Monday, April 02, 2007

Council Adopts 10 year Cycling vision

Cycle Strategy and Action Plan 2007 - 2017

Below is my speech in endorsing the Council's adoption of the Cycle Strategy.

I was initially cynical about the worth of 'earth hour' last Saturday night. But after this Council got on board and I started hearing the enthusiasm of so many people willing to support an action that was as much about being something within the power of each person to make a small difference as it was symbolic of our city and society to start cleaning up our environmental act. The success of earth hour said to me that people are looking for a way that they can personally make a difference in their day to day lives.

Symbolism is important but short lived if it is not followed up by actions and reforms. And so it is more than symbolic that 48 hours after earth hour we are adopting the Cycle Strategy 2007 - 2017 for the City of Sydney. Individuals want to know what they can do to help our environment, to reduce car dependency, to reduce traffic
congestion and live a healthier lifestyle. They want to know how they personally
can make a difference in a city of millions. Through this strategy as we roll out its funded Action Plans we are providing an important opportunity for people who live, work and recreate in this City to reduce their footprint on the environment and lead a healthier and happier life.

This Council and organisation has travelled a long way in the three years since
we initiated a comprehensive rethink on how this city approaches cycling. My hope three years ago was that we would one day be building separate cycle lanes across the city and I set that in my mind as a long term objective. However the fact is that as I struggled with resistance to this from various quarters, I came to the reluctant view that getting a painted lane network was better than nothing at all and that in time as usage grew pressure would force the powers that be, to start to build safer separated lanes that encouraged more people to rediscover the joys of cycling.

So I am very proud that after three years of hard work by staff, consultants and stakeholders (not to mention my colleagues particularly Clrs Harris & McInerney) that we have a comprehensive strategy that is of course not perfect or totally complete but that lays down the framework and principles for this city to embrace a broad based cycling culture over the next decade. A strategy and action plan that allows each resident, worker and visitor an opportunity to make an ongoing personal contribution to reducing our impact upon the climate.

More information on the cycle strategy here.

Clr John McInereny and me cycling in the City.

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