Cycling in Sydney Australia
There are 43 councils that make up Sydney. These councils are in control of a lot of roads but in some cases are parochial and not professional. They control a lot of parking on road. The parking requirements enforced by councils in new unit developments can be driven by locals worried unit residents will park in "their" spot outside their house.
Perhaps the state needs to be able to overrule a council to correct this imbalance. That was the basis for state planning departments calling the shots in that area to limit the effect of NIMBY locals. State governments in NSW have been gutless on council amalgamation. So they just need another way to ensure that some of these little councils are not holding back the "bicyclisation" of Sydney.
The OP is referring to local cycling advocacy groups.
No one here can help the balkanisation of Sydney councils. What can happen is the creation of a cycling advocacy group that speaks for an area larger than one individual council, but smaller than the entire state.
One that is covers the “correct” sized area, and is well-funded, has a chance. But no group wants to do it.
I have observed in the last 5 years+ the creations, and failures of social media groups when it comes to effective advocacy. All heat, no light. The pure bottom-up, grassroots effort is not going to make big change in Sydney. And also the failure of a state-based, funded bicycle group (BNSW). What is needed, is a middle ground. Otherwise, there is no way for Sydney bicycle riders to project an effective voice.
not going to disagree but will add that in my area it has mostly been holier than thou types who want to meddle. I'd gate crashed a couple of meetings last year and when confronted with information that their pet projects had caused traffic accidents they all refused to talk about the issues. I got on the local traffic committee and when a recent meeting was called, not one of those people responded to the meeting notice nor attended, they didn't like having to listen to people they claim to represent.
More than 20 meeting with council at various levels in the last 2 years with residents, again only on 2 occasions did one of those "representatives" turn up, and then they spouted incorrect numbers to try and say we were all wrong and they should have their way. And all of these meetings were outside office hours, usually 730 or 8am
If you want to address the bad representation to council sensible folks need to get themselves involved and help look for solutions to the issues, not just complain about things.
So you know, I'm member of the ACP, so will be biased.
What are they/we doing? The manager of the page, or as he calls it "the Facebook Hamster", is currently on a long needed break. Like Colin says, there's only limited resources. There are a couple of volunteers doing the Facebook updates. Most have day jobs, kids to look after, a bike to ride etc.
Why join the ACP? The ACP is currently your one and only chance to get bums on seats in Parliament devoted exclusively to cyclists' needs. Having someone full time there would give us some bargaining power to get some (hopefully a lot of) cycle infrastructure funding, vulnerable road user legislation etc. Lord knows with all the hate media in Australia, there is no chance of having the majority changing their minds by themselves, or the current state/federal pollies paying attention.
Here's the Policies for the ACP. There are a lot there targeting safety, plus funding for infrastructure. If you want to add something, new ideas are more than welcome. IMO, it's good news for utility cyclists. Do a quick google search on interviews to get an idea of the direction. The owner of this website is an adviser.
BikeSydney also does excellent work in stating the real problems clearly, and what can be done about it.
What are they doing?
Nobody wants to bell the cat.
You should ask for your money back.
These things don't just appear out of thin air...and the ACP wasn't even an idea 12 months ago.
The thing about becoming a political party is there are a number of hoops through which to jump. First of which is to have a membership base, hence the need to recruit members. So criticising the ACP on the basis of having only done a membership drive in the less than 1 year of existance is a little silly. Though I will admit that attempting to recruit several hundred members without really having a policy position also seems a bit backwards, but there are reasons.
On this they have assembled an "expert panel" and put up a list of basic policy positions but the line that the ACP will take will come election time is down to the members. Membership costs nothing other than a few moments of your time then you have the ability to help steer the direction. If you don't like it then work towards changing it or leave.
Both in this thread and the BNvBNSW one are full of people pointing out the failings of our cycle advocates but offering very little in terms of what needs to be done or what they are doing/intending to do about it. Bit depressing really but it explains why cycling conditions are the way they are here. I can't see things changing until we sort this out TBH. Thats why I became a member of (and recruited workmates/family into) the ACP. Its something that, in my lifetime at least, hasn't been tried before and if we can make it work, great! If it doesn't then we haven't lost much/anything in fact we may have gained a great "social club" ;-)
I did noticed on the ACP's @icycleivote tweet a couple of weeks ago they were focusing on getting the numbers up for the Victorian elections which are coming up at the end of the year.
They need more than 500 members to become a party in Vic but they do need more for contingency.
I think that it is better to lobby established parties. The Greens already are very pro-cycling eg this article http://greens.org.au/magazine/vic/janet-rice-bike
One doesn't exclude the other. You can both lobby the Greens and join ACP. (Vote early vote often)