Sunday, May 16, 2010

Us 'Aussie fatties,' we sure need this!

Facebook announcement by Kristina Keneally:

"Just released NSW Bike Plan, $158m over 10 years. Largest bike-related capital works program in NSW. Priority projects include Parramatta to Syd Oly Park, Penrith CBD to Nepean River, Blacktown to Prospect, North Ryde to Macquarie Uni, and fast tracking bike networks in Parramatta, Liverpool & Penrith."

Encouraging! and we've all been invited to comment on a few options deemed relevant by the NSW government:

* Your favourite routes
* Your observations of your current cycling routes
* Your family cycling patterns
* Your recreational cycling patterns

I decided to comment on the "your family cycling patterns" option - and my post on KK's website is currently awaiting moderation (fingers crossed!!)- see below for the 'copy':

"My family cycling patterns demonstrate us cycling for transport and utility. There are six of us in our family, and as far as we can we cycle everywhere. Not one of our 4 adult children owns a car, and two of them live in Sydney, and therefore do not contribute in anyway to the appalling traffic congestion problems so clearly evident throughout the city.

I would like to add that to further enhance this wonderful initiative please repeal mandatory helmet laws. Australia continues to be hindered by them.

The rest of the world (apart from New Zealand, and they don’t count because they always do what we do) is mystified by our stubborn adherence to them. Israel has repealed them to aid their newly implemented bike share programme, as have Mexico. We need to do the same before we consider bike share for Sydney. As you would be well aware, Brisbane and Melbourne are on the brink of installing these programmes in the next couple of months, and as we are all aware, both ‘city-bike’ and ‘bixi’ are doomed to fail.

Given that we are the fattest nation in the world and that we are now killing ourselves with the effects of obesity more than we are with the effects of smoking, we must consider every avenue possible to get us moving. There is scant evidence that helmets actually offer the protection they advertise.

In previous communication with you I have recounted my court experiences pertaining to this matter to defend my unhelmeted cycling behaviour. I am currently researching my next ‘legal avenue’ from a civil liberties angle. If we had a ‘human rights bill’, mandatory helmet laws would already have been contested and cast out.

Please consider my request – Sydney is on the brink of something very special in terms of cycling – we have the most beautiful city in the world to work with, a cycling premier and a population enthusiastically embracing the joys of ‘freedom cycling’ – you will have already noted that over 50% of your cyclists have dispensed with helmets – the law is fragmented, contradictory and largely unenforceable.

I am still keen to meet the premier when she has a moment to discuss my position.

Kind regards,
Sue Abbott
The Freedom Cyclist"

Kristina Keneally's invitation is open to all of us so don't forget to leave your comments too!!

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