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Letter Writers

A group for the letter writers amongst us. If you write a letter to a pollie or the paper, post it here. If you're looking for inspiration and ideas, look here.

Members: 43
Latest Activity: Jan 17, 2014

Discussion Forum

Too rabid?

Started by Neil Alexander. Last reply by Neil Alexander Dec 18, 2013. 16 Replies

Cyclists should pay

Started by Neil Alexander. Last reply by Ma Dame Vélo Nov 15, 2013. 6 Replies

Comment Wall

Comment by Ma Dame Vélo on March 11, 2011 at 8:15am

Here's my letter to Barry O'Farrell:

Dear Mr O’Farrell:

I note from your web site that the Coalition will fast track road and rail projects and that you have committed $100 million to “tackle congestion on Western Sydney roads”.  However, I also note elsewhere that the Coalition will fast track widening of the M5 as part of the Congestion Busting Program.

I am writing to urge you to re-think widening the M5 (or any road) as a solution to the congestion problem.  Simply building more roads or widening existing roads will not solve the problem.  Successive state governments have been implementing this “solution” for the past forty years, yet the problems only get worse.  Most of the motorways in Sydney are relatively empty outside of peak hours and not necessary at all.  This would indicate that providing efficient public transport is a far better solution.

To quote from the professional blog of public transit planning consultant, Jarrett Walker, “Great urban planning is not just about giving people what they want now, but inspiring them to want something better.”  And, from the same person, “In the last decade Paris added bus lanes on virtually every one of its boulevards, mostly at the expense of traffic lanes.   Traffic isn’t any worse than it was, because once people see that transit is getting through reliably, some of them choose to use it.”

And finally, to quote Albert Einstein: “The significant problems we have cannot be solved at the same level of thinking with which we created them.”

It is past the time that the NSW State Government stopped the car-dependency in this state, and Sydney in particular.  The people of this state need sustainable, integrated transport networks (train, bus, bicycle) for the sake of future generations, as well as our own.

Sincerely, etc

Comment by Neil Alexander on March 11, 2011 at 8:50am
GREAT letter, MB. Or MV... or whatever you want to call yourself, sis.
Comment by Bob Moore on March 18, 2012 at 4:56pm
Letter from a friend, thought it was a good one:

The Hon Barry O'Farrell, MP
Premier of NSW
Parliament House
Sydney.

Dear Premier,

YOUR ATTITUDE TO CYCLISTS AND CYCLEWAYS

You have recently expressed some reservations about Sydney's cycleways and the lord mayor's plans to increase the extent of the cycleway network.

I am tempted to assume that your statements have been aimed at appeasing the noisy, but possibly misinformed, motoring lobby.  If you have another reason, I would be very pleased to hear of it.  Meanwhile, I would like to make you aware of the benefits which my cycling confers on my fellow citizens of Sydney, the difficulties I experience in continuing to cycle, and the reasons why I think you should encourage cycling, not supress it.

I cycle 14 km daily, to and from work.  My cycling conserves the world's finite fossil fuel reserves.  I could much more easily drive my car to work, with the opposite effect.

My cycling contributes to a reduced generation of greenhouse gasses, and the causes of climate change.  By driving, I would do the opposite.

My cycling means there is one less car to contribute to Sydney's well known peak hour traffic congestion.

Part of my reason for cycling is for my health, on doctor's advice.  Hopefully, it will amount to a small reduction in the demand for the state's over-stressed hospitals and health services.

I am fortunate in that I am able to use shared paths or cycleways for about half of my commute.  I will not risk my life by mixing with ordinary road traffic; I am not suicidal.  Thus I must disobey the traffic regulations on about six occassions on each trip, by riding "wrong way" or on footpaths.  Little wonder that so many people find cycling so discouraging.

I am 74 years old.

I would appreciate it if you would recognise the benefits which could accrue to all members of society if cycling in Sydney were to be made more convenient and safer.

Thanks for your time.

Yours sincerely,
Xxxx
Comment by Dasher on March 18, 2012 at 9:01pm

Great letter Bob! Tell you friend to send it to a few newspapers as well. It's the kind of thing that would get published. 

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