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Want your council to fund bike infrastructure, every year?

Every four years Councils are required to put together a Community Strategic Plan. It does not matter where you are in NSW, you have a local Council and you have the opportunity to make a difference, so get your team together and start working through the process now. It is only through your effort that we can effect change in your local area.

There is a way to get your council to prioritise investment in cycling.  It’s not hard.  Here’s how.

Councils must have a Community Strategic Plan – a long term plan based on consultation with the community, which sets their priorities (and so, the annual budget).  New NSW legislation requires them to consult in early 2016 to do (or redo) this plan, and then, after the local government elections in September, to adopt the plan.  Once adopted, the priorities need to cascade down to the four year delivery plans and the annual operational plan and budget.

Because it can be hard for councils to get people involved, it can be fairly easy to influence the outcome/

  1. Get together with your local Bicycle NSW affiliated Bicycle User Group, or if there isn’t a Bicycle NSW affiliated group in your area, then why not start one. Affiliated groups become part of the Bicycle NSW team and work together with us to create a better environment for cycling. More info: http://bicyclensw.org.au/join/affiliation/
  2. Be ready. Discuss with your local group – what is your vision for your area?  What’s important for the community (eg. that children can get safely to school, or that shops do well with strong local support, or that all families can access parks, or healthy and friendly streets, etc)?  It will help to look at the current strategic plan or other plans your council has.  What can be better?  What’s missing?
  3. Build support. Think of all the potential local allies – schools, P&Cs, other local clubs, your local Health Promotion Unit, disability groups, mothers’ groups, doctors, businesses, etc.  What might they think of your priorities and what could you include to address their interests?
  4. Mobilise involvement. During the consultation process (first half of 2016), activate all your supporters by making it easy for them.  Summarise your main points in a flyer or on your website, push it out in your newsletter and social media, as well as through your allies (in the school newsletter, flyers at the doctor or shop) and get supporters to turn up to any public meetings and to make submissions.
  5. Share your learnings. Those great ideas you came up with, and useful allies, and good ways of motivating them – share with other bicycle groups so that results can be spread all across the state.
  6. Follow up. After September, the new councillors will need to adopt the plan, so survey or write or speak with candidates during the election campaign to make sure the successful ones are already on board and understand the benefits of providing for more active transport.  Then, every year in May when council publishes the draft budget, check they are doing enough or tell them what more they should do.  Legally they have to incorporate feedback.  Or, be even more pro-active: write a “Christmas list” every year, as that’s the time when they start working out next year’s budget items.

Tips:

  • avoid the word “cyclists” – instead this is about kids riding to school, or enabling people to ride to local shops, so find other words to use
  • this is not about the bike – put it in terms of benefits for the community (healthier, quieter streets & neighbourhoods, more vibrant local areas, safer and less congested around schools, etc) rather than for individuals who ride
  • think broadly – there are all sorts of areas of council where you can fit bikes (art, parks, planning policies…)
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Velo! Dumpling Seller Keeps Vietnam’s Cycling Past Alive

Text and Photos: Andreas Pohl

Members of the Old & New Bicycle Club in front of the Opera House

45 year old dumpling seller and vintage bike collector, Nguyen Van Tuan, made his US debut this June. Not in person, but as the main character of a short movie entitled . . . → Read More: Velo! Dumpling Seller Keeps Vietnam’s Cycling Past Alive

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Noah’s Spring Cycle

by Noah Laubscher

“Wake up, Noah.” I wriggled my head under my pillow hoping that the voice and the shaking hand would go away. It was still dark. Why was Ma saying that I had to wake up. Then I remembered. Spring Cycle!!

Today I was going to ride my bike 50 km – . . . → Read More: Noah’s Spring Cycle

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Bicycle themed Christmas gifts with a difference

Looking for something different for your cycling mate?? check out some of these gifts from Hiconsumption

Carrera Foldable Helmet. Utilizing a propriety elastic system, this helmet from the team at Carrera folds up when it’s not in use, making it easy to store in your bag while you’re on the go. While it . . . → Read More: Bicycle themed Christmas gifts with a difference

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Cycling Indonesia’s Remote Eastern Paradise

By Alex Baum

Few parts of the world are changing faster than Southeast Asia. Ancient is hurtling at breakneck speeds towards modern.

Malls and McDonald’s might be lasting impressions for some. But pockets remain all but completely unaffected by the tendrils of globalization. Still as remote and pristine as ever, full to the brim . . . → Read More: Cycling Indonesia’s Remote Eastern Paradise

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Sydney saddles up for two-wheeled extravaganza

From heart-stopping races to pedal yoga classes, guided bike tours and an illuminated night-time ride of spectacular City landmarks, this year’s Sydney Rides Festival promises to be bigger and better than ever.

Now in its fifth year, the three-week festival will run from 10-31 October and include more than 20 events right across Sydney.

. . . → Read More: Sydney saddles up for two-wheeled extravaganza

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What a well-deserved win!

Fiona Campbell of the City of Sydney Council (AKA The Bike Saint from MASSBUG) was awarded Professional of the Year at the 2015 Eco-Counter International Awards.

Eco-Counter promote active transport through the development of automated pedestrian and cyclist counting systems.

“By specializing exclusively in bike and pedestrian applications, our team has developed the most . . . → Read More: What a well-deserved win!

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The perfect time to plan your cycling in Indonesia

Indonesia is hardly known as a cycle destination. This is surprising because, particularly on the island of Sulawesi, that spidery shaped island north of Bali and formerly known as the Celebes, there is some really good cycling to be had.

What makes it doubly attractive is the absence of western style mass tourist development. . . . → Read More: The perfect time to plan your cycling in Indonesia

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Great East Rail Trail Ride

The trail crosses the wide Nicholson River on the original rail bridge.

The Great East Rail Trail Ride is a fully supported three day cycle event along the 100 km East Gippsland Rail Trail. It ran for the first time in 2014.

This is a little Great Ride, with numbers limited to 120, . . . → Read More: Great East Rail Trail Ride

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It’s that time of year again… Time to renew!

We want to thank our loyal members for being an essential part of the community that is creating a better environment for cycling. It’s been a big year at Bicycle NSW with record membership growth, significant advances in advocacy issues and some important wins for bicycle riders.

All the positive activity reflects the ongoing . . . → Read More: It’s that time of year again… Time to renew!

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