Cycling in Sydney Australia
I have had a vision and the turning point for the golden era of cycling is almost upon us.
I was out running on Sunday evening, on the way home I got to the intersection of Bourke & Cowper Wharf Roadway and having overdone it a bit I paused and looked up at the new cycle signage. Through the perspiration pouring down my face the words on the sign that said “Taylor Square” started to waiver and they became “The Future” and in the clouds I could see what appeared to be the faces of Bob Brown & Clover Moore, and a vision started to unfold in a series of events over the next few months.
5 March – Clover announces the finishing of Bourke St cycleway and says she is fed up with RTA & State Govt restrictions preventing greater cycling in SoC, she will instruct council staff to immediately remove anything that impedes cyclists in the council area.
6 March – State Govt says Clover cannot do this and will send police to prevent council staff implementing measures; local police commander short of resources sends bicycle, dog and mounted squads as only ones available; Clover makes impassioned plea for support, horses, dogs and bicycles and their human companions come over to Clovers side and will assist.
7 March – Immediate 1000% increase in cyclists coming into the city, streets awash with cyclists; Clover’s police convert half the traffic lanes to cycleways.
12 March – 250,000 cyclists turn up for the Rally for Safe Cycling, after chasing all motorised traffic out of the city they declare they will not leave until safe cycling & sustainable future is won. State Govt says it will send in the NRMA militia sworn in as “special” police. Clover declares the city a vehicle free soviet and the cyclists, using only bicycle tyre levers & a few multi-tools start ripping up the Cahill Expressway, Western & Eastern Distributors to form barricades around the city; State Govt says it will cut off power & water to the city; Clover unveils the secretly completed water recycling and Trigeneration facilities and declares the city self sufficient. Population of the City of Villages pours onto streets; feeding the cyclists and calling for Clover to take control of the State. Sailors at Garden Island declare support for Clover and will defend the city.
13 March – State Govt declares state of emergency and cancels election, Governor says it has been a State of Disaster for long enough and dismisses State Govt, appoints Clover as Premier till the election; a previous premier seen at Mascot boarding a black executive jet (with Air America faintly visible on the tail), clutching a very small case containing the remains of the state treasury, “thank god I don’t have to pretend to like cycling anymore, those helmets ruined my hair, I am returning to there the car is king”.
26 March – election, Labor & Liberal parties don’t win a single seat, Adam Butler elected to Drummoyne; independents & Greens form government with Clover as permier and Adam Butler as minister for bicycles & sustainable transport. Clover says Premiers office is within the city and state seat of Sydney boundaries so she will have no trouble performing all her current duties.
28 March – Adam declares M2 , M4, M5, M7 and all other expressways to be cycleways, motor vehicles will be allowed to use the breakdown lanes as long as they don’t exceed 10kph or impede bicycles, registration increased to $10,000 and congestion charge of $500 per day, 4 lanes on SHB for cycles, 2 for buses and two for our Chinese Amway friends (as a buffer between buses & cycle).
01 April – credit rating agencies so impressed with new state govt that they give NSW the first and only AAAAA+++ credit rating, overseas funds race to give loans to NSW and offer to pay 10% interest to the state if it will take their money; state borrows $500 billion to fund infrastructure spending and thereby generates $50 billion in revenue, abolishes all state taxes and charges, except motor vehicle related ones.
07 April – Federal Members for Sydney & Reid resign to spend more time with family; Clover says she will run for Sydney and Adam Butler for Reid; both win 95% of vote at by-elections; Clover says that as both the State & Federal seats are called Sydney as is the Council and Sydney is in NSW she will have no problems to carry out all her current duties, Adam says he lives in both his electorates so will keep both.
15 May – Clover & Adam sworn in as Federal members; make speeches on the joys of cycling; 80% of Labor party and 60% of Liberals defect to Greens; Bob Brown forms sustainable govt; elected Prime Minister, Clover deputy, Adam, Federal Minister for bicycles & sustainable transport; Clover says that as ....
At this point a car load of grossly overweight yobs start blowing horn, throwing Maccas containers at some cyclists waiting at the red light, “ why don’t you run the red” they yell, “pay some taxes...”, “get a job...”
The vision is gone and I don’t know the ending......
Damien might ask what this has got to do with bicycles. All I can say is that it is about time some of us put our money or time where our mouth is and did a bit to make some of the vision come true.
I have offered Clover & Adam a half day each on State Election Day as a start. Time for more doing and less talking, now only 2 months till 26 March election day.