Posts Tagged ‘Cycling’

Safe Lanes Missing

From the Valley Times on May 7th, 2009

By FATIMA MRAD

BICYCLES have outsold cars for the past eight years, and people should “absolutely” look to cycling, Kevin Young from Cycling NSW says, but what safe paths are there to use in Canterbury?

Fourteen councils including Marrickville and Canterbury were recently shun from a proposal to build off-road interconnecting cycleways, and Paul Johnson who rides from Riverwood to Mascot everyday says even if they were to erect the bike-only lanes he can see “limited uses for them.”

“You tend to get pedestrians walk all over them anyway,” he said.  It’s known that cyclists have to battle with traffic and parked cars, but even pedestrians are a cause for concern.

The M5 East underpass, the only RTA-owned bike path in the Canterbury area, is used as a shared path for pedestrians and cyclists, and one of the many problems cyclists such as Paul face is not only making it through traffic, but also through pedestrians.  Paul likened the M5 East underpass to the Cooks River cycleway, where “you get a lot of pedestrians, you’ve got to keep your speed down.”

Mr Young said when packs of cyclists ride together on motorways they use the breakdown lanes.  “It’s dangerous on occasion, and we’ve seen accidents occur,” he said. “You get a lot of rubbish, debris and glass. It’s not good.”  Mr Young recently met with the RTA and discussed the problems cyclists face, and said if the Government had the money to put out, they would.

Greens MP Lee Rhiannon has said five per cent of the RTA’s budget should be allocated to cleaning up bicycle blackspots and expanding cycling facilities.  “For too long the RTA has ignored bike riders by concentrating on sub-standard bike lanes that risk lives and foster road rage,” she said.

The current government allocation for cycling is $7.6 million, and Ms Rhiannon said the Greens want at least five per cent or $160 million of the RTA budget to be allocated to cycling programs in NSW.

“The bulk of the money is going to road shoulder lanes that are cheaper and easier to construct but more dangerous for bike riders,” she said.

Canterbury Greens Councillor Linda Eisler agrees, and says roads need to be decongested.  “Yet we do not educate our road-using community as to how to travel together harmoniously and safely. Neither do we provide safe bicycle connections throughout our city,” she said.

“Instead young and old have to battle with traffic and parked cars. They risk life and limb with impatient drivers and opening of parked cars.”

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From the Valley Times on August 21st, 2008

PIONEERING environmentalist Jack Mundey will join NSW MP John Kaye to host a ‘meet the candidates’ afternoon for the Canterbury Greens at Hurlstone Park Bowling Club on Sunday.

“I’m pleased to have this chance to throw my support behind a great local team,” Mr Mundey said.

“This election is a real chance for communities like Canterbury to let the major parties know that we’re sick of being taken for granted, and that we want a real say on the decisions that affect our lives.”

Canterbury Greens have announced a strong team to contest the election, with nine members standing from across the area.   Around the state, Greens have nominated their biggest field for local Government elections, with 342 candidates standing for 51 separate councils.

Linda Eisler, running for mayor and lead candidate for East Ward, says the Greens are campaigning for a “clean council”.

“Labor has run this state, and our council, like a private club and they’ve lost touch with the people who put them in office,” Ms Eisler said.

“We promise to give the people of Canterbury a better, fairer council, one that stops the backroom deals and overdevelopment, and starts doing something serious about the social and environmental challenges we face.”

Greens lead candidate for Central Ward Bashir Sawalha believes that Canterbury is entitled to a bigger share of federal and state funding for essential family support.  “Talking to people across the Canterbury area, we are hearing more stories of people in real need, families struggling to keep a roof over their heads and make ends meet,” Mr Sawalha said.

“One of the few programs that delivers real help to families, the Playbus that takes playgroup services out to the community, is in jeopardy because it can’t secure adequate funding.  “It’s time to put this community first and put the major parties last.”

Meet the Canterbury Greens candidates at Hurlstone Park Bowling Club, Marcia Street Hurlstone Park, on Sunday 24 from 3-5pm. All welcome.

¥ THE Greens are holding a Sustainable Transport Bike Ride to protest the lack of sustainable transport options in the Marrickville LGA.

Assemble outside Newtown Neighbourhood Centre, Cnr King St and Enmore Rd 11am Saturday, August 30.  Finish with lunch at the Courthouse Hotel, Newtown, approximately 12.30pm.  For more information or to register email grahamwhittall

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