’s Sydney” today!

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ARE YOU READY TO RIDE THE BRIDGE SUNDAY 18 OCTOBER?

Bicycle NSW is thrilled to launch the 2015 SPRING CYCLE – Sunday 18 October, proudly supported by Transport for NSW. The event just keeps getting better with new routes and amazing festival finishes. But rest assured the annual highlight of riding across the Sydney Harbour Bridge main deck and Cahill Expressway taking in the Sydney Opera House views still sets all riders on their way. Early Bird Specials are available now, with a Super Saver for the first 500 to register and grab their official 2015 SPRING CYCLE Event Jersey. And we are pleased to celebrate this festival of cycling by offering KIDS RIDE FREE, so bring the family, friends and enter a team to make the 2015 SPRING CYCLE another spectacular success.

 

 

Challenge Ride105km Challenge Ride

This is an incredible new route to challenge your cycling performance with a century plus by riding Greater Sydney. Clock up 50kms riding across the Sydney Harbour Bridge, past the Sydney Opera House and traversing the diverse Inner West before taking your challenge out to Western Sydney Parklands via picturesque Parramatta and Prospect Dam. Return for your festival finish and cycling expo at Sydney Olympic Park. Limited riders so REGISTER NOW.

 

 

Classic Ride50km Polygon Classic Ride

For those looking for an adventure, this route takes in the best of the 12km Sydney City Ride including riding over the spectacular Harbour Bridge, past the Opera House and historic Rocks area, before exploring the diverse Inner West and venturing out to Sydney Olympic Park for a festival finish and cycling expo. Always our most popular distance and KIDS RIDE FREE, so REGISTER NOW.

 

 

 

City Ride12km Sydney City Ride

Ideal for families and novice riders who want to experience the thrill of riding over the Sydney Harbour Bridge and past some of Sydney’s most iconic landmarks including the Sydney Opera House and historic Rocks area. Celebrate your Spring Cycle success with a festival finish at Pirrama Park, Pyrmont. A cruisy distance for everyone and KIDS RIDE FREE, so don’t delay, REGISTER NOW.

 

 

 

EARLY BIRD SUPER SAVER – Rego + Jersey Discount

Here’s an exclusive offer to get the official SPRING CYCLE Jersey at a special discounted rate of only $38 (RRP $45 – save 15%!) with FREE delivery. This special offer is only available when you register during the Early Bird weeks. Simply select the Super Saver option when you register, but hurry – this offer is limited to the first 500 jerseys! REGISTER NOW.

 

GATHER THE TEAM – Go Platinum!

Health and productivity are ideal partners and what better way to activate both in your team than inviting everyone to ride the 2015 SPRING CYCLE! All teams get 15% off rider registration, PLUS branded team jersey, exclusive team marquee with hospitality and the opportunity to feature your brand to our 11,000 riders. With three ride distances there is a ride to suit everyone, and KIDS RIDE FREE so make it an event for your team to bring their team! Check out the benefits and options here.

JOIN BICYCLE NSW – comprehensive rider insurance, save 25% on the 2015 SPRING CYCLE

As you prepare for your 2015 SPRING CYCLE and get back on your bike, be sure you have a current Bicycle NSW membership which includes comprehensive rider insurance. PLUS, SAVE 25% when you register to ride Spring Cycle. Simply join Bicycle NSW then register for the Spring Cycle. We look forward to welcoming you to our bike tribe!

 

The Spring Cycle on Sunday 18 October is shaping up to be the biggest and best ever – we can’t wait to see you there!

 

The Bicycle NSW Events Team

Rally

Ministers invited to ride and witness the impact of removing safe cycling infrastructure

This Friday June 26, hundreds of bicycle riders will demonstrate the real impact of removing the College Street cycleway by riding in the adjacent traffic lanes during the morning and afternoon peak hours. The community led rally has invited Ministers and MPs to join the ride and experience for themselves the impact of their decisions that threaten the personal safety of all road users.

The State Government is set to demolish the $4.9m worth of safe separated cycleway along College Street without providing an alternative to current and future bicycle riders. The removal of this important infrastructure will force the 2,200 daily trips made in the existing cycleway onto the congested and potentially unsafe traffic lanes.

Construction of the Light Rail has been given to justify the removal of the cycleway, however, without a publicly available bus plan or traffic plan it is impossible to know whether the removal of the cycleway is based on real evidence.

Bicycle NSW believe the Review of Environmental Factors (REF)1 for the College Street and Castlereagh Street north cycleways by the RMS is flawed in many areas.

“We are pleased to support this community rally because we fail to understand the claim made in the REF Executive Summary that removing the College Street cycleway will ‘improve the safety and accessibility for cyclists across the city centre and surrounds’,” says Ray Rice, CEO of Bicycle NSW.  “And to propose cyclists will be required to use alternate travel paths when cycling through the city centre including “proposed” cycleways is ludicrous. These proposed cycleways don’t exist and the State Government is unlikely to deliver them until 2019.”

The REF includes traffic modeling which guesstimate increases in traffic volume of 20% or 40%, and demonstrates intersection performance along College Street will “dramatically improve” after the removal of the cycleway. However, this modeling does not seem to include the effects of the 2,200 bicycle trips per day that will be forced to mix in with the cars. Therefore any small time gains for motorists are likely to be false and at the expense of cyclists’ safety.

Bicycle NSW anticipate the existing 2,200 bicycle trips per day on the College Street cycleway will continue to their journey along College Street and on the road. As a consequence their safety will be decreased, the congestion for motorists increased, and ultimately the efficiency and productivity of the transport system fails to serve everyone trying to access the city.

“The Government is failing to consider the impact on both people who drive and people who ride bicycles, and while we don’t want to be obstructionist, the Government has given no alternative but to ride on the road. Our ride this Friday intends to demonstrate the impact of removing the College Street cycleway, which will force thousands of people who cycle onto the adjacent traffic lanes every day. To demonstrate the personal impact of their decisions we have invited Premier Baird, Minister Gay and Minister Constance to ride with us on Friday. They need to see and feel first hand what they are forcing all of us, whether in car or on a bike, to endure every day when they remove the increasingly popular College Street cycleway,” says Rob Berry, regular rider and community activist.

 

#SaveCollegeStreet Rally Ride details

Friday 26 June – 8.00am: ?Meet cnr Liverpool & College Streets

Friday 26 June – 5.30pm: ?Meet top end Martin Place, Macquarie Street

https://bicyclensw.org.au/advocacy/campaigns/savecollegestreet-cycleway-rallys/

 

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Sydney unites to demand safety for bicycle riders

The State Government will demolish $4.9m worth of successful transport infrastructure that safely delivers Sydney’s bicycle riders every day to and from the city. Ministers have also confirmed they won’t deliver any safe alternative and will force cyclists onto congested and potentially unsafe roads.

Hundreds of concerned people will gather at the top end of Martin Place on Thursday June 4 to show their deep concern for the safety of the community and demand the government provide safe separated cycleways.

“We are demanding the government show genuine and immediate action for bicycle rider safety, by meeting their commitments to deliver safe cycling infrastructure. They must be to retain the College Street cycleway and to deliver the network of cycleways as per the promised Sydney City Centre Access Strategy,” says Ray Rice, Bicycle NSW CEO.

Minister Gay was a signatory to the Strategy in 2013. The government took the Strategy to the last election. Within months of its return to power they are reneging on their commitment to provide safe separated cycleways through the CBD.

Bicycle NSW welcomes the support from all sectors of the community, not just those on bicycles. Business and community leaders are rallying together and welcoming the support and action from other government MPs.
“We are delighted to see the support from progressive MPs for safe cycling infrastructure and hope that the government will realise their mistake and reverse this retrograde decision. The government must demonstrate a commitment to safety and reducing accidents and fatalities across the whole state.” says Ray Rice.

“The community is grieving the recent death of Dr Henri Sueke and we will have a minute’s silence to honour our friend and all cyclists killed and injured on our roads.”

Dr Paul Hanley, GP and Emergency Department Doctor, is passionate about the pivotal role of the government.
“Emergency departments across Australia can only pick up the pieces. Our leaders can protect more of their fellow Aussies from death and sorrow than all the doctors, ambulance officers and trauma teams put together. Just with a biro. Bike riders are Aussies. Leadership is hard. We CAN do this,” says Dr Hanley.

“Evidence consistently indicates that clearly marked and connected routes, separated from traffic, will encourage more people to ride, with benefits to health and wellbeing, as well as less traffic congestion and better air quality. We urge the NSW government to maintain its commitment to safe cycling, as outlined in the Sydney City Centre Access Strategy and retain the College Street cycleway,” said Kerry Doyle, Chief Executive, Heart Foundation NSW.

Everyone is welcome to attend because the decisions by both Ministers Gay and Constance will jeopardise the safety and wellbeing of all city commuters and the viability for Sydney as a competitive global city.