[CAMWEST-discuss] Latest News from CAMWEST

John Holstein jonhol2 at netscape.net
Fri Feb 8 10:35:31 UTC 2013

Fellow CAMWESTies,
                                  I hope you all enjoyed a happy and safe Christmas / New Year break and have returned to you annual tasks refreshed & with renewed energy.

 A lot has been happening in the cycling world around Parramatta recently, so I will try and fill you in on most of the activity, both past & future.

The end of 2012 saw the end also of the previous term of Local Government, with a few new faces on Councils within the area, with varying consequences for cycling.
Parramatta Council had about five new faces & the Parramatta Cycleways Committee has survived for another term of Council. The new Council required a change of Committee structure & CAMWEST Secretary Michael Goard has taken over as Chairman of the Committee & I take up the position of Vice Chairman.

The end of 2012 saw some activity for advocacy with the proposal to put portals through the Lennox Bridge. The issue divided many groups in the area and resulted in some vigorous lobbying by those for and against the proposal. CAMWEST members were supportive of the portals & our Heritage Ride Leader, Paul Bowyer made a couple of excellent speeches to Council supporting the proposal & I believe his actions provided quite some impetus to make it happen. Paul's next Heritage Ride has been advertised & will leave the Tudor Gates of Parramatta Park at 0830hrs for a jaunt around Parramatta by bicycle for about 4 hours. This is a leisurely ride, filled with interesting facts & anecdotes about Parramatta's Past. Being the 200th Anniversary of the crossing of the Blue Mountains, Paul may even visit the grave of Gregory Blaxland, who is buried in Parramatta. This is a free ride & open to families, however children must be accompanied by an adult. A rough guide to the ride can be found HERE, but it does vary from ride to ride.
The portals will open up the river foreshore from the Ferry Wharf to Parramatta Park & will prove, I think, to be a great asset to the city.

Parramatta has also been quite active in cycling infrastructure with another part of the link with Olympic Park being added. This path is still a way off being completed as funding comes in small doses, but a section has been completed from Pike St Rydalmere to Subiaco Creek. It is still a dead end, but it is worth a look just for the engineering aspect of the Path.
Plans are in hand to complete the small section from the John Street Wharf to Park Street with tenders going out shortly. This will alleviate the little dog leg that presently exists and also provide a small park at the end of Park St.

The Council has also had a slight revival in interest in Cycling and a number of  events will take place during the coming months. The first is Gear Up Girl, a ladies only ride from Homebush to Parramatta & Return on Sunday 3 March 2013. There are three options, the full ride, Start at Parramatta & ride to Homebush or join the short ride around Olympic Park. Follow this link for more information.

Another intersting family friendly ride is the Bird Watching By Bicycle to be held on Sat 9th March 2013, commencing at 9am at the John St Wharf Rydalmere. This is a bout 3 hours duration & covers a mere 6 kilometres. Come along & discover the birds that inhabit the Parramatta River. You will be amazed at how many species there are. Cost is FREE & children must be accompanied by an adult. More information & a link to registration can be found HERE. This is a great little adventure. Binoculars & commentary supplied alsong with a snack in the middle. Toilets will be available along the way.

On Australia Day, we had our first foray into Bicycle Valet Parking in Parramatta and it was a great success. We only parked just under 70 bikes, but I have been told this is a great result for a first event. At the same time we handed out dozens of maps and other information to people attending the event. An interesting result was five people attending the Western Sydney Cycle Networks monthly ride nominated thay had found out about the ride from our display at the Bike Valet Parking. As a result, CAMWEST has bought a set of BVP Equipment and we are looking for venues across western Sydney to host the parking. Costs will be reasonable, This is a great advocacy tool & we hope it is strongly supported.

In other Local Government areas: Blacktown now has a cycling advocate as a Councillor. Mr Wal Smith, a past President ot eh Riverstone Lions Club was elected to Council. Wal & his wife Lorraine & their Club have been the driving force behind the RIDE2RIVERSTONE, A series of rides on SUNDAY 5 MAY 2013 comprising 30,50,80 & 100 K options  and we look forward to forging some closer relations with Blacktown. As an aside, I have been riding to Blacktown for a few meetings & cycle facilities in that area are certainly improving. I am currently making inquires to see about hosting some Bike Valet Parking at the Blacktown Festival towards the end of May.

In The Hills Shire, Phil Griffiths continues to grind away on behalf of Bike North to establish a Cycling Advocacy Group in that Local Government Area. If you reside in that area, get behind Phil & support his cause. You can contact him on this email address : hills at bikenorth.org.au. The Rouse Hill & Riverstone areas are experiencing a huge growth spurt at the moment & now is the time to get some cycling infrastructure in place while the rail line is being constructed.

Hawkesbury Cycling Group, Windsor Cyclists were very disappointed when their Council voted to drop the Cycling & Access Committees at the start of the current Council Term. Fortunately, with some very active lobbying, they were able to get that decision overturned, however, they still haven't won the battle and some well written letters & emails to Hawkesbury Council council at hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au supporting the Cycling Committee would be appreciated.


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 - ) )
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