[CAMWEST-announce] Fwd: Cycleways Committee Hawkesbury City Council

John Holstein jonhol2 at netscape.net
Fri Jul 5 10:59:58 UTC 2013

Hi Doug & Fellow CAMWESTies,
                                                    Doug, here is a string of emails between myself and Clr Ford & a reply to Peter Jackson as the mayor had forwarded my comments to him for action. It appears that very little has been done in HCC area  to facilitate the completion of a Mobility Plan. 
Have a look at my comments. Now might be a good time to put some more pressure on HCC.

John Holstein
Member of CAMWEST (http://camwest.pps.com.au) advocating for better cycling infrastructure for Sydney's West.

"if we don't change direction, we will end up where we are headed" (Professor Irwin Corey
American vaudeville comic and actor (1914 - ) )

-----Original Message-----
From: John Holstein <jonhol2 at netscape.net>
To: Peter.JACKSON <Peter.JACKSON at hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au>
Cc: kim.ford <kim.ford at hawkesburycouncillor.com.au>
Sent: Fri, Jul 5, 2013 1:00 pm
Subject: Re: Cycleways Committee Hawkesbury City Council

Dear Mr Jackson,
                          thank you for your reply to my letter to the Mayor. Clr Ford had replied to my initial email personally & his reply & subsequent action in forwarding it to you is appreciated.
I will not be part of the organising committee for the Ride2Riverstone in 2014, but I do hope they enjoy a congenial relationship with your staff. These events are always a work in progress & it is not always possible to meet every requirement of an application in the initial stages as certain actions can only be carried out as the event nears. The organising committee for 2014 should be in contact with your staff in the near future.
Events aside, my main concern with HCC was the decision not to continue with their Mobility Committee. As I explained to Clr Ford, I have been a part of the Parramatta City Council Cycleways Committee for the past three terms of Council & the committee enjoys a very healthy relationship with both staff & Councillors. 
We try and work towards a common goal & at times have an opportunity to facilitate some very productive collaborations. Yesterday I had the pleasure of hosting a ride which included a senior Manager from Transport for NSW, the Acting CEO of Bicycle NSW and two staff from PCC's Traffic Planning Section. The meeting was facilitated by Ian McIndoe, a founding member of CAMWEST, our local Bicycle User Group through his long association (26 years) with Cycling Advocacy in Western Sydney & the relationships he had built with State Government & Local Government through those years.
Clr Ford lamented not receiving Government Funding for Cycling Projects in HCC, but in yesterday's meeting, which was incidentally held on bicycles, we explored the Parramatta River between Parramatta & Homebush on both sides of the river where we saw two proposed projects that will cost 8 Million dollars to build. They will be completed within the 2013/14 & 2014/15 Financial Years. We viewed the completed Ermington Bay Cycle path, a multi million dollar project completed about 18 months ago & a small section of path at the end of Park St Rydalmere which will be completed today. These projects have been completed with State, Federal & Local Government Funds, but the examples are but a small part of what has been achieved in the past 5 or 6 years. It is envisaged that within five years there will be a complete off road shared path between Sydney Olympic Park & Parramatta Park. There is a small area through Westmead which will prove difficult to traverse, but once complete will join Windsor with Sydney Olympic Park via an off road shared path,
The Transport for NSW Representative outlined to us there was a significant state budget available for cycling and active transport projects, but there were obvious provisos to gaining that funding. Things such as value for money, on time completion, meeting budgetary constraints As well as developing a reputation for those attributes.
As I explained to Clr Ford, I am a relatively regular visitor to Windsor by bicycle courtesy of the Windsor Road Cycle Path, a lovely 30 Km stretch of off road riding from Westmead to Windsor. The main concern when I reach Windsor is the lack of connectivity to other areas. It would be pleasant to see a full off road connection to Richmond, North Richmond (connecting with the existing link to Kurmond), South Windsor, Bligh Park & Wilberforce, not to mention one to the UWS Hawkesbury Campus, a venue populated by financially challenged students who could ride a bike to the venue. These paths may exist, but it is not that clear given your online map on your website is dated 2005 nor does there seem to be any great improvement on your current & previous Bike Plans.
I hold the view that cycling is not the answer to our transport woes, that is a complex set of situations,  but is a worthwhile activity to support to alleviate some of the congestion on our roads, improve the health of our community & provide venues for recreational activities. It irks me to see huge amounts of money being spent on growing grass on sporting venues that are used once a week in many cases, while a shared path has the potential to be used 24 hours a day 7 days a week for a multitude of reasons.

John Holstein
Member of CAMWEST (http://camwest.pps.com.au) advocating for better cycling infrastructure for Sydney's West.

"if we don't change direction, we will end up where we are headed" (Professor Irwin Corey
American vaudeville comic and actor (1914 - ) )

-----Original Message-----
From: Peter Jackson <Peter.JACKSON at hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au>
To: 'jonhol2 at netscape.net' <jonhol2 at netscape.net>
Cc: Mayor <mayor at hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au>; Jeff Organ <Jeff.ORGAN at hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au>; Joseph Litwin <Joseph.LITWIN at hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au>
Sent: Fri, Jul 5, 2013 11:43 am
Subject: RE: Cycleways Committee Hawkesbury City Council

Dear Mr Holstein,
The Mayor, Clr Ford, has referred your recent email to me. Thank you for your interest in this matter. I have noted the comments you have made and have forwarded your email to the appropriate staff for their information.
Peter Jackson
General Manager|Hawkesbury City Council
366 George Street | WINDSOR| NSW  2756
PO Box 146 | Windsor NSW  2756
T 02 4560 4410 |F 02 4587 7740| pjackson at hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au
*Please consider the environment before printing this email

From: Mayor
Sent: Friday, 5 July 2013 10:51 AM
To: Peter Jackson
Subject: Fwd: Cycleways Committee Hawkesbury City Council


from 4dee on the run.


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Begin forwarded message:

From: John Holstein <jonhol2 at netscape.net>
Date: 29 June 2013 3:55:41 PM AEST
To: <mayor at hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au>
Subject: Re: Cycleways Committee Hawkesbury City Council

Dear Mr Ford,

                     thank you for your prompt and detailed reply to my email. There are some points I would seek to clarify with you.


I have been a member of Parramatta City Council's Cycleways Committee for approximately 10 years, having been the Chair of that Committee for four years & I currently hold the position of Deputy Chair.  We are a S355 Committee of Council & work closely with the Traffic Planning Section of PCC. This has been a very successful partnership and has resulted in compromise and agreements being made by both the Cycling representatives and Council. Our members are from neighbouring areas, I myself actually being a resident of The Hills Shire.


The Parramatta City Council has a very successful record in obtaining funding over the years and that success can be mainly attributed to the work of a single employee with a passion for cycling. That employee works in very close unison with the Cycleways Committee, attending every meeting and also meeting with members regularly between the bi monthly meetings to seek advice or disseminate information. As a member of the committee, I would like to see similar committees on neighbouring Councils as well as a regional committee which could also help co-ordinate neighbouring projects. An invaluable amount of volunteer hours of service also result from this arrangement. CAMWEST have representatives in your area, most of which are also more aligned with your local Windsor Cyclists Bicycle User Group, some having been founding members of CAMWEST. We have found that ongoing community consultation works well as community members have differing priorities and can alert council & others to emerging trends and issues. A couple of examples in this area were the proposed portals in the Lennox Bridge & a proposed path through the Baludarri Wetlands, both very sensitive areas. Those issues resulted in people joining our who were against the proposals and allowed some discussion and agreements to be made to allow both proposals to proceed.


In regard to cycling events within HCC and the approval process re same: The process for gaining approval to host these events is set out in a documenthttp://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/trafficinformation/downloads/special_events_guide_part1.pdf, a document dated August 2006 on line, but a different document in content to the original document we began using in 2007 for this event. It is a set of guidelines for special events within LGA's and the defining word in the title is "Guidelines". I note that a member of HCC was part of the committee formulating this document.


The issues I have encountered with your staff were minor issues of stalling. On one occasion an application was lodged & I was informed it was on the incorrect application form. I offered to complete the correct form on the spot & was informed I would have to go away & complete the form & resubmit it. When the form was re-submitted a few days later, I was then informed the closing date had passed & the application could not be accepted. This little set back required some negotiation by a third party to have it overturned. I believed it was a stalling tactic to allow the application to be late. Fortunately the application fee had been accepted & that was later deemed to be an acceptance of the application. The guidelines have always suggested the nomination of a "Lead Agency" in these events when they cross Council & Police Boundaries as this one does. At no time has this occurred, thus requiring the organisers to address 3 different councils & three different Police Commands with each application. The line of questioning at times from different Councils has been suggestive of collusion between the different Councils.


I will not be directly involved in the organisation of the Ride2Riverstone in 2014, but I do hope there is a far more consultative & supportive attitude from HCC in the future years. As an aside, the event held in 2013 appears to have raised the sum of $20,000-00 towards research into the causes and prevention of Childhood Cancer.

John Holstein
Member of CAMWEST (http://camwest.pps.com.au) advocating for better cycling infrastructure for Sydney's West.

"if we don't change direction, we will end up where we are headed" (Professor Irwin Corey
American vaudeville comic and actor (1914 - ) )

-----Original Message-----
From: Mayor <mayor at hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au>
To: John Holstein <jonhol2 at netscape.net>
Sent: Sat, Jun 29, 2013 2:14 pm
Subject: Re: Cycleways Committee Hawkesbury City Council

Dear Mr. Holstein,


Thank you for your e-mail of 27 June 2013 in which you raised a number of concerns regarding Council’s support for cycelways and cycling activities.


I can assure you that Council does recognise the health and social benefits of encouraging cycling. To this end Council has prepared and adopted theHawkesbury Mobility Plan 2010which incorporates both a Bike Plan and a Pedestrian Access and Mobility Plan.  The Mobility Plan outlines  a works program to consolidate and expand the cycleway network within the Hawkesbury Local Government Area. Council has adopted the works program and is currently implementing this program. 


The aim of the Mobility Plan is to link the major centres of North Richmond, Richmond, South Windsor, Bligh Park and Kurrajong with the township of Windsor which would then allow cyclist to access the Parramatta to Windsor off-road Cycleway.  The Plan was adopted by Council in May 2010, with Council indicating that priority should be given to the construction of the proposed off-road shared pathway linking Richmond and Windsor.  Since the adoption of the Mobility Plan, Council’s cycleway/shared pathway funds have been allocated to this project.


The priority routes identified in the Plan are on roadways under the control of Roads and Maritime Services (RMS). Council has made representations to the RMS to allocate funding to accelerate the construction of off-road cycleways on the trafficable routes under their control. To date we have not been successful in securing additional funding from the NSW Government for these cycleways.  I am sure that the residents of the Hawkesbury would appreciate any actions that CAMWEST might take in making representations to the NSW Government to secure additional funding to complete our cycleway network so that both your members and the residents of the Hawkesbury can cycle safely along the state/regional road network.


In relation to the issue of cycling advisory committees, I would advise that Council resolved not to proceed with re-establishing a cycling committee only after carefully considering the issues involved.  Council came to the view that the adoption and implementation of the Mobility Plan lessened the need for an advisory committee as the Plan was developed following extensive community consultation.  In effect the Mobility Plan reflects the community’s priorities and therefore provides a clear direction for Council. Council’s approach reflects the approach taken by all of our neighbouring councils.


I have also sought advice in relation to your concerns regarding the requirements for seeking approval for cycling events. I appreciate that for community groups the requirements for seeking approval may seem unreasonable. In assessing applications for events held on public roads, Council staff are required to ensure that proposed event will comply with the relevant RMS guidelines. There is no discretion available to ‘waive’ these requirements which are intended to protect the safety of event participants and members of the public. Irrespective of which local government area the event is held, if it is to be held on a public road, the same RMS requirements apply.  


As far as the Annual Riverstone 2 Riverstone Bicycle ride, I have been advised that Council staff have met with the event organisers on at least 2 occasions at their offices in Rouse Hill to assist the organisers in meeting RMS requirements for the Ride and submitting the required applications with sufficient time for Council to refer the application to our Local Traffic Committee for assessment and approval.


In conclusion, I would reiterate that Council is committed to working with all community groups to assist them in running successful sport and lifestyle events. We encourage any organisation proposing an event to liaise with Council at the earliest stages of their planning so that the RMS requirements for the event can be identified and satisfied.  


Thank you for taking the time to bring these matters to my attention.


Yours Sincerely

Kim Ford

The views expressed in this email are not necessarily those of the Hawkesbury City Council unless otherwise stated. The organisation does not warrant that this message is free of viruses or any other defect or error. This message and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed. If you have received this message in error please contact the author.

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