Cycling in Sydney Australia
So here's a discussion topic for the morning.....
There's a lot of angst here about what Bicycle NSW do, what they don't do, who's firing who and what's going on.
I know a lot of people got pretty disillusioned some time ago and let their membership lapse.
But I started thinking about it last night and the question that is top of my mind is "what do people want from a body like BNSW" ?
Is it an advocacy organisation that can speak for cyclists issues to govt or the media ?
Is it the insurance ?
Is it the big multi day cycling events ?
Is it the smaller one day events ?
The magazine ?
An umbrella organisation for the local work done by the BUGs ?
Something else ? Something else you ARE getting ? or something else you'd LIKE ?
I think it would be really interesting to know what it is people are actually looking for in an organisation, and whether BNSW can deliver it, or whether those things actually already exist and we're just mourning the memory of what it used to mean to people.
I ask that this stays on topic, I feel it's an important one.
Not in the same inner city as me HF. The bus drivers are not only fine. They are good to me. Every day.
If as a cyclist I feel my life is threatened each day because of ignorance, even if I cry from the top of a hill no one will hear.
If my cyclist's voice is not heard by anyone, then I need to leverage the strength that numbers can bring.
United we stand, divided we fall.
BNSW (or some other group) should be the glue that binds our common joy of cycling. It is only together that we can make a stand. Advocacy and lobbying are core to change. BNSW MUST advocate, it MUST shame governments into action. This can't be done unless cyclists are united, but we are not. BNSW needs to bring us onto the same page. Right now we are all chapters with different stories.
Yes, Adam - that was what I tried to say in my latest post. The trouble with BNSW is they seem to have a "policy" (or is it just style) of not offending authority (ie government) - pretty difficult to do if you require government change and action. We need an advocacy body. It was always supposed to be BNSW (historically speaking) but somewhere in the past 6 years it has turned into mush. Perhaps too much navel-gazing until it started revolving in ever-decreasing circles.
But I think what this post (and others started by John H on the BNSW Community Forum site) is trying to do is to give the Board some momentum - like a tangential force applied to an orbit - to knock BNSW off its "going nowhere" path and onto the forward path that we all want. (Not trying to speak for Damian of course, that is my interpretation).
In their own full-page advert in this month's Australian Cyclist these are now BNSW's list of benefits:
* Public Liability Insurance
* Personal Injury Insurance
* Discounts at the BNSW store
* Discounted entry at BNSW events
* Australian Cyclist magazine
That's it for how BNSW apparently now see it. I was astonished. No longer a mention of any of the many programs, BUG support or ride leader training, cycling events or even ADVOCACY. The one thing I and all of us here care about most did not even make the cut. Two of the top three reasons people become members have disappeared as benefits (programs/events being third).
Perhaps the accompanying question to Damian's is what can BNSW offer that any of us care about or can't now find elsewhere? We can now access insurance, events, PushOn or even AC magazine separately or online. We organize ourselves for protest or support rides. BUGs do heaps of beginner rides and local events. The SC site certainly offers plenty of community engagement.
So what can't we get easily enough elsewhere that BNSW should show true leadership in? Perhaps a little bit louder please?
Gee Omar, that would be the same add that says "As a Bicycle NSW member you support the advocacy work of Bicycle NSW, a voice that represents cyclists all across NSW, as well as our innovative programs and events" I dont think you can say that Advocacy and programs aren't mentioned in the advertisement, surely?
Your questions are good ones and the contributions are and will be listened to. Indeed Ive been through them all having just returned from a Board meeting. At that meeting we discussed the Government's Long Term Master Plan for Transport(Congratulations to Bike Sydney and Bike East for a great submission on that) and how we will be framing our engagement with the Government- that is our "advocacy" around our submission and around those our affiliated BUGS, some of whom provided great ideas for the development of infrastructure and policy changes.
Personally Im not going to agree with all that has been written but as your threads show not everyone out there does agree about the best way to lobby or engage or for that matter on what we should be lobbying. Suggestions are always welcome. Part of what Adam said above that really resonates with me is the need for all cyclists ( and I include those who dont ride but support cycling, many of whom are our members) to work together no matter what their style, bike use or dicipline- ( I realise he didnt quite say it that way but I think you get the drift). That is an essential part of our strategy. Strategies are always liable to criticism of just being words and Im getting used to that glib criticism. We will keep trying to put that into practice, working with BUGS, other cycling organisations, the Sydney City Council, Transport for NSW and anyone else we think will promote what we are about, which is a better environment for cycling.
See Page 10 John, no such line... so, yes, I can say it.
Good to see you back John.
I think one function that BNSW could fulfill is that of an 'oversight body' to community groups wanting to hold charity events. Instead of each community group having to re-invent the wheel for themselves, it would be great to have a forum to share ideas/mistakes/bum-steers by councils & other Govt bodies. In this way the events wouldn't necessarily be BNSW events, but could be conducted with some BNSW guidance/influence. This was talked about in BNSW, but as far as I know, it hasn't got past that stage.
Yes there were plans for BNSW to provide the equivalent of tick marks or endorsements or assistance for modest fees to those events that met certain criteria - thereby raising the standard of the sector and also better informing participants.
In a similar vein, the view was to provide a tick mark program for councils depending on a host of criteria including their development plans and expenditure commitments - as evaluated by local BUG members in collaboration with BNSW. Again, highly leveraging limited resources. I can't say if any of this is still in play but still makes sense to me looking at it from the outside.
ArtCycle (from our constitution) endorses and implements any of the Objects in Rule 1 of the Rules of Bicycle NSW as amended from time to time namely:
to conserve and protect the natural environment through the promotion of cycling as an environmentally beneficial means of transport;
to promote the use of the Bicycle as a key element of ecologically sustainable development practices;
to promote Bicycle transport as a means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving air and water quality, reducing non-renewable energy consumption and improving land use;
to promote the use of the Bicycle as a healthy, environmentally sustainable means of recreation and tourism and enhancing accessibility and personal mobility in the community;
to promote education of cyclists and other road users in the interest of road safety;
to advocate enforcement of the rights and obligations of cyclists; and,
to advocate engineering and equipment appropriate for the use of cyclists.
To quote a favourite Graphic Deisgner, the contents be the same as what the label on the box says.
With that in mind the Friends of the GreenWay have called for assistance to generate some heat for the upcoming debate on the GreenWay funding and reinstatement. A rally at Hyde Park(?) and BUG ride or a protest ride - whichever can be organised faster with the least fuss for the 27 May. And as many people as possible to turn up to Parliament on the 31st at 4pm when the debate will occur. Approximately 15 minutes of discussion.
Contact Friends of GreenWay if you can offer support. http://www.friendsofthegreenway.org.au/ Media release http://www.friendsofthegreenway.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/g...